There must have been at least 50 ladies there, dressed for the season with plaids, reds, bells and of course, a glittery St. John or two dotting its way throughout the crowd. The University Club high atop Symphony Towers in sparkling San Diego was the site of the annual Athena gathering and it couldn't have been lovelier. Athena is the name given to an organization of a select group of lady executives, all of whom work in technology and have achieved the title director or above. Established in 1998, Athena now boasts a membership of over 200. Their primary purpose: to provide leadership, support and education to their members while addressing business issues and challenges unique to their fields of interest. Last night's gathering included such notable women in the field as Charleen Boyl (she's Athena's Executive Director); Martha Dennis, President of Athena; Berit Durler of UCSD Extended Studies; Sue Ebner of Marsh Risk and Insurance Services; Susan Gonick of Heller, Ehrman, White and McAuliffe; Wendy Johnson; Karen Klause; Patti Lazard; Lynne Friedmann; Jeanine Jacobson;
and Vickie Marion, CEO and President of JABRA Corporation. Still others in attendance were Sandy Calesa, Maria Stanley, Diane West and Connie Baher of YouWorkIt. In addition to the festivities, members of the Athena Wine Special Interest Group donated some of their favorite wines for a raffle, the proceeds of which will be turned over to the San Diego YWCA's Passages Program (www.ywcasandiego.org/passages.html), a program that assists disadvantaged women as they transition from abuse, homelessness and poverty into employment, permanent housing and eventual economic independence.