Ken Schwenke


Ken is a seasoned business leader, developer, and board member having served in leadership roles ranging from command of Marine units to serving as president of a $1.5B public company.

Ken is also an experienced consultant in finding executive talent, having done more than five hundred fifty searches for employers and clients across a wide range of industries and in roles ranging from public company board members and C-suite executives to senior functional and operational leaders.
Previously, Ken led HR functional teams for top-tier companies including Pepsi, Honeywell, and Aramark, where he was SVP of Human Resources. From Aramark, Ken entered the entrepreneurial world, and took his first company from start-up to a successful exit in four years, becoming the third-fastest growing business in the greater Philadelphia area (Philly 100© Winner), and the first-ever to win a top three growth record in the first year of eligibility.

Later Ken formed Gravitas, a boutique board and executive search firm with offices in Philadelphia and Chicago. Ken has extensive board experience having served in a wide array of board roles ranging from trusteeship to public board service, with experience on over 40 for-profit boards, both public and private, in the US, Canada and six countries in Europe. As a search consultant, he is also able to bring his significant leadership, business knowledge, and functional knowledge to bear to help his clients solve their key leadership challenges. 90% of Ken’s clients provide him with repeat business, and due to his success was able to transition his firm to DHR International in 2015.

He recently joined the AL team, based in Philadelphia with a focus on retail, hospitality, and services, as well as board and C-level leadership roles. Ken also has served on the faculties of both Duke and Villanova Universities, led the formation of The Directors’ Institute, and serves as chairman of Longleaf Properties LLC, a North Carolina-based real estate development and management firm owning and managing retail, office, and residential properties in the Winston-Salem, NC area. He also owns a “tiki boat” business – – operating along the NC coast.

Ken is a 1976 graduate of Syracuse University and SUNY ESF and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from each. Ken also is a 1986 MBA graduate of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, with a focus in entrepreneurship and new venture management. He and wife live in Bryn Mawr, PA and Atlantic Beach NC.