Former People and Culture Leader Joins Centennial in Strategist Role

Brenda Gumbs joins Centennial Inc. executive strategist

September 28, 2017 – Brenda Gumbs, former executive vice president of people and culture of Perfetti Van Melle, has joined Cincinnati-based executive recruitment firm Centennial Inc. as executive strategist.

Ms. Gumbs has been a human resource practitioner for 30 years, chiefly as a senior executive. Her primary responsibilities have included building the capability of the organization, participating in strategic planning, partnering with managers to identify human resource, and providing advice on people-related business issues, the firm said. Her strengths include her knowledge of the HR practice areas, years of implementation experience in diverse organizations, communication skills, and a commitment to learning and keeping current in organization best practices as well as next practices.

For the past 13 years, Ms. Gumbs was EVP of people and culture for Perfetti Van Melle, North America. Previously, she was corporate vice president of HR for the Midland Company, SVP of HR for Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, HR director for the Kodak Equipment Manufacturing Division, and director of HR at Computer Consoles, among other roles.

“Brenda worked hard to help transfer our brands to our culture,” said Ronald Korenhoff, former president and CEO of Perfetti Van Melle North America. “Anticipating the shift in employees’ motivation to join companies, she was instrumental in ‘employer branding’ as evidenced by leadership behaviors, corporate initiatives, employee actions and managerial processes. She is a strategic architect and was instrumental in writing our story and worked diligently to make it real through HR practices and leadership behaviors.”


Why Your Culture Is Your Brand
Culture shaping is now seen as one of the most important drivers to achieve competitive advantage among companies, and most search firms, including boutiques, now offer some variation of it. LaSalle Network has launched Culture 20/20 to help companies recondition their value and culture environments.


Passion for HR

“Brenda has a passion for helping companies recognize the value of the HR function, identifying HR solutions to business problems, and uncovering people-related business opportunities,” said Mike Sipple Jr., president of Centennial. “In short, she is a master at the art of talent management.”

Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, called Ms. Gumbs his go-to advisor on talent optimization. “Her experience, insight, and perspective relative to employee engagement and retention have been the cornerstone of her support,” he said. “Brenda’s ability to size up a situation and sort through the noise is critical. She simply gets it: how to optimize business results through outstanding talent management.”


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Mr. Sipple likewise praised the newly hired executive strategist. “We are fortunate to serve great leaders, boards, and organizations in their efforts not just to hire the right people, but to consider the long-term impact of each employee,” he said. “Brenda understands why we do what we do, and that’s one of the many reasons we brought her into this leadership position. Our mission is to teach organizations how to excel in the areas of hiring, retention, and engagement, and to get them thinking about the future state of their business. Brenda is the kind of leader that will help us do just that.”

Founded in 1975, Centennial provides executive search services to the consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, supply chain, non-profit and services industries. The firm has recruited leaders for all aspects of a number of functions, including accounting and finance brand management, consumer insights, digital and e-commerce and marketing, business development and sales, C-suite leadership, engineering and research and development, human resources and information technology.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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