Odgers Berndtson, Continuing Expansion, Adds Four Recruiters

January 9, 2018 – Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson has continued its recent expansion with the addition of four experienced and well-established executive search professionals to the firm:  Richard Kim, Diane Lavietes, Margaret Plympton, and Richard Modecki.

Mr. Kim has joined as a partner in the firm’s Houston office where he will work Jim Thompson and Gary Payne serving the firm’s energy and industrial practice groups. He brings more than 20 years of experience in executive search, corporate talent acquisition and energy commodities to Odgers Berndtson having worked in the full spectrum of the energy industry including exploration and production, midstream, oilfield services, refining and petrochemical, public and private utilities, EPC and private equity.

Mr. Kim was most recently the head of the energy sector with Futurestep. Prior to beginning his career in search, he managed various corporate talent acquisition departments, consulted for energy companies, and originated/structured/traded natural gas.

Ms. Lavietes has joined the New York office of Odgers as a partner and head of the firm’s U.S. consumer & retail practice. Before joining Odgers, she was a senior vice president at retail consumer boutique firm Berglass + Associates, where she worked across every function and title from the C-suite and executive board level through to vice president in the consumer sector. Her work has stretched from marketing, merchandising and creative to digital and IT. Through her knowledge of emerging technology across omni-channel retail, she has gained deep expertise in the digital retail world.

Before beginning her career in search, Ms. Lavietes was a marketing leader in the beauty and publishing industries working for The Walt Disney Company, American Express, The New York Times, Conde Nast, and Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.

An experienced search professional with deep university and academic expertise, Dr. Plympton has joined the Boston office of Odgers as a partner in its U.S. higher education practice. Before joining Odgers, she served as deputy chair and acting chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Prior to NEH, she was a consultant with the higher education and non-profit practice of executive search firm Witt Kieffer, supporting searches for deans, provosts and CFOs.

She previously served as the VP for finance and administration at Lehigh University and at Bucknell University, and also held administrative/finance roles at Yale University, Wellesley College, and Harvard University. She is also a past president of the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO) and served as a board member of EDUCAUSE, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), and other non-profit organizations.

Mr. Modecki has joined Odgers Berndtson as a principal in the firm’s technology practice based in its Washington, D.C. office. He brings over a decade of global executive recruiting experience to the firm having conducted searches for C-suite executives, as well as for highly specialized, mission-critical, and technical roles for technology-focused companies.

Mr. Modecki was most recently at Russell Reynolds Associates and began his career in Japan executing searches for bilingual executives as the Osaka branch manager of a Japanese executive search.


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“We’re thrilled to have four executive search professionals with deep experience in the consumer & retail, energy & industrial, technology, and higher education join us to further develop the firm’s executive search and leadership assessment and development practices,” said Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S.

“With more than 40 years of combined executive recruiting experience, this new team of people based in New York, Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C., further enhances Odgers Berndtson’s abilities to serve a broad client base throughout the U.S. and the world,” he said. “Organizations of every size and sector depend on talent to realize their success. Odgers Berndtson is dedicated to bringing the very best C-suite executives and board directors to help clients address their most pressing challenges and needs.”

Expansion Wave

Odgers Berndtson has seen a wave of growth this year. Recently, it opened a new office in Dublin. The move was made to enhance the firm’s capacity to support global companies looking to establish new centers of operation in Europe in readiness for Brexit, according to Odgers. The new location is led by Damian Ringwood, who becomes managing partner, Odgers Berndtson Dublin.

In November, Odgers added Susannah Crabtree as partner and head of its Ottawa office. She specializes in the recruitment of senior executives in the Ottawa market, with a focus on the public and not-for-profit sectors. She is also a key member of Odgers Berndtson’s leadership practice, helping clients assess and develop their leadership teams, succession plans and high-potential talent. Ms. Crabtree previously served as Ottawa office leader for Mercer Canada.

In September, Odgers acquired the former Boyden licensee in Washington, D.C., adding five people to the firm, including Tim McNamara and Derek Wilkinson, former Boyden partners with more than 45 years’ combined management consulting and recruiting experience. Judy Whitaker, Diana Farmer and Kelly Crittenden, also from the Boyden licensee, will be joining the Washington, D.C. office. Allen Reed, a partner in Odgers Berndtson’s healthcare & life sciences practice, is now based in the new office as well, along with Richard Modecki, a principal in the technology and aerospace & defense sector.

Also in September, the firm opened a new office in Washington, D.C. when it acquired the former Boyden licensee in the region. The acquisition added five people to the firm, including Tim McNamara and Derek Wilkinson, former Boyden partners with more than 45 years of combined management consulting and recruiting experience.

In July, Odgers opened an office in Minneapolis and added three search professionals:  Ron Woessner, Chris Fryer and Shawn Woessner. Mr. Woessner began his search career as founder and CEO of Woessner & Associates in 1983.  In 2010, he merged his practice into DHR International, where he served as global leader of its chief financial officer practice. He then joined Allen Austin, where he served as managing partner, global financial officer practice. Mr. Fryer previously served as managing partner of the industrial practice at Allen Austin. Mr. Woessner, who is head of U.S. finance for Odgers, had been a managing partner at Allen Austin, where he was responsible for the firm’s global financial officer practice.

In May, the firm added Lisa Hooker as a partner and Jessica French as a principal. Ms. Hooker, who serves clients in the technology practice, brings 20-plus years of executive search expertise in telecommunications, consumer electronics, cloud services, cyber security, IoT and SaaS. She has also conducted assignments for venture capital and private equity firms, recruiting for their portfolio companies. Previously, she was a founding partner at BridgeStreet Partners Executive Search. Dr. French serves clients in the higher education and academic medicine sectors. She specializes in search for senior leaders in research universities and academic medical centers. She was previously a senior associate with Korn Ferry in the firm’s healthcare practice.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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