July 12, 2017 – Odgers Berndtson has opened a new office in Minneapolis and added three search professionals: Ron Woessner, Chris Fryer and Shawn Woessner.
“Chris, Shawn and I look forward to helping Odgers Berndtson continue to grow and demonstrate its dedication to preeminence in executive search excellence globally,” said Mr. Woessner. “Our more than 80 years of combined expertise in executive search and corporate leadership will enable us to serve clients in a wide array of industries as they drive business value and growth for their companies.”
“We’re thrilled to have Ron, Chris, and Shawn join us to further develop Odger Berndtson’s U.S. practice through this new Minneapolis office,” said Steve Potter, Odgers Berndtson U.S. CEO.
In addition to heading the firm’s agribusiness practice, Ron Woessner will work with Gary Payne in Odgers’ Houston office; they will serve as co-heads of U.S. private equity portfolio company recruiting. They will coordinate with Maria de Rossi to lead portfolio company searches across all industries and practices, as well as help recruit investors, marketers and staff for private equity firms.
Mr. Woessner began his search career as founder and CEO of Woessner & Associates in 1983. He merged his practice into DHR International in 2010, 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.
“With more than 30 years’ experience in CFO and private equity recruiting, Ron brings expertise in the agribusiness, manufacturing and consumer products industries, and we’ve asked him to establish an agribusiness practice for us,” said Mr. Potter.
Mr. Fryer joins Odgers as a partner. He was previously managing partner of the industrial practice at Allen Austin. Prior to that, he served as a client partner with Korn Ferry. He also spent eight years as vice president of executive search for financial services companies U.S. Bancorp/ Piper Jaffray and Ameriprise Financial, where his duties included executive search, functional leadership and directing teams.
“Chris also brings more than 30 years of executive search experience and will serve as the new head of our U.S. manufacturing practice,” said Mr. Potter.
Shawn Woessner becomes head of U.S. finance for Odgers. He had been a managing partner at Allen Austin, where he was responsible for the firm’s global financial officer practice and led searches across a variety of industries. He began his executive search career as a partner at Woessner Associates and as a managing partner of DHR. Mr. Woessner also has worked for Bemis and Arthur Andersen.
“Shawn has deep experience leading financial officer searches and will help organize and lead a finance practice focused on CFOs and other related finance recruiting needs,” said Mr. Potter.
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Odgers Berndtson has seen a wave of growth since the start of the year. In May, it added Lisa Hooker as a partner and Dr. Jessica French as a principal. Ms. Hooker, who serves clients in the firm’s 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. Previously, she was a senior associate at Korn Ferry in the firm’s healthcare practice.
In April, the firm added Lisa DeConto, Jane Swan and Brad Pierce. Ms. DeConto joined the firm as a partner and serves clients in the financial services sector. She had been a senior member of the asset and wealth management practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. Ms. Swan became a partner and head of Odgers Berndtson’s U.S. wealth management practice. Before joining the firm, she headed the wealth management practices at Sheffield Haworth, Korn Ferry and Heidrick & Struggles. Mr. Pierce was named a partner and serves clients in the international consulting and professional services sector, where he has 17-plus years experience. He previously founded a boutique search firm, in addition to earlier roles with Korn Ferry, Russell Reynolds Associates and Heidrick & Struggles.
In February, Odgers launched a new eSports practice. The search team, supported by the Odgers Berndtson international network, is based at the firm’s London office. It is global in scope with a particular focus on Asia and the U.S. As the eSports sector matures, the firm plans to network across broad geographies and markets to assist leagues, teams, sponsors and games publishers to access talent that will help them take advantage of the growing awareness of global eSports.
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