March 3, 2021

Data Axle deepens commitment to nonprofit sector through internal promotion and board representation

Amidst 18.4% YoY growth of its Nonprofit Division, Data Axle elevates industry veteran Niely Shams to EVP Sales and Client Services, kicks off search for a board director

DALLAS — March 3, 2021 — After experiencing double-digit growth of its nonprofit division in 2020, Data Axle is further expanding its focus on serving nonprofit clients, the company announced today. To support this expansion, Data Axle has promoted Niely Shams to Executive Vice President, Sales and Client Services and initiated a search for a Board Director to represent the Nonprofit Division in front of the company’s Board.

In her new role Shams will directly oversee all revenue and client accounts, and be responsible for defining sales and client strategies, with a focus on multichannel growth and new donor acquisition. Prior to her 9-year tenure at Data Axle, Shams was a Senior Account Director at Paradysz, managing major nonprofit and financial publishing accounts.

“Data Axle has the most robust nonprofit solutions in the industry, from donor data to acquisition and fundraising strategies, to cross-channel campaign deployment,” said Shams. “I look forward to using my expertise to help our nonprofit clients grow and raise support for their worthy causes.”

Heather Philpot will continue to run all aspects of Apogee, Data Axle’s industry-leading cooperative database with a focused, dedicated team that includes industry veteran Jen Clark who will have a special focus on managing Data Axle’s external broker network. The team is overseeing Data Axle’s investment in new datasets, advanced modeling, and cutting-edge technical infrastructure that allows nonprofits to turn Apogee’s data into readily available, sophisticated models that enable nonprofits to identify and target donors with the highest likelihood of long-term loyalty and high lifetime value.

In an effort to holistically represent its nonprofit division, Data Axle has retained Heidrick & Struggles to fill an integral role – that of a board director who will define the vision for the nonprofit team and represent it in front of Data Axle’s board.

As part of the evolution of Data Axle’s nonprofit division and after careful planning and coordination, Stephanie Ceruolo will be stepping down as Data Axle’s Nonprofit Solutions President and staying on as an advisor to ensure smooth and uninterrupted transition.

“I am thankful to Data Axle and its leadership for the support they’ve given me over the last few years and for empowering me to take the next step in my career,” said Ceruolo. “Our clients are in excellent hands and I know Niely and her team of outstanding nonprofit experts will continue to drive success for the exceptional organizations they support.”

Heidrick & Struggles are also tasked with finding the right candidate for the role of president of Data Axle’s nonprofit division who will shape the strategy and solutions Data Axle offers its nonprofit clients.

“We are dedicated to finding the right fit to succeed Stephanie and lead our nonprofit division with a fresh vision and a renewed commitment to building solutions that drive multichannel growth,” said Data Axle Chairman and CEO Michael Iaccarino. “We’re looking forward to partnering with the nonprofit arm of Heidrick & Struggles to help us with this search.”

To learn more about Data Axle’s Apogee donor database, visit

About Data Axle
Data Axle, formerly known as Infogroup, is a leading provider of data and real-time business intelligence solutions for enterprise, small business, nonprofit and political organizations. The company’s solutions enable clients to acquire and retain customers, and enhance their user experiences through proprietary business and consumer data, artificial intelligence/machine learning models, innovative software applications and expert professional services. Data Axle’s cloud-based platform delivers data and data updates in real-time via APIs, CRM integrations, SaaS, and managed services. Data Axle has 45+ years of experience helping organizations exceed their goals. For more information, visit