Jim Gilliam wrote the first line of code for what would become NationBuilder on October 31, 2009. So the last day of October has always been a special one for us. But October 31, 2022 was particularly special.
And that’s because it’s the day Yvonne Baur joined NationBuilder.
It’s been a long time since we’ve had an executive product leader. After Jim’s death, we had a number of remarkable people on our existing team step up to not just hold things down, but to oversee real evolution of our product. It was because of their leadership—and the dedication of the entire NationBuilder team—that we had the luxury to take our time and find the right person for us.
Which is why our search took years* not months! We spoke to hundreds of truly exceptional candidates but, at the end of the day, it never felt right. We started to wonder if this person existed. Would we really find someone who believed in our mission, had insane product chops, was an outstanding coach and developer of people, and who could see and honor Jim’s initial vision, but also make it their own?
Then we met Yvonne. Coming from Salesforce, Yvonne oversaw product for their entire Nonprofit Cloud (salesforce.org). I was skeptical at first. Would someone from such a massive company really get what we were trying to do—and have the grit and determination to help us get there? (Plus, be willing to leave behind an, ahem, substantially different comp package?!)
But every conversation with Yvonne was better than the last. Joining the team just felt right to her and right to us, which is why I’m over the moon to announce that Yvonne is NationBuilder’s Chief Product Officer! In this role she is responsible for helping our product—and the company as a whole—leap into the future, delivering on the promise of civic and democratic infrastructure that supports leaders everywhere.
She joins the fiercest leadership team in the business: Lisa Hwang, Hilary Doe, Jon Bratsis, Jay Godfrey, Melody Williams Dapp, and Gina Davis. With Yvonne in the mix, our leadership team is now 75% female! We continue to be one of the only (the only?) majority-female leadership teams in our space. Not to mention profitable and independent. :)
Yvonne’s nutshell on why she decided to make the leap to NationBuilder: “NationBuilder’s team cares deeply about leadership and democracy—and has a wealth and depth of experience that is incredibly compelling to me. Combine that with a product of surprising depth that, with the addition of ActionButton, provides a cutting edge leadership system coupled with a modern, light-weight tool for supporter acquisition? That is unparalleled.”
If you’d like to hear more about Yvonne and her vision for our platform, join us on Wednesday, March 1st for a (remote) fireside chat. We can’t wait to share what’s next.
*Huge gratitude from our whole team to Caroline Horn at a16z, and to Lea Hagglund and Yajaira Chavez at SPMB. Thank you for your dedication and perseverance – and for keeping the faith!
NationBuilder’s product team: Lex Peterka, Sally Chou, Lauren Rowse, Sean van Dril, Amy Zock (beaming in!), Maggie Wang, and Yvonne Baur