The Top Women Leaders in Growth Investing of 2024

Growth Investing continues to be one of the most promising segments of the private capital markets. Its focus on proven business models and operational strategies to accelerate company scaling is relevant and applicable across all stages of the economic cycle.

Notably, it has also become an area where many exceptional women choose to focus their careers and as a result the growth investing field benefits tremendously. We at GrowthCap are privileged to be able to recognize and shine a light on the women leaders playing a pivotal role in shaping the asset class while driving it forward.

In our fourth year conducting this awards process, hundreds of nominations were received. We spent considerable time reviewing each candidate to ensure a methodical and consistent approach was applied. Ultimately, awardees were selected based on demonstrated success in leadership roles, breadth of experience, longevity in the field, and consistency in performance, among other factors.

We reviewed feedback received on nominees from their colleagues, portfolio company executives and/or others in the industry. While we were not able to recognize all those who were nominated, we want to acknowledge each nominee’s contributions to the growth investing field.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s awardees.



Daphne Tong

Firm: WestCap
Title: Partner and Co-Head of Investments


Daphne is a Partner and the Co-Head of Investments at WestCap, a premier operating equity firm for tech-enabled marketplaces and software companies with $6B in assets under management.

Of WestCap’s 36 total portfolio companies, Daphne has overseen the commitments to more than half of these investments. She had helped WestCap successfully close its $2.2B Fund II (2021 Vintage) and has most recently led the firm’s investments in companies across cybersecurity, prop tech, marketplace infrastructure and fintech including Avenue One, Treasury4, Dragos and Qualia. At WestCap, Daphne has championed a unified approach to investment evaluation, fostering sound decision-making across the team. Her tenure at the firm has been marked by remarkable growth and strategic expansion as she has been instrumental in developing comprehensive operating plans to guide portfolio company leaders through economic fluctuations and market shifts.

Outside of her investment role, Daphne currently spearheads initiatives around mentorship and DE&I across the firm and is a member of WestCap’s Management Committee. Prior to WestCap, Daphne was the Co-Head of the Private Equity Funds and Co-Investment Group in the Americas for GIC, a leading global investment firm established to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves. Additionally, she held a role as a Principal at The Blackstone Group’s Private Equity division and started her career in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs.

“At WestCap, our mindset is investing with intentionality to scale high-growth companies in partnership with their founders and management teams. Our dedicated team is purposefully comprised of former founders and leaders with the expertise to not only work as investors but as true long-term operators. It is a privilege to build and engage with talented entrepreneurs with a common goal of meaningful global impact.” – Daphne Tong



Shanna O’Reilly

Firm: Wellington Management
Title: Co-Head of Private Investments


Shanna O’Reilly serves as Co-Head of Private Investments at Wellington Management, one of the world’s largest independent investment management firms with more than USD$1 trillion in assets under management. Throughout her two decades at the firm, she has played a pivotal role in helping to launch and grow the global private investing business which currently represents over USD$8.5 billion in assets. Shanna led expansion efforts including the launch of four venture funds, two private credit capabilities, and investments in more than 180 portfolio companies across nine industry sectors.

Shanna seeks to uncover market opportunities for clients where Wellington has competitive advantages and which provide natural adjacencies with the firm’s broad public and private expertise, extensive network, and robust research. She is an experienced leader in alternatives, who previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Wellington Alternative Investments. With her oversight, the platform has experienced significant growth and today Wellington manages more than USD$35 billion in assets in alternatives strategies.

A strong advocate for women and underrepresented talent, Shanna is involved in numerous mentorship programs aimed at improving diversity and inclusion at the firm and in the industry, including the firm’s Women’s Business Alliance.

“It is an honor to be recognized by GrowthCap alongside many other accomplished women in our industry. At Wellington, we believe investing in innovation entails investing in people and providing opportunities for those who challenge traditional convention and think differently. I am proud to be part of a team that focuses on the long term and emphasizes developing strong partnerships with clients and portfolio companies. We seek to uncover distinct private investing opportunities by blending our boutique investment ecosystem with our firm’s global stability.” – Shanna O’Reilly



René Stewart

Firm: Vista Equity Partners
Title: Senior Managing Director


René Stewart is a Senior Managing Director at Vista Equity Partners, a leading global investment firm focused exclusively on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses. She is a Co-Head of Vista’s Endeavor Funds, one of the world’s largest female-led tech buyout strategies, and a member of Vista’s Private Equity Management Committee. 

Endeavor is Vista’s purpose-built small cap investment strategy that targets high-growth enterprise software companies with $10-$40 million in Annual Recurring Revenue – one of the most formative and critical life stages for emerging and maturing B2B software companies. Endeavor’s highly selective filter seeks to identify and partner with founders and businesses that have a proven product-market fit, scalable framework and strong desire to work with an operationally focused partner during their next phase of growth. At this stage, the Endeavor team focuses on building and establishing the right operational processes and platforms needed to scale over the long term. 

Prior to joining Vista in 2007, René worked in the Corporate Finance Group at Yahoo! and in the Global Technology Group at Lehman Brothers. She was tapped to help launch Endeavor in 2017 and now oversees virtually every aspect of the investment lifecycle, from initial due diligence, value creation strategies, operational best practices and exit planning. 

René is a fierce advocate for founders (over 70% of recent Endeavor deals have been founder-led), helping them level up and realize their company’s vision through organic and inorganic growth strategies. She partners with executives to build out roadmaps that focus on growth, market strategy, talent and customer success – helping build enduring businesses designed to scale.

“We find that strong relationships drive strong business fundamentals. We work to match the energy and ambition of founders and emerging management teams with clear and pragmatic strategies to build value that can last well beyond our investment period.” – René Stewart



Rachel Arnold

Firm: Vista Equity Partners
Title: Senior Managing Director


Rachel Arnold is a Senior Managing Director at Vista Equity Partners, a leading global investment firm focused exclusively on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses. She is a Co-Head of Vista’s Endeavor Funds, one of the world’s largest female-led tech buyout strategies, and a member of Vista’s Executive Committee and Private Equity Management Committee.

Endeavor is Vista’s small cap strategy that seeks to partner with emerging enterprise software leaders with between $10-$40 million in Annual Recurring Revenue. The strategy sits within Vista’s $100+ billion enterprise software investing ecosystem, allowing the Endeavor team to provide sophisticated and dedicated operational resources more common with middle and large cap strategies. At this stage, the Endeavor team focuses on building and establishing the right operational processes and platforms needed to scale over the long term.

Rachel has over two decades of experience leading and investing in enterprise software companies. In 2012, Rachel joined Vista as an Operating Vice President within the Foundation Fund – Vista’s middle-market strategy – before serving as interim CEO of Social Solutions (now Bonterra). In 2017, she was tapped to help launch Vista’s Endeavor Fund.

Beyond investing, Rachel is passionate about supporting the next generation of leaders at Vista and in private equity at-large. She is the executive sponsor of the Women at Vista employee resource group and is a vocal advocate of the Firm’s programs that provide onramps to the private equity industry for traditionally underrepresented communities. 

“Vista is synonymous with our best practices and time-honored approach to value creation. We are in the business of building great enterprise software companies, and we take pride in the fact that founders view our deep operational capabilities as a major competitive advantage in today’s market climate.” – Rachel Arnold.



Sonya Brown

Firm: Norwest
Title: General Partner


Sonya joined Norwest in 2011 and brings more than 20 years of investment experience to her role as General Partner and co-Head of the firm’s Growth Equity team. Based in Norwest’s Menlo Park office, Sonya is focused on growth equity and buyouts investing across a wide range of sectors with particular interest in consumer products and services, internet/e-commerce, retail, and business services.

Her current investments include Aesthetic Partners, Babylist, Face Reality, Forum Brands, Jolyn, Junk King, Kendra Scott (recapitalized by Berkshire Partners), Madison Reed, MAËLYS, MTN OPS, Poolwerx, SENREVE, and SmartSign.

