H C Smith Assists The Wallace Foundation in CHRO Search

December 18, 2020 – Beachwood, OH-based executive search firm H C Smith has assisted in the placement of Melkeya McDuffie as chief human resources officer (CHRO) of The Wallace Foundation. She will succeed Sharon Clark, who will retire at the end of 2020. Herbert C. Smith, founder and president of the firm, led the assignment along with Rebecca R. Smith, principal.

“We are delighted to have Melkeya McDuffie joining our team at Wallace,” said Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation. “Mel will be a great partner to me and the entire senior management team as we continue our organizational culture journey to fulfill our mission in ways that reflect our values. She will bring valuable experience and fresh eyes as we infuse equity more deeply into our work both internally and externally.”

Ms. McDuffie is a human resources leader with experience at a range of Fortune 500 companies. brings deep experience in human resources, talent acquisition, talent development, organizational development, diversity, equity and inclusion, and performance management.

Previously, Ms. McDuffie was with Waste Management, where she served as chief talent leader for the U.S., Canada, and India. She joined Waste Management in 2005 as a manager, and rose through the ranks, with stints including director of talent management for the Eastern U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico; director of human resources responsible for 3,000 employees in Pennsylvania and West Virginia; and HR manager with responsibility for 1,700 employees in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Prior to joining Waste Management, Ms. McDuffie spent five years at Quest Diagnostics, where she was senior human resources business partner and human resource generalist. Before that, she held positions at the Metris Companies, now a division of HSBC Finance Corp., and at Norwest Mortgage, now part of Wells Fargo.

As Wallace’s CHRO, Ms. McDuffie will lead efforts to build an inclusive culture, develop staff, and sustain and strengthen the foundation’s commitment to equity. She will focus on overall organization development, employee engagement, talent acquisition and management strategies.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to join such a talented team deeply committed to the service of others,” said Ms. McDuffie. “It is clear to me that The Wallace Foundation prioritizes its people and its grantees and emphasizes diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of its cultural fabric. That is a culture that I am honored to become a part of and influence. I am excited about this opportunity to lead such a critical function centered on shaping the talent strategy and leading cultural change to ensure that we are best positioned to continue to serve our grantees and communities in excellence.”

The Wallace Foundation, based in New York City, is an independent, national philanthropy with $1.6 billion in assets. The foundation traces its origins back more than half a century to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of the Reader’s Digest Association.

Veteran Recruiters

Dr. Smith founded H C Smith Ltd. in 1985. He has recruited for small, midsized, and global organizations such as IBM, Pitney Bowes, NASA, General Electric, DuPont, Xerox, General Motors, International Paper, Lincoln Financial, Dana Corporation, National Medical Association, and many others locally and nationally. In addition to his work as an executive search consultant, Dr. Smith is a trusted advisor and management consultant to executive leaders and their organizations.

Pandemic Changes CHRO Role for Good
The coronavirus pandemic has revolutionized the role of CHROs at companies everywhere. The crisis has demanded a new set of skills for the position as well as new responsibilities, according to a new report by IMSA Search. To keep their performance at the highest level, however, CHROs must stay focused and be  aware of changes in key areas. 

Ms. Smith is a highly-regarded practitioner in the arts and cultural sector. Trained as a musician and educator, she has devoted her career to the arts and other non-profit organizations. She is a skilled facilitator of diverse search committees charged with the task of selecting executive and senior leadership for orchestras, festivals, botanical gardens, museums, and other cultural institutions.

In addition to its executive recruiting practice HC Smith can assist with strategic planning, executive counseling and facilitating initiatives for organizational change.

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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