NextUp Announces the Appointment of Lisa Baird as New CEO

Sarah Alter, Current CEO, Leaving after Six Years

CHICAGO, April 18, 2023 — NextUp, the leading nonprofit organization focused on advancing all women in business, is pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Baird as its new chief executive officer. Lisa Baird will be replacing Sarah Alter, who has held the CEO position for six years and chose this time to move on.

“Speaking on behalf of NextUp’s entire Board of Directors, we are delighted to welcome Lisa Baird as our new CEO,” said Abbe Luersman, Board chair. “With her qualifications as a CEO and C-Suite executive at top organizations, Lisa has an extensive corporate and nonprofit background. Her record of career achievements, combined with her vision to grow the impact of our organization, make her the right choice to lead us in our mission to empower all women in their careers.”

During Sarah Alter’s successful six-year tenure as CEO of the 22 year-old nonprofit, Sarah was instrumental in growing the organization to 17,000 members across 21 regions in the U.S. and Canada. This work has supported over 300 corporate partners and regional sponsors who partner with NextUp to achieve DEI&B goals and to be a catalyst for transformation of workplace cultures to be more equitable for all women and their allies.

Lisa Baird was selected unanimously by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of NextUp for her long and distinguished career as a powerhouse business and nonprofit executive. Lisa Baird is an experienced CEO who has managed global teams, signed multi-million dollar sponsorships, and elevated the profiles of some of the world’s most iconic brands including Team USA, the NFL, the National Women’s Soccer League, New York Public Radio, and the blue-chip brands of IBM, P&G and GM. Lisa serves on the board of technology provider Cantaloupe, Inc., and is a past board member of Fox Racing, GK Elite, the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Women’s Sports Foundation. She received her BA and MBA from Pennsylvania State University. Lisa’s record of leadership, mentoring other executives, her experiences as a female leader in multiple industries, and her ability to persevere and overcome adversity, made her a stand-out choice for NextUp’s CEO.

“I am thrilled to be joining NextUp as the CEO,” said Lisa Baird. “I have long been an advocate for gender equality in the workplace and have mentored women and men throughout my career, many of whom I’m proud to say, are now in the C-suite or leading their own companies. NextUp’s vision and advocacy of leveling up women in the workplace or the boardroom and making sure they have seats at every table, is incredibly important. I look forward to working with the NextUp team and supporting all our volunteers, members and partners to grow our organization.”

Lisa’s priorities on joining NextUp are to deliver programming and tools to change workplace culture and advance all women; raise awareness of the positive impact of the organization’s initiatives; elevate NextUp’s brand voice; and establish deep corporate relationships across diverse industries including healthcare, finance, technology and media. Lisa will focus on meeting partners and volunteers and connecting with all 21 of NextUp’s regions within her first 100 days to learn more about the organization at all levels.

About NextUp

For more than 20 years, NextUp has brought professional women, allies and corporate partners together to champion gender equity and Advance All Women in Business. NextUp has a powerful, growing community of more than 17,000 members and 300+ national corporate partners and regional sponsors. NextUp works to create leadership opportunities, amplify women’s voices in the workplace and ensure that all women in business can seize opportunities now and in the future. To learn more about NextUp, visit or on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram @nextupisnow.

Lisa Baird, CEO, NextUp

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