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Greg Stivers. (Avalara Photo)

Sales tax automation may not be the most glamorous technology, but Seattle startup Avalara has proven that it’s something every company needs.

Avalara has been growing by leaps and bounds since it was founded in 2004, riding the growing wave of the e-commerce industry. In September, it announced a new $96 million funding round and has been adding a steady stream of new faces to its leadership team ever since.

On Monday, Avalara announced the latest addition to its executive team: Former Concur and ADP executive Greg Stivers, who will serve as the company’s senior vice president of sales.

Stivers is a veteran of the business-to-business software world. He served as an SVP at Concur for the past three years, leading the expense management company’s sales and client customer success teams.

He previously spent almost two decades at human resources software provider ADP, most recently serving as divisional vice president for its global enterprise software sales.

“Similar to ADP and Concur, Avalara offers a service that every business needs. Sales taxes are complex, resource intensive, and can create real problems if managed incorrectly,” Stivers told GeekWire in an email.

“Today, businesses are facing mounting pressure from governments to get it right and they need innovative solutions that make it seamless to manage with the confidence it will be done correct and on time. Avalara wakes up every day thinking about solving this exact challenge for our customers, and that gets me excited to see what we can accomplish together,” he said.

Stivers is the fifth addition to Avalara’s leadership team this year and the second just this month. The company’s hires this year include 9Mile Labs co-founder Sanjay Puri as VP of product marketing, Amazon and Walmart vet Sujoy Paul as VP of product, Microsoft and T-Mobile vet Jeremy Korst as CMO and Concur co-founder and Accolade CEO Raj Singh, who joined the startup’s board.

When the startup announced its new funding in September, CEO and Co-Founder Scott McFarlane told GeekWire he could see a potential IPO in the company’s future. “There are lots of great companies that are building great things that have taken the step to be public. I think that’d be a terrific outcome for Avalara someday if all the cards came together,” he said at the time.

Kelley Hall. (Photo via LinkedIn)

— Former Starbucks and Nike executive Kelley Hall is joining Nordstrom as its senior vice president and chief accounting officer.

Hall comes from Nike, where she has held leadership positions in finance for nine years. She most recently served as the company’s CFO. Before Nike, Hall spent eight years in finance leadership at Starbucks, most recently serving as the company’s VP and the divisional CFO for the U.S.

At Nordstrom, Hall will lead the evolution of the company’s accounting, procurement, tax and treasury work as it continues to drive digital innovation and shake up its corporate leadership.

“We constantly strive to bring top talent to Nordstrom and are thrilled to have someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Kelley join the company,” Nordstrom CFO Anne Bramman, who joined the company in May, said in a press release. “Kelley’s approach to our finance work, great leadership style and ability to develop and support teams will help us achieve our long-term business goals.”

“I’m excited to join a company like Nordstrom that has such a strong customer-focused strategy and brand reputation throughout the industry,” Hall said in the release. “This is a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to working alongside a team that is dedicated to offering its customers the best experiences, however they want to shop.”

Gary Locke. (Public Domain Photo)

— Former Washington Governor Gary Locke has joined the board of directors of nLight, a laser manufacturer headquartered in Vancouver, Wash. The company saw over $100 million in sales in 2016 and has been growing quickly, particularly through exports.

Locke served as Washington’s governor from 1997 to 2005 and went on to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and then Ambassador to China during the Obama Administration. He was the first Chinese-American governor in the U.S. and the first Chinese American to serve as ambassador to China.

In a press release, nLight said Locke’s experience will help guide the company as it continues to grow, adding jobs to its headquarters and a manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Ore.

“Gary’s broad experience in both the public and private sector will add a valuable perspective to our board of directors,” nLight CEO and Co-Founder Scott Keeney said in the release. “We are honored to have him serve as a director and look forward to benefitting from his judgment and counsel.”

“I am excited to join the board of nLIGHT,” Locke said in the release. “nLIGHT has a long track record of innovation in lasers and is well positioned for continued strong growth in global markets.”

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