Odgers Berndtson Opens Corporate and Government Affairs Practice

December 4, 2018 – Executive search firm Odgers Berndtson has opened a corporate and government affairs practice in the U.S., bringing in Conrad Woody as a partner and practice leader.

“We’re really excited to have Conrad on the team in Washington, D.C.,” said Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S. “Corporate and government affairs recruiting is an increasingly urgent market segment, and we think Conrad is the right person to build out our capacities in the space.” As head of the U.S. corporate and government affairs practice, Mr. Woody will specialize in senior placements for companies, trade associations and non-profits in the government affairs, corporate communications, public affairs and economic development verticals.

He comes to the firm from Korn Ferry where, as a principal in its corporate affairs practice, he conducted senior-level searches for corporate communications, government affairs, trade association and non-profit professionals. In a previous role at Korn Ferry, Mr. Woody executed government affairs searches for major corporations and trade associations in a broad array of industries, and led the firm’s D.C. offices in placements for three consecutive years. Mr. Woody began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he was a member of the firmwide diversity recruiting team.

“It’s a critical time in Washington,” said Derek Wilkinson, head of Odgers Berndtson’s international development practice and leader of the Washington D.C. office. “It’s increasingly necessary that corporate leaders be equipped to address political, public affairs and reputational challenges. To meet this demand, we’re delighted to be strengthening our presence in the corporate and government affairs space. Conrad has a solid reputation in the market and we’re confident that he’ll extend our corporate affairs and government relations reach in Washington and throughout the U.S.”

Odgers Berndtson also hired Kimberley Wende as a principal in its Houston office, bolstering its human resources and energy practices. Ms. Wende joins the firm from HrQ, a boutique search firm specializing in HR search, staffing and consulting, where she was a managing consultant. She was previously a senior associate at Preng & Associates, focusing on the E&P and oilfield services industries, and a senior associate at Boyden Executive Search, where she focused on the oil and gas, professional services and consumer products industries.

For more than 50 years, Odgers Berndtson has delivered executive search, leadership assessment and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries. The U.S. wing of the firm launched in 2011 and is one of the fastest growing search firms in the Americas under Mr. Potter’s stewardship. Odgers Berndtson currently has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Expansion Wave

Odgers Berndtson has seen a wave of growth in recent months. Last month, the recruiting firm opened a new office in Atlanta with the additions of Mats-Ola Bydell and Christopher Grahn. The Atlanta office will be led by Mr. Bydell, who joins Odgers Berndtson as a partner in the industrial practice. He specializes in board and senior executive succession for both large and mid-cap global companies, and has extensive experience providing executive search and talent solutions to North American and global European-headquartered clients. Mr. Bydell comes from Korn Ferry, where for 10 years he was a senior client partner in its global industrial market

In August, the firm hired Nicole Phillips as a partner in the firm’s retail and consumer practices. Ms. Phillips joins Odgers from DHR International, where she was a partner in the global retail & consumer practices. She recruits across a range of functions with an emphasis on marketing, merchandising and digital.


Odgers Berndtson Strengthens Technology Practice, Adding Three Specialists
Odgers Berndtson expanded the size of its technology practice with the additions of Kevin Anderson and Doug Gladstone as partners and Lauren Claypool as a principal. 


In May, Odgers Berndtson expanded in western Canada with the appointment of Stephen Diotte to partner and head of leadership services for the western region, as well as the firm’s new Canadian energy sector expert. Mr. Diotte has deep consulting experience in working with leaders globally around talent and organizational strategy and redesign, specifically focused on the energy sector. He was most recently an associate partner at McKinsey & Company in Calgary.

In March, the firm added Michael T. Kelly to its Minneapolis office as vice chairman, global head of life sciences, and U.S. head of the healthcare and life sciences practices. Previously, Mr. Kelly was a partner in the life sciences practice with Caldwell Partners.

The firm began the year with the addition of four experienced and well-established executive search professionals: Richard Kim, Diane Lavietes, Margaret Plympton and Richard Modecki. Mr. Kim joined as a partner in the Houston office and was most recently the head of the energy sector with Futurestep. Ms. Lavietes joined the New York office as a partner and head of the firm’s U.S. consumer & retail practice. She was previously a SVP at Berglass + Associates. Dr. Plympton came to the Boston office as a partner in its U.S. higher education practice. She previously served as deputy chair and acting chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Mr. Modecki joined the firm as a principal in the technology practice based in Washington, D.C. He was most recently at Russell Reynolds Associates.


Odgers Berndtson Opens Offices in Denver and Miami
Odgers Berndtson opened offices in Miami and Denver. “More than a 1,000 multinational corporations have their Latin American headquarters in Miami,” said Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S. 


Odgers also 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.

Lastly, 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.

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

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