October 19, 2018 – The Ropella Group, an executive search firm specializing in the chemical, consumer products and technology industries, has launched a new search on behalf of Thomas Swan & Company to find a new president for its Swan Chemical Inc. (SCI) organization. The current leader, Chuck Van Fleet, is preparing to retire after 21 years with the company.
Thomas Swan is an independent, family-owned chemical manufacturing company with an eye towards innovation. SCI has been involved in the sale and distribution of Thomas Swan’s U.K.-made products for decades, and it has recently experienced four years of strong growth.
The president at SCI reports directly to Harry Swan, the owner of Thomas Swan. This executive will have the opportunity to lead a customer-centric, financially strong company. “They should be prepared to lead by example, working hands-on in the trenches with their team,” said the Ropella Group. “They need to be both an independent self-starter and a trustworthy team player.” A bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline is required, with chemistry or chemical engineering being preferred.
As first-in-command at SCI, the president will have the autonomy to make decisions quickly and respond accordingly with the goals of maintaining the existing business and expanding sustainably, said the search firm. The individual will be responsible for managing the business, including budget preparation and approval, regulatory compliance and supervising toll manufacturers.
“They will have ownership of all hiring, onboarding and ongoing training within SCI,” the Ropella Group said. “They will manage direct sales territories, as well as overseeing all sales contracts. The president will also introduce proposals for new investments, products or other growth, and the oversight to effectively implement these strategies.”
For the past 35 years, the Ropella Group has been a strategic partner to clients in the chemical, technology and consumer products industries. Among the firm’s clients are global chemical companies such as BASF, Dow, Akzo Nobel, Tate & Lyle, National Starch (Ingredion), IFF and Lonza; technology companies such as GE, J&J, Ethicon, Tyco, Sony, PPG and Benjamin Moore; and consumer products companies like Clorox, Nike, Bayer, Whirlpool, JM Smucker, Shell Gas and Reckitt Benckiser. The firm is headquartered in Milton, FL.
The firm’s president, Robbie Ropella, works closely with her husband, Patrick, chairman and CEO, to provide synergy and balance to the search team. Ms. Ropella has over 25 years of recruiting experience in the chemical, allied and high technology industries, giving her insight into the unique career, recruitment and hiring challenges faced by leaders in these areas.
The SMART Search System
Ropella uses its proprietary SMART Search System, which was designed to drive the quality and speed of its searches. The system “helps us find highly specialized executives you can’t effectively recruit on your own, in about 10 days,” said the firm. “It impacts an organization’s long-term success, enhances their employment brand and yields a greater quality of hire.”
“I speak for myself when I say that the Ropella process has been impressive with regard to other search firms and headhunters we’ve used in the past,” said Clint Shepard, talent acquisition leader at the Dow Chemical Company, one of Ropella’s clients. “Truly a dynamic process between the research efforts, skill surveys, marketing piece and executive summaries.”
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