Sonya is responsible for Norwest’s investments in PCA Skin (acquired by Colgate-Palmolive) Bailey 44 (acquired by Digital Brands Group), Junk King (acquired by Neighborly) and The Learning Experience (acquired by Golden Gate Capital). She is a board observer at Madison Reed. Before Norwest, Sonya was at Summit Partners, a private equity firm managing $20 billion for almost a decade.

Prior to Summit, she was a founder and General Partner of iXL Ventures in 1999, where she oversaw the funding and growth of various technology and internet companies. Sonya holds a bachelor of science degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“Being recognized as a top investor is a testament to Norwest’s long-term commitment and collaborative approach to partnering with founders, CEO and management teams. The dedication and grit that our portfolio leaders show every day continues to inspire us to roll up our sleeves and support them as they scale their businesses.” – Sonya Brown



Laura Veroneau

Firm: Optum Ventures
Title: Managing Partner and Founding Team Member


Laura Veroneau is a Managing Partner and founding team member of Optum Ventures, the independent venture fund of UnitedHealth Group that invests stage agnostically across the healthcare ecosystem. Under Laura’s guidance and leadership, Optum Ventures—now with 66+ portfolio companies and over $1.5 billion in AUM–is gaining recognition as a leading platform in healthcare investing. Laura has played an instrumental role in the fund’s activity and success. Prior to Optum Ventures, Laura’s experience ranges from a healthcare startup to UnitedHealth Group, CVS Health, and Transformation Capital—enabling Laura to develop a deep understanding of the healthcare system, with an eye on how innovation can integrate into and transform the overall industry. Today, Laura also sits on the Board of Overseers for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Laura received her undergraduate degree in economics and legal studies from Williams College and received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

“Optum Ventures was created to develop a comprehensive and strategic presence in the startup landscape in anticipation of increased healthcare innovation at this stage. In this role, we are fortunate to work with passionate innovators across the healthcare ecosystem—from large market players to early-stage startups—all working towards making the healthcare system more affordable, accessible, efficient, and equitable for all. Cross-industry partnerships have the power to move innovation forward and through this lens, I am incredibly proud of OV’s progress to date and even more excited for what the next ten years will bring.” – Laura Veroneau



Elizabeth Betten

Firm: Madison Dearborn Partners
Title: Managing Director and Co-Head of the MDP Healthcare Team


Elizabeth Betten, Co-Head of Madison Dearborn Partners’ (“MDP”) Health Care practice, first joined the firm in 2004 as an Associate and quickly demonstrated her impressive acumen for executing growth strategies across MDP’s health care portfolio. In 2023, a focus on workforce initiatives and driving innovation were central to growth efforts across her portfolio companies, as she partnered with portfolio leadership teams to integrate new AI tools, appoint pivotal new leaders and explore new care models to meet unmet needs in the health care market. These efforts were critical to Solis Mammography securing the prestigious Great Place to Work Certification for the second consecutive year and Sevita being named among “America’s Best Employers for Diversity” by Forbes, as well as Solis successfully rolling out new AI screening software that helps women identify cardiovascular risk by detecting the presence of breast arterial calcification in their mammograms. As the health care industry continues to navigate complex headwinds, particularly labor and inflation pressures and the rapid introduction of new technology, Elizabeth remains focused on helping her portfolio companies execute their value-creation plans and continue to provide best in class services.

In addition to her investment portfolio management, Elizabeth helps lead MDP’s ESG Committee and the firm’s work to further diversity, equity & inclusion at MDP and its portfolio companies. Elizabeth is an active leader in the Chicago philanthropic community, serving as Chair of Board of the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute of the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Chair of Trustees of The Civic Federation. She is also a member of several women’s networks, including The Chicago Network, PEWIN and the Chicago Finance Exchange. She serves as a mentor to younger women pursuing careers in private equity, often in coordination with industry organizations such as Kayo and WAVE. Elizabeth received her BA from Brown University and her MBA from Stanford Business School.

“It is an honor to be recognized by GrowthCap this year alongside so many inspiring women leaders in the industry. At MDP, we believe that building a great business goes beyond the P&L. Building diverse teams with a wide range of perspectives is necessary to most effectively execute value-creation strategies and drive equitable growth across our partners.” – Elizabeth Betten



Nishita Cummings

Firm: Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors
Title: Managing Partner and Co-Head of Kayne Anderson Growth Capital


Nishita Cummings is Managing Partner and Co-Head of Kayne Anderson Growth Capital (“KAGC”), the Growth Capital strategy of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors (“Kayne”), a leading alternative investment management firm. Since joining Kayne, Nishita has ascended from being an associate to being named Managing Partner, co-head of the Growth Capital strategy, Portfolio Manager and a Board member of Kayne. During her 16 years at Kayne, Nishita has played a key role in many of the 53 platform investments and 28 exits completed by KAGC across six funds and seven co-investment vehicles. Nishita has also been responsible for building the growth capital platform to over $1.3 billion in assets under management.

Under Nishita’s leadership, KAGC formally launched its Credit strategy in 2022, focused on stage-specific technology companies looking for a flexible capital solution. This standalone credit strategy offers a capital efficient alternative for leading technology businesses that want to take advantage of a lower cost capital structure.

Over the years, Nishita has served in the capacity of Board Member or Board Observer of more than 20 software companies while at Kayne, some of which include, Circle Cardiovascular, CreatorIQ, Drivewyze, FreightVerify, Freightwaves, GeoWealth, Ideas United, KlearNow, Knotch, Panzura, Riviera Partners, Zafin, and TeleMed2U.

“The growth capital markets are changing and in response to these changes, the capital requirements of companies are also evolving. We have always believed that capital is not enough – companies need a partner that provides more than capital to shepherd them to the next stage of growth and that required rigorous operational expertise and resources. The core of our approach remains unchanged; we focus on fundaments, provide flexible capital solutions, and support great companies through our expertise and network of resources that further unlocks the potential of the businesses we partner with.” – Nishita Cummings



Aliya Khaydarova

Firm: Inverness Graham Investments
Title: Managing Principal


Aliya Khaydarova is a Managing Principal at Inverness Graham, a lower middle market buyout firm that acquires innovative companies where technology is transforming traditional industry. Since joining in 2008, Aliya has worked on / closed over 30 buyout transactions, including RacoWireless, AdvancedCath and Danville Materials, three of the firm’s most successful exits to date. She is a member of the Investment Committee and currently serves on the boards of VitalPath, Innovia Medical and Treat Planet.

During her tenure at Inverness Graham, Aliya has developed significant investment experience and expertise within the firm’s healthcare vertical (focused on MedTech) and is now the firm’s partner who is responsible for all healthcare related investments. She has played an integral role in the strategic transformation and value creation at her portfolio companies, successfully partnering with founders and management teams on both organic growth initiatives and synergistic acquisitions as part of the firm’s Strategic Platform Build approach.

Beyond investing, Aliya is a member of Inverness Graham’s ESG Steering Committee, with specific focus on leading diversity initiatives at the firm. Aliya is involved in events that champion women in the private equity industry, and she is also involved in the Greater Philadelphia community, serving as a longtime board member of Community Backstop, a local non-profit organized to raise money through charitable contributions and events to distribute to local individuals and families in need.

“It has been a pleasure spending over 16 years of my career at Inverness Graham. Over the years, we have been honored to partner with many founders and teams to deliver significant value for all our stakeholders. We are excited to bring our operational heritage, together with our value creation resources and an innovative mindset, to support our portfolio companies to build significant scale and accelerate their growth trajectory.” – Aliya Khaydarova



Veronica “Vee” Li

Firm: Primavera Capital
Title: Head of North America


Veronica “Vee” Li is the Head of North America at Primavera Capital, a global, diversified investment firm managing approximately $20bn AUM across venture capital, private equity, and credit strategies. At Primavera, Vee leads investments focused on healthcare, technology and education and was a founding member of Primavera’s first early-stage venture fund, Primavera Venture Partners. Notably, she played a crucial role in the creation of the Spring Education platform, the largest private school network in the U.S., through a series of transformative M&A deals from 2017-2019.

