The Wallace Foundation Taps H C Smith to Find Chief Talent and HR Officer

March 5, 2020 – CHROs have become critical stakeholders in defining the strategy of a company. Their job description calls for them to tackle the HR challenges and evolving expectations of a dynamic workplace environment that will consist of constant change, calculated risk taking and evolving expectations from top stakeholders.

Those well-equipped to achieve the greatest success will have diverse skill-sets, be adaptable and agile, and gain hands-on learning from working through real life situations and acquiring knowledge across disciplines and industries.

Recently, Beachwood, OH-based executive search firm H C Smith was selected by the Wallace Foundation to lead its search for a new chief talent and human resources officer. Herbert C. Smith, founder and president of the firm is leading the assignment along with Rebecca R. Smith, principal.

The chief talent and human resources officer (CTHRO) will work closely with and report directly to the foundation’s president. The position will focus on overall organization development, employee engagement, talent acquisition and management strategies. Its aim will be to create high performance teams that enable the foundation to achieve its mission within a culture that fully reflects its core values. The CTHRO is a member of the foundations’ senior management team and shares responsibility for overall strategic planning and organizational policy. She or he serves as a liaison to the governance and compensation committee of the board, and chairs the administrative committee, which has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the foundation’s retirement and deferred compensation plans.

Candidate Qualifications

H C Smith said that candidates should have “demonstrated ability to effectively collaborate as part of a high-performing, integrated, senior management team in a mission-driven, values-based culture, actively contributing across the foundation to improve how we work together and build trust.” They should have the proven ability to design and lead strategic organizational cultural initiatives (in areas such as building high performance teams and diversity, equity and inclusion), and a strong track record of employee relations experience with technical skills to deliver the full scope of excellent day-to-day human resources services to the foundation staff.

The Wallace Foundation, based in New York City, is an independent, national philanthropy with $1.6 billion in assets. The foundation traces its origins back more than half a century to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of the Reader’s Digest Association.

Veteran Recruiters

Dr. Smith founded H C Smith Ltd. in 1985. He has recruited for small, midsized, and global organizations such as IBM, Pitney Bowes, NASA, General Electric, DuPont, Xerox, General Motors, International Paper, Lincoln Financial, Dana Corporation, National Medical Association, and many others locally and nationally. In addition to his work as an executive search consultant, Dr. Smith is a trusted advisor and management consultant to executive leaders and their organizations.

Ms. Smith is a highly-regarded practitioner in the arts and cultural sector. Trained as a musician and educator, she has devoted her career to the arts and other non-profit organizations. She is a skilled facilitator of diverse search committees charged with the task of selecting executive and senior leadership for orchestras, festivals, botanical gardens, museums and other cultural institutions.

In addition to its executive recruiting practice HC Smith can assist with strategic planning, executive counseling and facilitating initiatives for organizational change.

CHRO Recruiting in the News

 Hunt Scanlon Media has tracked a number of CHRO search assignments over the past six months. Here’s a sampling taken from the company’s daily newswire archives:

The Jackson Laboratory recently retained Heidrick & Struggles to help assist in its search for a new chief human resources officer. Irenee Sitbon is the point person for the assignment. Initially based in Bar Harbor, ME, the CHRO will be responsible for establishing and activating a people strategy that advances the overall institutional and strategic direction of the organization, said Heidrick.

Hanold Associates has been enlisted to find CHROs for two organizations: InMoment, a customer feedback company owned by private equity firm Madison Dearborn, and JCFS Chicago, a non-profit social service group. For InMoment, the CHRO will be the key leader of all HR processes throughout the Salt Lake City, UT-based company. The HR leader will report directly to CEO Andrew Joiner. Hanold Associates’ Neela Seenandan, co-CEO and managing partner, and Lisa Butkus, partner, are leading the assignment. InMoment’s CHRO will be expected to lead a growing team of HR professionals within the organization and focus on guiding it through a period of intense change and growth, said Hanold Associates.

Los Angeles-based Shelli Herman and Associates has been selected by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City to find its first CHRO. Shelli Herman, president of the recruitment firm, is leading the assignment along with her associate, Krista Haley. It is a plum assignment from one of the best known museum brands in the world. “The Whitney Museum is in the midst of implementing an exciting and ambitious strategic plan,” said Ms. Herman

Philadelphia-based Diversified Search has placed Brandon Guzzone as the new CHRO of Population Services International (PSI) in Washington, D.C. Judy Boreham, co-leader of the firm’s human resources practice, led the assignment. Mr. Guzzone has a track record in translating business strategies into effective communications plans that engage and influence employees. Previously, he was chief human capital officer of Millennium Challenge Corp.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor  – Hunt Scanlon Media

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