Top 25 Women in
PE-Backed Software Companies 2020
The Lancer Group is proud to announce an industry and Lancer first! We have launched the inaugural annual list of “Top 25 Women in PE-Backed Software Companies”, which highlights the accomplishments of successful executives leading high–performing and fast–growing organizations.
Winners were nominated by our network of private equity partners, board members, and executives as some of the most talented leaders driving value creation in private equity-backed software companies.
As we see increasing proof that diverse management teams leads to increased revenue and profitability, many of our clients have come to us to source more talented executives to their management teams and boards. We are thrilled to honor these outstanding executives, and we look forward to growing the list in years to come.
Dru Armstrong – Chief Executive Officer, Grace Hill
Dru Armstrong has been CEO of Grace Hill since 2016. She joined the company as Chief Product Officer in 2015, after The Riverside Company acquired it in 2014. Grace Hill is the market leader in strategic human capital management and customer experience software for the real estate industry. After Dru drove impressive revenue and EBITDA growth for The Riverside Company, Stone Point Capital acquired the company in 2018. She continues to scale the company with over 7 million units and 2.5 billion square feet of multifamily and commercial real estate covered today. Dru previously founded and was Chief Executive Officer of Lily Pod, a consumer tech company, and was Vice President of investment firm Gores Group, and a Project Leader at Boston Consulting Group.
Tricia Benedix – Chief Financial Officer, Higher Logic
Tricia Benedix joined Higher Logic in October 2018. Higher Logic, backed by JMI Equity since 2016, is an industry leader in cloud-based engagement platforms with online community management and marketing automation tools. Tricia brings over 20 years of financial operating experience in the technology industry where she has been focused on enabling fast growing companies to maximize their potential through development and implementation of strategies that drive financial and operational performance as well as sustainable business growth. Previously, Tricia held several executive roles for private equity-backed technology companies serving as Chief Financial Officer for Social Solutions, Relias Learning, and Mitratech. She has also held financial roles for Sunquest Information Systems and Misys Healthcare Systems.
Kate Bolseth – Chief Executive Officer, HelpSystems
Kate Bolseth became HelpSystems’ Chief Executive Officer in 2019 after joining the company in 2015 as a General Manager and then serving as COO. HelpSystems, backed by HGGC, TA Associates, and Charlesbank Capital, is a software company helping customers Build a Better IT™ with cybersecurity and automation solutions. Prior to joining HelpSystems, Kate held numerous C-level and executive roles at tech companies including Jingit, Amcom Software (now Spok), and HighJump Software (now Körber).
Heather Brunner – Chief Executive Officer, WP Engine
Heather Brunner has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairwoman of the Board of WP Engine, the world’s leading WordPress digital experience platform, since 2013. Heather has steered the company‘s growth and global expansion, with offices in the US, UK, Ireland, and Australia serving 75,000 customers in 130 countries. Under Heather’s leadership, WP Engine raised $250 million in funding from PE firm Silver Lake Management. A 30-year technology veteran, Heather has helped generate billions in value, driving customer success and business strategy for both privately funded new ventures and Fortune 500 companies – during her previous role as Chief Operating Officer for Bazaarvoice, she helped scale the company’s revenue from $64 million to $146 million. She serves on the Board of Directors for Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT), Localeur LLC, and the Entrepreneurs Foundation.
Kathy Crusco – (Former) Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Epicor
Kathy Crusco is an experienced Chief Financial Officer and Board Member with an extensive history working in the software and unified communications industries. From December 2017 to January 2020, Kathy served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Kony, Inc., a mobile application solutions provider that was backed by Insight Partners and sold to Temenos in September 2019. Kathy joined Kony from Epicor Software Corp., a global ERP software company serving small to mid-sized companies. During her 10 years at Epicor, Kathy was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, leading a team of roughly 1,500 and responsible for $500 million of revenue from the automotive aftermarket segment, cloud services businesses, global customer support, and hardware operations. Epicor was backed by Apax Partners until it was acquired by KKR for $3.3 billion in 2016. Kathy has also served as Chief Financial Officer of Activant Solutions(Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity), and held prior finance roles at Polycom, Documentum, and Adaptec (now Microsemi). Kathy sits on the Board of KKR-backed Corel Corporation, Duck Creek Technologies (NASDAQ:DCT), QADB (NASDAQ:QADB), Calix (NYSE: CALX), Poly (NYSE: PLT), and previously served on the Board of Directors for Mitchell International (KKR-backed). Kathy was named one of Women Inc.’s 2019 Most Influential Corporate Board Directors.
