April 11, 2019 – The chief people officer position is still a relatively new title within the HR function. It first appeared about a decade ago. But now, as companies look to build internal brand awareness and set their sights more on establishing and driving their own unique cultures, CPOs are coming more into vogue.
Recently, Fairfax, VA, retained executive search firm D. Hilton Associates placed Jeff Blake as chief people officer of Achieva Credit Union in Dunedin, FL. He succeeds Janet Till, who is retiring after seven years with Achieva.
“Jeff has extensive experience that’s a great match with our mission to be a leading employer in the Tampa Bay region,” said Gary Regoli, president and CEO of Achieva. “Attracting and retaining talent is one of our top priorities, and Jeff’s the right person for the job.”
Mr. Blake brings nearly 20 years of human resources and credit union management experience to his new role. Most recently, he was senior vice president of human resources at United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, MI, for nine years. In this role, he directed the company’s recruiting strategy and oversaw its employee training, leadership development and benefits and rewards programs. His work at United Federal Credit Union helped produce an award-winning company culture, earning accolades like “Best Places to Work” honors. Mr. Blake has been member of the Society for Human Resource Management for 19 years, and has been actively involved with WorldatWork for nine years.
In his new position, Mr. Blake will lead Achieva’s human resources team in driving an employee culture that’s focused on collaboration and personal growth. He will be responsible for leading the company’s employee relations, recruiting and retention strategies. He will also oversee employee professional development and community outreach initiatives.
Achieva Credit Union was founded in 1937 in Pinellas County. Today, it is rated a Superior 5-Star credit union by Bauer Financial and has more than $1.7 billion in assets and 25 branches serving more than 160,000 members. Anyone who lives or works in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties, or whose family member has an Achieva Credit Union account can bank with Achieva.
With a “work hard but play hard” mantra, Achieva prides itself on a vibrant company culture that includes everything from allowing its employees to bring their dogs into work, to rallying its team to brainstorm the next community event, said the search firm.
Founded in 1985, D. Hilton Associates specializes in the credit union industry. Over the past several months, the firm has recruited new CEOs for Greylock Federal Credit Union, First Financial Federal Credit Union of Maryland, Cascade Community Credit Union in Roseburg, OR and the ORNL Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge, TN. The firm also recently filled marketing positions for Cascade Community Credit Union, Langley Federal Credit Union and Sharon Credit Union.
Chief People Officers
In recent months, search firms have helped companies find new chief people officers across the nation. Here is a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
Recently, Vetted Solutions placed Annemarie McDonald Oxman as the new chief people officer of the National Business Aviation Association in Washington, D.C. Holly Clark retired in January after more than 12 years in the job. Jim Zaniello, Vetted Solutions’ president and founder, led the search. Previously, Ms. Oxman served as director of HR for the American Petroleum Institute.
Philadelphia-headquartered Howard Fischer Associates recruited Deborah Josephs as chief people officer of NCC Media, the national television and video advertising sales, marketing and technology company owned by Comcast Corp., Charter Communications and Cox Communications.
Polachi Inc. recently placed Stephanie Baker Lucey as the new chief people officer of NASDAQ-traded Bottom Line Technologies in Portsmouth, NH. “We know Steph’s experience navigating organizational complexities will make her a great fit for our client Bottomline Technologies,” said search firm partner Charley Polachi, who spearheaded the assignment.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media