Indiana Bar Association Taps Waverly Partners for Next Leader

February 22, 2017 – Executive search firm Waverly Partners has been retained by the Indiana State Bar Association to lead its search for a new executive director. Current leader Tom Pyrz, who has been with the organization for over 21 years, will retire later this year. Managing directors and principals Joel Epstein and B. Harrison Turnbull are leading the assignment.

The executive director serves as the chief executive officer of the Association under the direction of its officers and board of governors. The incoming leader will be responsible for the effective conduct of the affairs of the organization and work towards formulating and advancing its mission, goals and objectives.

Within that framework, the incoming executive will plan, organize, coordinate, control and direct the staff, programs and activities of the ISBA. The executive director also will be responsible for budget and fiscal management as well as appropriate staffing.

The Candidate

An advanced degree in law, business, public administration or related field is highly preferred. A demonstrated commitment to continued professional development is also expected (e.g. American Society of Association Executives or Certified Association Executive designation).

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated a career track record in association management and will be currently serving as the top executive of a comparable state or large metropolitan bar association or professional services-focused association. Alternative experience could include serving as a senior-level executive at a complex business association, or as an executive from a law firm or private or public sector entity. Experience addressing issues of membership retention and growth of a voluntary association of professionals is highly preferred.


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“The succession committee of the board of governors is committed to finding a new executive director for the Indiana State Bar Association who appreciates the rapidly changing nature of the practice of law and the market forces now impacting the legal profession,” said Mr. Epstein. “It is expected that the new executive director will provide the Association’s board and officers with innovative ideas to sustain the growth and development of the Indiana State Bar Association and provide leadership in establishing strategic, operational and tactical plans and priorities for the Association.”

The Indiana State Bar Association, founded in 1886, is a voluntary non-profit association representing approximately 11,500 members of the bench and bar of Indiana as well as paralegals, law librarians, law students and legal and court administrators. Through its activities, it serves its members, their clients and the public interest as the independent voice of the legal profession in Indiana.

The Recruiters

Formed in 2001, Waverly Partners serves Fortune 500 service and manufacturing corporations, chambers of commerce and economic development organizations, non-profit organizations, professional service firms, private equity firms, hospitals and healthcare systems and colleges and universities nationwide. It has  conducted C-level assignments for a host of well-known clients, including Andersons, Greater Raleigh (NC) Chamber of Commerce, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Nordson Corp., Parker Hannifin Corp., AMETEK, Michelin, Nucor Corporation, South Carolina Aquarium, Cleveland Metroparks, and Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

In searches related to the Indiana State Bar Association search, the firm’s partners have conducted executive director searches for the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), the Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA), and the Toledo Bar Association (TBA).


The Hunt for Legal Talent

Searches for state bar association executive directors are some of the most important in the sector. Chosen leaders effectively manage the complex interactions between their organizations and the court system as well as the legislative and executive branches of state government ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

Young Mayden Tapped by New York State Bar to Find New Leader
Executive search firm Young Mayden was recently retained by the New York State Bar Association to lead its search for a new executive director. Search firm founder Barbara Mayden, who specializes in executive searches for the legal community, led the assignment.

Milwaukee Bar Taps Spano Pratt for Next Leader
Spano Pratt Executive Search was selected earlier this month by the Milwaukee Bar Association to lead its search for a new executive director. Co-founder and managing partner Jamie Pratt is leading the assignment.


Mr. Epstein, a Waverly Partners managing director, has over 25 years of executive search, entrepreneurial and financial services industry experience. His recruiting practice includes clients in the industrial / consumer durables manufacturing, financial services, higher education and non-profit industries with assignments conducted for CEO, COO, CFO, finance, legal, human resources and development positions.

Mr. Turnbull, another managing director, has completed search assignments for clients throughout the U.S. in the manufacturing, industrial, and service sectors including durable goods, steel, automotive-related, financial services, corporate services, professional services, and not-for-profit. He has recruited C-level and senior general management (CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, GC and GM) leaders as well as generalist and specialist talent in sales and marketing, finance and accounting (treasurer, controller, tax, and internal audit), corporate finance, capital markets, legal, human resources, and strategic planning.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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