February 22, 2021 – Chicago-based Hanold Associates HR & Diversity Executive Search recently recruited Kelly Jones as chief people officer of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. CEO and managing partner Jason Hanold and partners Keri Gavin and Katrina Prospero led the assignment.
In the newly-created role, Mr. Jones reports to owner and president Michael Bidwill and begins on March 1. He will oversee human resources functions throughout the organization and lead all programs and initiatives involving workplace diversity, equity and inclusion. Mr. Jones will be charged with establishing and delivering a strategy that creates a world-class environment for the organization, enhancing a strong culture based on the Cardinals’ mission, vision and core values. Externally, he will act as a liaison for the team within the community on a variety of civic initiatives. “Kelly is a key addition to our senior leadership team with extensive experience in this critical area and an outstanding record of achievement,” Mr. Bidwill said. “He possesses unique perspective on the people aspects of our business and how they contribute to the organization’s overall strategy, mission and vision. The specific principles of diversity, equity and inclusion certainly align with our mission and core values.”
2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recruiting Report:
Building a Balanced and Diverse Workforce
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A Strong Background
“Kelly is a very special person and phenomenal executive who possess the perfect blend of leadership, wisdom and experience,” said Ms. Gavin. “Kelly and Michael Bidwill have fostered a strong relationship through this fast-moving process, and Kelly will be a trusted advisor to Michael and the team. We know Kelly will have a profound and lasting impact on both the Cardinals and the Greater Phoenix area. We can’t wait to see the immediate impact he’ll have on the lives of many.”
Mr. Jones brings more than 20 years of progressive experience as an HR professional, operations leader and diversity practitioner. He comes to the Cardinals from Aramark Corp., where he had worked since 2014, most recently as senior vice president, human resources and diversity. Mr. Jones previously worked in similar roles with Lockheed Martin (1998 to 2007, 2009 to 14) and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (2007 to 2009). He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University and a master’s degree in human resources leadership from Rutgers University.
The Arizona Cardinals, based in Phoenix, has won five NFL division titles, the most recent being in 2015. During the 2008-2009 season, the team won the NFC championship en route to an appearance at Super Bowl XLIII. With a 5-0 record, the Arizona Cardinals are the only NFL team that has not lost a playoff game at its home stadium.
Hanold Associates is a 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, Zoom, Domino’s Pizza, Under Armour, Patagonia, Gucci, The New York Times, Tom Brady’s TB12, Kohler, REI, Live Nation Entertainment, Dick’s Sporting Goods, McDonald’s, Major League Baseball, Kellogg, Apollo, Big Ten Conference, Blackstone, TPG, L Catterton, Northwestern University, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, SC Johnson, eBay, Moderna, Hillrom, Great Place To Work, Fossil, Vail Resorts, AbbVie, Carnival Corp., Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Wikimedia, ClubCorp, Nike, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and Ford Motor Co., among others.
Hanold Associates Completes Chief People Officer Search for the NFL
As America’s most successful sports league faces challenges on myriad fronts, Dasha Smith is expected to be a driving force to help grow, engage and inspire the league’s personnel across the organization. Diversity and inclusion will be a key focus.
Mr. Hanold founded the 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 all functional areas of HR and diversity and inclusion. Prior to joining Hanold Associates, she was director of host relations and consulting for Ragan Communications. Before Ragan, Ms. Gavin was a television anchor and reporter in Des Moines, IA.
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.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media