Julie Dodd – (Former) Chief Operating Officer, Ultimate Software
Julie Dodd joined Ultimate Software, a developer and provider of SaaS based people management software products, in 2007. During that time, Julie rose from Senior Vice President and General Manager Workplace Services to Chief Operating Officer, while she helped drive recurring revenue from $100 million to $1.4 billion, increasing the company’s 650 employees to 6,500. While Ultimate Software was a public company for the majority of her tenure, it recently merged with Kronos, which is majority-backed by Hellman & Friedman. Julie lives by the motto, “Be Yourself. Act Fearlessly—But Strategically. Build Others Up. Never Stop Learning.”
Allison Guidette – Chief Executive Officer, SambaSafety
Allison Guidette became Chief Executive Officer of SambaSafety in 2018. The Abry Partners-backed company is the market leader in cloud-based risk management solutions for organizations with commercial and non-commercial drivers. A growth-oriented leader, Allison previously served as Chief Executive Officer of G2 Web Services, a global provider of merchant risk intelligence solutions, where she delivered rapid and organic revenue growth and innovated the product suite and go-to-market strategy before selling the company to Verisk Analytics (NASDAQ: VRSK). Allison was also the Managing Director at Thomson Reuters where she was the General Manager of $1 billion suite of businesses providing cloud and on-premises practice management software, training, content, and other solutions to large law firms. Allison has a deep understanding of software and information services businesses, with over 20 years of extensive general management experience and a proven track record of spurring customer-centric innovation across the software and information services space.
Sarah Hagan – Chief Financial Officer, ECi Software Solutions
Sarah Hagan became Chief Financial Officer of Apax Partners-backed ECI Software in 2018. ECI is a rapidly growing developer of industry-specific business management software and services, focusing on cloud-based technologies. Sarah’s extensive background in dynamic, fast-growing software companies has made a strong financial leader helping ECI drive sustainable growth. Previously, Sarah served as Chief Financial Officer of Vista Equity-backed Omnitracs, a Dallas-based provider of SaaS-based fleet management software applications for the transportation and logistics vehicle sector. Before Omnitracs, Sarah held numerous finance roles at Sabre Corporation. Sarah is on the Board for Pomeroy, a Clearlake-backed firm in the IT services space.
Nancy Ham – Chief Executive Officer, WebPT
Nancy Ham joined WebPT, the leading rehab therapy platform for enhancing patient care as Chief Executive Officer and Board member in 2016. By the time Warburg Pincus invested in 2019, the company had been listed on the Inc. 5000 list for the seventh consecutive year, and Nancy had helped drive revenue to over $80 million. A leader in healthcare information technology, Nancy was previously Chief Executive Officer of Healthagen Population Health Solutions, an Aetna company, where she oversaw several tech businesses, including Medicity, the market leader in clinical data exchange and interoperability. Prior to that, she was President and Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of MedVentive, a performance analytics company later acquired by McKesson. Nancy started her career with executive roles at Sentillion, ProxyMed, Healtheon/WebMD, ActaMed Corporation, and GE Capital. Nancy sits on the Board for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. She was named by HealthData Management as one of Health IT’s 25 Most Powerful Women Thought Leaders in both 2016 and 2018.
Laura Ipsen – President and Chief Executive Officer, Ellucian
Laura Ipsen joined Ellucian in 2017, a TPG-backed educational software company based in Virginia. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Ipsen draws from her more than 25 years of experience as a technology executive, working to drive transformation in the public and private sectors and encourage adoption of comprehensive solutions in high-growth industries. Laura’s leadership is grounded in mutual respect and the ability to put the customer’s needs first, a philosophy developed in executive leadership roles at some of the world’s largest software technology companies including Oracle, Cisco, and Microsoft, where she led a team of more than 2,000 sales and marketing professionals serving government, education, and non-privatized healthcare customers. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Verisk (NASDAQ: WRSK), a leading data analytics provider, and previously spent 8 years on the Board of Monsanto.
