April 12, 2022 – Executive search firm Buffkin / Baker has placed Mark Menghini as the next general counsel at the University of Missouri (MU) in Columbia. He is replacing Steve Owens, who stepped down from his position earlier this year. Leading the assignment was Martin M. Baker, managing partner. “Mark comes to us with impeccable credentials and a broad spectrum of experience,” said Darryl M. Chatman, chair of the board of curators. “Not only is his legal knowledge and methods of preparation impressive, he has an excellent track record of leadership. Individuals who have worked with him consistently describe him as a team leader, taking input whenever possible, and staying cool under pressure.”
“Mark has the experience of leading a law firm as well as serving as a general counsel within a very complex international corporation,” said Robin R. Wenneker, curator and chair of the search committee for the general counsel. “He understands large organizations and has worked with leaders to drive change and achieve efficiencies. As a complex organization ourselves, we know the viewpoint and skills he brings will help us grow and evolve the UM System, one of the state’s best resources. We are delighted to have him join the University of Missouri System.”
“I appreciate the dedication and hard work of the search committee in finding an exceptional leader who will help the university continue serving the state,” said Mun Choi UM president. “I’ll look forward to working with Mark as we continue to embark on new ways and ideas to achieve excellence throughout the university system.”
Mr. Menghini most recently served as executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary for Aegion. Before that, he was an officer, executive committee member, and board of directors leader for Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, a St. Louis law firm with more than 170 attorneys offering a broad array of practice areas to clients. Mr. Menghini is a member of both the Missouri and Illinois bar associations.
The office of the general counsel is responsible for providing all legal representation for the entire UM system, including the board of curators, all four universities and the healthcare system. Those responsibilities are carried out through the efforts of a staff of in-house attorneys and legal assistants, in addition to assistance from outside law firms and attorneys when supplementary legal expertise is necessary.
“I’m honored by the board of curators’ vote of confidence to take over the general counsel position and will work hard to earn that trust,” said Mr. Menghini. “I’m excited for the challenge of building on the foundation of success that Steve Owens left behind. With the help of the deep and talented legal team that Steve assembled, my goal is for the office of general counsel to provide first-class service to every element of the University of Missouri System.”
Recruiting Top-Notch Higher Education Leadership
In this brand new episode of ‘Talent Talks,’ Hunt Scanlon Media host Rob Adams is joined by Martin Baker, managing partner and Ken Carrick, partner from Buffkin Baker. Mr. Baker and Mr. Carrick take a deep dive into the current state of executive recruiting for the higher education sector and how this segment has been impacted by COVID-19. Listen Now!
Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri-Columbia was the first public university west of the Mississippi River. Today, the University of Missouri System is one of the nation’s largest institutes of higher education, with more than 75,000 students on four campuses, a healthcare enterprise and an extension program whose activities reach each of the 114 counties of the state. A recent study indicated the UM System has a $5.4 billion economic impact on the state of Missouri.
A Specialty Boutique Firm
Buffkin / Baker is a specialty boutique search firm composed of industry leaders in their respective fields and each has over a decade of retained search experience. Their focus as search professionals is to recruit leaders in digital marketing/advertising, technology, healthcare, media/entertainment, finance, higher education and non-profit. The firm serves public, private, venture and private equity-backed companies. Its office locations include Nashville, TN; New York; Washington, D.C.; and Winston Salem, NC, with affiliate offices in London.
Buffkin / Baker is a member of Panorama Search, an international federation of retained firms with 18 firms and over 30 offices globally. Buffkin / Baker formed in 2017 with the merger of the Buffkin Group and Baker and Associates LLC.
Based in Winston Salem, Mr. Baker has been in executive search for more than 22 years. In addition to his role as managing partner, he is also head of the firm’s higher education practice. He previously worked in the Atlanta office of Korn Ferry, where he developed search strategy and executed searches for numerous senior-level appointments. He began his career as a research associate with Saxton Bampfylde, an executive search and management assessment firm in London. He has conducted searches for the positions of CEO, CFO, CIO, provost, dean, director and professor, having worked on over 350 searches throughout his career.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media