February 22, 2022 – Although boards of directors are considered the backbones of organizations, director recruiting has grown markedly more challenging, say recruiters who conduct searches in that area. Greenwich Harbor Partners recently placed seven new members of the board of advisors for Teach for America Twin Cities. The new members are: Javier Alacron, senior vice president finance in agriculture at CHS Inc.; Nina Goodheart, SVP and president, structural heart and aortic operating unit at Medtronic; Joanne Knight, VP of finance in the agricultural supply chain enterprise at Cargill; Andrew Miller, COO at the Minnesota Vikings; Joseph Oppong, consulting partner at EY; Monica Schwarm, partner at BCG; and Sherry Smith, retired CFO and EVP at Supervalu.
“This significant expansion of the Teach for America Twin Cities board was the result of a very string recruiting effort by the nominating committee,” said the search firm.
The New Board Members
Mr. Alarcon previously served as vice president of finance and CFO for the ingredients division at Dairy Farmers of America and VP of finance of consumer international and divisional CFO at Conagra Brands where he held multiple roles over 15 years.
Ms. Goodheart was previously VP and general manager of cardiac rhythm and heart failure patient Monitoring diagnostic at Medtronic. She has worked for the company since 2007, serving in a variety of senior management roles. She has 25-plus years of experience in medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
Ms. Knight leads a global team of FP&A professionals. She previously served as VP of corporate financial planning and analysis at Cargill and senior marketing manager of kid cereal at General Mills.
Mr. Miller works alongside Minnesota Vikings ownership and executive leadership in developing vision and strategy. He previously served as executive vice president of business operations of the Toronto Blue Jays and the senior vice president of strategy and business analytics of the Cleveland Indians.
Mr. Oppong works primarily with healthcare providers and has extensive experience in helping companies align and drive strategic, financial and operational and compliance priorities. He is the partner representative on the Americas Black Professionals Network for the U.S. central region and partner advisors for the Minneapolis Ethnicity Professional Network.
Ms. Schwarm’s work focuses on healthcare providers, medical devices and technology. Prior to joining BCG, she worked as general counsel for the Cook County (IL) Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Related: U.S. Boards Seen as Slowly Evolving
Ms. Smith currently serves on the board of directors of Piper Sandler, Realogy, Tuesday Morning and John Deere, in addition to her work at Teach For America. She qualifies as a “financial expert” under New York Stock Exchange rules and frequently serves on the audit committee as well as other committees of her boards.
Greenwich Harbor Partners Assists Chalkbeat in Recruiting Board Members
Greenwich Harbor Partners partnered with Chalkbeat to expand its board, recruiting Karen Wishart, executive vice president of Urban One, and Roberto Yañez, president and GM of Local News New York for Univision. “It was a pleasure working with Elizabeth Green, founder of Chalkbeat, and the nominating committee to find new board members,” said Carrie Pryor, managing director of the search firm. “Chalkbeat has such an important mission providing essential reporting on education issues in local markets across the country.”
Teach for America is a non-profit organization whose stated mission is to “enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation’s most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence.” The organization aims to accomplish this by recruiting and selecting college graduates from top universities around the U.S. to serve as teachers. The selected members, known as “corps members,” commit to teaching for at least two years in a public or public charter K–12 school in one of the 52 low-income communities that the organization serves. Today, half of the corps identify as people of color, half come from low-income backgrounds, and more than 1,000 corps members and alumni were themselves taught by a Teach for America corps member when they were students.
Greenwich Harbor Partners’ principals, Carrie and Ted Pryor, have worked in industry as general managers and investors and have direct professional experience with the types of issues that face their clients. The firm’s client roster includes IBM Cloud Services, Media General, Marlin Equity Partners, DIRECTV, SpinMedia, ReelzChannel TV and Keurig Green Mountain, among others.
Ms. Pryor has over 20 years of senior executive search experience. She has recruited board directors, CEOs and their direct reports, as well as partners for private equity firms. In addition to her board seat with the New York Pops, she serves as an advisory board member for Constellation Ventures. A veteran of the internet space since the early ’90s, she has deep experience in digital media, entertainment and private equity.
Mr. Pryor focuses on senior-level assignments for general management, sales, marketing, and digital transformation. He specializes in recruiting executives using his four years as CFO and CEO of a venture-backed start-up, 10 years at General Electric Capital and 20 years in international finance and investment banking. Mr. Pryor has served on public, private and non-profit boards and chaired the audit committee for the Boston Celtics. In executive recruiting, he has focused on business services, digital marketing, E-commerce, ad sales, place-based advertising, communications, and customer service for growth companies and large national brands.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media