2012 Battalia Winston Survey Finds Corporate Holiday Parties are Making a Comeback


Executive Search Firm’s Study Reflects Economic Improvements

New York, NY – December 11, 2012  More companies will revisit their tradition of holding holiday parties this year, according to the 24th annual survey of corporate America’s holiday party plans conducted by Battalia Winston, a leading global executive search firm.

An astounding 91 percent of the companies polled will have parties this year, up from 74 percent in 2011, 79 percent in 2010, 81 percent in 2009, 81 percent in 2008 and 85 percent in 2007.

Holiday parties were held by 95 percent of companies in 1988, the first year of the survey, and an all-time high of 97 percent was recorded in 1996 and in 1997, all years when the economy was robust.

“From the beginning the study has been a reliable barometer of both prevailing economic conditions and corporate confidence,” said Dale Winston, Battalia Winston’s Chairwoman and CEO.

“Despite the challenging economic environment, it seems that companies are moving back to a state of normality,” said Winston. “Parties are still the last vestige of company sociability.”

2012 Survey Findings:

Who is partying? We surveyed 105 companies and saw a significant increase in comparison to last year’s results (in 2011, 74 percent of companies hosted parties). This year, 96 out of 105 (91% of companies polled) will have some kind of holiday party.

Why have a party? Nearly half (42 percent) are doing so to build employee morale, while about a third (33 percent) are holding a party to celebrate 2012 as a good year and 7 percent to show employees and clients that they are optimistic about next year. 18 percent of companies selected “other”, and the breakdown for “other” is as follows: 10 percent are hosting parties because of tradition, 4 percent are hosting parties simply because they like to, 3 percent say it’s just “the right thing to do”, and 1 percent are doing so to honor their retirees.

Why no party? Of the 9 percent of companies not holding a holiday party this year, 1/3 (33.33 percent) said they had employees in several different locations, 1/3 (33.33 percent) said their employees were simply not that interested in attending corporate parties and 1/3 (33.33 percent) will give their employees something else in lieu of a party (2 days off, destination trip, etc.)

Who will be invited? More than half (64 percent – 1 percent will include retirees) of the parties will be for employees only, while 29 percent will be held for both employees and their families (1 percent will allow the employees spouses only) and 7 percent will host employees, their families and friends of the firm.

The budget: Conservatism still rules; 100 percent of surveyed companies said that their party will be the same as previous years – as opposed to more modest or more lavish.

When and where? Of the companies holding parties, slightly more than 1/3 (34 percent) will be held in the evening, 43 percent will be held at lunch and 14 percent selected “other”. Some companies indicated what their “other” entails: a 4-day trip, brunch, weekend trip to Vegas, company children’s party, afternoon party and the choice of a $100 gift card or one day off. Nearly half (40 percent) of the celebrations will be held in a restaurant, 29 percent at the office, 17 percent at a hotel and 14 percent selected other (20 percent will be a surprise, 20 percent will be in a “remote break area”, 40 percent will be in an external location/functional space and 20 percent will be at a country club.

Drink up — if you can: Drinks will be served at most (79 percent) of the parties, but nearly one-in-four (21 percent) will be alcohol-free.

Holiday charity efforts: While about half (51 percent) of the companies are donating money or goods (up from 39 percent last year, 47 percent in 2010, 66 percent in 2009, and 74 percent in 2008), employees at 16 percent of the firms will be doing volunteer work. 28 percent of the companies are not involved in holiday charitable activities. Some of these activities include Toys for Tots, Blood Drives, etc. 5 percent indicated other charity efforts will be made, such as sending holiday cards and matching funds.

Employee morale: A majority (69 percent) of the companies are taking steps to boost employee morale for the year to come (e.g. flexible work schedules, performance incentives, pay raises, team building/training, etc.), leaving only 12 percent of companies that have no such plans. 19 percent were unsure. Last year, almost half (48 percent) of the respondents planned morale boosting actions, which is a 43.75 percent increase.

The survey also asked, “How do you expect your company to perform in 2013?”  A majority of companies (66 percent) report they are on track to grow and hire; 24 percent anticipate staying the same and 10 percent are uncertain. None of the surveyed companies are expecting or planning to consolidate. Last year (2011), only 48 percent of companies were on track to grow and hire.

Has optimism replaced much of last year’s caution? “We believe this year’s increase in holiday parties reflects stabilization as opposed to a positive outlook for 2013,” said Winston. “Boosting employee morale is also a driver in the increase of holiday parties.”

The 2012 Battalia Winston nationwide survey was conducted among a cross-section of 105 companies.

About Battalia Winston:

Battalia Winston has been successfully meeting client needs in executive recruitment for almost 50 years and is currently ranked as one of the nation’s 12 largest retained executive search firms, as well as one of the world’s largest woman-owned search firms. Headquartered in New York City, the firm also has offices in New Jersey, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Battalia Winston is an agile and uniquely flexible firm and their culture is focused on providing highly personalized, responsive client service.


Battalia Winston Completes Chief Tax Counsel Search for TEI


W. Patrick Evans has been appointed the Chief Tax Counsel of Tax Executives Institute, the preeminent association of in-house tax professionals worldwide. He will succeed Eli Dicker who has held the position since 2005 and who will become TEI’s Executive Director in January 2013 upon the retirement of Timothy J. McCormally. He will join TEI’s staff on November 27.

Mr. Evans currently serves as tax counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP. In his new role, he will be the Institute’s lead technical tax adviser, leading a team of three other lawyers and overseeing TEI’s advocacy efforts and initiatives including those related to pending or proposed tax legislation and regulations, treaties, administrative, and judicial pronouncements.

Mr. Evans joined Skadden Arps upon his graduation with High Honors from George Washington School of Law, where he was elected to Order of the Coif and served as Editor-in-Chief of the George Washington Journal of International Law and Economics. He holds B.B.A. (Accounting) and Master of Taxation degrees from Baylor University.

“We are delighted to have someone of Patrick’s caliber join TEI,” International President Carita R. Twinem said. “His wide-ranging experience in transactional tax planning, complex procedural and compliance matters, and tax policy development means he is already familiar with the issues confronting TEI and its members. What’s more, Patrick brings an extremely well-developed sense of client service coupled with broad technical experience to his new role.”

“We wish Patrick well as he becomes Chief Tax Counsel at TEI. He has been a valued colleague and his broad experience and expert skills will be invaluable to TEI and its members as they confront tax reform, the continuing globalization of tax policy and administration, and the other challenges facing the tax system,” remarked Fred Goldberg, co-head of Skadden’s tax practice.

The executive search firm of Battalia Winston and senior partner Kathryn Griffin (kgriffin@battaliawinston.com) led the search.

Tax Executives Institute is located in Washington, D.C. TEI’s 7,000 members operate through 55 chapters and represent more than 3,000 of the largest companies in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. TEI members are responsible for managing the tax affairs of their companies and contend daily with the intricacies of the tax law. TEI’s mission is to improve the tax system and to serve its members, their employers, and society generally by facilitating interaction among, and the training of, members and their staffs, by advocating its members’ views, and by promoting professionalism in both the private and government sectors. TEI is dedicated to the development of sound tax policy, compliance with and uniform enforcement of tax laws, and minimization of administration and compliance costs. These goals can be achieved, TEI believes, only through the members’ voluntary actions and their adherence to the highest standards of professional competence and integrity.

A Woman CEO’s View: No, You Can’t Have It All

In light of recent debates on the evolving roles of working mothers, we would like to share an article titled: “A Woman CEO’s View: No, You Can’t Have It All” written by Dale Winston, Chairwoman and CEO of Battalia Winston. Although the article was written a few years ago, the topic is still very relevant and timely. The media storms following the announcement of the new Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s pregnancy and Anne-Marie Slaughter’s cover story for the Atlantic have brought this discussion back into the spotlight.

“A Woman CEO’s View: No, You Can’t Have It All”.

Terence Gallagher Speaks at the Conference Board Succession Management Conference

Terence Gallagher, President of Battalia Winston, is speaking at the Conference Board’s 2012 Succession Management Conference on October 17, 2012 at the Westin New York in Times Square. This conference will address leveraging high potential leadership talent through effective identification, engagement, development, retention and deployment. It will also focus on integrating talent strategies to improve succession management effectiveness and developing new global talent management strategies. Terry will serve on a panel of speakers presenting a succession crisis business case to provide an interactive learning experience.

Benefits of Attending:

  • New ideas for removing barriers in leadership pipelines
  • Discover key factors and approaches to preparing C-suite candidates for success
  • Gain insight from leading companies on processes for identifying pivotal and critical leadership roles
  • Learn how to make development more agile through development networks
  • Hear multi-generational views on what can make the pipeline journey work
  • Understand how to take unconscious bias out of the talent selection process

Who Should Attend:

Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents and Directors responsible for Succession Management in their organizations with the majority coming from Human Resources, Leadership Development, Global Talent Management and Executive Development.

Battalia Winston is an established national brand with 50 years in the executive search business. We are consistently ranked among the Top-10, global, retained search firms by Kennedy Publishing Company. Headquartered in New York City, Battalia Winston also has offices in Edison, NJ; Boston, MA; Washington, DC; and Chicago, IL.

Battalia Winston Completes CEO Search for Fluxome

We are pleased to announce that Angela Tsetsis has joined Fluxome as Chief Executive Officer.

Angela Tsetsis is an innovative and entrepreneurial senior executive with 25 years of extensive international business development experience in the Nutritional & Food Ingredient industry. Prior to joining Fluxome, Angela served as Vice President, Corporate Strategy at Royal DSM N.V., a $12 billion nutritional products and performance materials company. Prior to that, Angela was Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Commercial Development for Martek Biosciences Corporation, a $480 million biotechnology-based branded nutritional products and ingredients company. Angela was an officer of the company with broad responsibility for all commercial business units and a member of the Executive Team responsible for strategic planning and growth.

Fluxome is a global supplier of nutraceutical products that provide beneficial human health effects. The company is also focused on developing safe and natural ingredients from reliable and sustainable sources for the global food, dietary supplement and cosmetics industries. The company was founded about 10 years ago in Europe and has its roots in University research.

Fluxome’s CEO search was conducted by Gilbert Carrara Jr., MD, the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Life Sciences practice. Gil conducts senior-level searches for a broad spectrum of life sciences companies in the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Consumer Healthcare, and Health Information arenas as well as the Large Managed Care Organizations and major Academic Medical Centers.

Battalia Winston is an established national brand with 50 years in the executive search business. We are consistently ranked among the Top-10, global, retained search firms by Kennedy Publishing Company. Headquartered in New York City, Battalia Winston also has offices in Edison, NJ; Boston, MA; Washington, DC; and Chicago, IL.

Battalia Winston CEO is quoted in Forbes article on outsted Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson

Dale Winston, Chairwoman and CEO of Battalia Winston, a leading executive search firm, was interviewed by Forbes.com to comment on former Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson’s professional future.


Battalia Winston is an established national brand with 50 years in the executive search business. We are consistently ranked among the Top-10, global, retained search firms by Kennedy Publishing Company. Headquartered in New York City, Battalia Winston also has offices in Edison, NJ; Boston, MA; Washington, DC; and Chicago, IL.

Battalia Winston CEO Serves as Panel Speaker for Inforum Event

Dale Winston, Chairwoman and CEO of Battalia Winston, a leading executive search firm, was invited to serve on the panel at BoardBasics: Leveraging Your Strengths, an event hosted by Inforum, Michigan’s leading network of professional women.  The event provided insider perspectives on how to impress board recruiters and nominating committees, and offered hands-on advice about preparing board-ready resumes and planning a search.

Dale’s industry knowledge and business perspective make her a recognized authority in the corporate space.  Major media outlets seek out her sage insight and informed observations.  She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, CNN and US News and World Report among others.

Battalia Winston is an established national brand with 50 years in the executive search business. We are consistently ranked among the Top-10, global, retained search firms by Kennedy Publishing Company. Headquartered in New York City, Battalia Winston also has offices in Edison,

BW President Terry Gallagher Provides Career Advice to Rutgers University Alumni

Terence Gallagher, President of Battalia Winston is speaking at Morgan Stanley on March 28, 2012 to the Rutgers University Alumni in Short Hills, NJ. Terry will be addressing the current status of the job market, the best ways to identify viable job opportunities and how to make the most favorable impression on an interview.

Terry will also discuss how to leverage social media to enhance your job search, how to negotiate your compensation package and determine the market value for your background and skills.