Dana Jones – Chief Executive Officer, Sparta Systems
Dana Jones joined Sparta Systems in 2018 as Chief Executive Officer. Sparta Systems, backed by New Mountain Capital, is a leader in Quality Management Software (QMS), with nearly a million users in life sciences and other industries across 30 countries. Prior to joining Sparta, Dana served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Vista Equity-backed Active Network, a leader in activity and event management software. Under her guidance the company experienced rapid growth, resulting in the sale of the Sports and Communities divisions to Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) for $1.2 billion. Before joining Active Network, Dana was Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Solutions Management for Sabre Airline Solutions, a global provider of software to the airline industry. She was also a co-founder and Executive Vice President of Product for Noesis Energy. Dana serves on the Board of RealPage (NASDAQ: RP) and Agilysys (NASDAQ: AGYS).
JoAnn Kintzel – Chief Executive Officer, Procare Software
JoAnn Kintzel joined Procare in 2016 as President and Chief Executive Office. Procare is a leading childcare software developer that provides expertise, service, and support to over 30,000 preschools, daycare centers, after-school programs, camps, and related facilities. JoAnn joined Procare following an acquisition by TA Associates, and subsequently managed Procare through the acquisition of multiple childcare management SaaS and network software providers such as Kinderlime, KidReports, SchoolLeader and Cirrus Group. JoAnn’s exceptional stewardship led Warburg Pincus to purchase a majority stake in Procare in 2018. JoAnn previously served as President of tax software company TaxAct for 10 years which was backed by TA Associates for much of her tenure, before the company was sold to InfoSpace (NASDAQ: INSP) in 2012. JoAnn has extensive experience guiding fast-growing software companies through M&A, restructuring, and further development and revenue growth.
Sharon Love – President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Brands
Sharon Love became Chief Executive Officer and President of Community Brands, an Insight-Partners backed company, in 2019. Community Brands is a cloud-based event and payment software provider for associations, nonprofits, faith-based groups, and K-12 schools, with more than 120,000 clients in 30 countries. Utilizing her extensive global operations experience, Sharon leads Community Brands in working across cultures and disciplines to help organizations manage mission-critical operations. Previously, Sharon had served in leadership roles for several Vista Equity-backed companies including Senior Vice President of Operations for Social Solutions and Vice President of Professional Services for Superion (now CentralSquare). She is a strategic executive with a history of delivering profitable, sustainable growth and helping teams navigate rapid change and integration through building practical and scalable execution capabilities.
Teresa Mackintosh – Chief Executive Officer, Trintech
Teresa Mackintosh has been Chief Executive Officer of Trintech, a “Record-to-Report” financial reporting software company, since 2016. Over 3,100 clients rely on Trintech’s solutions to help streamline their high-volume transactions and GL account reconciliation, manage their journal entry process, speed their month-end close, and ensure regulatory and other compliance efforts. Summit Partners purchased a majority stake in Trintech in 2018 from private equity firms Vista Equity Partners and Spectrum Equity after Teresa helped double revenue to over $100 million in two years. Vista recruited Teresa to lead the company after their investment in 2015. Teresa previously led the U.S. tax and accounting software business of Dutch information services and publishing company, Wolters Kluwer, and held senior roles at Thomson Reuters.
Pam Murphy – Chief Executive Officer, Imperva
Pam Murphy was named Chief Executive Officer at Imperva, a Thoma Bravo-backed cybersecurity firm, earlier this year. Imperva protects the data of over 6,000 global customers from cyber-attacks through all stages of their digital transformation. Previously, Pam served as Chief Operating Officer for nine years at Infor, backed by Golden Gate Capital and Koch Equity Development, LLC, where she helped scale the company to the world’s third largest enterprise software company with over $3 billion in revenue. Prior to that, Pam served in multiple leadership positions at Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) and Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, leading operations in field service, cloud technology, DevOps, international business development, and M&A all over the world. She also serves on the Board of Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), an industrial automation and information company. Her exceptional leadership abilities and skill at recognizing when an opportunity is worth taking a risk have brought exponential growth and innovation to some of the largest software companies in the world.
