Carla Rayacich, Founder
Carla Rayacich is an experienced, successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, and the mother of two delightfully dyslexic children--twins. She has an MBA from Stanford University. She has worked with children Preschool through Elementary in music education, and mindfulness practices that improve learning. When her own children struggled to learn both in a traditional setting and in a school geared for dyslexics, she went in search of methods that would be more effective for her twins. She brought together a group of experts who integrated the best techniques to create the unique curriculum of Athena Academy. Carla used her skills as an entrepreneur and manager to start up and lead the organization, and to find the best people to teach the children.
David Pritchard, President
Dave Pritchard has over 30 years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry with a focus on general management, business development and financial management. He served as CEO of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, and chief business officer of Rinat Neuroscience, Matrix Pharmaceutical, Metabolex, and Triton Biosciences. He was part of successful drug development teams for multiple sclerosis, cancer, and pain.
David holds an MBA degree from Stanford University, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell. Mr. Pritchard serves or has served on the nonprofit Boards of Directors of BayBio, San Mateo Park School, Association of Bioscience Financial Officers in northern California, 942 Market Street HOA, and the Biotech Business Development Roundtable of Northern California.
Diana Ungersma, Vice President
Diana Ungersma brings her experience in growing a start-up as the founder and CEO of Smilin Dogs, a dog daycare, hiking, boarding, and training business in San Carlos, California. After growing the business to employ 50 people and serve 200 clients per day, she sold the company in 2015. Ms. Ungersma spent her 12 years prior in technology, specializing in mobile software and cloud-based services.
As Director of Product Management at PacketHop, Diana was responsible for business strategy, market definition, and product implementation. She also served in marketing and product management positions at iAnywhere, AvantGo, Maxspeed, Banta Digital Services, Data-Based Marketing, and the Wall Street Journal.
Diana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Communications from the California Polytechnic State University. As the parent of a child gifted with dyslexia, Ms. Ungersma is passionate about supporting students to achieve their full potential, and also serves as volunteer mentor in entrepreneurship for at-risk high schoolers through BUILD.
Matthew Duncan, Secretary/Treasurer
Matthew Duncan is a Partner at Ernst & Young LLP and the father of two children, one who is gifted with Dyslexia and attends Athena Academy. Matthew has lived and worked in Australia, Vietnam, Nepal, Eritrea, the United Kingdom and the United States. Matthew’s work experiences include serving as a Project Manager for the Fred Hollows Foundation, an international development organization working towards eliminating avoidable blindness. Matthew is an IRS-enrolled agent permitted to practice before the IRS. Matthew has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (Hons.) from the University of Technology, Sydney, as well as a post-graduate diploma in operations management and an MBA from Macquarie University, Sydney.
Dan Cristiani, Trustee
Dan Cristiani is a Bay Area native and lifelong educator. He spent several years teaching history and the social sciences at the middle- and high-school levels, and has been an administrator and school leader at two local independent schools.
He recently oversaw curriculum and instruction for grades 5-12 at The Nueva School, and he is currently serving as Senior Research Analyst at The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford's Hoover Institution.
Prior to jumping into the classroom, Dan was a Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education, where he supported a program focused on educational equity and school reform.
He holds a PhD in Political Science from the UC San Diego and a BA in Government from Georgetown University, and he has received grants and honors from the Fulbright Commission, the Germanistic Society of America, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among others.
He is an avid soccer fan, and loves bringing his young kids to soccer games whenever he can.
Elizabeth Douglas, Trustee
Norman Colb, Trustee
Norm Colb received a BA from Brandeis University and an MAT degree from Harvard.
He began his career as a teacher of English in the Brookline (MA) Public Schools, and then served as the Director of English and Language Arts, pre K-12, in the same district. He went on to be the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in the Newton (MA) Public Schools, after which he moved to Westchester County, New York, where for ten years he was the Superintendent of the Mamaroneck Public Schools. From 1993-2013, Norm was the Head of Menlo School in Atherton (CA). He retired in 2017 after four years as the Head of Sage Ridge School in Reno (NV).
A dyslexic, Norm is deeply committed to Athena Academy and impressed by all the school does to help its students thrive.
Joe Anzalone, Trustee
A 25-year Silicon Valley veteran, Joe Anzalone has broad expertise in operating, advising and financing emerging-growth technology companies. Prior to joining his current employer Tech CU, Anzalone served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer at New Resource Bank in San Francisco where he was responsible for both the product and services strategy and market development.
He also founded Allegiant Ventures, a technology venture fund, and was president and COO of MediaG3, a broadband wireless provider. In addition to his expertise with early-stage companies, Joe's substantial banking experience includes 15 years at Silicon Valley Bank in a variety of executive positions.
Joe is an alumni parent.
Doug Sheehy, Trustee
Doug Sheehy is a biotech executive and the father of three teen-age boys, one of whom graduated from Athena Academy in 2021. Doug has spent twenty years in the biotechnology field, currently as Chief Legal Officer at Sonoma Biotherapeutics, he has also held roles as General Counsel and Secretary of Aimmune Therapeutics and Codexis, two Bay Area biotechnology companies. Previously he was in private practice as a corporate lawyer in Silicon Valley. During his career, Doug has helped support the development of new drugs for the treatment of food allergies, and cardiovascular and rare diseases. Doug holds a B.A. in history from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from American University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the American University Law Review.
Athena created a welcoming and supportive learning environment for Doug’s son, who thrived at Athena. Doug is excited to help Athena grow and continue to provide an exceptional educational experience for twice-gifted students.
Ken Miller, Trustee
Ken Miller is a recently retired financial services veteran with over 20 years of C-Suite experience, most recently as the Chief Financial Officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. During his 26 years at the Federal Home Loan Bank, Ken created financial management and risk frameworks that supported superior financial results, through a variety of business and financial cycles. As a financial executive, Ken has significant experience advising boards on mission, strategy, financial performance, and financial management.
Ken is firm believer in the importance of an organization’s mission and societal role. The mission and crucial role Athena Academy plays in the development of its students inspired Ken to become a member of the board. Ken has lived in the Bay Area for over 40 years, and he and his wife currently reside in the East Bay. Ken received undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Michelle Bizeau, Trustee
Michelle Bizeau is an educational and wellness advocate whose life's work has been ensuring individuals have access to quality academic and support service programs that empower them to educationally thrive and experience lifelong success. With over sixteen years of experience in initiating, managing, and championing diverse educational programs as a counselor, learning specialist, and school administrator in a variety of public and private K-12 and university settings, she knows how important it is for dyselxic students to find an educational setting that can help tap into their true potential.
Michelle is passionate about supporting Athena Academy in their mission of stretching the boundaries of dyslexia education.
Victor N. Alam, Trustee
Victor N. Alam is a practicing attorney and a nationally recognized legal expert in the area of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). He is the senior attorney and head of the Legal Department with Menke & Associates, Inc., a nationwide financial consulting firm with roots in the SF Bay Area that specializes in advising privately owned businesses, shareholder groups and Boards of Directors in the area of employee lead buyouts, ownership transitions and mergers and acquisitions involving employee owned companies. He received his undergraduate degree from UCLA and his J.D. from Hastings College of the Law.
Victor has extensive experience counseling Boards of Directors regarding governance and fiduciary responsibilities. He speaks regularly at conferences across the county on topics regarding employee ownership, corporate tax and financial structuring related to employee lead buyout transactions.
Victor was born in Michigan but has lived on the SF Peninsula for over 30 years. He is the father of 2 amazing young adults. His experience with learning differences within his own family, inspired him to join the Board of Athena and continue his volunteer efforts.