Welcome to the personal website of
business leader, author, and speaker

Nick Gausling

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Business Development & Corporate Development

Creates forward-thinking strategic plans, partnerships, and initiatives to compete within a changing business landscape, capitalize on trends, and drive sustainable long-term growth.

finance
Finance & Analytics

Utilizes financial analysis, economics, analytics, market research, and business intelligence to solve problems and identify opportunities.

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General Management

Structures and leads cross-functional teams to optimize processes, drive revenue growth, reduce expenses, and generate bottom-line profits.

About Nick Gausling

Nicholas Gausling is a business development & operational leader / general manager who promotes profitability and growth through optimizing structures and processes, strategic initiatives and partnerships, and responsible change management.

He is also an author & speaker who covers topics such as digital strategy, organizational design, investments and capital markets, and the future of business.

Nick’s industry experience includes omnichannel retail & e-commerce, financial services & venture capital, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturing and distribution. His background includes startup, small business, large company ($1B+ revenues), and non-profit leadership.

Areas of expertise include:

• Organizational Leadership, General Management, Change Management
• Business Development, Corporate Development, Strategic Partnerships
• Financial Analysis, Analytics & Business Intelligence, Venture Capital
• Sales Operations, E-commerce / Digital, Process Improvement
• Corporate Affairs, Investor Relations, Board of Directors / Governance

Highlighted experience:

✔ GENERAL MANAGEMENT, TURNAROUND / CHANGE MANAGEMENT, OPERATIONS: leadership in large company turnaround / change management, as well as startup, small business, and large company growth environments. Leadership roles helping to take companies/business units from net losses to EBITDA positive, leading through organizational restructures and crisis response, and streamlining operations to improve sales, profitability, and long-term growth.

✔ BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, STRATEGIC PLANNING: creating and/or scaling companies, business units, teams, products, and market segments. Sourcing, due diligence, negotiation, and/or implementation of joint-ventures, strategic partnerships, mergers & acquisitions targets, and venture deals.

✔ FINANCE, VENTURE CAPITAL, INVESTOR RELATIONS, GOVERNANCE: raising capital, board of directors membership, board recruitment, bylaws / operating agreement formation and amendments, revision and implementation of governance standards, shareholder and board executive reports.

Nick accepts a limited number of speaking opportunities. If you would like him to speak at your event, please contact him via LinkedIn with details.

Key Professional Experience

Mattress Firm (2018 - present)
Largest specialty mattress retailer in the United States.

Director of Omnichannel Optimization (2020 - present)
Divisional Director, Field Optimization (2020)
Divisional Director, Strategy & Analytics (2018- 2020)

Currently leads business development, program management / project management (blending Lean/Agile/Kanban/Scrum methodologies), E-commerce Operations, and Customer Retention for omnichannel sales company-wide. Cross-functional support for revenue generation (web/cart sales, chat and phone-based inside sales, and third-party marketplaces), CX, digital merchandising, and digital marketing. Oversight of the corporate E-commerce Operations, Omni Project Management, and E-commerce Customer Retention functions, a staff of ~20 including three managers. Report to the Executive Vice President & General Manager of Omni Commerce.

Previously held functional roles in divisional brick & mortar leadership supporting books of business ranging from $700MM – $1B+ across 600-900+ retail stores, reporting to the Divisional Executive Vice President. Exercised direct responsibility for field-facing financial & KPI analysis, finance vendor relations, special projects, and serving as a divisional liaison to the corporate office. 

  • Key leader in building out the Omni Commerce division from its earliest stages, including formation and leadership of the Omni Optimization function, reorganization of the Inside Sales (chat/phone) team into a modern, streamlined operation, and creation and growth of the Customer Retention Team.
  • Served as client-side project lead on a digital modernization consulting engagement with Bain & Company.
  • Sourced vendors, analyzed proposals, and procured relationship with a financial services vendor to solve competitive gap in New Jersey & Vermont with no secondary/tertiary financing. Later led expansion of that same offering into Minnesota and Wisconsin stores, and subsequently into Inside Sales for customers in all four states.
  • Led field budget control effort to drive down brick & mortar divisional salesperson expense by -50 basis points year over year.
  • Helped lead through navigating numerous challenges including bankruptcy change management, multiple organizational restructures, and COVID-19 crisis response (regulatory, expense management, contactless retail program, revenue recapture, sanitation, and store re-opening plans).
Emerald Risk Solutions (2014 – 2018)
Boutique financial services firm specializing in venture capital / startup incubation.

Managing Partner

Co-founded and led the firm. Sourced deal flow, conducted due diligence, trained personnel, interfaced with regulators, and provided services B2B and B2C.

  • Managed establishment of strategic relationships with multiple Fortune 100 companies.
  • Guided the company through its transformation from a financial planning firm into a boutique venture capital investor and incubator.
  • Led the firm to acquire equity positions in portfolio companies spanning tech, CPG manufacturing and distribution, and professional services, including operations both domestic and international.
Real Water (2013 – 2015)
A nationally-distributed CPG company operating in the premium functional beverage category.

Chief of Staff (2013 - 2015)
Manager, External Affairs (2013)

Led cross-functional executive coordination and special project management across all departments, including: sales and distribution, marketing and PR, finance, HR, manufacturing and logistics, and QA/QC. Direct oversight of business development, corporate development, investor relations, Board of Directors affairs, managing engagements with outside legal counsel and investment bankers, contract negotiation, regulatory affairs, and facilities management. Directly reported to the President/CEO and previously to the Executive Vice President.

  • As a key member of the executive team, helped lead the company from negative EBITDA into positive EBITDA. Worked with the VP of Sales to negotiate a private label contract with a major natural products retail chain, boosting annual revenue by more than 10%.
  • Implemented a new HR management system which reduced payroll hours by 10%, lowered premiums on worker’s comp insurance, and significantly cut the company’s liability exposure.
  • Sat on the management task force which successfully prepared the company’s primary manufacturing facility to receive certification from the National Sanitation Foundation, leading to placement in Costco.
  • Managed and negotiated across numerous contract cycles, including with: one of the largest beverage companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), multiple domestic beverage distributors, and celebrities in diverse fields including music and professional sports.

Publications & Presentations

SCHOLARLY:

Jamin Hübner and Nicholas Gausling, “A Reconsideration of Corporate Monarchy: Evaluating the Literature and Logic Surrounding Co-CEOs.” (working title; publication pending)

Nicholas Gausling, “A Review of Mark Spitznagel’s The Dao of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World,” Christian Libertarian Review, vol. 2 (Jul 2019): R61-R68

BUSINESS TALKS:

North American Homegoods eCommerce Summit (June 23, 2021). Retail Summits. Panel speaker: “Utilizing Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience.”

Texas eCommerce Virtual Summit (August 12, 2020). Retail Summits. Panel speaker: “The Importance of Omnichannel Integration.”

POPULAR:

Nick’s answers to business questions on Quora

Nick’s business articles on Medium

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Education

The Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania. Executive Education topics studied: Leadership in the 21st Century, Managing the Global Firm, Managing and Motivating Talent

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Executive Education topics studied: Digital Innovation Strategy and Management

Knox Theological Seminary. Master of Arts

University of Nevada – Las Vegas. Bachelor of Arts