Austin, Texas-based Outdoorsy, an RV rental platform, announced today that Jillian Slyfield, AON’s digital practice leader and innovator in the on-demand economy, has been appointed to the company’s board, Arpan Nanavati has joined as chief technology officer, and Kristi Jackson has been appointed vice president of global finance, according to a press release from the company.
Slyfield founded AON’s digital sharing economy insurance practice and helped it become one of the world’s most successful insurance practices for the burgeoning marketplace economy. Jillian led the development of Uber, Airbnb’s global insurance programs, and the development of AON’s global insurance practice focused on innovation in the on-demand economy. Jillian also serves on AON’s diversity and inclusion board.
Arpan Nanavati joins the company as chief technology officer. Nanavati led Walmart Labs’ development of the company’s grocery delivery platform and previously held engineering leadership roles at PayPal and Zynga.
Kristi Jackson has been appointed vice president of finance for the company. Jackson previously served as Outdoorsy’s senior director of finance and comes from a successful career at Deloitte and Touche, LLP, where she managed audits and M&A.
“This diverse addition of innovators is sure to bring positive change and incredible growth within Outdoorsy and beyond,” said Jeff Cavins, Outdoorsy’s co-founder and CEO. “We believe their strong experience will be extremely valuable as Outdoorsy continues to grow around the world.”
“Jillian is a pioneer in the digital insurance space and the global innovation industry, and Arpan’s background and experience in engineering leadership provide the company with greater scale capabilities,” Cavins said. “We are excited to have both of them join the Outdoorsy team and be part of this adventure and we are also proud to have Kristi expand her role as vice president of finance. Kristi has been invaluable as a finance leader in the company and the board, and we welcome the opportunity to have her lead our finance organization in this new capacity.”
Among U.S. startups, more than half lack women in leadership positions. In fact, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s 2020 Startup Outlook Report, only 41% of tech startups have at least one woman in an executive role, and only 37% have at least one on the board of directors. Slyfield is the first woman to join Outdoorsy’s board and — with the promotion of Jackson to an executive role — women now comprise 40% of Outdoorsy’s executive leadership team. “I’m confident that these expansions to our team will make pivotal and positive impacts on our company for years to come,” Cavins said.
A commitment to diversity and positive change plays an important role in the company attracting strong leadership and building a supportive and inclusive team culture. “I have always admired Outdoorsy for its innovative products and dynamic leadership team, and I’m honored to be joining their board,” Slyfield said. “I have tremendous respect for the founders and my fellow board members and I look forward to working with them.”
In 2017, Slyfield was recognized as a “Women to Watch” by Business Insurance, a national news outlet for risk management executives. “Over the past three years, it’s been exciting to watch history unfold as Outdoorsy emerged as the premier recreational marketplace company in the world,” Slyfield said. “Working with Jeff and the team has been a joy. The company is innovative and the team is value-driven, and that is what attracted me to become a part of this mission.”