Battalia Winston Adds CHRO to Retail Practice

June 9, 2016 – Executive search firm Battalia Winston has appointed Frederick Lamster as a partner in the firm’s retail practice. Mr. Lamster is a veteran human resources and staffing professional whose career spans more than 25 years. He has worked across all retail apparel and fashion segments, including department and specialty retail, e-commerce, and catalogue retailing.

Mr. Lamster was previously chief human resources officer (CHRO) for Orchard Brands (recently acquired by Bluestem Brands), a $1.1 billion catalog marketer, where he was responsible for making key hires in merchandising, planning and production. He also served as SVP of human capital for Body Central, a Florida-based regional retailer that operated more than 250 stores.

Before that, he was EVP of HR for Charming Shoppes, parent company to plus-sized brands like Lane Bryant and Catherine’s Plus. Earlier in his career, he was VP of staffing for L Brands (formerly Limited Brands) for 12 years, an international company that operates a number of well-known brand names, including Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works.

In all of these roles, Mr. Lamster built high performing executive teams and developed an internal bench of future leaders. He has a keen understanding of creating HR strategies that align with overall business objectives.

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“Successful CHROs are schooled in both talent management and talent acquisition,” said Mr. Lamster. “An experienced CHRO truly understands the value of building an exceptional internal talent base and the value of using outside search help in a strategic manner for current and potential talent needs.”

A CHRO’s main goal, he said, “is building great organizational talent, so it’s natural that many CHROs transition into search, where the focus is essentially the same, but, when aligned with internal partners, becomes more strategic and more focused — building exceptional teams to produce better results.” Many CHROs, he added, “who understand the continual ‘war for talent’ want to play in that field exclusively.”

“Fred’s in-house experience at major retail brands will be a valuable asset to our retail practice. Because Fred has decades of experience working with major brands in the retail sector, he brings an ‘insider’s perspective’ to our retail practice,” said CEO and chairwoman Dale Winston. “One of the primary reasons we brought him on board was this depth of knowledge and demonstrated strength in talent acquisition.” She said many search firms are hiring CHROs for similar reasons. “Their keen understanding of market trends and vast networks of industry talent make CHROs assets for any growing search firm.”

Battalia Winston’s retail practice specializes in recruiting executives and other senior level leaders across the entire retail spectrum: from chain, department, and specialty stores to restaurants and food services companies.

Hunt Scanlon Media has also taken note of the recent trend among top ranking HR executives reestablishing themselves as executive recruiters:

  • Curran Partners added Robert F. Obst as a new partner. Mr. Obst brings more than 40 years of corporate experience in talent acquisition and organizational development. Most recently, he was chief human resources and facilities officer (CHRO) for MacroGenics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company in Rockville, MD;

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

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