The Hawkins Company Seeking Chief Equity Officer for the International City/County Management Association

April 18, 2024 – The Hawkins Company, a Los Angeles-based executive recruitment firm, is currently leading the search for a chief equity officer for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in Washington, D.C. Yonnine Hawkins Garr, William Hawkins, and Tisa Jones are leading the assignment. ICMA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) spans over 80 years, with dedicated efforts dating back to 1974 and the establishment of the first Task Force on Women in the Profession. Their approach includes data collection, and the development of coaching, mentoring, and professional development programs to support managers of all backgrounds.

The chief equity officer will be responsible for leading ICMA’s commitment and strategy to be a globally diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. The position will provide thought-leadership, strategy, planning, and guidance in setting and implementing an overarching vision of diversity, equity, and inclusion for ICMA members and the communities they serve. The position serves as a trusted member of the ICMA senior leadership team, proactively advising the CEO/ ED, ICMA board, members and colleagues on diversity, social justice, and related matters. They will serve as an advisor to the CEO by assisting with the implementation of operational plans in alignment with equity, international and U.S. growth strategies. This leader will provide vision and leadership to spark transformative DEI change in the work, culture, and member engagement of ICMA.

ICMA seeks a people-centric, inspiring, and visionary leader passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ideal candidate is team-oriented with a proven track record of working with organizations to achieve actionable and measurable DEI results. Candidates should have eight or more years of progressively responsible experience in disciplines overlapping with transformative DEI initiatives, including at least four years in senior management. They must have demonstrated experience in developing and leading multi-year strategic DEI plans, or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to perform the job’s essential functions.

Tracing its roots back over a century, the International City/County Management Association is a venerable organization that has pioneered local government management since 1908. ICMA provides education and networking opportunities for its members and offers the Credentialed Manager program to provide professional credentialing to city and county executive managers. It also conducts research, provides technical assistance and training, and promotes professional local government excellence.

Related: Using Culture as a Competitive Advantage

Established in 1984, The Hawkins Company is a management consulting firm specializing in executive recruitment. While recognized for its expertise in diversity recruiting, the firm is a general practitioner that focuses on achieving the executive level staffing objectives of private, public, educational and non-profit clients. Early on, The Hawkins Company focused exclusively on private sector recruiting. Over time, it was requested to conduct searches for government agencies and became nationally recognized for its ability to apply private sector search strategies to meet the recruitment needs of public sector clients.

Finding Senior Talent

Today, its client base includes educational institutions and non-profit organizations. The firm has conducted over 700 national, regional, and local executive searches for CEOs, COOs, CAOs, CFOs, and other officers, directors, senior managers and professional staff.

The Hawkins Company Recruits Chief Race & Equity Officer for the City of San Diego
After an extensive national executive search, The Hawkins Company has assisted in the placement of Kim Desmond as the inaugural chief race and equity officer of the City of San Diego, CA. Currently the chief equity officer for the City and County of Denver, she is slated to begin in her position on Aug. 3. Ms. Desmond was selected from a competitive candidate pool. Her expertise, innovation and track record enabled her to be chosen as the final candidate, said The Hawkins Company. “Her experience, expertise, transparency and bold leadership will help to assist in our city’s efforts to implement sweeping systemic changes in pursuit of racial, social and economic justice,” said councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe, who proposed creating the position. “A focus on race and equity is an investment for all of us,” said Ms. Desmond.

Joining The Hawkins Company in 2013, Ms. Hawkins Garr serves as a vice president for the firm. Ms. Garr began her career in the mortgage banking and finance industry, becoming a skilled real estate commercial and residential lender, eventually working in real estate development, construction, as well as real estate asset management. Her executive-search work focuses on financial services, economic and community development, construction, facility management, asset management, and human resources. Ms. Hawkins Garr has co-led many of the firm’s senior-level assignments.

A part of The Hawkins Company since 2018, Mr. Hawkins serves as a vice president for the firm. With a vast and varied background in community engagement, brand management and advocacy strategy, his role at the firm is twofold. He concentrates on creating new development opportunities, widening the firm’s public engagement and outreach. He also conducts executive searches for entrepreneurial enterprises at the C-suite level, as well as for community-based non-profits and has developed a specialized expertise in recruiting fund development executives.

Ms. Jones joined the search firm in 2016. She began her career in hospitality, managing her family’s restaurant business, overseeing human resources, customer service, public relations, and finances. She specializes in human resources, legal, finance, IT, and general management in all sectors. Ms. Jones has played a major role on numerous successful executive search assignments while managing the firm’s candidate background and reference process.

Related: The Hawkins Company Assists City of Santa Monica in Finding New Fire Chief

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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