Phyllis W. Newhouse is CEO and Co-Founder of Athena Technology Acquisition Corp., Founder and CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc., and Founder of ShoulderUp. She co-founded Xtreme Solutions in 2002 upon retiring from the United States Army as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.
In 2020, Ms. Newhouse co-founded Athena Technology Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), to carry out mergers, capital stock exchanges, asset acquisitions, stock purchases and reorganizations with one or more businesses in the technology, DTC and fintech industries. Ms. Newhouse serves as the company’s CEO and her co-founder, Isabelle Freidheim serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Athena closed a $250 million IPO in March 2021, making it the only SPAC listed on the NYSE with a Black female CEO.
Prior to starting Xtreme Solutions, Ms. Newhouse served in the U.S. Army. While serving in the United States Army on various assignments she specialized in National Security and established the Cyber Espionage Task Force.
Board and Advisor Roles
Ms. Newhouse serves on the Sabre board of directors since April 2021. She also serves as a board member for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), as well as on the board of Business Executives for National Security (BENS). She is also a member of the WPO where she proudly serves on the Executive Board.
In 2017 Ms. Newhouse became the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category. She was admitted into the 2013 class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, and in 2019 was inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of fame. Ms. Newhouse now serves as a national judge for EY’s annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards.
She was recognized as part of Inc.’s Mighty 25 in 2020 and was a 2019 Culture Creator Honoree for the finance category – an annual award that recognizes minorities in arts, entertainment and business.
Additionally, Xtreme Solutions Inc., received inclusion in the Inc. 5000 list in 2013 and 2014, and has been recognized as one of Women’s Presidents’ Organization’s (WPO) 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned Companies in the U.S. consecutively for the past six years.
Ms. Newhouse has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc., Atlanta Business Journal, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, NBS News, Bloomberg and more.
Philanthropy, Community Service and Memberships
In 2019 she founded ShoulderUp alongside Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting and supporting women on their entrepreneurial journeys.
ShoulderUp Ventures is the first women-founded and led influencer fund providing impact and exclusive access to a diverse portfolio of media, technology companies and sports entertainment. In 2019 alone its members and affiliates invested over $10 million in companies like Lime, Rent the Runway and Airbnb. Newhouse also hosts Leadership Inspirational Talks (LITalks), addressing the ShoulderUp audience directly to develop leaders through their spiritual and inspirational journeys.
Ms. Newhouse also serves on the Board of Directors of Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization that encourages all girls to be "Strong, Smart, and Bold."
Ms. Newhouse received her degree from John F. Kennedy University.