BSKY

Unit Split

Big Sky Growth Partners, Inc.

Underwriter: Goldman Sachs & Co
External link: SEC Filings

SPAC Team

Leadership

Mark Vadon, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

Our management team is led by Mark Vadon, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Vadon co-founded Zulily, a consumer internet retailer of products targeting moms, babies and children, and served as Chairman of the board from 2009 until September 2015. We believe that Zulily’s revenue growth was one of the fastest in the internet retail sector at that time, achieving over $1 billion in annual revenues less than five years from inception. Since inception, Zulily has generated over $11 billion in revenue. Mr. Vadon also co-founded Blue Nile, a consumer internet retailer of diamonds and fine jewelry, and served as Chairman of the board from 1999 to 2013 and Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2008. From its inception until it was acquired by Bain Capital in 2017, Blue Nile generated approximately $5 billion in revenue. Prior to co-founding Blue Nile, Mr. Vadon was a consultant for Bain & Company, a management consulting firm, which he joined in 1992.

Mr. Vadon has been actively investing in and advising consumer internet businesses since 2007. Mr. Vadon served as Chairman of the board of Chewy from 2014 to 2017, and advised and invested in private rounds of companies such as Allbirds, Crowd Cow, FlyHomes, Outdoor Voices, The Pill Club Medical Group, Rad Power Bikes, Sweetgreen, Thrive Market, Trupanion, Course Hero, New Engen and Wine.com. In addition to his privately held company boards, Mr. Vadon has served on the board of Qurate Retail Group since 2015 and previously served on the board of Home Depot from 2012 to 2019. Mr. Vadon holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies from Harvard University.

Mr. Vadon is responsible for Big Sky’s investment strategy and has relationships with an extensive network of founders, management teams, investors and advisors. We believe his reputation as a successful investor and track record of building, advising and supporting management teams in high growth consumer market segments will differentiate us as we identify and negotiate an initial business combination with potential partners.

Paul Ferris, President and Director

Paul Ferris serves as our President and a director. Mr. Ferris is a founding General Partner with Azure, an early stage technology focused venture capital firm based in San Francisco, CA. Mr. Ferris has over 25 years of experience working with high growth disruptive technology companies, with the past 20 years investing directly in consumer, digitally native vertical e-commerce and cloud enabling technologies for Azure. During his career, Mr. Ferris has played an active role in driving the growth of his portfolio companies by providing investment and strategic guidance, including stage-specific executive team recruitment, financial forecasting discipline, business model refinement, data-driven efficient customer acquisition strategies, critical business development partnerships and growth capital relationships. Over his 20 years as a venture capital investor, Mr. Ferris has built a strong and close network of entrepreneurs, board members, experienced executives and venture and growth-stage investors.

Prior to founding Azure in 2000, Mr. Ferris was a strategic adviser with several investment banks, including Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, where he focused on emerging technology companies. He has played a key role in over 30 successful venture-backed outcomes, both as an investor and adviser. Mr. Ferris has served on both public and private boards and currently sits on the private boards of The Bouqs, Ranovus and Glydways. He is also a board member and board observer on a number of earlier stage Direct-to-Consumer e-commerce portfolio companies. Mr. Ferris received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Computer Science and English from Amherst College.

We believe that Mr. Ferris’ experience sourcing, investing in and advising disruptive technology companies over many years will differentiate us in our ability to source and identify compelling potential partners.

Lauren Neiswender, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Legal Officer and Director

Lauren Neiswender serves as our Chief Financial Officer, Chief Legal Officer and a director. Ms. Neiswender served as General Counsel of Blue Nile from its initial public offering in 2004 to 2020 and served as Corporate Secretary from 2010 to 2020. Prior to Blue Nile, Ms. Neiswender was an attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC. Ms. Neiswender has deep experience across a vast variety of financial and legal matters including, initial public offerings, going private transactions, debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, responsible sourcing, risk management, cybersecurity, privacy, intellectual property, import and export regulations, litigation, international expansion, human resources, tax, marketing and real estate. Ms. Neiswender holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Emory University.

We believe that Ms. Neiswender’s legal and financial expertise will differentiate us in matters of governance, financial advisory to potential target companies, and negotiation of terms on an initial business combination with potential partners.

Director Nominees

Darrell Cavens, Director

Darrell Cavens will serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Cavens co-founded Zulily and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to 2018 and a director from October 2009 to October 2015. After Zulily, Mr. Cavens served as the President of New Ventures for Qurate Retail Group until his retirement. In this role, Mr. Cavens led the team responsible for driving innovative retail concepts and looking beyond Qurate Retail Group’s current business for additional growth opportunities, through internal innovation, strategic partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions. Prior to Zulily, in 2009, Mr. Cavens spent a year at Microsoft Corporation leading the BizTalk Server business and almost a decade at Blue Nile from 1999 to 2008, where he most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Technology. Prior to Blue Nile, he was at Starwave, a Seattle-based internet company, working on large web properties, including ESPN.com and ABCNews.com. Mr. Cavens currently serves on the public board of Tapestry since July 2018, and on several privately held company boards, including Rad Power Bikes and Deliveroo. He serves as an advisory board member to Brooks Running and previously served on the boards of Offerup and Plated.

Joseph Zwillinger, Director

Joseph Zwillinger will serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Zwillinger co-founded Allbirds in 2015 and has served as the Co-Chief Executive Officer and a director of Allbirds since its inception. Allbirds makes shoes and apparel from natural materials and sells these products via a mix of digital and brick-and-mortar retail all over the world. Mr. Zwillinger regularly invests in early stage private companies as a General Partner in Good Friends, a venture capital fund. Prior to co-founding Allbirds, Mr. Zwillinger was the Vice President of Industrial Products at TerraVia (formerly Solazyme), a biotechnology company harnessing the power of microalgae to replace petroleum in fuels, chemicals, food, and cosmetics. Prior to TerraVia, Mr. Zwillinger worked in advisory and investment roles at Industry Ventures, Deloitte Consulting and the Goldman Sachs Group. Mr. Zwillinger earned a Master of Business Administration degree with Honors from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley.

Michael Smith, Director

Michael Smith will serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Smith is a member of several public company boards, including Stitch Fix since December 2020, Ulta Beauty since September 2019 and Herman Miller since January 2019. He is also a member of the boards of several privately held companies, including Food52, Mayvenn and Imperfect Foods. From 2012 to January 2021, Mr. Smith held various executive positions at Stitch Fix, an online apparel retailer and personal styling service, including most recently serving as its President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Smith also served as its interim Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Stitch Fix Men, a new product line for the business. Prior to Stitch Fix, Mr. Smith served in a variety of capacities at Walmart.com, an online retail company, including Chief Operating Officer from 2010 to 2012 and Vice President from 2008 to 2010. Before turning to operations, Mr. Smith worked at Accenture and Morgan Stanley. Mr. Smith holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Virginia.

Mary Alice Taylor, Director

Mary Alice Taylor will serve as one of our directors following the completion of this offering. Ms. Taylor has served on numerous public company boards, including Allstate from 1996 to 2018 and Blue Nile from 1999 to 2017. Ms. Taylor also served as a member of the boards of Autodesk, a design software company, and Sabre Holdings, an Internet travel services company. Ms. Taylor served as Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of HomeGrocer.com, an e-commerce company, from September 1999 until she completed a sale of the company to Webvan Group, an e-commerce company, in October 2000. Prior to HomeGrocer.com, Ms. Taylor served as Corporate Executive Vice President of Worldwide Operations and Technology for Citigroup for two years, and served as a Senior Vice President of FedEx for five years. Ms. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Mississippi State University.