ChIPs Welcomes Next Generation of Board Members

SAN FRANCISCO (February 19, 2020) — ChIPs, a nonprofit organization focused on advancing women in technology, law and policy, welcomed four new board directors last month. 

Effective January 1, 2020, Katherine Minarik (General Counsel, Dyson-Americas), Sarita Venkat, (Head of IP Transactions, Apple Inc.), Cyndi Wheeler (Director, Intellectual Property, Slack) and Jennifer Yokoyama (Deputy General Counsel, IP Group and Chief IP Counsel, Microsoft), join Dorian Daley (Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Oracle Corporation), Noreen Krall (Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel, Apple Inc.), and Stephanie Burns (Vice President and General Counsel, StubHub).

Katherine Minarik is the General Counsel of the Americas division of Dyson and was previously General Counsel at cleverbridge. At cleverbridge she managed all of cleverbridge’s global legal needs, from intellectual property and commercial contracts to consumer privacy and data protection. Ms. Minarik is a longtime advocate for women in the legal profession and is a past-president of the Coalition for Women’s Initiatives in Law.

Sarita Venkat is the Head of IP Transactions at Apple Inc. and has previously managed complex, high profile patent and commercial litigation worldwide at Apple. She has been named one of Recorder’s Women Leaders in Tech Law, a Corporate IP Star by Managing IP and has been presented with the Corporate Counsel award by the South Asian Bar Association. Ms. Venkat is the co-creator of the Heels of Justice podcast along with fellow board member Katherine Minarik, which celebrates trailblazing women in law.

Cyndi Wheeler is the Director, Intellectual Property at Slack Technologies, Inc., where she is responsible for all aspects of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, open source, and IP litigation. Ms. Wheeler began her career as an electrical engineer at Intel after graduating from the Colorado School of Mines. While at Intel, she attended Santa Clara University School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2005. Ms. Wheeler continued her career as a patent attorney at Intel and then at transitioned to Apple.  For over a decade, Ms. Wheeler held various roles at Apple including managing patent prosecution, NPE and competitor patent litigation, and Apple’s PTAB practice.

Jennifer Yokoyama is Deputy General Counsel, IP Group and Chief IP Counsel at Microsoft.  She was promoted to that position in December 2019 and was previously Microsoft’s head of IP litigation. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ms. Yokoyama was principal counsel for patent litigation at Apple, where her focus was on the management of complex multi-jurisdictional patent, competition and FRAND-based disputes, with a special emphasis on Asia, where she was responsible for the APAC litigation docket.

“All four of our new board members embody the spirit of community and bring talent, ambition and energy to the table. We’re fortunate to have them on our board as we expand our community,” said Karen Royer, Executive Director of ChIPs.

ChIPs also announced that after fifteen years, ChIPs co-founder Mallun Yen is moving to Board Director Emeritus status. Ms. Yen has been instrumental in ChIPs’ growth and will now pivot her attention to her recently launched start-up, Operator Collective, which focuses on bringing together operators of high growth venture backed companies. Ninety percent of the limited partners who have invested in Operator Collective are women, making the organization a natural progression from her work with ChIPs.

“We’re grateful for Mallun’s dedication to ChIPs over the past decade. During her leadership as CEO, she guided the growth of the organization, setting the stage for the next wave of ChIPs leadership,” said Karen Royer, Executive Director of ChIPs.

In September, Co-founder Michelle K. Lee moved to Board Emeritus status after accepting a position as Vice President of the Machine Learning Solutions Lab at Amazon Web Services. In this new role, Ms. Lee leads a business and team to work with companies and organizations from all sectors to solve their business needs using AWS’s cloud-based, artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions.