June 9, 2022 – TurnkeyZRG has been called in by the Pac-12 Conference to lead its search for chief people and inclusion officer. The recruiting firm is seeking a leader to provide comprehensive human resources leadership for the Pac-12 organization and influence over its 12 universities’ athletic departments and student-athletes. The executive will be expected to provide a strategic vision by leading the organization’s holistic human resource function, emphasizing change management; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB); recruitment and retention; compensation and benefits; talent management; and culture.
The Pac-12 wants candidates with 10-plus years of experience with human resources and DEIB programs. They should be a subject-matter expert with proven leadership experience and track record of success in leading an HR function (setting the vision, and building, leading, and motivating the team) in a dynamic environment where management of complex and often conflicting requirements is a critical driver of success. In addition, candidates should have the ability to influence at all levels across multiple organizations, including membership stakeholders, student-athletes, Pac-12 leadership team, internal employees, and fans.
The Pac-12 Conference also wants someone with proven experience in developing, implementing, and assessing DEI strategies, initiatives, and programs with a wide range of stakeholders. Candidates should have strong business acumen and understanding of legal matters, be able to develop inclusion initiatives, and have solid communication skills and a compassionate nature. In addition, prospects must have demonstrated skills in problem identification and creative problem solving, sound judgment and decision making, critical thinking and analysis, organizational skills, emotional intelligence, and cultural humility.
The Pac-12 Conference is made up of 12 leading U.S. universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University.
The Pac-12 Conference also turned to TurnkeyZRG to find its next commissioner. The board is seeking to identify a diverse pool of experienced candidates from which to select the Big 12’s next commissioner. The commissioner’s role is to work collaboratively with the board, AD’s, FAR’s, SWA’s, student-athletes, alumni affairs, etc. help the conference collectively discern an innovative business structure for the future while retaining the Conference’s traditions and values.
The search firm is seeking candidates with a strong preference for individuals who have learned and mastered the quickly evolving business of sports, sports media, sports marketing, and sports performance. Experience in intercollegiate sports a plus. The new commissioner is expected to be named next month.
Serving Sports, Media and Entertainment Organizations
Founded in 1996, TurnkeyZRG is a specialized talent recruitment/executive search firm filling C-level, senior-level and mid-management-level positions throughout sports, media and entertainment. Over the past 25 years, the firm has filled more than 1,400 positions. TurnkeyZRG helps teams, leagues, stadiums, arenas, theaters, college athletic departments, events, sponsors, agencies, media companies, private equity companies and other clients identify, recruit, and hire the best management talent.
TurnkeyZRG Assists the Atlantic Coast Conference in Finding New Commissioner
TurnkeyZRG has assisted the Atlantic Coast Conference in the selection of James J. Phillips, the Combe Family vice president for athletics & recreation at Northwestern University, as its next commissioner.
The ACC conducted a comprehensive, inclusive nationwide search process facilitated by TurnkeyZRG. The firm spoke with stakeholders across the ACC in developing the job description, and assembled a diverse array of candidates across sports, education, business and government.
“Jim is one of the most talented athletic administrators in the country and uniquely qualified to successfully and seamlessly take over the helm of the ACC,” says ACC Board Chair Kent Syverud (Syracuse University). “Over the course of nearly 13 years, Jim has elevated and cemented Northwestern’s position as an outstanding Power 5 athletics program. Northwestern’s ascension in the world of intercollegiate athletics is a testament to Jim’s vision, leadership and foundational dedication to the success of student athletes. The ACC is fortunate to have someone of Jim’s caliber and integrity lead the conference at this pivotal moment in intercollegiate athletics.”
Collectively, the members of TurnkeyZRG have placed coaches and athletics directors at many PAC-12 universities, including Arizona, Cal, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. Late last year, TurnkeyZRG helped the ACC hire its next commissioner, James J. Phillips, the Combe Family vice president for athletics and recreation at Northwestern University. TurnkeyZRG spoke with stakeholders across the ACC in developing the job description, and assembled a diverse array of candidates across sports, education, business, and government.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media