October 7, 2019 – Executive search firms have been stepping up their efforts to assist private equity-backed companies across the nation to find top level talent, including chief people officers. The latest: Keri Gavin and Jason Hanold of Chicago-based Hanold Associates have placed former Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group executive April Scopa as the chief people officer of ClubCorp, owners and operators of more than 200 golf and country clubs, business clubs, sports clubs and alumni clubs in markets across the country. ClubCorp was acquired two years ago by Apollo Global Management – one of Wall Street’s largest PE firms – for $1.1 billion in an all-cash transaction.
“April is an outstanding fit for ClubCorp and its executive leadership team,” said Ms. Gavin. “She is a business-focused HR leader and will be instrumental in ClubCorp’s business and cultural transformations. April is a true culture champion with a proven track record of building high-performing teams in the hospitality industry and we’re excited to see what she and CEO David Pillsbury accomplish together.”
Ms. Scopa was executive vice president and chief people officer for Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. In this role, she led and directed long-term strategic approach of human resource programs, recruiting, training, personnel development, talent management, strengthening and molding company culture. Prior to this, Ms. Scopa was VP of people at Landmark Leisure Group.
In her role with ClubCorp, Ms. Scopa will lead a team of more than 15 people and will be directly responsible for the overall HR strategy and cultural transformation, managing the alignment of the organization’s people and business objectives.
Established in 1957, ClubCorp has operated with the central purpose of building relationships and enriching the lives of its members. As the world leader in private clubs, ClubCorp owns and operates more than 200 golf and country clubs, business clubs, sports clubs and alumni clubs in markets across the country. ClubCorp members have access to the ClubCorp Network of more than 200 owned, operated clubs and alliances, and special offerings at more than 1,000 hotels, resorts and entertainment venues.
Hanold Associates, based in Evanston, IL, is a boutique search firm specializing in HR officer assignments. Mr. Hanold founded the firm in 2010. Its clients include Patagonia, Nike, the NFL, eBay, Cummins, Kohler, REI, Google, Riddell, Fossil, Carnival Corp., the UFC, Blue Apron, Amazon, Under Armour, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, Vail Resorts, Abbott, Biogen, Great Place to Work, Electronic Arts, Godiva, Fiat-Chrysler, Bridgestone, Northwestern University, Heinz, Warburg Pincus, Medtronic, Zurich, Wikipedia, T. Rowe Price and SC Johnson, to name a few. A majority of the firm’s work is conducted on behalf of private equity concerns.
Mr. Hanold founded his search firm in 2010. Previously, he served as a managing director with Russell Reynolds Associates, where he led the firm’s global human resources officer practice and was a member of the board of directors and CEO practices. Before that he held talent and recruiting positions with Whirlpool, McKinsey & Company, Deloitte and State Farm.
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. She was previously director of host relations and customized training for Ragan Communications. There, she fostered relationships with communications leaders at Fortune 500 companies to secure event partnerships.
Chief People Officers
Here is a sampling of recent chief people officer searches conducted by top firms from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
D. Hilton Associates Recruits Chief People Officer for Apple Federal Credit Union
Fairfax, VA-based executive search firm D. Hilton Associates recently placed Sharon Camper as chief people officer of Apple Federal Credit Union. Vice president Jessica Jarman led the assignment. Ms. Camper has a diverse HR career spanning more than 20 years.
Humane Society Taps accelHRate to Find Chief People Officer
accelHRate was selected by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to lead its search for a new chief people officer. Kimberly Shanahan, founding president and chief executive officer, led the search along with managing partner and co-founder Kelly McPherson.
D. Hilton Associates Recruits Chief People Officer for Achieva Credit Union
Fairfax, VA, retained executive search firm D. Hilton Associates placed Jeff Blake as chief people officer of Achieva Credit Union in Dunedin, FL. Mr. Blake brings nearly 20 years of human resources and credit union management experience to his new role.
Polachi Finds Chief People Officer for Bottomline Technologies
Polachi Inc. recently placed Stephanie Baker Lucey as the new chief people officer of NASDAQ-traded Bottomline Technologies in Portsmouth, NH. “We know Steph’s experience navigating organizational complexities will make her a great fit for our client Bottomline Technologies,” said Charley Polachi of Polachi.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media