Ratliff & Taylor Seeks Next President for Leadership Akron

June 15, 2018 – Independence, OH-based executive search firm Ratliff & Taylor has been chosen to find the next president for Leadership Akron. The search is being led by senior consultant Patti Shumay and senior vice president and practice leader Linda J. Gray.

The non-profit’s previous leader, Mark Scheffler, departed earlier this year to become executive director of the Timken Foundation of Canton. Since that time, Leadership Akron has been led by interim president Wendy Bolas, a retired senior vice president and business banking manager for FirstMerit Bank (now Huntington Bank).

“We are eager to begin the process of finding the next leader of one of Akron’s finest organizations and are confident in the abilities and stellar reputation of Ratliff & Taylor to assist us,” said Nicholas V. Browning, president of Huntington Bank’s Akron region and chair of Leadership Akron’s board of trustees.

Ratliff & Taylor will be working with the organization’s search committee.

Veteran Recruiters

Founded in 1984, Leadership Akron’s mission is to strengthen and broaden the base of community leadership. The group works to help leaders see beyond their own spheres to the bigger picture of the community, and inspire them to become more effectively involved as community leaders. Its signature program offers community participants intensive study of local issues and interaction with top decision-makers, enabling them to expand their effectiveness as community leaders.

Ms. Shumay joined Ratliff & Taylor as an executive recruiter in 2010 and brings 17 years of recruitment marketing experience to her work. She is skilled in the development and execution of integrated strategic sourcing plans for companies in the healthcare, retail, manufacturing and insurance industries. Ms. Shumay recruits for mid-upper level management positions in a variety of disciplines such as marketing, sales, and finance.

Prior to joining Ratliff & Taylor, she worked for JWT Inside, a global employee relationship marketing agency and WPP company. During her time with JWT, Ms. Shumay was responsible for recruitment marketing strategy development and program implementation for such organizations as the Cleveland Clinic, Diebold, Summa Health System and Parker-Hannifin.

A New Equity Partner

Ms. Gray oversees all aspects of the Ratliff & Taylor retained search practice, working closely with clients as well as leading the team of search consultants. She is directly responsible for the quality of each search and the entire client experience. Her oversight includes workforce planning for the practice, resource allocation, hiring, training, tracking metrics and leveraging best practices. In addition, Ms. Gray conducts her own executive search engagements.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Gray held several leadership roles in human resources and talent acquisition at organizations including Dealer Tire; Weltman, Weinberg & Reis; Timken and KeyBank.


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As it continues to grow, Ratliff & Taylor recently announced that its president, Beth Sweeney, was to become an equity partner effective June 1. In addition to her ongoing role as president, she will serve as a member of the company’s board of directors.

An Accomplished Leader

As president, Ms. Sweeney is credited with fully integrating P&L responsibility including strategic and growth initiatives, sales and marketing, new product development, operations and client solutions for all three lines of the firm’s business: executive search, leadership development and career transition. She has more than 20 years of experience in the talent management arena and a successful record as a senior leader, coach and consultant.

“Beth is an insightful leader and true steward of our corporate culture,” said CEO Mike Milby.  “Her presence at Ratliff & Taylor enables us to execute our strategy that promotes business continuity by making great choices around our future leaders. We are very proud that Beth has chosen to join us as partner.”

Ms. Sweeney, who became president last year, has been widely recognized for her work in sales and marketing throughout a 20-plus year career. She previously served as market president at the firm; she was responsible for sales, marketing, new product development and customer experience. Prior to joining Ratliff & Taylor, she was SVP and general manager for Lee Hecht Harrison, a global talent management organization. Ms. Sweeney also held positions with the Mt. Sinai Health Care System as corporate director of marketing and public affairs and as a producer and reporter for WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland.

Ratliff & Taylor serves corporate clients in the areas of executive search, leadership development and career transition.  The firm attracts clients from around the world and provides counsel to both middle-market and Fortune 500 organizations.

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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