Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Recruits Executive Director for TransitCenter

October 10, 2023 – Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, recently assisted in the recruitment of  Stephanie Lotshaw as the new executive director of TransitCenter in New York City. Managing director Anne McCarthy, senior search associate Claire Hunt, and senior search coordinator Kaley Blaszinski led the assignment. “After months of careful searching, interviews, and dialogue we are proud to announce that we have chosen Stephanie Lotshaw to lead TransitCenter into its next era,” said Ratna Amin, TransitCenter board chair. “Stephanie has a clear vision to grow the national movement for abundant transit and the know-how to bring people together to catalyze change in the philanthropy sector.”

Ms. Lotshaw’s appointment comes after an extensive, national search process led by TransitCenter staff and a board-led transition task force with guidance from Koya. The search set out to find a strategic and visionary leader with strong operational and financial management ability, a solid understanding of how effective philanthropy can improve the sector and propel the organization forward, the ability to collaborate with other funders to support the transit movement locally, regionally, and nationally, and a focus on building and nurturing a robust network of relationships to foster collaboration and advance TransitCenter’s mission.

TransitCenter received 94 expressions of interest in the role and extensively interviewed a diverse group of six finalists. The search committee unanimously agreed that Ms. Lotshaw was the right candidate to lead TransitCenter.

“We did a thorough search, and Stephanie understands how the climate emergency has to be addressed through philanthropy, abundant public transportation, and transit justice,” said Ms. Amin. “Stephanie has been a leader of TransitCenter’s work to integrate and align the transit and climate communities.”

Ms. Lotshaw has 15 years of experience working globally at nonprofits and in philanthropy, with a focus on transportation as a crucial means to addressing climate change as well as economic and social justice. Prior to TransitCenter, she worked at the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) on transportation and governance projects in the U.S., Kenya, and Uganda.

“In this era of historic infrastructure investments and pressing climate justice considerations, I’m honored and humbled to become executive director, building on TransitCenter’s 10 years of achievement while paving a bold new path forward as a trust-based funder,” said Ms. Lotshaw. “I am excited to work with the board, staff, and grantee partners as we embark on this forward journey.

“We need big changes in the philanthropic and transit worlds and in cities to make a more equitable, sustainable world,” said Tamika Butler, a TransitCenter board member. “That’s TransitCenter’s mission, and Stephanie is the right person to lead us in this work.”

TransitCenter is a grantmaking foundation that works to secure a more just and sustainable future with abundant public transportation. Officially established as a non-profit in 2000, TransitCenter sold the commuter benefit business in 2012, resulting in the establishment of its endowment. The organization has operated as a grantmaking foundation ever since. Today, TransitCenter has a 10-person staff, $6 million operating budget, $60 million-plus endowment, an annual grantmaking budget of $1.6 million, and an 11-member board of trustees.

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Recruits CEO for Easterseals

Diversified Search Group is a family of firms serving specialized sectors. The firm was founded almost five decades ago for the express purpose of placing diverse candidates in client organizations. Koya Partners is a part of the Diversified Search Group and is dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Koya works broadly at the senior-most levels of the mission-driven field in philanthropy, social services, arts and culture, and social justice, among others.

Combined Resources

In 2019, Koya was acquired by Diversified Search. With the combination of revenues and resources, Diversified Search and Koya now represent one of the largest non-profit and higher education practices in the executive search industry. Koya’s specialization in mission-driven search, primarily with non-profit and higher education clients, complements Diversified’s own major education, non-profit, and arts and culture practices, as well as the firm’s healthcare services, board of directors, life sciences, industrial, and digital, media, entertainment, and sports practices.

Ms. McCarthy has experience partnering with a broad range of mission-driven clients active in the fields of philanthropy, arts and culture, conservation and environment, social services, membership organizations, and beyond. She has led searches for CEOs, presidents, directors, executive directors, and board members in addition to searches for a variety of functional roles, including CFOs, COOs, CMOs, and program officers.

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In philanthropy, Ms. McCarthy’s clients include the Obama Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, the Fidelity Foundations, the Field Foundation of Illinois, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, and the Chicago Foundation for Women. She also has deep experience in the field of arts and culture. Ms. McCarthy has partnered with the following clients, among others, on CEO and director searches: Academy of Arts and Sciences, Arts Midwest, Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Chicago Botanic Garden, Ganna Walska Lotusland, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Kohl Children’s Museum, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Naples Botanic Garden, The Newark Museum, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She has also partnered with Chicago Public Media, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Newark Museum, and Window to the World Communications (WTTW/WFMT), among others, to recruit C-suite executives.

Ms. Hunt  collaborates with search teams to recruit senior executives to mission-driven clients. She supports the search process through project management, candidate development, and client engagement. Prior to joining Koya Partners, Ms. Hunt served as director, talent for Teach For America, where she managed performance development, hiring, and onboarding for the Chicago regional team.

Ms. Blaszinski assists senior leaders in identifying and recruiting top talent for mission-driven organizations throughout the country. She supports all stages of the search process, including search operations and logistics. Ms. Blaszinski joined Koya Partners with experience in the legal and professional services spaces within the recruiting industry. She has recruited high volume contract and contract to hire candidates for law firms, corporate legal offices, and financial institutions.

Related: Diversified Search Group | Koya Partners Seeks CEO for Social Enterprise Greenhouse 

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

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