Caldwell Recruits CHRO for PFB Corporation

October 25, 2023 – CHROs have become critical stakeholders in defining the strategy of a company. Their job description calls for them to tackle the HR challenges and evolving expectations of a dynamic workplace environment that will consist of constant change, calculated risk-taking, and evolving expectations from top stakeholders. Those well-equipped to achieve the greatest success will have diverse skill-sets, be adaptable and agile, and gain hands-on learning from working through real life situations and acquiring knowledge across disciplines and industries. Toronto-based Caldwell assisted in the recruitment of Rob Kearley as the new CHRO for PFB Corporation in Calgary. The search was led by Drew Railton, Dinkar Farwaha, and Les Gombik.

Mr. Kearly is a human resources leader with over 25 years of experience that spans the globe. He has a track record of implementing cost effective HR strategies. Previously, Mr. Kearly was VP of HR for De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited. Prior to that, he held the same title with WesternZagros. Before that, Mr. Kearly was director of HR with Western Energy Services Corp. During his career, he also served in various senior HR positions with Calfrac Well Services, Calmena Energy Services, Jasper Constructors, Husky Energy, Synenco Energy, and TransAlta.

PFB Corporation manufactures high-quality insulating building products and technologies that, when used as components of a building envelope, enable residential and commercial structures to be highly energy-efficient. PFB is the only vertically integrated provider of EPS insulation products in North America, operating across 17 facilities throughout Canada and the U.S. The company’s products are sold through three business divisions – Plasti-Fab, Insulspan, and PFB Custom Homes Group.

Caldwell has conducted hundreds of human resources assignments across every major industry, including consumer products, manufacturing & industrial, technology, financial services, retail, and healthcare. The practice chooses to perform multiple searches for a limited number of clients, allowing Caldwell to understand clients’ needs and minimize off-limits issues for the sector.

Experienced Recruiters

Mr. Railton is a managing partner in Western Canada. Drawing on more than 18 years of experience placing senior executives and board directors, he provides expertise in board, CEO, and senior executive recruitment. Mr. Railton has experience as a director, serving on both volunteer and corporate boards, as well as extensive philanthropic involvement. Prior to joining Caldwell in 2006, Mr. Railton’s career spanned a wide range of industries and functions including roles in operations, sales, human resources, customer service, and general management.

Related: Caldwell Recruits CEO for Knowledge First Financial

Mr. Farwaha is a consultant in the Toronto office and a member of the financial services and data, digital and technology practices. He joined Caldwell from Russell Reynolds Associates, where he helped in identifying executive talent across sectors including financial services, technology, telco, consumer, and industrial products and services. Mr. Farwaha has completed searches for chief digital officers, chief customer experience officers, chief information security officers, heads of payments, board directors and cross-functional searches for C-Suite leaders for financial institutions in North America.

7 Qualities and Experiences Needed to be a CHRO
The most common questions that come from executives who aspire to move into their first chief human resources officer (CHRO) role involve what it takes to be a strong and viable candidate. IIC Partners’ people and culture practice group, with consultants collaborating across 40 offices worldwide and, has had the opportunity to interact with many HR executives.

Sally W. Stetson, co-founder and managing partner of Salveson Stetson Group (IIC Partners – Philadelphia), and Charlene Bergman, managing director  and partner of B. Riley Farber (IIC Partners – Toronto), recently authored a report on the top seven critical qualities and experiences needed for success in your first CHRO role. “Every company has different perspectives and needs based on their business,” the IIC report said. “However, there are some critical competencies you must possess to be seriously considered for the top HR role at any organization.”

Mr. Gombik is managing partner of Caldwell’s Prairie region. With more than 25 years of executive and board search and human resources experience, he has a broad perspective on the most pressing talent issues in executive management today. His particular focus is on board and senior executive positions for commercially oriented, public, private, and private equity-backed enterprises within the industrial, consumer, and financial services sectors.

Recent Search

Jim Bethmann of Toronto-based Caldwell recently placed Richard Bonner as the new chief technology officer for Accelsius, which is working to remove the thermal constraints in computing. Mr. Bonner most recently served as vice president of R&D at Advanced Cooling Technologies (ACT). In this role, he was responsible for ACT’s research and development group, including personnel, P&L, revenue, and new science, technology, and product development. The R&D portfolio included emerging heat pipe, phase change material, pumped-two-phase, phase separation, combustion, energy harvesting, coatings, and advanced computational modeling technologies among others. Before that, Mr. Bonner served in various engineering positions with ACT.

Led by a team of seasoned industry veterans, Accelsius has developed disruptive thermal cooling technology. The company is funded by Innventure, an investment firm that is in the business of identifying, funding and commercializing disruptive technology invented by large multi-national partners.

Related: Caldwell Fills Technology Posts for Concentra Bank  

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

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