Vee is the youngest member of the leadership team at Primavera Capital. Since joining the firm in 2017, Vee established the firm’s first offices outside of Asia in Palo Alto, California. She sits on the boards of Spring Education, The Princeton Review and, Zap Surgical, and Perceptive Technologies.

Before joining Primavera, she co-founded and served as the CEO of a STEM-based edtech company reaching tens of thousands of students and broke new ground at the forefront of China’s STEM/makerspace movement.

As a founding member of Primavera’s global ESG committee, Vee is deeply committed to environmental, social and governance efforts and a supporter of various nonprofit initiatives focused on environmental sustainability. Vee received her BA and MA from Stanford University in 4.5 years on a full scholarship. She served as captain of the Stanford women’s tennis team and played a critical role in the national championship title they won in her sophomore year.

“It is inspiring to partner with founders who are creating innovative solutions that address the most difficult of challenges through transformative technology. I am proud that we provide much more than just financial resources at Primavera – we lend our own backgrounds as entrepreneurs and practitioners to support founders on their growth journeys and catalyze long-term positive change.” – Veronica “Vee” Li



Maggie Schmitt

Firm: JMI Equity
Title: Partner, Chief Financial Officer


As Chief Financial Officer, Maggie oversees the Firm’s accounting, finance, tax, and treasury functions. She joined the firm as a senior accountant in 2009 from the audit and enterprise risk services practice of Deloitte and has worked her way up the ranks at JMI. Maggie has played a key leadership role spanning fundraising, portfolio company management, limited partner reporting, and firm operations. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Information Systems from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech and is a certified public accountant (inactive).

Maggie’s exceptional leadership and enduring commitment to JMI’s investment and value creation strategies have played an integral role in the success of the firm for more than a decade, contributing to the value created within JMI’s portfolio of growth software companies and in the strong returns delivered to JMI’s investors.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by GrowthCap this year alongside so many influential women leaders. For the past 15 years, I have had the privilege of working alongside many exceptional colleagues, investors, and management teams within the JMI Equity ecosystem. I am proud to be part of the JMI team and look forward to continuing to support our mission of building long lasting value.” – Maggie Schmitt



Alex Stuart

Firm: Alpine Investors
Title: General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer


Alex joined Alpine Investors in 2022 and oversees its Legal, Compliance, and ESG functions. She ensures the firm has a best-in-class compliance program that is responsive to regulatory changes and effectively manages legal risk across Alpine and its portfolio. She also oversees the legal aspects of new product formation and fundraising and helps launch new companies under Alpine’s buy-and-build investment strategy.

To further Alpine’s goal of building enduring businesses, Alex is responsible for ensuring the firm and its portfolio companies continue to meet commitments under its ESG Policy. She also oversees ESG fund-level reporting, the firm’s Force for Good Report, B Corp certification, PRI signatory reporting, and climate mitigation efforts. Alex also supports the activities of the Alpine Social Ventures Foundation in making investments in mission-related early-stage businesses.

Alex led the legal processes for the firm’s oversubscribed Fund IX close of $4.5bn in July 2023 and the $3.4bn single-asset continuation transaction to support the continued growth of Apex Service Partners in October 2023, which was the largest single asset CV at the time of closing.

“At Alpine, we take a people first approach and focus on continuous improvement. My work is rewarding because Alpine is dedicated to innovation in private equity and values the integration of legal and compliance considerations into the development and execution of the firm’s strategy. I’m honored to be recognized by GrowthCap on this year’s list alongside other top leaders in the industry.” – Alex Stuart



Lucy Stamell Dobrin

Firm: Providence Equity Partners
Title: Managing Director


Lucy Stamell Dobrin is a Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners, where she makes sector-focused investments in media, telecom and technology markets. She is based in New York.

For nearly 15 years, Lucy has worked closely with portfolio companies on identifying new growth areas and ways to benefit from emerging sector themes. She enjoys partnering with and guiding management teams to develop and execute business strategies, implement capital structures, institutionalize operations and recruit talented executives and high-impact board members.

While at Providence, Lucy has been an integral member of the deal teams for several active investments including DoubleVerify, and OUTFRONT and exits from Learfield, OEConnection and EdgeConneX. She is also currently a director of DoubleVerify, which had a successful public listing in 2021, and

Lucy is a member of the Providence Women’s Roundtable and the firm’s D&I committee and was previously founding co-chair of the D&I committee. Lucy holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.

“At Providence, I have had the privilege of partnering with market-leading businesses and talented management teams across the media, communications, and technology sectors. Our sector-focused approach has resulted in meaningful investments and exits over the years, and I look forward to continuing our momentum with the rest of my colleagues at Providence. I am honored to be recognized by GrowthCap alongside so many talented peers.” – Lucy Stamell Dobrin



Sophia Popova

Firm: Summit Partners
Title: Partner


Sophia Popova is a Partner on Summit Partners’ Technology Team. She joined the firm in 2017 as a Vice President and was promoted to Partner in January 2023. Over the course of her tenure, Sophia has partnered with leading growth companies and talented executives across several technology subsectors including cybersecurity, marketing technology and HR software. She has played an active role in eight Summit investments, representing more than $1.6 billion in invested capital. Her current board and investment experience includes Invicti Security, Klaviyo (2023 IPO, NYSE: KVYO), Later (formerly Mavrck), Vensure Employer Services (formerly PrismHR), Sifted, StackAdapt and Ylopo.

Sophia’s investment acumen is strengthened by her extensive technical knowledge acquired through product management and business development positions at multiple startups, including Contactive (acquired by Fuze in 2015) and Recombine (acquired by CooperSurgical in 2016). While at Harvard Business School, Sophia was an investment partner at the Dorm Room Fund, where she advised numerous student-founder-led startups. Sophia holds a BA in economics and mathematics from Yale University and an MBA, with distinction, from Harvard Business School.

“For 40 years, Summit Partners has executed a growth equity strategy focused on powering the growth of great companies and great people – one that is grounded in a foundational belief that profitable growth is the most reliable path to building a durable business and creating long-term value. It’s truly a privilege to represent Summit as we continue to pursue this strategy and to support visionary leaders who are working to transform their respective industries.” – Sophia Popova



Sharlyn (“Shar”) Musslewhite

Firm: Berkshire Partners
Title: Managing Director and General Counsel


Shar joined Berkshire Partners in 2006 and was promoted to Managing Director in 2011. She oversees all legal matters relating to Berkshire’s investment activities and operations. Shar’s legal focus areas include portfolio company acquisitions, fund formation, compliance, risk management, litigation management and strategy, and other general corporate matters for the firm.

Shar also co-chairs the firm’s Responsible Investment Committee and led the firm’s decision to become one of the inaugural founding members of Ownership Works, a nonprofit organization that partners with companies to create meaningful wealth-building opportunities for employees. Prior to joining Berkshire in 2006, Shar was a Corporate Partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Shar received a B.A. from Cornell University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Shar is currently on the Board of Trustees of the American Repertory Theater, a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women, and on the Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Shar recently retired from the national Board of Directors of the Make-A-Wish America after serving the organization in various roles for more than 16 years.

“I am humbled to be recognized alongside so many innovative, determined female leaders who are redefining the next generation of private equity professionals. I feel incredibly grateful to have been shaped into the professional I am today by so many amazingly talented women who came before me, and to be supported by a firm with such a strong emphasis on inclusion and teamwork.” – Sharlyn (“Shar”) Musslewhite



Sarah Hinkfuss

Firm: Bain Capital Ventures
Title: Partner


Sarah Hinkfuss is a Partner at Bain Capital Ventures where she works with growth-stage founders in application software and fintech. She is particularly interested in backing founders who have personal experience in the market they are creating.

