Leslie Vander Baan is an innovator, a strategist and a connector, and she defines success by the value she has brought to the businesses she serves. She’s had a diverse, dynamic and inspirational career, but she doesn’t define it by titles and milestones. For Leslie, it’s all about the work.
And her work speaks for itself.
Leslie began her career in the automotive industry. From the start, she was a trailblazer, becoming the first woman to own and operate a consignment-based car buying and selling service at the age of 23.
Before long, she began searching for more opportunities to transform the industry, through new ventures and new concepts. She co-founded the nation’s first virtual used car-buying service for KAR Auction Services, a Fortune 1000 company. During that time, she led the development of a proprietary AI-powered vehicle valuation engine that predicted the acquisition and later sale price of inventory. That work generated profound impact: In less than a year, the new venture expanded from a pilot operation to a national business with over 50 locations.
Leslie was then recruited to join the founding team at DRIVIN, a first-of-its-kind venture that brought data and technology together to help dealers acquire the right cars at the right price. In that role, Leslie played a key role in building a dynamic and powerful leadership team. As DRIVIN gained momentum in the marketplace, Leslie was tapped to develop, manage and expand all partnerships across the business, including strategic planning. She then went on to lead and negotiate the company’s acquisition by KAR Auction Services.
Throughout her career, Leslie has honed a deep expertise in connecting people, ideas and processes. She uses data, analytics and artificial intelligence to solve complex problems for businesses, opening the door for them to scale. Since leaving DRIVIN in 2018, she has applied those skills to a variety of businesses at varying stages of development. She has mentored nascent startups and women-led enterprises, helping to catalyze their growth. At the same time, she has consulted with multimillion-dollar ventures eager to take their businesses to the next level but struggling to chart the best route forward.
That work has led to her current role as senior director of product delivery at Fyusion, a Silicon Valley startup that applies 3D computer vision and machine learning expertise to make images as intelligent as they are beautiful. The position presents a perfect opportunity for an entrepreneurial-minded problem solver: to develop ideas, processes and products that scale.
While her work drives much of her mission and focus, Leslie is never quite satisfied unless she’s giving back to her community. To that end, she has founded an organization called Multiplyher, with a dual mission to provide valuable resources to business and startups while giving back to the community. She also commits time regularly to mentoring startup founders, helping them navigate their entrepreneurial journey.
And then there are the true loves of her life, the fuel behind everything she does: her husband, two children and the family pooch, who all call Charlotte, North Carolina, home.