Cargill Selects Hanold Associates to Lead Chief Diversity Officer Search  

As the market for diverse leaders heats up, the Chicago-based HR and diversity-focused recruitment firm commences a search for what it says will be “an important pillar” in the global food corporation’s growth agenda. “The CDO will evolve Cargill’s DEI efforts to drive a meaningful, sustainable and cohesive global strategy,” said Hanold Associates. Let’s go inside the search.

April 21, 2021 – Chief diversity, equity and inclusion officers have emerged as key leaders during this enormous period of transition for workers and the workplace. With a global workforce shifting in complexity, there is a growing need for diversity experts who can shape the vision, culture and very face of organizations. At issue: Too few women and people of color are serving in too few senior executive positions. Pandemic or not, organizations and their very cultures thrive on diverse talent and it is now falling to DE&I leaders to make it happen. For executive recruiters in hot pursuit of both culture and diversity leadership roles, the search is on for big guns who are sophisticated, proactive, inspirational and strategic-minded, with strong business savvy to drive their people capabilities like they would a P&L.

Just recently, Cargill, the largest privately held global food corporation in the U.S., retained Chicago-based Hanold Associates HR & Diversity Executive Search to conduct the search for a chief diversity officer. Jason Hanold, Keri Gavin and Ashley Schiele are leading the hunt for this critical DE&I role. “Diversity, equity and inclusion is an important pillar in Cargill’s growth agenda, which makes the global chief diversity officer a critical role for the business,” said Ms. Gavin. “The CDO will evolve Cargill’s DEI efforts to drive a meaningful, sustainable and cohesive global strategy. That framework will support Cargill’s commitment to doing the right thing and putting people first, at all levels of the organization, ensuring every employee has an equitable opportunity to succeed.”

2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recruiting Report:
Building a Balanced and Diverse Workforce

Hunt Scanlon Media’s latest market intelligence recruiting report – this time focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – will be available later this fall! The nation’s top executive recruiters are resetting expectations and looking for new ways forward to build balanced and diverse workforce teams for their clients.

According to executive recruiters, DE&I should not just be a priority, but an integrated part of every company’s leadership goals. Some companies have even tied DE&I metrics to executive compensation. But it’s more than that.

Part of building strong, diverse hiring teams means asking yourself: “Who is my company culture going to attract – and how will it engage people who are here?” This question can be very difficult to answer if you assume everyone feels welcome already just because you do. Fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations is more than just the right ethical decision. “It is one of the best business decisions a company can make,” said Keri Gavin, a partner with Hanold Associates and leader of the search firm’s Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practice. Hanold Associates is a proud sponsor of this year’s report. This report will help organizations prioritize DE&I as a business imperative that drives greater competitiveness, innovation and business results. Get it now! 

The chief diversity officer will be tasked with creating, driving, and managing a sustainable, cohesive global DEI strategy. This leader will partner with senior leaders to effectively integrate DEI into the business to achieve the vision of a diverse, equitable and inclusive company.

Founded in 1865, Cargill is based in Minnetonka, MN. It is the largest privately held corporation in the U.S. in terms of revenue. Employing over 166,000 employees in 66 countries, the company is responsible for 25 percent of all U.S. grain exports. It supplies about 22 percent of the U.S. domestic meat market, importing more product from Argentina than any other company.

Focused on HR and Diversity and Inclusion Officers

Hanold Associates is a boutique executive search firm focused on HR and diversity and inclusion officers. Its client list is diverse across industries, geographies, and business scenarios. Its clients include the National Football League, Zoom, Domino’s Pizza, Under Armour, Patagonia, Gucci, the New York Times, Tom Brady’s TB12, Kohler, REI, Live Nation Entertainment, Dick’s Sporting Goods, McDonald’s, Major League Baseball, Kellogg, Apollo, Big Ten Conference, Blackstone, TPG, L Catterton, Northwestern University, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, SC Johnson, eBay, Moderna, Hillrom, Great Place To Work, Fossil, Vail Resorts, AbbVie, Carnival Corp., Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Wikimedia, ClubCorp, Nike, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Ford Motor Co., among others. 

