With Six Promotions and Two Senior Advisor Hires on the Portfolio Services Team, Norwest Expands Strategic Leadership to Support Portfolio Companies
PALO ALTO, Calif. (May 4, 2022) – Norwest Venture Partners, a leading venture capital and growth equity investment firm, today announced that it named Lisa Ames as the firm’s first chief marketing officer and principal. Ames joins Norwest’s Portfolio Services organization, which offers founders and their teams comprehensive advisory services, a vibrant community, and a range of impactful resources to help companies grow and thrive. Working closely with the firm’s investors, Norwest’s Portfolio Services provides access to advice, resources and collaborative support in the areas of greatest value to today’s companies.
In addition to appointing Ames as CMO, the firm announced six promotions and two advisory team hires on the Portfolio Services team across critical functions including talent acquisition; people advisory; M&A and capital markets; environmental, social and governance (ESG); and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
“Norwest prides itself on providing holistic support to our founders, CEOs and executives. Whether we’re partnering with our companies to build and retain a team, establish a strong culture, launch or expand into new markets, or prepare for an IPO, we are dedicated to helping them succeed at every stage of their journey,” said Katie Belding, partner at Norwest, who spearheaded and leads the firm’s Portfolio Services team. “Adding Lisa Ames as our first CMO and promoting several key leaders on the Portfolio Services team underscores Norwest’s ongoing commitment to delivering strategic value and meaningful connections to our portfolio companies.”
Ames brings more than 20 years of B2B marketing experience to Norwest, where she leads the firm’s brand strategy and collaborates with portfolio company leaders to help optimize and scale their businesses for growth. She served as an operating executive with Norwest for the past two years and is continuing in that role in addition to her CMO responsibilities. Prior to joining Norwest, she was vice president of Marketing at Lucidworks and has held leadership roles at VC-backed B2B SaaS companies, including Demandbase and Castlight Health. As a certified Account-Based Marketing (ABM) expert, Ames was a frequent speaker on ABM best practices while at Demandbase.
“As we interviewed our founders and CEOs to better understand Norwest’s value proposition, three significant themes were echoed back to us: Our portfolio leaders rely on Norwest for support in building their teams and culture, activating their brands and taking them to market, and maximizing their valuations,” said Ames. “These insights motivated us to increase our investment in the Portfolio Services team, reflected in today’s promotions and important additions to our ESG and DEI senior advisory team, as well as the creation of our first chief marketing officer position, which I’m honored to hold.”
Ames will also continue to advance Norwest’s ESG and DEI initiatives in partnership with the firm’s senior advisors, investors and portfolio services team. As one of the prominent leaders on Norwest’s ESG and DEI steering committee, she helps Norwest execute on programs related to these initiatives while partnering with the portfolio services team to educate companies on how to develop their own best practices.
Norwest also recently promoted six key members of the Portfolio Services team:
- Laura Boyd, principal, head of M&A and Capital Markets – Boyd provides M&A, capital markets, debt and private capital advisory support for Norwest’s portfolio companies. Previously she was an investment banker at Harris Williams, Morgan Keegan and UBS, focused on technology and consumer M&A, private placements and structured derivative financings.
- Laurie Tennant, principal, People Advisory – Tennant advises portfolio company leaders on people management practices and programs; people operations and team infrastructure; policies and compliance; as well as facilitates sharing and learning opportunities for our community of people leaders. She brings more than 20 years of experience in HR leadership at startups and large companies.
- Teri McFadden, principal, Talent – McFadden co-leads Norwest’s Talent team and drives growth for enterprise portfolio companies by helping them build world-class management teams and boards of directors. She also adds tremendous value to the portfolio with her compensation advisory work across all sectors. She was previously human capital partner at ComVentures and a senior recruiting partner at Accel Partners.
- Kris Snodgrass, principal, Talent – Snodgrass co-leads Norwest’s Talent team and specializes in board, advisor and executive leadership placements for Norwest’s consumer companies. She leverages more than a decade of retained executive search experience recruiting VP- and C-level executives, previously as a principal at Howard Fischer Associates, Bialla & Associates and Heidrick & Struggles.
- Lauren Heller, vice president, Talent – Heller works closely with Norwest’s healthcare investment team and its portfolio companies on strategic hiring and talent searches. Previously she served as chief of staff to the CEO of Caremore Health and was a director at Oxeon Partners, where she partnered with innovative, early-stage healthcare IT and services clients to build high-performing executive teams.
- Julia Noellert, vice president, Talent – Noellert supports the Norwest Growth Equity team and its wide-ranging portfolio with talent and retention expertise. She brings extensive experience recruiting executives across finance and operations from her previous role at Robert Walters, where she partnered with executive teams and founders to drive pivotal searches at early- and late-stage startups.
The firm also strengthened its commitment to ESG and DEI with recent additions to its advisory team:
- Shu Dar Yao, senior advisor, ESG – Yao educates and guides Norwest and its portfolio companies on strategic ESG initiatives, including climate change, social inequality, and related risks and opportunities. She is the founder and managing partner of Lucid Capitalism and brings 20 years of ESG and impact investing expertise.
- Rachel Williams, senior advisor, DEI – Williams educates and guides the firm and its portfolio companies on diversity and inclusion strategies and best practices. She currently serves as the chief diversity and inclusion officer at The Motley Fool, where she applies her expertise on recruiting, leadership development, employee engagement and retention. Williams was previously the head of DEI at X, the moonshot factory at Alphabet.