October 16, 2020 – Chief human resources officers have become critical stakeholders in defining the strategy of a company. Their job description calls for them to tackle the HR challenges and evolving expectations of a dynamic workplace environment that will consist of constant change, calculated risk taking and evolving expectations from top stakeholders.
Those well-equipped to achieve the greatest success will have diverse skill-sets, be adaptable and agile, and gain hands-on learning from working through real life situations and acquiring knowledge across disciplines and industries.
New York City-based executive search Miller Black Associates recently placed Sandra Beckett as CHRO of CITY Furniture in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Joanna Miller led the assignment.
“This was an attractive opportunity for a number of HR professionals because of the quality, reputation and culture of the company, as well as their growth trajectory, so the client was able to be quite selective,” said Ms. Miller. “Although CITY Furniture is not a heavy manufacturer, they wanted someone who had been trained in progressive manufacturing systems such as Toyota Way, Lean/Six Sigma and other related methodologies.”
“Sandra has been with best practices industrial companies, so had that background and perspective,” Ms. Miller said. “She had experience in fast growing businesses, and also has a diversity and inclusion orientation which is important to CITY. Her recent MBA has also enhanced her business acumen and ability to contribute to strategy formulation at the leadership table, beyond the traditional HR domain.”
Ms. Beckett previously served as vice president of human resources for the commercial building solutions division of Corner Building Brands. She held prior human resources roles at Stanley Black & Decker, Textron, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing.
Established in 1971, City Furniture is one of the largest home furnishing and accent retailers in Florida. As a family-owned and operated company, “we’ve come to develop a unique culture based on the values we all share and the relationships that we have nurtured and developed,” City Furniture said.
Miller Black was founded in 2010 by Ms. Miller around the principle of putting limited client engagements underway at any one time. This allows the team to offer flexible, efficient and cost-effective services, according to the search firm, without compromising quality. Functional specialties include HR, finance, marketing, operations and general management, in financial services, professional services, industrial, consumer and not-for-profit. Miller Black’s services include retained executive search, talent advisory, competitive intelligence, succession planning, compensation studies, independent external referencing and executive coaching.
Ms. Miller has over 25 years of executive search experience with top-tier global search firms, including serving as a partner at Russell Reynolds Associates, Korn Ferry and Horton. In addition to her search practice, she also led a management assessment practice. Ms. Miller’s client work has mainly focused on senior positions in human resources and other corporate functions in a variety of industries including consumer products, financial services and non-profit.
CHRO Recruiting in the News
The Christopher Group (TCG) has been retained by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) to lead the organization’s chief human resources officer search. Founder and CEO Thomas Christopher, recruiting manager Kristen Pace and senior operations manager Matthew Duda are leading the assignment. “The Christopher Group is pleased and honored to launch our second chief human resources officer search for a leading national trade association,” said Mr. Christopher. “This is a very dynamic and exciting organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. whose members include 10 of the largest hotel chains in the world.”
Los Angeles-based Shelli Herman and Associates just placed Maurice Wiggins as the first chief human resources officer of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Shelli Herman, president of the recruitment firm, led the assignment along with her associate, Krista Haley. “With this hire, our client was really looking for someone who put people and culture first,” said Ms. Herman. “The Whitney Museum has a long and robust history of hiring and mentoring great people who are deeply passionate about the work and enormously committed to mission.”
Hanold Associates’ Keri Gavin, Mayank Parikh, Lisa Butkus and Jason Hanold have placed former Coca-Cola Co. executive Shane Smith as CHRO of Tailored Brands. Moderna Therapeutics, a company racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, is also partnering with the Chicago-based search firm for multiple HR leadership searches. Hanold Associates is also partnering with Cambridge, MA-based Moderna Therapeutics on multiple human resources leadership searches. Ashley Schiele, Katrina Prospero, Kile Hanold, Sandra Peña and Mr. Hanold are leading those searches.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media