December 7, 2020 – Executive recruiters are in hot pursuit of chief human resource officers and other senior-level HR leaders across the nation. Why such pent-up demand for top flight HR experts? Corporate leaders want HR leaders who are sophisticated, proactive and strategic-minded, with strong business savvy to drive their people capabilities like they would a P&L, according to executive recruiters. CEOs in particular want their HR leaders to proactively recommend a host of forward-thinking initiatives that will provide a competitive advantage.
Thomas Christopher and Jim Gorjup of The Christopher Group (TCG) recently placed Tate Cutrer as senior vice president of human resources at Brookwood Financial Partners, a Beverly, MA-based private equity real estate investment firm.
Mr. Cutrer brings over 15 years of human resources expertise to Brookwood and Yesway having previously held multiple HR roles at RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. His specialties include: HR strategy, talent management and acquisition, leadership development and coaching, employee relations, public speaking and communication.
In his new position, Mr. Cutrer will oversee all aspects of the human resources department for Brookwood and its affiliate Yesway, which owns and operates a national portfolio of gas stations and convenience stores.
Brookwood Financial Partners is a private equity real estate investment firm that specializes in acquiring and managing value-add commercial real estate and related operating businesses on behalf of a select group of institutional investors, including endowments, pension funds and foundations, family offices, and high net worth individuals. Since its founding in 1993, the firm has invested over $1.8 billion of equity to acquire a portfolio of 200 commercial real estate properties, seven operating companies, and 451 gas stations and convenience stores. The firm’s $3.4 billion historical portfolio has spanned multiple asset classes, geographical markets, and industries across the U.S.
Founded in 1998 by Tom and Paula Christopher (former HR executives with GE, Pepsi, Progressive Insurance and Citigroup), The Christopher Group is a boutique HR executive search and staffing solutions firms. It is a highly specialized organization, staffed by former HR professionals and highly trained search practitioners who use proprietary, scientific and industry-leading systems, tools and processes.
Its client list includes Kraft, Whirlpool Corporation, Pepsi, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Welch’s, Nationwide, SC Johnson, Walgreens, USAA, Verizon, Penn State University, Honeywell, Hanes, Allstate, Delta Dental, BP, Capital One, Comcast, Dish, Exxon Mobil, First Energy, Goodyear, Johnson & Johnson, Goodyear, Parker Hannifin, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Lamb Weston, Meijer, Petco, Air Products and many more.
Recruiting During a Pandemic
With the global COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on businesses all around the globe, companies and their recruiters have been forced to find new ways to operate, said Mr. Christopher. “This global pandemic has really turned things upside down. There has been a definite slowdown in certain sector activity, while other sectors are charging forward,” with business. Some clients are using this as a great opportunity to conduct opportunistic hiring, he said. “They are going after the hard-to-recruit, high performance/ high potential talent who now may be more willing to listen.”
Christopher Group Seeks CHRO for American Hotel and Lodging Association
The Christopher Group has been retained by the American Hotel and Lodging Association to lead the organization’s CHRO search. Founder and CEO Thomas Christopher, recruiting manager Kristen Pace, and senior operations manager Matthew Duda are leading the assignment. “The Christopher Group is pleased and honored to launch our second chief human resources officer search for a leading national trade association,” said Mr. Christopher. “This is a very dynamic and exciting organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. whose members include 10 of the largest hotel chains in the world.”
Mr. Christopher said he expects some long-term effects from the pandemic on the executive search industry. “We are hearing more discussion around digital processes and remote work arrangements,” he said. “Clients who may have been apprehensive before are pleased to see such innovative sourcing and work arrangements working so well.”
In the end, he said, the search business is all about people. “Y2k was about technology, 2009 was about finance/banking, but this global crisis is all about people. Distancing has created voids of communication, culture, alignment and teaming. Forward thinking HR teams are rising up and providing exceptional communication and engagement support to ensure their people feel informed, connected, aligned, and engaged. Great opportunity for HR leadership!”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media