Power Moves: SparkPost names Michelle Byrd as chief people officer following $180M funding round - Technical.ly Baltimore


Power Moves: SparkPost names Michelle Byrd as chief people officer following $180M funding round

Plus, Cerebro Captial partners with a Stanford professor and UMUC Ventures has a new CEO.

Michelle Byrd is SparkPost's new chief people officer

(Photo via Linkedin)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, new gig or promotion? Tell us: baltimore@technical.ly.

With a recently-closed $180 million funding round setting up a new wave of growth, Columbia-based SparkPost is adding a key C-level leader that’s focused on the team.

The company, which makes an email sending and deliverability platform used by top businesses, hired Michelle Byrd as chief people officer. Byrd will focus on leading global people operations and expanding the employee base.

Byrd joins SparkPost after senior roles as chief people officer at Zaloni, a multi-cloud data management company, and VP of global human resources and talent at SilverPop, a cloud-based digital marketing provider that offers email marketing and lead management solutions.

“The next several years will be transformative for email as new technologies dramatically improve the email user experience and drive marketing effectiveness,” Rich Harris, CEO of SparkPost, said in a statement. “Michelle has consistently built outstanding teams and cultures in her career and we expect her to do the same here at SparkPost.”

SparkPost is the latest of the region’s growing tech companies to elevate people operations roles. As Techincal.ly’s TWIJ Show discussed in a recent episode, it’s an emerging area for growing companies that oversees not just the hiring and oversight that were traditionally a part of human resources, but also culture and employer brand.


Baltimore-based commercial loan marketplace platform Cerebro Capital this week announced a partnership with Ken Singleton, the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.


Ken Singleton (Photo via Stanford University)

Cerebro Capital’s platform helps connect corporate borrowers in the middle market, and lenders who provide financing for business growth.  Together, Cerebro and Singleton will create analysis and content to help both borrowers and lenders better understand trends in the credit market. It’ll build on analysis that Cerebro already conducts, such as a quarterly analysis of non-bank lenders.”

Ken will be critical to helping Cerebro better define, predict, and understand the market activity including loan terms and risk appetites that we’re seeing across both bank and non-bank lenders,” Matt Bjonerud, CEO of Cerebro Capital, said in a statement.



Wendy Colby has been named chief executive officer of UMUC Ventures, a not-for-profit supporting organization of University of Maryland Global Campus, the state’s distance learning-focused institution.

Along with the new role, Colby will continue to serve as CEO of AccelerEd, a portfolio company of UMUC Ventures that manages and develops innovative IT and technology solutions for client organizations, including UMGC.

Wendy Colby. (Courtesy photo)


Colby previously served as vice president at Baltimore-based higher ed network Laureate Education. This executive experience and track record growing companies is what makes UMGC President Gregory Fowler so excited about her appointment.

“Wendy is a seasoned executive who brings deep experience in all aspects of online education and digital transformation,” said Fowler in a statement. “In addition to her entrepreneurial and team-oriented leadership style, she has a track record of building and growing businesses and a commitment to creating great customer service.”

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: SparkPost

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