Kristin Nimsger – (Former) Chief Executive Officer, Social Solutions
Kristin Nimsger is currently a Senior Advisor at Vista Equity Partners, and has a long history of driving value as a leader in Vista’s portfolio companies. She has led, as Chief Executive Officer and/or President, four SaaS software businesses driving outsized results for shareholders, management teams, and customers. Kristin is a former Chief Executive Officer of Social Solutions, a Vista Equity-backed leading provider of management software solutions for the human services space. Prior to joining Social Solutions in 2016, Kristin was the Chief Executive Officer at MicroEdge, a SaaS company selling into charities and non-profits; the company was previously backed by Vista Equity and Bregal Sagemount, and was sold to Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB). Kristin was also the General Manager of Thomson Reuters and President at Kroll Ontrack, a B2B provider of technology enabled services, software and SaaS solutions.
Hila Nir – Chief Product Officer, ZoomInfo
Hila Nir joined ZoomInfo in 2011 and has been Chief Marketing and Product Officer since 2015. ZoomInfo, a global leader in go-to-market intelligence solutions, received investment from TA Associates in 2014. Since then the company has grown rapidly, landing on the Inc. 5000 list for over six years, and acquired four companies. In 2018, ZoomInfo was acquired by DiscoverOrg, and ZoomInfo completed its IPO in June 2020 (NASDAQ: ZI). DiscoverOrg’s investors include TA Associates, The Carlyle Group, Bregal Sagemont, and 22C Capital. Both DiscoverOrg and ZoomInfo were recognized by G2Crowd as 2019 Top 100 Software Products and Top 10 Best Products for Sales.
Sejal Pietrzak – Chief Executive Officer, Dealer Socket
Sejal Pietrzak joined Vista Equity-backed DealerSocket as President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2017 with a focus on providing best-in-class customer service and software solutions to the automotive industry. DealerSocket is a leading provider of SaaS enterprise relationship management solutions for retail and independent automotive companies. This year, she spearheaded the acquisition of Auto/Mate and its dealership management system to offer dealers an integrated portfolio of products across DealerSocket’s software suite. Under Sejal’s leadership, DealerSocket has expanded to more than 1,200 employees and 350,000 active users at more than 9,000 dealerships in North America and Australia. Before joining DealerSocket, Sejal spent 12 years in executive and leadership roles at enterprise software company, ACTIVE Network, rising to Chief Administrative Officer shortly after Vista Equity took the company private. Sejal’s earlier career includes roles at Wells Fargo, The Boston Consulting Group, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Sejal was named as a “Top 50 SaaS CEO” by The Software Report in 2019.
Christa Quarles – Chief Executive Officer, Corel Corporation
Christa Quarles joined KKR-backed Corel Corporation earlier this year as Chief Executive Officer and Board member after serving as an Operating Partner for Advent International. Prior to these roles, Christa served as Chief Financial Officer and then Chief Executive Officer of OpenTable from 2015 to 2018. There she led a period of transformational change, successfully navigating the company’s transition to cloud-based, small business solutions. She drove meaningful bottom and top-line growth across its global operations, overseeing more than 1,000 employees. Prior to joining OpenTable, Christa served as Chief Business Officer of Nextdoor, a marketplace connecting local communities to small businesses. Earlier in her career, she served as Senior Vice President, Interactive Games at The Walt Disney Company, where she led Disney Interactive to profitability. Christa also served as Chief Financial Officer of Playdom, which was acquired by Disney. Prior to that, she was a Partner in Equity Research covering the internet sector at Thomas Weisel Partners LLC (now Stifel Financial). Christa also serves on the Boards of Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and Affirm, Inc. (backed by GIC).
Elizabeth Salomon – Chief Financial Officer, Xactly
Elizabeth Salomon has been the Chief Financial Officer of Xactly since 2017. The company is a leader in compensation and sales performance SaaS, and Elizabeth joined shortly after their acquisition by Vista Equity. In that time Elizabeth has led the company with an emphasis on teamwork and fostering a culture of fearlessness, strong working relationships, and creative problem-solving. Salomon has managed numerous M&As and integrations, led several turnarounds, and launched multi-unit auditing programs, driving performance improvement initiatives across multiple functions. Prior to Xactly, Elizabeth was Chief Financial Officer at Cherwell software where she led a $50 million funding round from KKR. She was previously recruited by TPG Capital as Chief Financial Officer for global holding company Marshall & Swift/Boeckh. Elizabeth’s background includes senior financial and operations leadership at Bank of America, ChoicePoint (now LexisNexis), Ticketmaster, and CoreLogic.
