Niches Hires Three New Executives Amid Record Sales Growth
Niche, the leading platform connecting students and families with colleges and schools, announced the expansion of its executive team with three key hires: Athena Meyers as the company’s first-ever Chief Product Officer, Todd Donahue as Chief Financial Officer, and Mark Boudreau as VP of Account Management. The news comes at the end of a year in which the company experienced continued significant growth, more than doubling its Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) for the fourth consecutive year and surpassing 1,700 college and school clients.
In addition, Niche increased its employee count from 110 to 160. Hiring to support its continued growth is a top priority for 2021. The company plans to reach 230 employees by the end of the year and is open to hiring talent from across the country. Meyers, Donahue, and Boudreau are joining Niche with tremendous experience to push the company forward during this time of rapid expansion.
“During the midst of exceptional growth at Niche, we needed to add several new executives to our growing company. We wanted the absolute strongest candidates for our open roles – Chief Product Officer, Chief Financial Officer and VP of Account Management – as quickly as possible,” said Luke Skurman, CEO and founder of Niche. “We engaged ON Partners to help us with all three roles and they honestly did a great job on each of them. They helped secure a wide swath of qualified candidates and played a key role in landing our top pick for each of the three open roles. I looked to them as our true partners. ON Partners truly cared about our success and wanted to get these critical roles right.”
“I couldn’t be more excited for our three new executives to help guide us in our journey to becoming the #1 education platform. Athena is bringing innate, deep expertise with key life decision marketplaces. Todd has scaled several SaaS and software companies through rapid growth; I know he’ll be able to scale the business and help it run very well. And with his top-class leadership, Mark will work deeper with our 1,700 and counting clients to continue to add value to their Niche experience. I look forward to working closely with all of them.”
Athena Meyers has over 15 years of experience leading digital product strategies and has a strong passion for growing two-sided marketplaces. Most recently, she led The Knot’s global wedding marketplace and was recognized in 2019 as one of DC’s “50 on Fire” in tech innovation. She’s also held impactful roles at Time Inc. and asmallworld.com, a social network start-up at the time. Athena is especially motivated to build products that make it easy for people to navigate hard and important life moments.
“Deciding where to go to school is a major decision, huge investment and one that shapes your future,” said Meyers. “It can be overwhelming. It’s very motivating for me to join a team that’s creating a leading platform to help parents and students make the best decision possible with all the information, guidance, and tools they need so it’s easy to find and enroll in the school that is right for them.”
As Chief Product Officer, Meyers will guide the product vision and goals, and oversee many key groups within the organization that are central to achieving those goals. She will lead and grow teams in Product Management, Product Marketing, Design, and Product Analytics to strengthen Niche’s position as the leading education marketplace.
Todd Donahue has more than 20 years of finance, operating, and M&A experience in SaaS, enterprise software, and mobile technology. He joins Niche from Mastercard, where he led strategy and operations for Mastercard’s merchant loyalty business. Donahue joined Mastercard through its acquisition of SessionM, an enterprise marketing SaaS provider, whereas CFO he led the company through rapid growth, global expansion, several rounds of funding, and ultimately the sale of its business in October 2019. Prior to Mastercard, Donahue has held several executive finance and operating roles in companies at various business stages, including early-stage, pre-IPO and publicly-traded, including Aspen Technology (AZPN).
“Improvements in access to education, diversity and inclusion are as important as ever, and being part of Niche, with its data-driven platform and passionate team, helps serve this mission,” said Donahue. “Accelerated by COVID-19, the education sector in general and enrollments specifically have seen considerable disruption. Niche has built a tremendous education marketplace platform — the hub for colleges, schools, students and their families to gain deeper insights and foster better connections — to help make these important decisions easier and more efficient for all.”
As Chief Financial Officer, Donahue will shape and oversee the company’s financial strategy, people operations, and legal as an integral part of the executive team. He will also have a strong impact on GTM and operations and serve as a key stakeholder in driving Niche’s future strategy and growth.
Mark Boudreau has over 20 years of experience recruiting, training, and leading highly successful sales teams. Most recently, he was Vice President of Sales at ProSites, where he led two business units with a client base of 15,000. In the past five years, Boudreau has scaled two SaaS teams that exceeded sales objectives. His collaboration with finance and marketing executives has allowed him to develop strategies to maximize new product adoption with existing clients while increasing qualified leads. Prior to ProSites, Boudreau was at pre-IPO Houzz and Hibu.
“As the Niche platform continues to transform the connection between parents, students, and schools, I am thrilled to join the Account Management Team,” said Boudreau. “I look forward to building deeper roots with our K-12 and college clients and ultimately helping them to maximize our data, technology, and expertise to foster connections with students and parents.”
In his role as Vice President of Account Management, Boudreau will be responsible for account retention, production adoption, and expansion of the client base. He will develop strategies and processes to demonstrate a positive return on investment (ROI) that will enable the sales team to increase renewal rates and provide case studies to power new business sales.
Read the full release from Niche here.
ON Partners consultants Danny Bolger and Jake Espenlaub are proud to have partnered with Niche to build this exceptional team of leaders. Read more of ON Partners’ success building C-level and board leadership teams here.
Niche is the market leader in connecting colleges and schools with students and families. With in-depth profiles on every school and college in America, over 140 million reviews and ratings, and powerful search and data tools, Niche helps millions of students and families find and enroll in the right school for them. For schools, school districts, and communities, Niche’s platform, data, and services help thousands of schools recruit and enroll more best-fit students.
ON Partners propels an organization’s mission by building C-level and board leadership teams. Founded in 2006 by like-minded consultants as a values-driven alternative to the multi-service global firms they were leaving behind, ON delivers a better executive search experience. Named by Forbes as one of America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms and to the Inc. 500/5000 Lists seven times, the firm is consistently ranked among the top 20 retained executive search firms in the U.S.
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