Mr. Hanold founded the firm in 2010. Previously, he served as a managing director with Russell Reynolds Associates, where he led the firm’s global human resources officer practice and was a member of the board of directors and CEO practices. Before that he held talent and recruiting positions with Whirlpool, McKinsey & Company, Deloitte and State Farm.

Ms. Gavin focuses on all functional areas of HR and diversity and inclusion. Prior to joining Hanold Associates, she was director of host relations and consulting for Ragan Communications. Before Ragan, Ms. Gavin was a television anchor and reporter in Des Moines, IA.

Ms. Schiele, a partner with Hanold Associates, uses her advanced degree in organizational psychology to leverage both organizational dynamics and skill assessment in order to identify and recruit key talent. Ms. Schiele has experience recruiting across industries and functions including, but not limited to, manufacturing, supply chain, engineering, IT, sales and marketing.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practice

Last year, Hanold Associates launched a global diversity, equity and inclusion practice and named Ms. Gavin as practice leader. As one of the nation’s top C-suite HR leadership providers, the search firm has led dozens of critical chief diversity and inclusion officer searches for clients such Gucci, Live Nation Entertainment, Ford Motor Company, MGM Resorts International, Major League Baseball, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Raymond James, US Foods, AbbVie and Kellogg among others.

“Hanold Associates has always been committed to advocating for and promoting organizational racial literacy, as a pathway towards ensuring better diversity success within their client companies,” said Mr. Hanold. “We will not take on a diversity and inclusion search if the role is more about optics vs. meaningful organizational impact, with true accountability and sufficient resources. We are experiencing a trend where the role of the CHRO is blended with the chief diversity officer.”

Fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations is more than just the right ethical decision, “it is one of the best business decisions a company can make,” said Ms. Gavin. “Our global diversity, equity and inclusion practice will continue to help organizations prioritize DE&I as a business imperative that drives greater competitiveness, innovation and business results.”

Turning to Search Firms

Organizations of all kinds have turned to executive search firms to find chief diversity, equity and inclusion officers. Here is a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

 Chicago-based search firm DHR International assisted Unisys Corp. in the recruitment of Wendy Reynolds-Dobbs who joined the company as vice president and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. She will report to CHRO Katie Ebrahimi. The search was led by DHR managing partner Christopher Knipp. “Wendy’s experience, successful track record and infectious passion will be invaluable to Unisys as we accelerate our progress along our DEI journey,” said Ms. Ebrahimi, who co-chairs Unisys’ inclusion and diversity council. “Through her efforts, we will be able to listen more closely to the diverse perspectives of people both inside and outside of our company and create new opportunities for equity and inclusion in our workplace as a result.”

New York City-based Bridge Partners has placed Lavita McMath Turner as the first chief diversity officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The search firm’s founders Tory Clarke and Larry Griffin led the assignment. “Lavita McMath Turner has an exceptional record of success promoting equity throughout her career in cultural and higher education institutions, and she will be a key partner in helping The Met evolve into a more inclusive place to work, visit, and learn,” said Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of The Met. “I am greatly looking forward to working together—with the full support of our board and so many across the institution—to achieve these goals.”

 The Christopher Group recruited Jameel Rush as vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the third-oldest continually operating daily newspaper in the U.S. The search was led and placed by managing director, Pam Noble, and managing partner Ayla Maloney. “It was an honor and a privilege to work directly with CEO Elizabeth H. Hughes and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s leadership team as they continue building an inclusive and diverse workplace,” said Ms. Noble. “Their commitment to this strategic initiative humbled me as they expand and increase awareness, inclusion, and diversity at every level in their organization. Since 1829, The Philadelphia Inquirer has been a community leader by providing essential journalism for the diverse communities in the region and has a very exciting story to tell.”

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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