Ken Schwenke serves as managing partner in DHR International’s Hospitality & Leisure Practice Group.
Ken is a seasoned board member and corporate executive, having served in leadership roles ranging from command of Marine units to serving as president of a billion dollar public company. Ken is also an experienced consultant in finding executive talent, having done more than 400 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.
Ken brings to his board selection abilities significant real board experiences, 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.
Initially building on his Marine leadership experiences and MBA, Ken led human resources 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 their first year of eligibility.
Later Ken formed Gravitas, a boutique board and executive search firm with offices in Philadelphia and Chicago. Ken also has served on the faculties of both Duke and Villanova Universities, and led the formation of The Directors’ Institute, the first and only nonprofit membership organization focused on helping build, educate, and mentor the next generation of board leadership for American private, public, and charitable boards. Ken also 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.
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.