Prior to joining BCV, Sarah was a Vice President on the Tech Opportunities team at Bain Capital, and worked as an Associate in KKR’s Growth Equity group in San Francisco. Prior to that she was a Senior Vice President at Applied Predictive Technologies, an enterprise SaaS company acquired by Mastercard in 2015.

Sarah received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was an Arjay Miller Scholar and Siebel Scholar. She graduated cum laude with a BA in Economics and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, where she was a Hoopes Prize recipient and Weatherhead Research Fellow.

“At Bain Capital Ventures, I love supporting founders and leaders to change the world we live in. Our lives run on technology, but it doesn’t always run well. There are so many opportunities to make life better for executives, employees and small businesses.” – Sarah Hinkfuss



Anika Agarwal

Firm: Insight Partners
Title: Managing Director


Anika Agarwal joined Insight Partners in 2014 and is a Managing Director on the investment team and a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. She focuses on leveraged buyouts and majority recapitalizations of application and infrastructure software companies. Anika helps lead investments in both high growth and mature software businesses and currently sits on the board or oversees numerous Insight investments, including Appriss Retail, Bamboo Health, Bullhorn, CivicPlus, CommerceHub, Ellkay, Inhabit, Inovalon, Optimizely, PDI,,, and Vector Solutions.

Prior to joining Insight, Anika was a member of the investment team at Vista Equity Partners. Anika completed multiple platform and follow-on software buyouts in which her role included conducting market and operational due diligence, negotiating agreements, and arranging financing commitments. Anika was active at both the board and company level at portfolio companies advising management teams on operating improvements and add-on acquisitions.

Previously Anika was an investment professional at the Mayfield Fund, where she focused on investments in consumer internet companies. Earlier in her career, she worked in the Principal Investment Area at Goldman Sachs and the Technology Investment Banking group at Lehman Brothers. Anika holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University.

“At Insight Partners, we have the opportunity to partner with transformative software companies that are creating an outsized impact in their markets. For 10+ years, I’ve had the privilege to do this work not only with our brilliant founders and their teams, but our Insight team as well. It’s been a joy to scale Insight alongside the current and future leaders of the software ecosystem.” – Anika Agarwal



Hilary Gosher

Firm: Insight Partners
Title: Managing Director


Hilary Gosher is a Managing Director at Insight Partners. She founded and leads Insight Onsite, the firm’s comprehensive growth engine with 140+ dedicated team members across multiple domains who provide deep operational expertise, access to expansive networks, and targeted solutions to help high-growth software ScaleUps scale faster and more effectively.

Hilary has provided investment, growth and board support for numerous Insight portfolio companies. She has supported 5 IPOs—Alteryx, Cvent, Mimecast, Medidata Solutions, and Shutterstock—and 10+ exits including Evestment, ECI Solutions, Primavera, Netsmart Technologies, TeamViewer, and Shunra. In addition to sitting on Insight’s Investment Committee, Hilary also sits on the Investment Committee of Vision Capital 2020, Insight’s fund of funds investing in emerging underrepresented managers.

When she’s not helping scale the world’s most innovative software companies, Hilary is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School. She also serves on the Growth Equity working committee and Board of Directors of the NVCA, which fuels her passion for ensuring the VC industry fosters the next generation of tech disruptors. She was also a co-founder and Board Member of Declare (acquired by Luminary), a firm dedicated to developing women business leaders. Hilary holds an MBA from INSEAD, France; a BA in Economic History, and a LLB, cum laude, from the University of Natal, South Africa.

“For 20+ years at Insight Partners, I’ve had the honor of collaborating with visionary founders and scaling the companies who are architecting the future of software. I’ve also supported and proudly watched the growth of Insight—young associates becoming senior investors, reaching 800+ investments over the life our funds, and scaling our comprehensive growth engine, Onsite, to be an industry-leading value creation team. It’s been a journey filled with inspiration and purpose, and one that I’m energized to continue as the tech industry evolves and Insight approaches our 30th anniversary.” – Hilary Gosher



Jaime Hildreth

Firm: WestCap
Title: Partner


Jaime Hildreth is a Partner at WestCap, an operating equity firm with $6B assets under management, where she leads the firm’s asset management practices. During her time at WestCap, she has been instrumental in the firm’s capital returns and the navigation of the intersection between technology development and private markets. She currently holds board positions with three of WestCap’s portfolio companies – Addepar, iCapital, and iAltA – and is also a member of WestCap’s Investment Committee. Jaime brings creativity into the field of finance, leveraging technology and defining best practices in financial reporting and data solutions. Most recently, her experience as a product and business leader has helped Addepar’s team deliver differentiated products and drive revenue growth, surpassing $6 trillion in assets.

Prior to WestCap, Jaime was recruited by Blackstone from one of its portfolio companies to build out its PE valuations team from scratch. Jaime set a new, innovative path for Blackstone and the private capital markets industry by incubating iLevel, a portfolio management software for monitoring financial performance and fair valuing Blackstone’s portfolio companies. Today, iLevel is used by more than 700 alternative asset managers and institutional investors globally as they seek transparency and real-time portfolio updates.

Following her time at Blackstone, Jaime moved to another Blackstone FinTech portfolio company, Ipreo, where she championed the acquisition of iLEVEL to form Ipreo’s Private Capital Markets (PCM) division. She expanded the PCM product offering by launching a valuation workflow technology (iVAL) and a data analytics business for Limited Partners (Private Market Connect). PCM became the fastest-growing unit, and three years later, Ipreo was sold to IHS Market (now S&P Global) for nearly $2 billion.

“WestCap’s unique operating equity investment philosophy is built to shape the future of tech-focused industries. Our firm is changing what it means to be an investor for the better, through our operating engagement and disciplined growth equity mindset. It is an honor to work alongside partners and innovators every day who don’t just invest capital but roll up their sleeves to develop true value creation for the long-term.” – Jaime Hildreth



Stephanie Schneider

Firm: Five Elms Capital
Title: Partner


Stephanie Schneider is a Partner at Five Elms Capital, a leading growth equity firm that invests in fast-growing B2B software businesses. With nine years of experience at Five Elms, Stephanie has been instrumental in executing over 23 deals. As a member of the investment committee, she leverages her background in advising corporations and financial sponsors to collaborate with growing, founder-owned SaaS businesses. Her leadership provides these companies with the capital and resources needed to accelerate their growth and solidify their positions as industry leaders.

Stephanie currently serves on the boards of Claravine, Continu, Covideo, Opiniion, POWWR, Reachdesk, ShippyPro, and Ten Thousand Coffees (10KC).

Before joining Five Elms, Stephanie worked as an Investment Banker in Citigroup’s Technology Group, where she advised corporations and financial sponsors on mergers, acquisitions, and corporate finance. She also has experience as an Investment Banker in Sterne Agee’s Financial Services Group. Stephanie holds a BA in Journalism and Advertising from Southern Methodist University.

“Five Elms’ investments are about more than capital— we foster innovation, support visionary founders, and build enduring partnerships. We’re committed to empowering the next generation of industry-leading challengers. This award is a testament to our team’s passion and dedication to driving meaningful growth in the software sector. I’m incredibly honored to be recognized by GrowthCap among such accomplished women in growth investing.” – Stephanie Schneider



Hilary Fleischer

Firm: Strattam Capital
Title: Partner


Hilary Fleischer is a Partner at Strattam Capital, a private equity firm focused on investing in B2B technology companies with AUM of more than $1 billion. Since joining Strattam in 2014, Hilary has originated, structured, and executed numerous platform and add-on transactions and serves on Strattam’s Investment Committee. Her accomplishments include leading the successful buyout of Blacksmith Applications (sale to TELUS), as well as the acquisition of Netstock, a supply chain software business, which has more than tripled revenue since closing. Her current investment and board experience includes Netstock, Intellect, Affinaquest and Green Security.

