At 30, ATC Searches for Next CEO to Lead Austin Tech

The Austin Technology Council (ATC) Chief Executive Officer Amber Gunst will be stepping down by the end of 2022, propelling a search for a new CEO to lead the local tech business council. 

Established in 1992, ATC is a non-profit membership organization representing Austin's tech sector and those who serve it, from small technology startups and locally founded companies to global organizations with Austin-based offices and interests. 

"When ATC was founded 30 years ago, Austin technology companies needed a voice in Austin. But today, Austin tech companies are the main driver of Austin's economic miracle," said Scott Francis, CEO and Founder of BP3 Global and chair of the ATC executive committee. "ATC's next CEO will help us re-imagine our organization's role and responsibility in an era where tech companies are the mainstream drivers of our economy rather than the underdogs."

Currently, more than 200 companies are members of ATC, which provides a platform for industry communication and value-based programming to lead, support, and connect Austin's technology workers, a group that represents nearly a third of payrolls in the Austin economy. 

While the organization experienced a slight dip (10%) in membership during the pandemic, Gunst's leadership stabilized and secured the organization financially. Her team quickly pivoted to launch the first online programming for business councils in March 2020, and reimagined how to connect members across screens.

Membership engagement rose from 32% to 68% throughout Gunst's tenure, which began in June 2017 as Head of Sales and Member Services. Within her first 10 months, membership doubled. Within her first year, Gunst was promoted to interim CEO, making the position permanent in December 2018. As CEO, Gunst also oversaw the evolution of the CEO Summit and the expansion of membership benefits.

"It was important for me to give our board the time they needed to find my successor," Gunst said. "The affection I have for ATC is abundant and my greatest wish is for whoever follows me to have a successful start to their tenure. It is not only best for them, but for our team, our board, and especially our members, who count on strong leadership to keep them involved."

Gunst plans to help the organization celebrate its 30th anniversary in September 2022 with a special "Battle for Austin Tech" event, featuring performances by employee bands formed at Austin's tech companies and the introduction of the Austin Tech Awards to celebrate the city's most innovative engineers. 

"We are so grateful for Amber's leadership and proud to support her in her next chapter," said Robert Alvarez, CFO at BigCommerce and member of the ATC executive board. "The next phase of our journey will be the best one yet. We are excited to bring in our next CEO with the purpose and passion to help the Austin tech ecosystem thrive in the years ahead."

As the largest tech industry organization in Central Texas, the Austin Technology Council is a unifying voice and collaborative platform for innovation and technology, supporting the growth goals of its member businesses by providing knowledge and access in the areas of capital, talent, business mentoring, and networking. 

Source: Austin Technology Council

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Austin Technology Council
3700 N Capital of Texas HWY , #450
Austin, Texas