March 21, 2016 – Executive search firm Key Corporate Services, LLC, has been retained by AmericanHort to lead its search for a new chief executive officer. David Savoia, former interim president and CEO of the company, has stepped down from his position to pursue other priorities. Todd Downing, a partner at Key Corporate Services, is leading the search.
AmericanHort is currently operating under the leadership of interim CEO Sherry L. Johnson, AmericanHort VP of knowledge and business advancement, as well as a team of vice presidents, including Craig Regelbrugge — senior VP of industry advocacy and research, and Alicia Rittenhouse — VP of member and strategic engagement.
“The search committee has worked very hard in conjunction with our search firm to determine ideal characteristics for a new CEO,” said search committee chair Susie Raker. “Key Corporate Services has done a fantastic job finding valid candidates that fit the profile developed by the search committee. We are actively interviewing candidates and moving through the process. I’m confident we will have our new CEO by July.”
Given a mandate to expedite the process, the search committee is seeking candidates who embody the spirit of the industry and who possess a strong understanding of the AmericanHort mission and vision.
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“Key Corporate Services is honored to be selected as partner with the AmericanHort board of directors in leading the search for the horticultural industries trade association next CEO and president,” said Mr. Downing. “To be such an integral part of identifying the next CEO who will lead the strategic efforts of a trade association which stewards the direction of such a large industry sector is humbling. We are well-positioned to provide effective process leadership and insight into the hiring of this integral leadership role in support of such a dynamic industry.”
Mr. Downing is quite familiar searching for leaders in the horticultural field: He recruited the CEO for a lawn and garden products manufacturer and provider; president of a product development / manufacturing company in the lubricant and solvent industry; and an executive director for a soybean farmers organization.
AmericanHort was formed in 2014 by the consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association and OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals. AmericanHort supports nearly 16,000 member and affiliated businesses that include breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and others who are part of the industry market chain.
Key Corporate Services, founded in 2000, provides search and consulting services to major companies in the U.S. and around the world. Industries served include finance and accounting, pharmaceuticals & biotech, oil & gas, manufacturing & engineering, consumer products & horticulture, industrial chemicals, and food ingredients.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media