Janine Seebeck – Chief Operating Officer, BeyondTrust
Janine Seebeck joined BeyondTrust (formerly Bomgar) as Chief Financial Officer in 2016 and currently serves as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. BeyondTrust is backed by Francisco Partners and is a developer of Privileged Access Management (PAM) software. Janine is responsible for the company’s financial, operational, accounting, IT, and strategic planning functions, and in 2018 Janine oversaw the acquisition and integration of BeyondTrust by Bomgar. Janine has more than 20 years of senior finance and operations experience helping software companies reach their goals for growth and investor relations initiatives. She previously held the positions of Vice President and Controller and Principal Accounting Officer at hospitality software provider Agilysys (Naqsdaq: AGYS). Prior to Agilysys, Janine served as Vice President of Finance, Asia Pacific, and Vice President, Corporate Controller for Premiere Global Services, Inc., a global leader offering solutions for online meetings and large-scale events.
Nina Smith – Executive Vice President and General Manager for Casualty Solutions, Mitchell International
Nina Smith has served on the executive team as Executive Vice President and General Manager for Casualty Solutions at Mitchell International since 2009. Stone Point acquired the claims software developer in 2018 from KKR and Elliot Management, after KRR acquired the company from Aurora Capital in 2013 for $1 billion. As a passionate, customer-centric business executive, Smith brings over 25 years of focused leadership to the technology sector. Prior to joining Mitchell, Nina served as a Division President of Sage Software North America, a leader in business management solutions, where she played a vital part in growing revenue from $700 million to $2.55 billion. She also served in multiple roles at Xerox Corporation, where she rose from Product Marketing Manager to Vice President/General Manager, ultimately serving as Chief Marketing Officer. She is a strong, seasoned executive who is well-regarded for her professionalism, industry knowledge, and employee empowerment.
Kate Eberle Walker – Chief Executive Officer, PresenceLearning
Kate Eberle Walker joined PresenceLearning as Chief Executive Officer in 2019. The company, a leading provider of live online therapy and evaluation services for students with special education needs, is backed by several PE firms including Catalyst, Catamount, and Bain Capital. Previously, she served as Chief Executive Officer of The Princeton Review and its subsidiary Tutor.com, where she built a scaled organization that leveraged technology to deliver high quality educational outcomes for students. Prior to that, Kate managed M&A, strategy, and venture investments for Kaplan, Inc. Throughout her career, she has actively supported early stage EdTech companies and non-profit education initiatives. During her executive tenure she has prioritized female mentorship and leadership within her companies and the EdTech ecosystem, and has more than 20 years of experience leading, advising, acquiring, and investing in education companies. She currently serves on the Board of Rosetta Stone. (NYSE: RST)
Christin Wostmann – President and Chief Executive Officer, N2Y
Christin Wostmann has been Chief Executive Officer and President of N2Y, an educational software development company based in Ohio, for almost two decades. N2Y provides comprehensive cloud-based software with the goal of making education more accessible to students with special needs. Christin is an experienced educational software Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history as a pioneer in EdTech, overseeing the transformation of N2Y from a small family-owned and operated business to a leader in the industry. She led the company to an investment from The Riverside Company in 2016. After she drove significant revenue and EBITDA growth, Providence Equity made a majority investment in 2019. Combining strong business skills and leadership abilities with a background as an educator herself, Christin’s unique strengths make her one of the premiere executives in the EdTech space.
Amy Zupon – Chief Executive Officer, Vertafore
Amy Zupon has served as Chief Executive Officer of Vertafore since 2016, a developer of cloud-based insurance software and services, which serves more than 20,000 insurance agencies, over 1,000 carriers, and 23 state governments. Amy was brought in to the top role shortly after the company was acquired by Bain Capital and Vista Equity in 2016 for $2.7 billion from TPG Capital. Amy recently led the sale of the company to Roper Technologies in Sept 2020 for $5.3 billion, doubling the value of the company in two years. From 2012 to 2016, she held Chief Technology, Chief Operating, and Chief Executive Officer roles at P2 Energy Solutions, a developer of software solutions intended to solve complex issues for the upstream oil and gas industry. The company was acquired by Advent International in 2013, and previously backed by Vista Equity. Prior to that, Amy held roles at Ventyx, The Structure Group, and Deloitte Consulting.