August 11, 2020 – 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. As a result, companies continue to turn to executive search firms to help find new board members.
Recently, Greenwich Harbor Partners recently partnered with Teach for America to expand its board of advisors and recruited Elizabeth Thompson, chief people officer of Southeastern Grocers; Cindy Reynolds, chief philanthropy officer of Baptist Health; Riley Keys, general manager of Fanatics; and Kevin Hyde, managing partner of Jacksonville, Foley and Lardner.
“We are delighted to be working on board recruiting for Teach for America-Jacksonville,” said Ted Pryor, managing Director of Greenwich Harbor Partners. “In the current environment, Teach for America’s mission of providing highly qualified teaching interns to resource-limited rural and urban schools is more relevant than ever. Happily, in the COVID/BLM environment, highly-qualified candidates have been eager to be considered for boards of non-profit organizations.”
As chief people officer of Southeastern Grocers, the parent company for BI-LO, Fresco y Mas, Harvey’s and Winn-Dixie, Ms. Thompson leads all aspects of human resources, public relations, corporate affairs, charitable giving and internal communications for close to 45,000 associates in seven states. Previously, she was president of Intuitive Quest, and a senior executive with Hooters of America and Starbucks.
Ms. Reynolds is senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer at Baptist Health, a comprehensive healthcare system designed to care for every stage of life. Prior to Baptist Health, she was chief development officer at Bon Secours Health System and CEO – Foundations, Bon Secours Richmond Health System.
Mr. Keys is general manager at Fanatics, an American online retailer of licensed sportswear, sports equipment and merchandise with over $2 billion in revenues. Previously, he was with the Hut Group and had multiple positions at Amazon.com. Mr. Keys also had a career in the U.S. Army where he retired as first sergeant.
As managing partner of the Jacksonville, FL office of Foley & Lardner, Mr. Hyde represents employers in labor and employment matters. In addition to legal practice, he has been active in the Jacksonville community. He is the current chair of the University of North Florida board of trustees, a member of the boards of directors of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Goodwill Industries and American Red Cross. He is former interim president of the Florida State College at Jacksonville and is a past president of the Jacksonville City Council.
Related: U.S. Boards Seen as Slowly Evolving
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.
Greenwich Harbor Partners’ principals 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.
Carrie 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