New roles for Denver-based tech leaders signify Guild’s continued growth & commitment to scale for America’s working adult learners
DENVER, Jan. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Guild Education, a certified B-Corp on a mission to unlock economic opportunity for America’s workforce through education and upskilling, announced today the promotions of two senior leaders to executive roles, a sign of the company’s continued growth.
Jessica Rusin, previously the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Guild, will serve as the company’s new Chief Technology Officer. Bijal Shah will serve as the company’s first-ever Chief Experience Officer and Head of Platform.
Both Rusin and Shah are long-serving Guild executives with rich experience in the Denver technology and startup community. The promotions signify Guild’s continued growth, particularly across the technology, payments, and student experience teams, as the company continues to scale to support more working adults on their education journey.
“Jess built Guild’s technology strategy and team from the ground up, and has earned her reputation as one of Colorado’s leading technologists. She’s also one of the strongest people leaders I’ve ever met, and we consistently see top performing, diverse engineering and technology candidates come and stay at Guild specifically to work for Jess — there’s no better evidence of her outstanding leadership than that,” said Rachel Carlson, Guild’s CEO & Co-Founder. “As we look ahead to Guild’s future we’re thrilled to promote Bijal to Chief Experience Officer, where she’ll now bring together the strategies of our product, operations, and technology teams to ensure we can serve millions of working adult students in the future.”
“Over the past nearly five years, I’ve had the honor of building and scaling our technology team and processes from the ground up, and I’m thrilled to continue that important work and continue to scale what we do in this new role,” said Jessica Rusin, Guild’s Chief Technology Officer. “I continue to be inspired by Guild’s mission, and in this role, I am energized to lead our technology teams and build solutions that unlock capabilities that enable support for students at scale.”
“There are 88 million Americans in need of upskilling and reskilling in order to compete in the future of work, so as we look to scale the business to broaden our impact on the students we support, it’s critical that our product and technology strategy enables our business strategy,” said Bijal Shah, Guild’s Chief Experience Officer and Head of Platform. “Jumping into this newly created role is an incredible opportunity to align Guild’s product, service operations, and technology capabilities in order to deliver the best possible experience for all of our stakeholders: our employer partners, our academic partners and most importantly, our students.”
“I’ve been so impressed by the impact and leadership of Jess and Bijal as we scale at Guild,” said Aileen Lee, Guild Investor and Founder of Cowboy Ventures. “They are in key technology and product leadership roles that have historically been held by men. Their success should be an inspiration to many inside and outside of Guild – they are helping blaze a path to see more diversity at the top of all kinds of companies in the future.”
“An executive team that includes the likes of Bijal and Jess leading Guild’s end-to-end user experience and technology, under Rachel’s leadership as a female CEO, is phenomenal and an example of what all businesses should look like,” said Pam Kostka, CEO of All Raise. “All Raise is here to help create a tech culture where women are leading and shaping a more equitable future, and we are proud to support female-founded companies like Guild.”
Rusin has been with Guild since 2016 when she was hired as the company’s fourth employee and first technology leader, building the team from scratch. Since then, Rusin has grown the team to more than 110 engineers and scaled the technology team more broadly to support Guild’s rapid growth. Rusin has built out the technical leadership team and enabled new functions and capabilities such as Data Services, DevOps, Information Security, and Enterprise Technical Support in order to help Guild better support frontline workers on their path to school. In her new role, Rusin will be responsible for leading the strategy for Guild’s technology and engineering teams and continuing her work to build and scale Guild’s technology infrastructure to enable Guild’s product and tooling capabilities.
Shah has been with Guild since early 2018, previously leading a wide variety of teams from product, engineering and analytics, to payments and marketplace operations teams. Shah has scaled these teams and the company’s systems and processes in order to support Guild’s growing student and partner populations. In her new role as the company’s first-ever Chief Experience Officer and Head of Platform, Shah will oversee alignment of Guild’s platform, which brings together the company’s products, operations and technology teams, to ensure the best end-to-end user experience for the students Guild supports, as well as employer and academic partners.
About Guild Education
Guild Education is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education and upskilling, with a double bottom-line business model that does well by doing good. The nation’s leader in helping employers adapt their education and learning programs to align to corporate strategy, Guild helps the more than 88 million workers in need of retraining and upskilling find training and programs they need to unlock economic mobility. Guild partners with leading Fortune 500 employers such as Walmart, Lowe’s, The Walt Disney Company, Discover Financial and Chipotle to offer education and upskilling to their workforce. To do so, Guild works with top universities and learning providers — including schools like Purdue University Global, the University of Central Florida, and Southern New Hampshire University. With nearly 800 employees and a growing customer base, Guild is a fast-growing company that was recognized as a winner of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas award for its work at the intersection of education, economic mobility and corporate strategy. Guild has raised over $228M and is backed by venture firms and angel investors including General Catalyst, Salesforce Ventures, Workday Ventures, Stephen Curry, Bessemer Venture Partners, Emerson Collective, Felicis, Redpoint Ventures, and more. For more information, visit https://www.guildeducation.com/.