Prior to Strattam, Hilary was an Associate on the Private Equity team at KKR, and she started her career as an Analyst at Lazard. Hilary is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is actively involved with the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology at her undergraduate alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. She also leads Strattam’s efforts to enhance female representation on portfolio companies’ Boards of Directors.

“I’m thrilled to be a founding member of Strattam Capital, driving innovation, empowering visionary leadership, and championing the rise of women in leadership and boardrooms.” – Hilary Fleischer



Emila Damjanovic

Firm: Lead Edge Capital
Title: Partner and Head of Investor Relations


Emila Damjanovic is a Partner and the Head of Investor Relations at Lead Edge Capital, where she oversees the Firm’s unique investor base, a network of 700+ executives, entrepreneurs, and dealmakers who have built and run some of the world’s most successful companies. Investor Relations at LEC is not just a function; it’s the cornerstone of the firm’s strategy. In this role, Emila has masterfully grown the Investor Relations team into a best-in-class function, managing communications, reporting and relationships with over 700 individual investors. For over a decade, Emila has cultivated and maintained relationships that have been pivotal to Lead Edge’s fundraising and portfolio support efforts. Since joining Lead Edge, the Firm has raised six funds from 700+ investors, totaling $5 billion in capital commitments.

As part of her role managing 700 investors, Emila helps to curate tailored in-person experiences and facilitate introductions throughout Lead Edge’s LP network. Emila is also committed to championing women in the VC/PE industry. She spearheaded the “Women of LEC” initiative, organizing events in San Francisco and NYC designed to foster meaningful connections among women in Lead Edge’s network and throughout the industry. Prior to Lead Edge, Emila was the Head of Investor Relations and Assistant COO at Eastern Advisors, a global crossover hedge fund funded by Tiger Management. Emila was raised in Slovenia before immigrating to New York City and speaks three languages.

“I am honored to be recognized by GrowthCap this year alongside many extraordinary leaders. The best part of my role at Lead Edge is the opportunity to build meaningful relationships within our diverse investor base. At Lead Edge, we emphasize deep collaboration across our different stakeholders to create value for our portfolio companies. I am grateful for the opportunity to support the growth of Lead Edge from inception more than 13 years ago. I look forward to the next decade and beyond.” – Emila Damjanovic



Julia Frenette

Firm: Silversmith Capital Partners
Title: Operating Partner, Talent


Julia joined Silversmith Capital Partners in 2023 as the firm’s first Operating Partner focused on Talent. In her role, Julia collaborates closely with entrepreneurs and leaders across the firm’s portfolio to identify and recruit senior executives and board members. She also provides strategic support for the portfolio’s broader talent needs. As a seasoned talent executive with deep expertise in executive recruitment and talent assessment, Julia is a valued and trusted partner to founders and CEOs within the portfolio.

Prior to Silversmith, Julia served as Senior Director, Executive Recruiting at Salesforce where she worked closely with the Salesforce executive team to identify and recruit top talent for the company. Prior to Salesforce, Julia worked as Principal at Heidrick & Struggles in the Global Technology and Services Practice. Julia graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.

“At Silversmith, we are passionate about partnering with founder-led, bootstrapped companies across the technology and healthcare markets. It is a joy to partner with incredible founders and CEOs as they look to accelerate growth through attracting and retaining world-class talent. I appreciate this recognition from GrowthCap.” – Julia Frenette



Monica Romano

Firm: Brighton Park Capital
Title: Partner, Chief Financial Officer


Monica Romano is a Partner and the Chief Financial Officer at Brighton Park Capital (“BPC”), an investment firm focused on entrepreneur-led, growth-stage software, healthcare, and tech-enabled services companies. Monica oversees the comprehensive financial operations of the firm, including accounting, fund planning and performance, budgeting, financial reporting, treasury management, valuations, portfolio analysis, monitoring, and audits.

Monica also leads initiatives related to tax management, fund structuring, and financial compliance, ensuring strict adherence to policies, controls, and regulatory requirements. Monica chairs the Valuation Committee and actively participates in Portfolio Committee discussions, contributing to the preparation of materials and overseeing the performance of Portfolio Companies.

Prior to joining BPC, Monica served as a Senior Partnership Accountant in the operations group at Bessemer Venture Partners. She began her career at EY in the Wealth Asset Management practice, focusing on private equity and hedge fund clients. Monica holds an MBA and BBA in Accounting from Iona University.

“At Brighton Park, we aim to build lasting partnerships with experienced founders and great management teams through our collaborative approach. Our portfolio companies value the inclusive culture we’ve cultivated, which allows for innovation and diverse perspectives to prosper. It is an honor to be recognized by GrowthCap alongside such a talented group of female leaders.” – Monica Romano



Tracy Streckenbach

Firm: Gridiron Capital
Title: Operating Partner


Ms. Streckenbach’s previous roles before joining Gridiron Capital as an Operating Partner have included Partner, Investment Committee Member, Board Member, CEO, and COO across a diverse range of industries. She has worked with the investment firm Watermill Group, served in senior management roles at Enbi Global, Innovative Global Brands, Gerrity Company, Hill Holliday, and Ricerca Biosciences and led consulting teams for EY, Chrysalis Management, and CR3 Partners. Tracy is widely recognized as a successful change agent, featured in The New York Times “Corner Office” and in Times Books’ Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation. Tracy serves as a Board Director for GSM Outdoors, Foundation Wellness, and Jacent Strategic Merchandising. Tracy leads the New Product & Service Development Center of Excellence for Gridiron and holds a BS in Marketing from the University of South Carolina.

“Every day I feel fortunate to work alongside talented management teams as we work together to clarify unique market positioning and strive to accelerate along the growth path. Collaborating with my talented and humble colleagues at Gridiron Capital creates the very best environment for continuous learning and development; there is truly no place I’d rather be. Thank you for recognizing the work we do each day to help our company executives shine.” – Tracy Streckenbach



Jessica Gilligan

Firm: TA Associates
Title: Director


Jessica Gilligan is a Director in TA’s Boston office, where she focuses on investments in consumer products and services companies across North America. Jessica has more than 10 years of experience in consumer private equity across a number of verticals, including food & beverage, pet and beauty & personal care, and proven expertise driving company growth and creating lasting shareholder value. Jessica currently serves on the Board of Directors of Death Wish Coffee, Mid America Pet Food and Stonewall Kitchen and is an active investor in Advantice Health. Prior to joining TA as an Associate in 2012, she worked in the M&A Group at Sagent Advisors Inc. Jessica received an MBA at Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in finance, economics and international business from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

“TA is known for its deep industry expertise and dedication to its companies and investors, and it is an honor to be a part of the strategic work we’re doing to build market-leading companies. With resources and management teams around the globe, we prioritize collaboration and partnership to serve as a long term, value-add investor.” – Jessica Gilligan



Sabrina Chiasson McLaughry

Firm: Polaris Growth Fund
Title: Principal


Sabrina joined Polaris in 2018 as a Vice President and founding member of the inaugural Polaris Growth Fund (PGF). PGF is investing out of their second fund and targets investments in founder-owned, vertically-focused software and tech-enabled services businesses with $5-$15M of revenue. Sabrina has been a driving force in the firm’s growth, helping to lead seven platform investments and working closely with their respective management teams to guide them through eleven add-on acquisitions and two successful exits. Within PGF, Sabrina is instrumental as a leader in recruiting and developing the team as well as refining the firm’s investment strategy and processes.

Sabrina represents PGF on the board of Martin & Company, Avolve, B2Gnow, LCvista and TransACT, and has also served on the board of Emergency Reporting (ESO/Vista Equity Partners) and Iridium Technology (BigHand/LLCP).

