Bridge Partners Opens Chicago Office with New Partner

January 28, 2020 – Executive recruitment firm Bridge Partners has opened a new office in Chicago and named Ryan Whitacre as a partner.

Mr. Whitacre is a strategic advisor and talent spotter to hiring managers, boards of directors and search committees for leadership roles including board, C-suite and function heads across sector and industry. He is dedicated to identifying and recruiting an array of diverse talent for each engagement.

Prior to joining Bridge Partners, Mr. Whitacre led retained executive search assignments as managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, where he also served on the diversity and inclusion committee. Previously, he was in legal practice for more than 12 years with the law firms Perkins Coie and Faegre Drinker, as well as corporate counsel for US Foods and Brookfield Retail Properties Group. Mr. Whitacre holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations, with honor, from James Madison College at Michigan State University. He earned his law degree from Cornell. He is an active member of the Chicago non-profit community.

“As we continue to enhance our ability to serve a broader client base, Bridge Partners is happy to announce the addition of Ryan Whitacre to our team,” said Larry Griffin, co-founder and partner of Bridge Partners. “Leading our Chicago office, Ryan brings 20 years of experience serving clients in the consumer, financial, healthcare and industrial sectors, with particular expertise in the automotive industry and Midwestern markets.”

“Now, more than ever, organizations seeking an edge recognize the power of a diverse leadership team to drive innovative thinking and differentiation,” said Mr. Whitacre. “I am excited and proud to bring Bridge Partners’ unique focus on diversity, equity and inclusion to Chicago, the greater Midwest and beyond.”

Chicago has the third-largest gross metropolitan product in the U.S. – about $670.5 billion. The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the country, due to its high level of diversification. Chicago is a major world financial center, with the second-largest central business district in the U.S. The city of Chicago also hosts 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies.

Veteran Recruiters

Bridge Partners is a certified minority supplier and a minority business enterprise. Based in New York, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Boston, the firm has completed higher education/academia senior leadership searches for roles such as head of human resources, head of finance, head of audit and deans. Its clients include Wikimedia Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Gallaudet University, Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, Denver Foundation, YWCA, GE, Starbucks, Estee Lauder, McKesson, Freddie Mac and Kaiser Permanente.

Tory Clarke and Mr. Griffin are co-founders of Bridge Partners. Ms. Clarke supports senior global search assignments for private sector, public sector and international non-profit/social venture clients, across all functions. A 20-year veteran of the executive search industry, she has recruited diverse executives, including CEO/presidents and their leadership teams, at both head office and regional locations around the globe.

Mr. Griffin partners with clients on leadership assignments within the private, federal/public and non-profit sectors. He has been in executive search for nearly 30 years and has recruited diverse leaders across multiple functions from CEO/executive directors/presidents, to functional heads including chief financial officer, chief marketing officer, chief information officer, chief strategy officer and their teams.

New Philadelphia Location

In October, Bridge Partners opened an office in Philadelphia, adding Toya Lawson as partner. Ms. Lawson has 20 years of experience working in retained and contingent search, corporate human resources/talent acquisition and staffing agency recruitment environments. Bridge Partners said that Ms. Lawson’s “clients view her as a trusted advisor, her relationships with candidates are long-term, and she prides herself on always ensuring that her searches and shortlists are diverse and inclusive.”

Before joining Bridge Partners, Ms. Lawson was a managing director at Philadelphia-based boutique Attolon Partners, focusing on the placement of senior-level accounting and finance professionals. She has completed chief financial officer, chief accounting officer, controller, VP finance and VP of financial planning and analysis searches for clients in the professional services, manufacturing, media, life sciences, financial services and distribution industries within emerging growth and middle market sectors.

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

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