A Journey Toward Greater Impact: AidKit's CEO Transition and New Chief Impact Officer Role
Author: Katrina Van Gasse, AidKit Co-Founder
Today, I am excited to share a shift in my leadership role and the announcement of AidKit’s new Chief Executive Officer. This is an exciting moment for AidKit as we embark on a new chapter filled with more possibilities for impact.
How we got here: A Journey of Purpose
I vividly remember the start of AidKit, when we took the leap in September 2021 to spin a new company out of the Left Behind Workers Fund. Our mission was clear: to power emerging direct cash and guaranteed income programs nationwide through our custom-built technology platform. Initially, our focus revolved around constructing the pandemic relief program, the Left Behind Workers Fund (LBWF), which disbursed tens of millions of dollars in direct aid to undocumented workers in Colorado. Though we recognized the potential of our tools to assist other programs and marginalized populations, we were operating in an environment with many unknowns. How do we effectively spread the word? How are we differentiated in the market? And while we perceived the demand for our tool, the true scale of this need eluded us. Yet, driven by confidence in AidKit’s extraordinary capability, we forged ahead.
A mere 2.5 years since AidKit's inception, those details have crystallized, and I am awestruck by the collective accomplishments of our team and the sweet journey we’ve taken to get here. Today, we serve as the technological backbone for over 30 guaranteed income and direct cash assistance programs across the country. Our direct aid distributions have exceeded $130 million, directly impacting the lives of countless individuals in need. We have expanded our reach to encompass diverse communities, including refugees, the unhoused, childcare educators, low-income individuals, and various minority groups. Our team has grown exponentially, evolving from four dedicated co-founders (many of whom worked without pay) to a team of 17 exceptionally talented full-time employees.
As I reflect on the immense growth over the last few years, I am struck by how clear it is that we are at a critical juncture in our evolution. We want to ensure the best for the company, which is why I’ve spent time prioritizing AidKit’s current needs and understanding how they are connected to my own personal aspirations. I’ve consulted trusted advisors and team members on the best next steps. Today’s announcement is a result of those conversations and considerations.
Introducing our New Chief Impact Officer Role
My role moving forward will be Chief Impact Officer. It is a new position for the company and will allow me to explore AidKit's potential for impact beyond the United States. In this role, I plan to further embed recipients-first values into the company and lead market experimentation to test the limits of our core product. I will be seeking expansion opportunities and making recommendations for ways to grow the company overall and its ability to serve more programs designed to provide aid with dignity.
I have always felt inspired by the programs and people we support, so I am excited to channel my energy toward aiding AidKit in deepening its impact and reaching beyond American borders.
Welcoming Our Exceptional New Chief Executive Officer: A Leader Driven by Dedication and Vision
With this decision comes another equally significant one. Who is best suited to steer AidKit forward and help us navigate our growth with responsibility and thoughtfulness? The good news is that the answer is already part of our team. It is with immense honor and pride that I announce AidKit's new Chief Executive Officer is our extraordinary Brittany Christenson!
Brittany has been an integral part of our team, serving as the Director of Partnerships and Program Development for the past 1.5 years. From the very beginning of her journey with us, Brittany displayed a deep level of dedication, building robust relationships with partners, stakeholders, and the guaranteed income community at large showcasing her unwavering commitment to AidKit’s mission.
She successfully secured opportunities for AidKit to become the tech backbone of the largest guaranteed income programs in the country, in addition to supporting the other 30+ impactful programs that we proudly serve. Brittany's strategic brilliance and leadership have been instrumental in our growth, as she developed and led our successful go-to-market strategy.
What sets Brittany apart as an extraordinary leader is her boundless empathy, unwavering integrity, courageous approach, and laser-focused commitment to the individuals we serve. Brittany has firsthand experience running a nonprofit for six years before joining AidKit. She intimately understands the needs and obstacles that social sector leaders encounter and has a vision to help organizations run programs that are more efficient and impactful and less labor intensive. Her appointment as CEO will undoubtedly propel AidKit to soaring new heights, ensuring that our company continues evolving and thriving.
We are truly honored to have her at the helm.
Embracing the Future Together
As we move forward into this exciting new era, I invite you to join us in celebrating these new developments. We have had unbelievable support, trust, and partnership throughout our journey and are deeply grateful to all who believe in AidKit's mission to deliver aid with dignity.
Cheers to a new era of impact ahead!
Katrina Van Gasse