“I’m grateful to play a role in building PGF and the companies we partner with. As a firm, we are committed to growing in a sustainable way that meets the needs of our portfolio companies. Not dissimilar from how we encourage our companies to think about sustainable growth and customer/ market demands. I look forward to many more years of collaboration with my PGF teammates, our operating executives and our portfolio companies’ leaders as we navigate these growth opportunities.” – Sabrina Chiasson McLaughry



Danielle Waldman

Firm: Silversmith Capital Partners
Title: Principal


Danielle joined Silversmith in September 2020 and was promoted to Principal in early 2023. Her investments at the firm focus on the SaaS & information services sectors, with a particular interest in developer & IT tools, security, and vertical applications. Danielle is an investor who has distinguished herself through her domain expertise, her integrity and ability to build genuine relationships with entrepreneurs and management teams, as a mentor within the firm, and a community builder for women looking to grow their careers in business and PE. Her current investment and board experience at the firm includes Gearset, GiveCampus, Proven Optics and Worldly.

Prior to Silversmith, Danielle was a private equity investor at Vector Capital and an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. Her passion for technology stems from her first job at MongoDB in operations. Outside of investing, Danielle is passionate about working with organizations focused on fostering career growth for women in business and helping to positively impact her broader community. Danielle graduated from Brown University with a degree in history and received an MBA with second year honors from Harvard Business School.

“I am grateful for the opportunities I have each day to work with exceptional entrepreneurs as they scale great products into great companies, and do so with an exceptional team driven by a shared set of core values that serve as the foundation of the firm’s culture.” – Danielle Waldman



Xiuli Dong

Firm: PSG
Title: Senior Vice President


Xiuli Dong, a Senior Vice President at PSG, helps identify potential investment opportunities in high-growth middle market software businesses. Since joining the firm in 2023, she has been involved in platform deals and add-on acquisitions that have helped expand PSG’s portfolio company product offerings and geographic coverage.

As a board member of three PSG portfolio companies, Xiuli leverages her passion for software investing by working closely with management teams to help attract and retain executive talent, identify strategic growth opportunities, specifically go-to market plans, product expansions, and acquisition integration.

In addition to her work at PSG, Xiuli serves as a mentor to support women small business owners scale their business as she is a member of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women’s Business Development Council.

Prior to becoming a Senior Vice President in PSG’s Boston office, Xiuli was a principal at SFW Capital Partners. Before joining SFW, Xiuli was an associate at H.I.G. Growth Partners and an investment banking analyst in the Technology Group at Jefferies. Xiuli received a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics from NYU Stern School of Business.

“I am honored to be recognized by GrowthCap as a leading female growth investor among such an impressive group of women. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, my career has always been driven by a passion for working with founders and helping them scale their businesses. I feel privileged to be part of a firm like PSG that is committed to helping founders and business leaders reach their growth objectives.” – Xiuli Dong



Caitlin Vorlicek

Firm: Sageview Capital
Title: Principal


Caitlin Vorlicek is a Principal at Sageview Capital, a growth equity firm that empowers industry-defining innovators to build enduring software and tech-enabled businesses. In her role, Caitlin is responsible for helping to lead the firm’s investment ideation, sourcing efforts, transaction activity, and post-investment value creation. Since she joined Sageview in 2021, Caitlin has been instrumental in enhancing the firm’s sourcing efforts and has been actively involved in the firm’s investments in Carewell, Elemental Machines, Specright, User Interviews, and Stensul.

Before joining Sageview, Caitlin led Partnerships and Corporate Development at Sifted, a logistics software company based in Kansas City, MO. Before joining Sifted, Caitlin spent three years at Summit Partners, sourcing and executing investments including Klaviyo, A Cloud Guru, Allego, and Sifted. Caitlin began her career in technology investment banking at Harris Williams & Co. Caitlin graduated cum laude from Colby College, receiving a BA in economics with Distinction.

“As investors, we are only as successful as our colleagues, mentors, and most importantly, the teams we back. Sageview Capital is an incredible place to fulfill a shared mission of backing industry-defining innovators, and I’m so grateful to our partners for the opportunity to help them along on the journey.” – Caitlin Vorlicek


Whitney Kelly

Firm: Berkshire Partners
Title: Principal


Whitney Kelly is a Principal at Berkshire Partners where she serves as a key member of the firm’s Healthcare sector team working to generate proprietary deal flow and create value within the firm’s investments. Whitney has made significant contributions around value creation initiatives within the firm’s Healthcare portfolio. She is a driving force behind the firm’s efforts to capitalize on strategic growth opportunities to help these portfolio companies scale into enduring enterprises that make a true difference within the healthcare ecosystem.

Whitney has played an active role in helping Berkshire build its healthcare team, supporting the shift from an opportunistic strategy to one of the firm’s four core industry sectors with 11 dedicated investment professionals. Additionally, Whitney helps lead Berkshire’s associate recruiting program and is actively involved in talent development across all levels of the organization. A graduate of Williams College, Whitney began her career as an Analyst at J.P. Morgan. She joined Berkshire in 2012 as an Associate and returned to the firm in 2016 after earning her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

“It’s a true honor to be featured on this year’s list alongside so many talented women. I’m also deeply grateful for the opportunity to collaborate directly with the CEOs leading our healthcare portfolio companies. In addition, success at Berkshire wouldn’t be possible without the support of the firm’s remarkable culture, team, and spirit of collaboration.” – Whitney Kelly



Mia Hegazy

Firm: Apax Digital
Title: Principal


Mia Hegazy is a Principal on the Apax Digital team investing in growth-stage technology companies. She joined Apax in 2020 and is based in New York. She focuses on investing in vertical software and human capital management solutions, with portfolio companies including Petvisor, Lever and Accurate Background. She co-founded Apax’s working parents employee resource group and helps to lead the Digital team’s sourcing efforts.

Prior to joining Apax, Mia was a Principal at Catalyst Investors, a New York-based growth equity firm. She joined one of her portfolio companies as interim CEO and during her time in operations, she learned first-hand the challenges of running a growing technology business. She began her career at Berenson & Company. Mia holds a BA in Economics and a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by GrowthCap this year alongside many talented female peers. At Apax Digital, I am proud to work with innovative entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth tech companies on a daily basis. We partner with companies from SaaS to tech-enabled services, combining our deep sector and operational expertise with their vision for the future, to help unlock their maximum potential. This recognition is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our entire team.” – Mia Hegazy



Sarah Ensslen

Firm: Yellow Wood Partners
Title: Principal


Sarah is a Principal at Yellow Wood Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm that invests exclusively in branded consumer products. She plays a leading role in the firm’s beauty & personal care investments and is on the Board of The Suave Brands Company. Sarah was promoted to Principal in 2021 after joining Yellow Wood as a Vice President in 2019.

Over the past two years, Sarah has played an instrumental role in building the Suave Brands Company, the top independent North American beauty & personal care company, created through the carveouts of Suave from Unilever and ChapStick from Haleon.

Before joining Yellow Wood Partners, Sarah was an Investment Professional at Permira, where she was part of the consumer retail investing team. Prior to this, she served as an Associate at Spectrum Equity. Sarah began her career as an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. Sarah holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and received her BA in history from Princeton University.

“Yellow Wood invests in brands that consumers love, where it believes value can be unlocked from operating them differently. I am excited by the firm’s expertise completing corporate carveouts of well-known brands that consumers have been buying for decades and reenergizing them as independent companies for their next chapters.” – Sarah Ensslen



Amara Suebsaeng

Firm: TA Associates
Title: Director


Amara Suebsaeng is a Director in TA’s Boston office, where she helps lead investments in technology-enabled services companies in North America. A collaborative investor, Amara partners closely with founders and management teams across TA’s portfolio, leveraging the firm’s industry knowledge, experience and global resources to help accelerate organic and inorganic growth.

