January 26, 2018 – Executive recruitment firms have made a number of top leadership appointments this past year, many focused on strategy, growth, branding efforts and operations.
The latest: Chicago-based Quick Leonard Kieffer has named Steven M. Derks as its president and CEO. He takes over from Roger Quick, who will now serve as vice chair.
“We are delighted to welcome Steve to our firm and are confident his leadership will help us build on what we have established at Quick Leonard Kieffer,” said Mike Kieffer, chairman, and Mr. Quick, in a joint statement. “Steve believes deeply in our values of doing great work for our clients, assembling a top notch team of professionals that can find talent and discern great fit and ongoing learning so we continue to add value for our clients and candidates.”
Mr. Derks brings over 25 years of executive level leadership and experience to his new role. From 2012 to 2017, he served as president and CEO of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), the iconic voluntary health association known for its Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon and summer camps for kids. In this role, he led an aggressive reorganization and rebranding to help reposition the $160 million non-profit. Before that, he was CEO of the American Cancer Society’s Illinois division.
In addition, he joined with David Bernauer, then chairman and CEO of Walgreens, to help found CEOs Against Cancer. He also launched the Discovery Ball, now a $3 million per year black-tie event that funds cancer research, patient services, education and advocacy. Mr. Derks is also a co-founder of Horizons for Youth, a Chicago scholarship and mentoring program that serves 250 at risk children each year.
“I believe my professional and civic work as well as my education and training are prelude to this next chapter serving clients to find great leadership talent for life-saving and life-enhancing missions,” said Mr. Derks.
Quick Leonard Kieffer specializes in executive and board search for hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, associations and professional societies, life sciences and medical device as well as large non-profits and foundations. The firm was established in 1999.
Leadership Appointments Rising at Search Firms
Leadership appointments have been gaining traction at executive search firms in recent months. Here’s a look at several taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
TillmanCarlson appointed Kelly Carlson as its president and CEO. Entering its 16th year, the firm says her promotion sets the stage for growth, innovation and the ability to provide a clear alternative to larger human capital firms. Ms. Carlson joined founder Rob Tillman a year after the search firm was founded after having worked with him in her for Russell Reynolds Associates.
DRG Search appointed Dara Klarfeld as its new CEO. She is now responsible for leading all aspects of DRG’s work with organizations in the non-profit sector. Ms. Klarfeld worked in the non-profit sector for more than a decade before joining DRG Search. Ms. Klarfeld worked in the non-profit sector for more than a decade before joining DRG Search.
Hong Kong-headquartered search firm Bó Lè Associates announced that Pierre Zhuang has resigned as CEO and the board named David Chan, managing director and its Shanghai office head, as its new CEO. Mr. Chan joined the firm in 2015 and was head of Bó Lè Associates’ Hong Kong office prior to taking on the role as head of Bó Lè Shanghai office in August of this year.
U.K.-headquartered Armstrong Craven, a specialist executive search and intelligence consultancy, has named Tom Mason as its new CEO. Mr. Mason previously served as senior vice president at Pontoon Solutions, part of the Adecco Group. Before that, he was a partner at boutique firm Mason McLoud and managing director for EMEA at Allegis Global Solutions.
U.K.-based executive search and interim firm Holmes Noble appointed Donna Chapman as its CEO. Her experience at board level includes mergers and acquisitions, commercial directorship, HR, talent strategies and growth through successful leadership for listed companies, privately-owned and private equity-backed organizations.
Non-profit executive recruiters Higher Talent appointed Mindy Cohen as president and managing partner. Ms. Cohen has been instrumental in establishing the firm’s dedication to educational institutions and non-profits across the country over the past 15 years. She has recruited senior executives, nationally and internationally, for non-profit organizations…
Lois L. Lindauer Searches (LLLS) named Deb Taft as its new CEO. The carefully planned changeover comes as the firm celebrates its 20th anniversary. Chosen by founder Lois L. Lindauer to lead the firm into the next era, Ms. Taft brings over 25 years senior-level development and executive management experience to the role.
Sales-focused executive recruitment provider TwentyPine has promoted Jamie Coakley to CEO. In her new role she is responsible for leading growth strategy and execution of the company’s long-term vision across operations, sales and marketing. Ms. Coakley has a history of re-energizing growth and profitability for mature recruiting and staffing companies.
Heidrick & Struggles recently named Krishnan Rajagopalan as its new president and CEO. Mr. Rajagopalan has served as acting CEO since Tracy Wolstencroft took a medical leave of absence in April. Based in Washington, D.C., 57-year-old Mr. Rajagopalan also leads the firm’s executive committee. He has been with Heidrick for 16 years.
San-Francisco-headquartered executive search firm O’Rourke & Associates appointed Rebecca Bower as president. Ms. Bower is widely regarded as a top leadership advisor with a career that spans nearly 25 years in human resources, management, training and sales. O’Rourke & Associates specializes in credit union industry recruiting.
Ratliff & Taylor appointed Beth Sweeney as its president, where she now has full profit-and-loss responsibility for each of the company’s three practices: executive search, leadership development and career transition. Ms. Sweeney previously served as market president at the firm. Ms. Sweeney will have full profit-and-loss responsibility for each of the company’s three practices.
Executive search firm Cobalt Recruitment tapped James Wakefield as its CEO. Mr. Wakefield joined Cobalt in 2007 coming from the management team at Michael Page in London. In 2009, Mr. Wakefield moved to the UAE to help Cobalt establish a presence in the region, and in 2014 he was promoted to international managing director.
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