For Immediate Release


September 26, 2016 (Cambridge, Mass.) – Science Club for Girls (SCFG), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free experiential STEM mentoring programs for young women from K-12th grades, will honor Diane Hessan, Chairman of C Space, Allison Mnookin, CEO of Quickbase, and Innovation Women with the 2016 Catalyst Awards. The award celebration will be held on October 25, 2016.

The annual Catalyst Awards event recognizes outstanding leadership, both individual and institutional, in advancing the mission of Science Club for Girls to foster excitement, self-confidence and science literacy for girls, particularly those from minority or low-income communities. The Catalyst Awards celebrate extraordinary achievement toward realizing the Science Club for Girls vision to catalyze a fully diverse and inclusive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community.

“Role models matter. That’s foundational to our mission and a key lever for inspiring our girls and helping them build their confidence and curiosity. It’s equally important to us as an organization to raise up and honor role models – female leaders in STEM as practitioners and advocates – that inspire us to greater heights,” said Lonsdale Koester, executive director of Science Club for Girls.

About the Honorees:
Diane Hessan is a successful entrepreneur, marketer and author. She is currently working on a stealth project related to the November election and is also CEO of Salient Ventures, an investment and advisory company with a portfolio of angel investments focused on Boston technology companies. Previously, she was CEO of Startup Institute, which is dedicated to helping people transform their careers to succeed in the exciting innovation economy. She is also Chairman of C Space, where she was Founder and CEO for 13 years. Diane has spent her career as a business executive, and as co-author of the book Customer-Centered Growth: Five Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage. The book, a Business Week best-seller, was published in 11 languages.

Diane serves on the boards of Tufts University, Mass Challenge, Panera, Eastern Bank, CoachUp, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and is Special Advisor to Datapoint Capital, a leading early-stage venture firm. She received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. in Economics from Tufts University. She has 2 grown daughters, and is also founder of The Sound Bytes, an a cappella group that sings about business.

Allison Mnookin is CEO of QuickBase Inc. and serves on the company’s Board of Directors. She served as the Vice President and General Manager of QuickBase for six years during its tenure as a business unit of Intuit. Allison brings two decades of experience as a technology executive for successful cloud and business software companies. At QuickBase, Allison is responsible for setting the business strategy and currently oversees a client base of more than 500,000 business subscribers, including more than 50 percent of the Fortune 100. Prior to QuickBase, Allison held several leadership positions in Intuit’s Small Business Division. Most notably, she served as vice president and general manager of a $500M portfolio of small business products, which included QuickBooks. Allison was also instrumental in the early formation and growth of Quicken Loans.

Allison currently serves on the Board of Directors of Fleetmatics, (NYSE: FLTX), a leading global provider of fleet management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. Allison holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Harvard College.

Innovation Women is a “visibility bureau” – focused on providing great female speakers for everything from local meetups to the largest global conferences. Event managers get their own free accounts to access the Innovation Women speaker bureau database. Once approved, they have access to the speaker profiles and can invite speakers to their event. Paying a small fraction of what a PR agency or speakers bureau would cost, speakers gain high-ROI visibility. The goal is to gender-balance panels by placing an equal number of talented female speakers at events. For more information, visit or follow @WomenInno on Twitter.

About the Catalyst Awards Event:
The Science Club for Girls 9th Annual Catalyst Award Celebration will be held at District Hall in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District on Tuesday, October 25th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Proceeds from the event support Science Club for Girls’ mission to increase girls’ curiosity, confidence and community connections in STEM through hands-on explorations led by mentors in these fields. Event details and sponsorship opportunities are at Tickets may be purchased via

About Science Club for Girls:
Science Club for Girls (SCFG) has been providing free, fun after school programs for girls in STEM for over 20 years; what began as one kindergarten club in 1994 is now serving 1,200 girls in grades K-12 annually in Boston, Cambridge, Newton, Brookline and Lawrence, led by over 200 volunteer mentor scientists. 80% of SCFG participants come from racial or socio-economic backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM fields. SCFG’s mission is to “foster excitement, confidence, and literacy in STEM for girls, particularly from underrepresented communities, by providing free, experiential programs and by maximizing meaningful interactions with women mentors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” For more information, please visit

Lonsdale Koester, Science Club for Girls, 617-391-0361, ext. 106;

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