Amara currently serves on the Board of Directors for LeadsOnline, OMNIA Partners, PMA, PurposeBuilt Brands, Stackline and TouchTunes, and is a Board Observer of Cast & Crew. Prior to joining TA as an Associate in 2010, Amara worked as an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division, Global Power & Utilities Group, at Morgan Stanley. She holds an MBA, with Distinction, from Harvard Business School, and a bachelor’s degree in economics, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

“At TA, our portfolio company partnerships are created on a foundation of trust and a shared ambition to build leading businesses. It is an honor to work alongside such talented founders and management teams every day, collaborating to accelerate growth and create lasting shareholder value.” – Amara Suebsaeng



Emily Calkins

Firm: Spectrum Equity
Title: Vice President


Emily Calkins is a Vice President at Spectrum Equity. She joined Spectrum in 2021 and focuses on investing in bootstrapped, growth-stage software and data services companies. Within her first year at Spectrum, she helped originate and catalyze Spectrum’s investment in SponsorUnited, the leading global sports and entertainment intelligence platform. In addition to her work with SponsorUnited, Emily is on the board of Directors at Litmus and is deeply involved on the Boards of both Presence and Prezi. Emily leads with a distinct emphasis on genuine relationships—focusing on cultivating true partnership in every aspect of her role: with portfolio company CEOs, entrepreneurs more broadly, and every member of Spectrum’s internal team. This capacity for relationship-building is a hallmark of her work and a key ingredient to her strong track-record in sourcing and origination.

Emily’s experience with growth-stage companies spans beyond her time at Spectrum; prior to joining the firm, she originated and executed several investments for Mainsail Partners as both an Associate and Senior Associate, and held roles in the Investment Banking Department at Credit Suisse. Emily also worked at AllTrails, a Spectrum portfolio company, during business school. She holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was Co-President, Commencement Speaker, and recipient of the Arbuckle Award for distinguished leadership, and a BA with Honors Distinction from Williams College.

“At its core, our work at Spectrum is about identifying, supporting, and elevating the work of great entrepreneurs: it’s about people. It’s a privilege and joy to work with those people day in and day out, and to contribute to companies I admire and operators I respect.” – Emily Calkins



Annaliesa Routh

Firm: Spectrum Equity
Title: Vice President


Annaliesa is a Vice President at Spectrum Equity and focuses on partnering with innovative, growth-stage data and software companies. She initially joined Spectrum in 2020 as an MBA intern, but quickly fell in love with growth investing and deferred business school during the pandemic to join as a full-time VP. She returned in July 2022 after earning her MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School. During her tenure at Spectrum, Annaliesa has significantly contributed to several growth equity transactions and firm development initiatives. In 2021, she led Spectrum’s investment in a founder-led sales enablement platform, which has since tripled in size. As a board observer, she supports the company’s sales strategy, operational planning, and product roadmap initiatives.

Annaliesa also played a key role in Spectrum’s recapitalization of Tenstreet to Providence Equity Partners in 2021 and remains involved as a board observer, focusing on M&A opportunities in the trucking ecosystem. Additionally, she serves on the board of Rapid Ratings, a leader in financial health data and analytics, following Spectrum’s investment in 2022. Her board experiences have positioned her as a leader in sourcing efforts around logistics, supply chain, and sales enablement data at Spectrum. She also has a particular interest in marketplace models, vertical data and SaaS, and healthcare technology.

Prior to joining Spectrum, Annaliesa worked at Thomas H. Lee Partners, where she was involved in several transactions and boards within healthcare and manufacturing. She graduated from the University of Virginia with Distinction. Beyond her transactional and board work, she plays a leadership role in hiring and talent development at Spectrum and plans content for Spectrum’s sales and marketing summit. Annaliesa also leads Spectrum’s hiking group, enjoying New England’s peaks with her border collie, Clover.

“I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn from so many exceptional founders and play a role in their journey. Their ingenuity is inspiring, and their passion is contagious. At Spectrum, we strive to be a steadfast and humble partner, dedicated to ensuring founders have the resources they need to achieve lasting success.” – Annaliesa Routh



Priya Diwakar

Firm: Turn/River Capital
Title: Vice President, Investments


At Turn/River Capital, Priya leads deal execution, sourcing, and portfolio management, collaborating closely with our team of experts to drive accelerated growth for our companies. The firm partners with product-focused software companies in mission-critical industries like Cybersecurity and DevOps. Through her work at Turn/River, she has explored her passion for technology, one that began during university when she majored in International Relations, focusing on cybersecurity and international trade.

The firm’s team of career software experts develops operating playbooks designed to build growth for our portfolio companies. Its approach and innovative playbooks help Turn/River stand out from other private equity firms as it turns great software businesses into industry leaders.

In many ways, she would say her work is driven by a kind of intellectual humility. She believes it’s important to always be aware of one’s cognitive biases and personal limitations. That awareness has helped her improve passive and active learning, increase receptiveness to constructive feedback, and better evaluate new opportunities.

“T/R partners with product-focused software companies in mission-critical industries.” – Priya Diwakar



Danielle Cosentino

Firm: Charlesbank Capital Partners, Flagship Private Equity
Title: Senior Vice President


Danielle is a Senior Vice President at Charlesbank, where she plays an integral role on the Healthcare team. She joined Charlesbank in 2021 after her MBA at Harvard Business School, bringing a robust background in healthcare investing. Before graduate school, Danielle was part of the healthcare team at Advent International. She began her career as a healthcare investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley, where she worked on large-cap pharma M&A and biotech IPOs.

With over a decade of experience, Danielle has been instrumental in sourcing and executing key healthcare investments, including Action Behavior Centers (where she currently serves on the Board), MDVIP, and Tecomet. At Advent, her investments in the sector included inVentiv Health, Syneos (formerly INC Research), Accentcare, and First Watch. Danielle earned a BA in Financial Economics, magma cum laude, from Columbia University, where she played Division I field hockey, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“Learning from the talented teams within our portfolio and at Charlesbank has been an invaluable privilege. I’m thrilled to partner with our passionate management teams to grow their businesses and make our healthcare system more accessible, impactful, and effective” – Danielle Cosentino



Flannery Zhou

Firm: Charlesbank Capital Partners, Technology Opportunities
Title: Vice President


Flannery Zhou is a Vice President at Charlesbank Capital Partners, focusing on investments in enterprise software and FinTech. She joined the firm in 2021 as part of the Technology Opportunities Fund and has been a key contributor to the strategy’s activity and success, including serving instrumental roles in the investments of SOLVE, Titan Cloud, Kleer-Membersy, and the recapitalization of Aptean.

Besides investment and portfolio management responsibilities, Flannery is also integrally involved in efforts to support female employees at Charlesbank and broadly in the finance industry. She co-led the Women@Charlesbank employee network and has stayed engaged in networks promoting women in business and investment since her undergraduate and MBA days.

Before joining Charlesbank, Flannery helped manage global M&A and corporate strategy at Expedia Group. She started her career as an investment banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Flannery holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Duke University. She also earned dual graduate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania – an MBA from the Wharton School and a Master of Laws degree from the Carey Law School.

“I am honored to share this recognition with so many talented female leaders and to have the opportunity to continue driving change alongside them. I am immensely grateful for the trust and support from my team at Charlesbank and the incredible entrepreneurs and management teams in our portfolio companies – collaborating to build something meaningful is fun, exciting, and truly rewarding.” – Flannery Zhou



Dina Berdichevsky

Firm: JMI Equity
Title: Vice President


Dina joined JMI in 2019. She is responsible for sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities. Dina is currently a director of Unanet and works with JMI portfolio companies Incident IQ, Huntress, and Employee Navigator. Dina graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in Economics and Statistics. Prior to joining JMI, Dina was an investment banking analyst at DC Advisory.

“Being able to collaborate with world class software companies is a great privilege. I look forward to continuing to support our portfolio companies expand and grow. It’s an honor to be recognized by GrowthCap, along with the many other accomplished individuals on this list.” – Dina Berdichevsky




Jacqueline Berris

Firm: Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors
Title: Vice Presidentt


Jacqueline Berris is a Vice President for Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors’ growth capital strategies, where she is responsible for identifying and analyzing investment opportunities across the technology sector, deal execution, and assisting with value creation and the monitoring of portfolio companies. She joined the Kayne Partners team in January 2022 as a Senior Associate, and within a year was quickly promoted to the role of Vice President. As Vice President, Berris has been able to successfully manage multiple deal teams, and she currently serves as a board director to TeleMed2U and board observer to Huddle Up, Panzura, CreatorIQ, Bark Technologies, and TicketManager.

