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Join our Team!

Meet Aby Ryan, CEO & Founder

Aby, CEO & Founder

Aby Ryan founded Athena Camps in 2011 after a successful career as a professional tennis player, collegiate coach, and non-profit executive. With over 35 years of experience coaching and developing programs for girl-serving organizations, Aby specializes in leadership, curriculum design, and innovative strategies to grow strong, expressive, confident girls and women.

With her daughter Jordan started kindergarten, Aby Ryan saw a need for a place where girls could navigate social pressures, build character, and support each other. She realized the time had come to implement her dream of creating a girls’ sports camp.  After meeting with her God daughters, Sara (10) and Julia (8) over hot chocolate at Starbucks, Athena Camps – Sports and Crafts for Girls – was born.   June 11, 2011, she launched the first Athena Camp with 27 girls. Athena Camps’ attendance quadrupled in the year. Since then, many of our campers have become staff at Athena, including Jordan.  Athena Camps continues to grow each year and hopes to serve 5,000 girls by 2025.

Recently, Aby Brayton Ryan was selected as one of 101 people in DE.CODED – A HUMAN ATLAS OF SILICON VALLEY.  De.coded is an exploration of 101 remarkable change makers from Silicon Valley commissioned by the David & Lucile Packard Foundation. This multi-media book was built on a year-long nomination process where a group of local grassroots leaders and researchers nominated extraordinary individuals, from across all their networks and communities, who have made extraordinary contributions to the region and beyond and represent the exceptional diversity of the valley.
The final work brings together the portraits, oral histories and ancestral DNA maps of this remarkable cohort to inspire a deeper understanding of our humanity and the importance of service in our societies.

Meet the team

Marissa Pule


Director of Camp Operations

Marissa Pule joined  Athena Camps in 2013 as a Coach. Now entering her 11th season as a Director of Athena Camps, Marissa is also Director of Camp Operations.  In the off season, Marissa is a regional manager with Recess 101, training new coaches while continuing to coach PE to Kindergarten through 5th grade students all over the South Bay. Marissa grew up in a large family (10 siblings) playing softball, volleyball, swimming and her favorite, soccer. Through her years of playing team sports, Marissa learned how to be a leader and more confident, and she hopes to instill those qualities in her Athena campers.


Director, Los Gatos

Dani was first introduced to Athena Camps in 2012 where she worked as a coach and has now
returned as a Director for the Horse Camp at Nestledown. Dani graduated college with a degree
in Health Education. She worked as a Program Director for a local Non-profit creating and
implementing health programs for children and adults. After moving up to Mt Shasta, Dani
decided to pursue a teaching credential and began teaching kindergarten- 3rd grade in a rural
school. Living on a horse ranch, she has lots of experience with the in’s and out’s of horses.
After becoming a mother, Dani and her husband decided to move back to the Bay Area to be
closer to family. She loves spending time outdoors with her two boys; whether it may be hiking,
exploring the redwoods or playing at the beach. Dani has always been passionate about
working with children and is excited to bring her positive attitude and warm energy to Athena

Sara Hetrick


Director, Los Altos

Sara Hetrick has been behind the scenes of Athena Camps since its founding in 2011 and is now entering her 3rd summer as a Director. She feels so lucky to spend her summers with the strong Athena Team and our courageous campers over these many years. In the off season, Sara has her Masters in Education and is a Science Teacher. Growing up, she was a dedicated athlete and competitive swimmer for over 10 years. She continued swimming in college at UC Davis and is passionate about supporting girls in sports. Film photography, drawing, and listening to music are other hobbies she loves in her free time. She is so excited to return to camp this summer and share her love of Athena Camps with the 2024 campers!


Director of Business Operations

Susan Tuthill joined the Athena Team in 2022. She has worked for over 25 years consulting for companies and providing insight, direction, and hands on assistance in a myriad of ways. As Director of Business Operations for Athena, Susan oversees Human Resources, Customer Service, and Accounting, along with many behind-the-scenes aspects of Athena Camps. She is passionate about the vision of Athena in empowering today’s girls to be the strong, healthy women of tomorrow. As a mom of three boys, Susan keeps busy watching her sons compete in basketball, swimming and lacrosse. In her spare time Susan loves baking, scrapbooking, and swimming.

Amy Castello


Director of Yoga

Amy Castello created the Athena Camps yoga curriculum in 2013 and continues to build upon its success every year as our Director of Yoga. Amy believes in educating the whole person by incorporating breathing exercises, mindfulness, music, anatomy, and art into her yoga classes. She holds teaching certifications in adult and children’s yoga and has studied Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction based on the work of Dr. Jon Kabat–Zinn. Amy has been teaching group yoga classes at the Central YMCA for over 10 years. She also teaches private yoga sessions for adults and families. Amy trains our Athena Coaches every summer and teaches the Middle School camps. She has discovered that the best part of yoga for many children is their ability to close their eyes, become completely still, and find happiness in the present moment.

Join the team

We are looking for Directors and Coaches to join our team!

Want to make a difference in the lives of girls around the south bay? If you have experience playing sports or a love for the arts and want to help young girls build self-confidence, we would love to hear from you.

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