Higher Talent Executive Search Recruits CEO for American Society of Landscape Architects

September 3, 2020 – Washington, D.C.-based Higher Talent Executive Search has placed Torey Carter-Conneen as the new chief executive officer for the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Mr. Carter-Conneen had been chief operating officer of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

“On behalf of the executive committee of the American Society of Landscape Architects, we are thrilled to have Torey join us,” said ASLA president Wendy Miller. “Torey brings to ASLA a wealth of experience in organizational management and strategic planning, a fresh outlook, tremendous energy and a lifetime of committed advocacy for a more just society. From the climate crisis, to racial injustice, to diversity and inclusion – Torey has the strategic vision necessary to tackle the tough issues facing the society, the profession and the entire design industry. Torey is, without a doubt, the creative, innovative, committed leader we need at this moment to move the society and the profession forward.”

Mr. Carter-Conneen has nearly 25 years of experience and expertise in strategic organizational development, tactical implementation, financial stewardship and administrative leadership. He has a proven track record as an innovator and thought leader in the association world, with an aptitude for pioneering strategies to shape organizational priorities, ensure financial stability, and invigorate member recruitment and retention programs, said ALSA.

Finding Solutions 

“At this very important moment in our country and our world, it is essential that we work together to solve our biggest problems – bridging deep, tribal divisions, creating new opportunities and rebuilding a sense of community at a time of fear and isolation,” said Mr. Carter-Conneen. “It is going to take innovative and thoughtful solutions to tightly weave the fabric of our society back together. ASLA is an organization with a rich history and significant role to play leading this work, both in the design world and beyond it. I’m honored, humbled and incredibly excited to help the society and the landscape architecture profession forge a new path forward to effectively address the growing challenges of the climate crisis, the urgent need for racial and social justice, and the stark realities and disruption of social norms caused by a global pandemic.”

Mr. Carter-Conneen’s executive leadership roles have included acting president and CEO, senior vice president, COO and CFO for companies ranging in size from $7 million to $750 million in annual revenues. Prior to his leadership at AILA, Mr. Carter-Conneen was senior vice president and chief financial officer for Center For American Progress;  COO and later acting president and CEO at the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Institute; divisional controller of MV Transportation, a privately held North American transportation management corporation; and an auditor at a CPA firm. He holds an MBA with a concentration on global business management and emerging market from the University of Maryland Global Campus. He also holds degrees in economics and accounting from George Mason University.

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 82 student chapters. The society, based in Washington, D.C., has a staff of 50 and annual revenues of $12.9 million. The society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship.

Respected Recruiters

Higher Talent, founded in 2005, is a boutique executive search firm specializing in recruiting top talent to higher education, non-profit and industry. The firm serves organizations that work to advance the causes of education, healthcare, scientific research, the arts, the environment and conservation, public policy, humanitarian relief, social services, and most recently the business of law. In addition to its Washington, D.C. headquarters, the firm has locations in Orange County, CA;  San Diego, CA; and Rochester, NY.

The search firm is led by president Mindy Suissa Cohen. A nationally recognized leader in the executive search industry, she has successfully represented leading organizations for more than 25 years. Ms. Suissa Cohen has recruited senior executives—nationally and internationally—for nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, public/private partnerships, and Fortune 500 companies. Her clients include: Johns Hopkins University, University of Southern California, Arizona State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas System, LaFarge NA, Pearson Government Solutions, Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute, and the Smithsonian Institution, among others.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Suissa Cohen founded VentureSearch, DC, where she provided executive search services in the national capital region from 2003 to 2005. VentureSearch focused on the fast-growing technology and biotech industries. She previously served as director, business development and recruiting, at Dinte Resources Inc., an executive search firm based in the Washington, D.C. area. In the late-1980s, she worked with search firms Eastman & Beaudine and Heidrick & Struggles.

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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