Dallas PropTech Stellar Hires New Chief Revenue Officer and VP of People Operations

Stellar said that Melissa Bates and Jami Smith will help maintain rapid growth and fuel the company as it continues to evolve to offer innovative technology and customer-centric services as a pioneer in proptech.

Dallas-based proptech Stellar has appointed Melissa Bates as chief revenue officer and Jami Smith as VP of People Operations of the venture-backed technology-driven marketplace that solves maintenance at scale for the Single-Family Rental market.

The company said the new hires will help maintain rapid growth and fuel the company as it continues to evolve to offer innovative technology and customer-centric services as a pioneer in proptech.

“We’re proud to have reached the point in our growth where we attract the talent and experience Melissa and Jami bring to the organization,” Stellar founder and CEO Dustin Marx said in a statement. “We’re confident that their ideas, perspectives, and previous successes, combined with our planned innovation and continued expansion, will take our teams and company to the next level.”

“As we build our Go-to-Market and customer momentum under Melissa’s leadership and enhance the employee experience through a more holistic approach under Jami’s leadership, we put Stellar in a prime position to achieve untapped growth goals,” Marx added.

Bates is a veteran tech exec

Bates will spearhead the company’s revenue growth by working closely with clients to understand and help solve their needs and pain points, and to align Stellar’s platform with their objectives, the company said. She will also lead the revenue organization and build and implement Stellar’s primary growth strategy.

Before Stellar, Bates was chief growth officer at Enjoy Technology Inc. (now Asurion), a technology-powered platform reinventing “commerce at home” by bringing the best of the store directly to the consumer on behalf of some of the world’s leading consumer brands.

Bates served in a variety of roles at Enjoy including chief strategy officer from 2020 to 2021, chief revenue officer from 2018 to 2020, head of Partner Growth & Business Development from 2016 to 2018, and general manager from 2015 to 2016.

At Enjoy, Bates built the growth team which included the business development and enterprise account management teams and created and executed Enjoy’s growth strategy.

Before Enjoy, Bates was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Co. and in various capacities at several small businesses.

Smith’s people focus inspired by teaching elementary students

Smith will be vice president of people operations, a key leadership function at Stellar.

The company said she will employ a person-first approach and take the lead in developing a world-class employee experience and oversee employee recruitment, engagement, and development to ensure a smooth transition and open culture during Stellar’s hyper-growth phase.

Most recently, Smith was director of culture at Procore Technologies, a global, cloud-based construction software provider, where she led the Culture Team and had oversight of the company’s communications and workplace experience divisions.

Before that, Smith held VP of people and VP of operations roles at Levelset, a construction tech startup that simplifies compliance and payment processes and improves cash flow for contractors and suppliers.

At Levelset, she helped scale the company from 100 to 400 people, and later led its talent through a $500M acquisition.

Smith also spent six years at Pinnacle Entertainment where she was responsible for talent management, and employee recruitment and improvement—a people-focused transition that stemmed from her early teaching career instructing elementary school students.

Proptech to make maintenance seamless, simple, and scalable

Stellar said the two new hires will help it prepare for accelerated expansion in the proptech space from a product, process, and people perspective.

“We want Stellar to be the obvious choice for maintenance for our clients because of the value we create for them and their residents,” Bates said in a statement. “I look forward to working with our clients to create an industry-leading maintenance marketplace that solves their pressing business problems, drives net operating income, and generates long-term benefits for them and the SFR industry.”

Smith said she too is looking forward to her new role.

“I’m thrilled to join the Stellar team and introduce new ways to empower our employees to continue to deliver exceptional service to our customers,” Smith said. “Through impactful people operations and leadership, I’m eager to build a talent strategy and culture that effectively manages the employee experience to support Stellar on its growth journey.”

Founded in 2016, Stellar enables property managers and contractors to successfully resolve home maintenance issues.

Stellar serves 10 of the 11 largest SFR operators across 150,000+ properties, has created work for 8,000+ contractors, and has resolved 200,000+ issues for residents and property managers alike, the company stated. Stellar said it uses technology to make the maintenance experience seamless, simple, and scalable. 

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