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Valerie Frederickson
Founder & CEO

  The Year of the New Startup  
  Did you hear about the record funding for startups last year? U.S. VC investing reached a record $130 billion in 2020, and investors raised $1.1 trillion from IPOs, making 2021 a double avalanche. Two large funding recipients in January were Cockroach Labs, a cloud DBMS founded by ex-Google employees raising $160 million, and TripActions, for corporate travel, raising $155 million (both Series E).  
  This record-setting funding has changed the rulebook once again for startups. making it a higher priority than ever to get to market, and gain a sustainable customer base and market share. The role of talent has greater significance than we’ve ever seen and elevates the Head of People/HR role to new heights. Companies with just 30 employees are asking us for a strategic Head of HR who can take the lead on everything from organizational planning, culture, and systems for growth and scale, to diversity. More CEOs are taking a deep dive with us on what they want in the HR function, in ways I’ve never experienced in the last 26 years. They want to know exactly what a candidate can do about culture or D&I. A new trend is what I'm calling "Acqui-HR'ing," selecting a Head of People/HR based on how many team members they can bring with them.  
  With companies hiring a Head of HR so early and the stakes for startups astronomical, required skill sets are once again changing. Now it's an HR executive who can both closely strategize, consult and deep dive in areas from talent acquisition to total rewards. We’re also seeing more Heads of HR from large companies want to go to startups because of the fun and potential to make serious money, and the chance to have a greater impact.Should be a wild ride.  

+1 650.614.0220 or visit

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(huge IPO coming up)
Pre-IPO Cryptocurrency
(very high growth)
Pre-IPO Fintech
(very high growth)
Global Head of TA
Chief People Officer
North or South America, or Europe
Global VP of
Talent Acquisition
Miami, Atlanta, NY, etc.
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Medical Devices Pre-IPO Fintech Enterprise Public SaaS
HR Director
Union City, CA
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Generalist, HRBP
and L&D
Seattle, WA
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Enterprise Software Investment Banking Ecommerce
Director, Compensation
Chicago, IL or open
Chief People Officer
Mexico City, MX
Global Head of TR
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Public SaaS Cybersecurity SaaS Digital Marketing
(high growth)
Enterprise Software
Portland, OR
HR Director
Boston, MA or open
Director People Operations
Chicago, IL or open
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Ecommerce Enterprise Public SaaS Enterprise Software
Chief People Officer
HRBP (2)
Sr. Dir. L&D
Seattle, WA
Director, HRBP
Seattle, WA or
San Francisco, CA
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Healthcare Services Cloud & SaaS Real Estate
Director, Total Rewards
Mountain View, CA
Head of TA
Sunnyvale, CA
VP of Talent & Culture
Los Angeles, CA
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Internet & Digital Marketing Enterprise Software Telecommunications
Head of People
Portland, OR, or Seattle, WA
Director of TA
Santa Monica, CA
VP of HR
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
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Mission-based Nonprofit and Think Tank Bio-Pharma Software Engineering
Director, People and Culture
Houston, TX
Head of HR
Chicago, IL
Senior Manager of HR
Silicon Valley, CA/Latin America
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  Fintech   Cloud & SaaS   Enterprise Software
  VP Talent
Boston, MA
  Head of Total Rewards
Sunnyvale, CA
  VP People Operations
Santa Monica, CA
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Human Resources
Business Partner (HRBP)
San Jose, CA
Vice President, Global
People & Culture
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
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Chief People Officer
San Jose, CA
Director, Human Resources
Boston, MA

Founded in 2012, Klaviyo is a Boston-based, fast-growing startup that recently announced $200 million in Series C funding. As a customer data and marketing platform for e-commerce businesses, Klaviyo believes that growth-focused companies must leverage email, website and mobile channels—the channels they “own”—to help accelerate sales and build stronger customer relationships.


We partnered with Klaviyo to place Ed Meskey as Director, Human Resources. Meskey will report to Chief People Officer Jenny Dearborn and play a critical role in helping lead the strategy and design of Klaviyo’s HR programs as it expands. Meskey joins Klaviyo from Bird, an eco-transportation startup where he was Head of Tech HR Business Partners and Senior HR Business Partner (HRBP). Previously he was Senior HR Manager in Azure Cloud Storage at Microsoft, held HRBP roles at Facebook, Dropbox and Microsoft, and was an HR Generalist at GE. Meskey started his career in the U.S. Air Force.

Meskey has an M.S. in HR and employment relations and a B.S. in labor studies and employment relations from Penn State University.

Ed, welcome to Klaviyo and congratulations!


Headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA with key offices in Orlando, FL as well as Manizales, Bogota and Medellin, Colombia, Playvox is the top-performing software platform that helps businesses deliver a great customer experience through their contact centers. Playvox is a hyper-growth startup that just announced $25 million funding from U.S. firm Five Elms Capital, also acquiring Australian software company Agyle Time.


We partnered with Playvox to place Ismaily Piedra as Vice President, Global People and Culture. Piedra will be based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and will develop and lead the overall people functions for Playvox and develop its talent strategy for the next phase of growth. She joins from consumer electronics startup Magic Leap as Human Resources Business Partner (HRBP), and previously was HR Director at Xerox Corporation, overseeing HR across Latin America. She also held HR leadership roles at Newell Rubbermaid and Discovery Communications, LLC.

Piedra has an M.S. in HR management from Nova Southeastern University, and a B.S. in business administration and HR management and A.A. in accounting, both from Hawaii Pacific University.

Congratulations Ismaily on joining Playvox!


