Odgers Berndtson Continues Rapid U.S. Expansion with New Office, Strong Foothold in Houston; Three New Partners Cement Firm’s Leadership Role in Energy & Industrial Executive Search

HOUSTON, TX, March 29, 2016 — Odgers Berndtson, a leading global executive search and leadership advisory firm, has opened a Houston office and added three new partners from the energy and industrial space as part of its global strategy to provide clients with deep sector expertise. Jim Thompson, Gary Payne, and Mary Campagnano, all formerly Managing Partners at Allen Austin, will be Partners in the Energy & Industrial Practice at Odgers Berndtson’s new Houston office.

“Odgers Berndtson is rapidly expanding in the U.S.,” said Steve Potter, Managing Partner for Odgers Berndtson’s U.S. operations. “In the last 18 months, we have attracted more than 11 sector specialists to our team in practices ranging from Media/Consumer/Digital and Aerospace Defense, to Healthcare/Life Sciences/Pharmaceuticals. Our investment in Houston places us squarely in the middle of one of the largest world markets. The recent acquisition of Charleston Partners, helmed by Fran Luisi, a nationally known human resources executive search professional with deep expertise and broad connections in the energy segment, will tremendously boost the office’s search expertise and capabilities. Fran will be based in Houston as well as New York.”

“Jim, Gary and Mary, along with Fran, will become part of Odgers Berndtson’s global Energy Practice, which includes specialists in Aberdeen, Scotland, and Calgary, Canada,” Potter continued. “They each bring a unique perspective on what we call integrated energy, the broad spectrum of energy from traditional oil and gas to power, renewables, clean technologies and a wide range of industrials that support the energy sector.”

Jim Thompson will serve the talent search needs of leading U.S. B2B industrial companies in oil and gas, power, renewables, clean technology and related Industrial businesses. Prior to Jim’s time at Allen Austin, where he was a member of the firms’ CEO and CMO practices, Jim spent more than 25 years as an industry executive with Fortune 500, multi-national, energy, power and renewables companies.

“The demands across the energy spectrum vary widely today,” said Jim Thompson. “For traditional oil and gas, the challenge is finding executives who can manage people and capital resources in tight and fluctuating markets. The power industry needs senior leaders who can manage rapid change while the industry navigates a paradigm shift in its traditional business models. Renewables and clean tech require C-level suite executives who can straddle the management of both high growth and new technology. Thus, from a broad perspective, the energy and industrial space is in great need of an executive search firm that can skillfully match candidates with organizational needs. That’s where we come in.”

Gary Payne will focus on filling C-level positions in industrial manufacturing, distribution, clean tech, oil & gas and power with roles in general management, finance, supply chain, international leadership and human resources. Gary combines more than 30 years of experience in executive/board search, executive management and systems integration consulting. Prior to beginning his career in search, Gary served in leadership roles with IBM and as Chairman/CEO for a private equity-backed specialty manufacturing company.

“There are extensive talent opportunities as we move forward, especially around renewables and clean technology,” Gary Payne said. “Short-term, oil and gas is surprisingly active in the midstream and downstream sectors. The petrochemical market is very active. Clean tech and renewables require C-level senior leaders with the rare combination of experience in both energy and high tech. Our collective experience will enable us to marry the energy side with the technology side in the candidates that we present to organizations.”

Mary Campagnano will leverage her chemical, power, oil and gas senior talent relationships by focusing on the full energy value chain (upstream, downstream, midstream) and related industrial products and services (PVF, EPC and environmental). Mary has more than 20 years of business and executive retained search experience augmenting talent in high-growth and turnaround companies for energy & industrial resources, professional services and private equity. She started her search career at Russell Reynolds Associates.

“Energy is a global market as is talent today. Making the move to Odgers Berndtson connects our team to a global network of sector experts,” said Mary Campagnano. “There isn’t a power, gas, crude or EPC executive not on our radar screen. Thus, this is an exciting opportunity for us to be able to leverage knowledge and insights from our new international colleagues and to provide our clients with the state-of-the-art resources that come from being part of a rapidly growing, blue chip organization.”

Jim Thompson and Gary Payne will be based in Houston and Mary Campagnano will be based in Dallas.

In the last two years, Odgers Berndtson has seen its revenues double in size in the U.S. and the firm plans to add another four to five sector specialists before the end of 2016.

About Odgers Berndtson in the U.S.

Odgers Berndtson is a leading global executive search and leadership advisory firm, with more than 210 partners managing client engagement from offices in 51 cities across 29 countries. For more information, please see

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