Athena Engineering, Inc. was founded by Richard and Jannie Chiera in 1984 as a new adventure into the world of business together. They took their distinctive skills – Jannie in management and finance, Richard in engineering and HVAC – and decided to combine them to open our business. Over 33 years later, Athena Engineering, Inc. has over 60 employees and Athena Chiera, Jannie and Richard’s daughter, is now part of the management team. We are one small part of the universe of family businesses, which make up an amazing 80-90% of firms worldwide. Not only are family businesses important to the family that runs it, they are also important drivers of gross domestic product and economic growth. It is in the world’s interest to ensure the survival and growth of family businesses, which is why Athena Engineering is proud to announce we were appointed to the Founding Advisory Board for the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute.

“The majority of businesses everywhere are family-controlled and family-managed. … Yet management books and management courses deal almost entirely with the publicly-owned and professionally-managed company—they rarely as much as mention the family-managed business.” -Peter Drucker, Managing in a Time of Great Change

Family businesses occupy every sector of the economy and can range in size from a wife-husband team to a global conglomerate. Many household names are still privately controlled by family interests. Anybody know of In-N-Out, Aldi (parent company of Trader Joe’s), Ikea, Dole Food Company, or Levi Strauss? Yes- they are all still family-owned and operated.

Athena Chiera, VP of Business Development at Athena Engineering, attended Claremont McKenna College and is in her final year of study for her Masters in Business Administration at Claremont Graduate University’s Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. While this association is what initially got us involved with the Institute, our biggest reason for joining the Founding Advisory Board was our own corporate dedication to the theories and principles taught by Drucker.

The Institute will be the flagship academic institute of the Drucker School, seeking to attract students and family businesses throughout the world. Its programs will address the issues and opportunities of family businesses: managing the family name, succession planning, innovation, corporate responsibility, governance, finance, and sustainability. (Drucker School Global Family Business Institute Vision)

We are truly honored to be a part of the Institute’s founding and helping to shape its future. For additional reading on Athena Engineering’s community involvement, the Drucker Family Business Institute and Family Business in general, check out Athena Chiera’s interview on The Lou Desmond and Company Show as well as some of the below links.


On the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute

Drucker School Global Family Business Institute (Homepage)

New Institute Seeks to Serve Needs of Global Family Businesses (Claremont Graduate University, May 23, 2018)

‘Very Different Rules’: Peter Drucker’s Thoughts on Family-Run Businesses (Claremont Graduate University, March 5, 2018)

On Family Business

Why Family Businesses Outperform Others (The Economist, 2018)

University of St. Galen Global Family Business Index