Some recent notable job moves and promotions by C-level and senior HR executives in the industry include:

  • eBay announced that Cornelius Boone has joined as SVP, Chief People Officer. Boone brings years of exceptional experience in the field, most recently with American Airlines as VP of HR. Prior to that, he served at Walmart for eight years moving up the HR ranks, from Sr. HR Manager to VP of HR. (Announcement)
  • Seer welcomed Marissa Dixon as Chief People Officer. Dixon previously worked at CareDx, Inc and served as VP Human Resources. She has also served in HR roles at companies such as DuPont, WageWorks, Target, and Guess.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch appointed Holly May as their Chief Human Resources Officer. May brings great expertise from Starbucks, where she acted as SVP, Global Total Rewards and Service Delivery and was also a board member. Previously, she held different HR roles at Visa and ING. (Article)
  • Fandom welcomed Kerri Corley as their Chief People Officer. Previously she was the VP of people at Leanplum. Corley’s HR background includes Electronic Arts (EA) where she served as HR Director and VP, HR; and Johnson & Johnson where she was HR Director.
  • Udacity has hired Dana Bennett as Chief People Officer. She joins from Mozilla as their SVP, People Team. Bennett has also worked at Apple as Director of HR and eBay Ads as HR Manager.
  • McKinsey & Company adds Stefan Ries to their European team as External Senior Advisor. Previously, Ries served at SAP as CHRO for six years and held executive roles at Microsoft, Compaq, and Egon Zehnder International. (Article)
  • Hootsuite promoted Tara Ataya to Chief People and Diversity Officer, she previously held the VP of People role at the company. Ataya has worked in several people roles at organizations including Deloitte, Vision Critical, and Sierra Systems. (Announcement)
  • appointed Kelli Dragovich as their Chief People Officer. Dragovich brings an exceptional background in HR, having recently worked at Looker (Google) as their Chief People Officer. She has also served at Hired, Inc, GitHub (Microsoft), NOOK Media (Barnes and Noble), RockYou, Yahoo, and Intuit.
  • Mersana Therapeutics appointed Carla Poulson as Chief Human Resources Officer. She brings broad expertise in HR, having previously worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Stop & Shop, Pepsi Bottling Group, and Exxon Mobile. (Announcement)
  • Sojern announced that Nancy Koshyama has joined as Chief People Officer. Koshiyama brings 20 years of experience having served in various People roles in companies including Prealize Health, Capsilon, Ridecell, ON24, Nearmap, Marin Software, and more. (Announcement)
  • Ellucian announced the appointment of Gregory Giangrande as Chief People Officer. Previously, Giangrande served as Senior Advisor at McKinsey and Company, and VP CHRO at Time Inc. He has held leadership roles in HR at News Corporation (Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, and Barrons), and is a career advice columnist for the NY Post and an adjunct faculty member at New York University. (Announcement)
  • Virgin Atlantic has recently promoted Estelle Hollingsworth to Chief People Officer. Prior to her new role, she was the company’s VP of People Experience. Hollingsworth has held HR roles in the past in BAE Systems and Air Products and Chemicals. (Article)
  • BARK recently welcomed Rustin Richburg as the company’s Chief People Officer. Previously, Richburg served as CHRO at Walton Enterprises. He has worked in HR roles at companies such as Walmart, Imperial Brands PLC, Accenture, and Avanade Inc.
  • Elemica hired Michelle Kilroy as their Chief Human Resources Officer. Kilroy has held various HR, Talent and People roles at companies including Warner Media, PrimeRevenue, RentPath, and Southern Company. (Announcement)
  • Taysha Gene Therapies announced that Tracy Porter will join as Chief People Officer. Porter comes from Audentes Therapeutics where she served as VP, Head of HR. Her background includes HR roles at Bayer HealthCare, Medivation, and Wells Fargo. (Announcement)
  • Vertiv has announced the promotion of Erin Dowd to be their new Chief Human Resources Officer. Dowd has been with the company for three years and previously held the VP of Global HR role. Her background in HR includes roles with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. (Announcement)
  A Silver Lining: The Little School  
  My kids and I are 337 days into our lockdown. Hermione and Dashiell are fine, but Mom is a bit stir crazy and would like to dress up and go shopping or out to dinner sometime.  
  Our Little School is continuing with my two fifth graders and four friends. This has been the best part of Covid-19 for me: experiencing six sweet little people having an amazing year with Miss Maddie, our gift-from-God, Northwestern University graduate, 23-year-old teacher. My twins are getting straight A’s in math for the first time, and their Spanish has improved by leaps and bounds, because the other kids speak it during recess. All the kids are in much better physical shape because I push sports, and have improved academically and bonded as a little unit.

The Little School is doing tennis or soccer weekly, plus Covid tests Fridays. They bike to everything with Miss Maddie, a tiny Mary Poppins leading the troops. The kids also come to our house on weekends to play together, or I take them to the beach. It's an investment to register all for tennis or windsurfing, but seeing them thrive and hearing their joyous yells while I work from the pool house is something I will cherish my whole life. In fact, as they're all thriving with this approach, I’m not sure if returning to a real school will be best and am now exploring creative options for next year.
  Covid Meme of the Month

Frederickson Partners, a Gallagher company is a market leader in retained executive search since 1995. As one of the top-rated HR executive search and C-suite recruiting firms, we have expertise in placing Chief People Officers, Chief Human Resources Officers, Chief Diversity Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Legal Officers and many other senior leaders. We draw on a broad network of rising and established executives and leaders, and a 28-year reputation as a talent acquisition and HR Advisory provider.

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