Recently, Berris played an active role in Kayne Anderson’s Growth Capital $12.5 investment in Huddle Up, a virtual care platform designed for K-12 schools. Earlier this year, Berris also played an active role in Kayne Anderson’s Growth Capital Investment in TeleMed2U, a telemedicine platform offering services to a range of customer types and Sapience Analytics, a workforce efficiency software platform. In addition to these new capital deployments, Berris completed several follow-on investments in existing portfolio companies and supported Kayne Partners senior leadership team on the launch of the dedicated growth credit strategy last fall. In addition to supporting the team with her breadth of investment and operational experience, Berris continues to serve as a mentor to the junior team and has helped spearhead much of the training efforts.

“Investing in growth-stage software and tech-enabled businesses has been a dynamic path and we are at a pivotal time in the market where operational discipline and multi-variable value creation is being rewarded. I am fortunate to work with great management teams who are not just looking for passive money, but also a hands-on partner with creative capital solutions to help them in the next phase of growth.” – Jacqueline Berris



Tollie (Bell) Brown

Firm: Mainsail Partners
Title: Vice President


Tollie is a Vice President at Mainsail Partners, where she focuses on partnering with fast-growing, founder-owned software businesses. Since joining Mainsail Partners in 2017, Tollie has worked on and helped execute numerous investments in founder-owned software companies and has developed significant specialization in vertical SaaS. She serves on the Boards of Centerbase, Teamfront, and PlanHub (observer) and was previously a Board Observer at ResMan, which was acquired by Inhabit IQ. In 2021, Tollie also served as the Chief of Staff at Centerbase, where the company doubled the team and integrated its first acquisition.

Prior to joining Mainsail, Tollie was on the investment team at Aldrich Capital Partners. Tollie graduated from the University of Virginia, where she played Division I Field Hockey and worked for a number of start-ups.

“I’m honored to be recognized by GrowthCap this year alongside other women leaders in growth equity. At Mainsail Partners, I have the privilege of partnering with bootstrapped founders, CEOs, and management teams as we strive to build industry leading B2B SaaS companies. We do this by recruiting talented teams, scaling operations, optimizing go-to-market strategies, and supporting M&A initiatives.” – Tollie (Bell) Brown



Melanie Jordan

Firm: Volition Capital
Title: Vice President


Melanie Jordan is a Vice President on Volition Capital’s Software team with expert knowledge in the enterprise SaaS industry. She has a comprehensive inside view of how successful SaaS companies are built, led and grown from having worked at annual internships at Evergage (now a Salesforce company) and Litmus. This institutional knowledge provided Melanie with a great perspective as she now evaluates SaaS companies as an outside investor.

In 2023 she closed four investments, deploying $108M of total capital, including Volition Capital’s largest deal to date: a $58M investment in Digital Onboarding. In 2023, Melanie also led three other technology investments: Zenarate, HALO, and HAAS Alert.

Melanie’s educational background includes a summa cum laude B.S. in business management from Babson College. Prior to joining Volition, she was a senior analyst in technology investment banking at Aeris Partners and a technology investor with Summit Partners.

“We’ve made great strides at Volition Capital this year, diving deeper into the software space and investing in companies that make a tangible impact in their respective industries. This was a breakout year for our team and this accolade reflects the hard work and support of my colleagues at Volition. The achievements and perseverance of the women with whom I share this honor set a high bar, and I am proud to be among such a distinguished group of growth equity leaders.” – Melanie Jordan



Joan Fleischman

Firm: Guidepost Growth Equity
Title: Vice President


Joan is a Vice President at Guidepost Growth Equity, where she focuses on partnering with growth-stage technology businesses. She sits on the board of directors at Atheneum and is a board observer for Atlas Technology Solutions and Tractive.

At Guidepost, Joan helps to lead the firm’s investment work in application software and data services. Her responsibilities include originating and evaluating new investments as well as managing the existing portfolio. Joan plays a key role in helping to train and mentor the junior team at Guidepost, particularly with regards to the female junior team members. As a former athlete, Joan prioritizes the development of existing female analysts and associates and has helped develop the pipeline for future female team members to follow.

Prior to Guidepost, Joan was an Associate in Morgan Stanley’s Media & Communications investment banking group. She also worked with GSV Ventures as an MBA Fellow for her first year of business school and as a summer intern. Joan received her bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard College where she was on the Varsity Soccer team; she went on to receive her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I’m honored to be recognized by GrowthCap alongside so many other impressive and influential women in growth investing. Guidepost works with bootstrapped, entrepreneur-led software and technology-enabled businesses that are disrupting the markets in which they operate. We build trusted partnerships with our management teams and bring to bear not only our expertise around scaling growth businesses, but also the insights of the operators who make up our Value Creation Group. I am fortunate to work alongside driven, innovative, and passionate people, both amongst my fellow investment and operating professionals at Guidepost, and the entrepreneurs with whom we partner.” – Joan Fleischman



Amy Wang

Firm: NewSpring Capital
Title: Vice President


Amy Wang is a Vice President at NewSpring, dedicated to the Firm’s software and technology growth equity strategy. Since joining NewSpring in 2018 as an Analyst, she has quickly risen through the ranks in nearly every aspect of the Firm’s business including proprietary deal sourcing, underwriting, fundraising, and deal execution.

As a successful investor for NewSpring Growth, Amy currently serves on the Board for vertical SaaS companies (HomeSource Systems and Symphonic), as well as software and tech-enabled services companies (Celigo, Energage, Venn, and PX). She has led various operational initiatives, including strategic ICP shifts, new pricing model rollouts, direct secondary transactions for founders, and sale/exit positioning.

Amy is a natural leader and mentor and has significantly contributed to NewSpring’s growth over the last six years. She has led the Firm’s efforts in standardizing ESG practices across all strategies and champions NewSpring’s Summer Analyst program, playing a key role in developing future finance professionals. Her dedication to promoting women in private equity is evident in her active engagement in recruiting and industry events, encouraging more women to pursue careers in finance.

Prior to NewSpring, Amy was an Investment Banking Analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, as well as debt and equity financings in the consumer & retail sector. She holds a BS in Economics with concentrations in Finance, Operations Management, and Marketing from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I am deeply passionate about promoting women in private equity, as I believe that diverse perspectives are the catalyst for driving meaningful change and fostering long-term success in our industry. At NewSpring, I have the privilege of partnering with visionary entrepreneurs, fueling their innovative growth and celebrating their successes. This work is incredibly rewarding and continually inspires me to advocate for a more inclusive and dynamic financial landscape.” – Amy Wang



Brittany Martin

Firm: Graham Partners
Title: Director, Sourcing & Operations


Brittany Martin is the Director of Sourcing & Operations on Graham’s Growth Equity team, with a focus on sourcing new investment opportunities and working closely with companies to create lasting value. Graham Partners Growth makes strategic minority and micro-cap investments in businesses spurring innovation in advanced manufacturing and technology-enabled services and software.

Brittany joined Graham Partners in 2014 and helped launch the Firm’s inaugural Growth Equity investment strategy in 2021, after holding roles on both the Investor Relations team as well as the Operations Team. Her experience both as an investment professional and operational specialist spans from sourcing and diligence, to building and supporting commercially robust organizations post-investment, with a specific passion for go-to-market strategy and digital marketing transformation. Brittany also oversees the Firm’s internal marketing and social media strategy.

“I have had such a fulfilling journey at Graham Partners, and am grateful for the growth opportunities the team has provided me that enable me to be recognized with this award. I feel lucky to spend my career working with people I admire, entrepreneurs I am amazed by and technologies that are changing the way the world works.” – Brittany Martin 



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