Amber Peebles, President

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps , Amber Peebles oversees all aspects of company affairs and operations, while creating and implementing company and division growth plans. A strategic visionary, Ms. Peebles has helped Athena grow to become one of the most in-demand construction companies in both the public and private sectors.

Ms. Peebles graduated from Park University with a B.S. in Human Resource Management, holds a Masters certification in Paralegal Studies from The George Washington University, and a Project Management certification from Villanova University. She garnered much of her construction experience at Blank Rome LLP, where she was responsible for human resources, security, facilities management, capital improvement projects, and the day-to-day operation of a 200-person office.

She served four terms as Chair of the Construction and Utilities Business Council for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to the Department of Veterans Affairs Education Advisory Commission, Chair Emeritus of the Marine Executive Association, and is on the Executive Advisory Board of Women Impacting Public Policy. She’s also a 2010 graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy.

The recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Ms. Peebles is an in-demand public speaker.


Melissa Schneider, Vice-President

Melissa Schneider founded Athena after serving as the Wide Area Network Operations Manager for Booz Allen, where she was responsible for the design, implementation, and day-to-day operations for the firm’s frame-relay wide area network, connecting more than 100 offices worldwide. Beginning her career as a Communications Officer for the Marine Corps, Ms. Schneider worked with both ground-to-ground and air-to-ground HF, VHF, and UHF networks. She then worked as an engineer and consultant on both federal and private sector projects for firms like Lockheed Martin, SAIC, Spring Lucent, and Predictive Technologies.

She graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Geology, received her M.S. in Telecommunications and Computers from The George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science, and became a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE).

With command experience that includes billets as a Platoon Commander at Parris Island, an assistant Operations Officer with 3rd FSSG, and other billets with the 1st Marine Air Wing and Officer Candidate School, Ms. Schneider is no stranger to leadership.

Ms. Schneider has been recognized with the Navy Achievement Medal with star and was peer-selected to receive the Lockheed Martin Wingspread Award.


Sheila Henderson, Chief Administrative Officer

Sheila Henderson calls on her 25 years of paralegal experience and management history to keep Athena running smoothly. Her unflappable demeanor and insistence on tasks being done correctly the first time blends well with Athena’s dedication to reliability.

With a B.A. in English and History from George Mason University, Ms. Henderson began her career as secretary at a law firm. The management noticed her work ethic as well as her management skills, promoting her first to paralegal and then paralegal manager. As the firm grew in size and scope, managing complex tasks and sensitive material became second nature. It was there that Ms. Henderson met Amber Peebles, who would eventually recruit her for her impressive skills as Athena began to grow.

Now, as Chief Administrative Officer since January 2015, Ms. Henderson coordinates all aspects of human resources, including payroll, onboarding and offboarding, and the creation of a detailed employee handbook. She ensures that Athena’s certifications are up-to-date and helps manage the company’s finances. An essential part of the company’s management foundation as it continues to grow, Ms. Henderson focuses on being versatile, detail-oriented, and exceptionally capable.