Today, Social Solutions announced that Erin Mulligan Nelson is joining us as CEO, taking the reins from Kristin Nimsger, who has been Social Solutions’ CEO since 2016. We spoke with Erin and Kristin about what this change means for each of them as executive leaders, for Social Solutions as a business, and for the change-making organizations we empower across the nonprofit and public sectors. Read on for the full conversation.
Q1. Let’s start with the obvious question on everyone’s minds. What’s the story behind this change?
Erin Mulligan Nelson: The crux of the story is that this is an amazing opportunity from every angle. I’ve always gravitated to companies with a strong sense of purpose, and Social Solutions has a purpose that is clear, compelling, and critically important. Having the opportunity to advance Social Solutions’ growth momentum alongside developing myself as a second-time CEO and longtime C-level executive – it feels like the stars aligned. I see incredible opportunity ahead for the company and the inspiring organizations we support.
Kristin Nimsger: I agree completely. It has been an absolute privilege to be at the helm of Social Solutions, which has what I’ve called a “unicorn” blend of technology, mission, and investment. An opportunity opened up for me at Vista Equity Partners, which is the private equity firm that has invested in Social Solutions. I’ve been fortunate to serve as CEO for two different companies that have been part of the Vista Equity Partners portfolio, and my next opportunity will be to take on a new operating role within the firm.
Q2. How closely will you two be working together through the transition period?
KN: As I move into my new role at Vista, I will remain close with the Social Solutions team and the change-making organizations that use Apricot and ETO to support their missions. Since Social Solutions is part of the Vista Equity Partners portfolio, I’ll never be too far away. I’ll still be connected to this company I care about so passionately.
EMN: Kristin and I are totally aligned, and we will continue to work together and learn from each other as time goes by. Over the last several years, she has guided Social Solutions to where we are now – a true partner to the nonprofit and public sectors, a stable business with incredible growth plans and potential, and a company that’s able to show resilience even during the unprecedented challenges the world faces today. I see the path ahead as very collaborative.
Q3. Erin, you’ll fit right in with Social Solutions’ collaborative, mission-minded culture! Can you share a bit about your background and how your experiences will serve you in your new role?
EMN: I am coming to Social Solutions from Austin-based government technology provider Calytera, where I served as CEO since 2017. Before that, I was a three-time CMO, driving growth and business transformation at SunPower, Bazaarvoice, and Dell, Inc. I have decades of experience leading marketing and branding, digital transformation and revenue acceleration activities, and I’m excited to bring my skill set to Social Solutions.
At the same time, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy are a key part of my story. For example, at Dell, I was responsible for CSR and was deeply involved in the company’s foundation and nonprofit advocacy. One question I have asked throughout my career is: “How can we find the best ways for our technology and employees to do the most good?” I’m bringing a lot of passion for what Social Solutions stands for and a clear-eyed belief in the change we can drive.
Q4. Kristin, what are you most proud of about your time as Social Solutions’ CEO?
KN: There’s no way I could pick just one reason to be proud! First, I am really proud of how we have advanced Social Solutions’ technology and services over the last several years. Perhaps now more than ever, when nonprofit organizations and public sector agencies are relying on our technology to help them stay connected with the people they serve, boost efficiency when staff’s time is more precious than ever, and track data effectively throughout today’s evolving crisis.
Second, I can’t stress enough how proud I am of the Social Solutions team. The team has been amazing and has created magic over the last few years. I’m proud that Social Solutions continues to be recognized as one of the best places to work in Austin, and this speaks to the quality of not only our mission and offerings but the greatness of our people.
And, I am incredibly proud of how strong the company is today. While there is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, I feel certain that Social Solutions has the stability and strength to continue delivering for our clients when they need us more than ever. Over the last several years, we have set a very solid foundation for continued growth, and I am proud of the healthy, resilient business Erin is inheriting today.
Q5. It sounds like you’re aligned on what makes Social Solutions special and on a future vision for the company and the organizations we support. Anything else you want people to know?
EMN: They say timing is everything. As the COVID-19 crisis has brought disruption, uncertainty and tragedy the world over, I truly believe Social Solutions and the ways we can help changemakers be more efficient and leverage data to drive impact has never been more vital. The work our clients do each and every day is critically important, and I am all-in to ensure Social Solutions continues to be the data and technology partner they can rely on.
KN: I was just saying that I can’t wait to see how the company evolves over time in ways we haven’t yet contemplated. There is so much opportunity in the near and long term, and I have every confidence that Erin is the leader to take Social Solutions to the next level.
To learn more about this story, please read our press release here.
To learn more about the ways Social Solutions can support your organization through the COVID-19 crisis, please explore our 2020 Emergency Response Offer page and get in touch with our team today.