Staff Spotlight – Athena Agoudemos, Cybersecurity Awareness Program Manager & Business Consultant, SBDC at UW-Milwaukee

AthenaHeadshot with edit

Throughout 2020, the Wisconsin SBDC’s 40th anniversary, the network is shining a spotlight on the talented team that makes our work possible.

  • Started with the SBDC: Athena Agoudemos joined the SBDC in July 2020, after working with our organization through her role with WWBIC. She is really grateful to be part of the SBDC and have the chance to work with Cheryl Mitchell at the UW-Milwaukee center.
  • Happiest when: Spending time with family and friends is very important to Athena, particularly her two sons ages 8 and 10. She also values making a positive impact in the community. She can often be found outdoors, enjoying running, biking, hiking and relishing time near water and trees. 
  • Podcast to recommend: 
    • The IDEO U Creative Confidence Podcast hosts conversations with change makers, design thinkers and creative minds. Athena loves the focus on design-thinking practices. 
    • One of the guests on the IDEO podcast was Guy Kawaski, and Athena enjoyed his insights so much she began to tune into his own podcastGuy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People Podcast.
    • Heart Wisdom, the podcast by Jack Kornfield, always makes Athena feel like a better person after listening. 
  • Something Athena enjoys about her job: For Athena, there are many favorite elements of her job including providing resources, being a connector to business owners and helping entrepreneurs to be proactive and get to “yes.” 
  • Silver lining during COVID-19 pandemic: She finds it is so lovely to enjoy a slower pace and less busyness during this time. Other silver linings are enhanced video conferencing skills and a more organized house, even including the basement! : ) 
  • Famous people she admires: 
    • Wendy Baumann: WWBIC President & Chief Visionary Officer.
    • Jessica Jackley: entrepreneur who co-founded Kiva and ProFounder, two organizations that promote development through microloans.
    • Muhammad Yunus: creator of the Grameen Bank, a microcredit institution committed to providing small amounts of working capital to the poor for self-employment.
    • Bill Strickland: community leader, author and the President and CEO of the non-profit Manchester Bidwell Corporation that inspires at-risk youth through involvement with the arts.
  • Accomplishment at the SBDC: Athena values all the little moments that help clients, particularly seeing the client “get it” when they understand financial projections and they can enjoy the enlightenment and empowerment that entrepreneurial control brings. 
  • Favorite book: She recommends Atomic Habits by James Clear for individuals, entrepreneurs and anyone wanting to start a new initiative as it offers great insights on how to create an environment to meet goals. 
  • Favorite quote: “Turn your judgments into curiosity.” – from the book Motivational Interviewing 
  • Quote from Cheryl Mitchell, Interim Director UW-Milwaukee SBDC: “Athena is REALLY focused on serving the customer. Her willingness to meet them where they are in the process of starting a business gives them the confidence to do the work to reap the rewards. Her clients are very complimentary about her ability to understand, explain and support their personal and professional development. She’s a great asset to our team in Milwaukee, already contributing to our metrics!  I’m so glad to have her here.”
  • Learn more about Athena Agoudemos in her full bio.

See all of our staff spotlights and 40th Anniversary celebrations, as well as all of our team bios across our 13 centers.