Hanold Associates Recruits Chief People and Culture Officer for Major League Baseball

With the addition of this new role, professional baseball continues to up its game. Connectivity and the interplay between diversity & inclusion and HR is designed to help MLB deliver a more holistic talent strategy and perspective. Let’s go inside the search.

August 6, 2020 – Chicago-based Hanold Associates HR & Diversity Executive Search has placed Michele Meyer-Shipp as chief people and culture officer for Major League Baseball. Jason Hanold, CEO and co-managing partner of the search firm, led the assignment along with partner Keri Gavin.

“Michele is an exceptional leader and an inspirational person,” said Mr. Hanold. “She will have an incredibly positive impact on Major League Baseball in this newly created role within the commissioner’s office.”

“I am very pleased that Michele is joining us to fill this vital role for Major League Baseball,” said commissioner Robert D. Manfred. “Michele’s outstanding record of accomplishment will be a valuable addition to our senior leadership team, the hiring and development of our employees, and industry initiatives. We are excited for her to get started.”

2020 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recruiting Report:
Building a Balanced and Diverse Workforce

Hunt Scanlon Media’s latest market intelligence recruiting report – this time focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion – will be available later this fall! The nation’s top executive recruiters are resetting expectations and looking for new ways forward to build balanced and diverse workforce teams for their clients.

According to executive recruiters, DE&I should not just be a priority, but an integrated part of every company’s leadership goals. Some companies have even tied DE&I metrics to executive compensation. But it’s more than that.

Part of building strong, diverse hiring teams means asking yourself: “Who is my company culture going to attract – and how will it engage people who are here?” This question can be very difficult to answer if you assume everyone feels welcome already just because you do. Fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations is more than just the right ethical decision. “It is one of the best business decisions a company can make,” said Keri Gavin, a partner with Hanold Associates and leader of the search firm’s Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practice. Hanold Associates is a proud sponsor of this year’s report. This report will help organizations prioritize DE&I as a business imperative that drives greater competitiveness, innovation and business results. Get it now! 

Ms. Meyer-Shipp joins MLB from KPMG, where she has served as chief diversity and inclusion officer. While at KPMG, she led all firm programs and initiatives relating to workforce, workplace, and marketplace diversity and inclusion. In addition to overseeing a host of human resource-related initiatives in this role, she consulted with clients on building diverse and inclusive workplaces. Previously, Ms. Meyer-Shipp worked for Prudential Financial, serving as global chief diversity officer for five years, and for the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where she was global chief diversity and inclusion officer. Prior to those roles, she spent over a decade practicing employment law in both the public and private sectors, counseling clients on driving equitable talent and workplace practices.

Ms. Meyer-Shipp has served on many industry and association tasks forces and committees, including Twitter’s diversity advisory council, Working Mother Media’s multicultural advisory board, National Organization on Disability and Rutgers University’s student affairs executive advisory council. She also has been a contributor to Yahoo! Finance News. Ms. Meyer-Shipp has received numerous awards and accolades for her professional accomplishments, including most recently being recognized among the “Top 100 Women of Influence” by Diversity MBA.

Reporting to Mr. Halem, Ms. Meyer-Shipp will be the key leader for all human capital and diversity-related strategies and decisions within the league office through on-field talent. The incoming leader will lead a team of 40 employees in HR and diversity and inclusion to oversee and establish more rigor throughout all HR and diversity capabilities across the organization, including recruitment, training, leadership development, change management, compensation and benefits, diversity and inclusion, and organizational design.

“I will have the opportunity to use all of the skill-sets that I have developed over my 25-year career to lead not only D&I, but also all human resources, culture and operations activities at the league,” said Ms. Meyer-Shipp

Major League Baseball is the organization that represents America’s pastime. With operations and teams located across the U.S. and Canada, MLB’s business operations are headquartered in midtown Manhattan. Between all front-office and on-field employees, including the 30 clubs, central office, MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network, the league’s total number of employees is about 12,000, 1,448 of whom are employees at the central headquarters.

Related: Driving Diversity and Inclusion from the Top

According to the league 2019 Racial and Gender report card, MLB received an A-minus in racial hiring and B-minus in overall hiring. Still, it lacked in areas including gender hiring and racial hiring for roles as top club officials.

Hanold Associates Launches Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Practice

Hanold Associates has launched a global diversity, equity and inclusion practice and named Keri Gavin as practice leader. As one of the nation’s top C-suite HR leadership providers, the search firm has led dozens of critical chief diversity and inclusion officer searches for clients such Gucci, Live Nation Entertainment, Ford Motor Company, MGM Resorts International, Major League Baseball, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Raymond James, US Foods, AbbVie and Kellogg among others.

“MLB has had a significant focus on diversity, most recently with Renee Tirado (recruited to Gucci) leading the effort, and Wendy Lewis before that (now at McDonald’s), but their HR efforts have had a strong labor relations focus,” said Mr. Hanold. “They are continuing to elevate the importance in the connectivity and interplay between diversity and inclusion efforts and HR evolving into a more holistic talent strategy and perspective.” MLB, he added, continues to make greater investments in its people, talent and diversity capabilities.

HR Recruiting Veterans

Hanold Associates is a retained boutique executive search firm focused on HR and diversity and inclusion officers. Its client list is diverse across industries, geographies and business scenarios, and culture is at the core of everything the firm does. Its clients include the National Football League, Domino’s Pizza, Under Armour, Patagonia, Gucci, Kohler, REI, Live Nation Entertainment, Major League Baseball, Kellogg, Apollo, Blackstone, TPG, L Catterton, Northwestern University, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, Kohler, SC Johnson, eBay, Great Place To Work, Fossil, Vail Resorts, Edward Jones, AbbVie, Carnival Corp., Google, Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Wikimedia, CNA Insurance, Cummins, Tyson, ClubCorp, CDW, Nike and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, among others.

Ms. Gavin focuses on recruiting HR leaders in talent acquisition, organizational development, talent management, operations and total rewards. Her signature strength is said to be her relationship-building skills. Ms. Prospero focuses on the recruitment of HR professionals across industries including learning and development, talent management, HRBP, total rewards, talent acquisition, organizational development, and diversity and inclusion.

Related: To Improve Diversity, Recruiting Sector Must Set a New Course

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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