Susan Medina and Peter Gomez Discuss Diversity and Inclusion with Chicago Tribune

Battalia Winston Partners Susan Medina and Peter Gomez recently contributed to an article in the Chicago Tribune entitled “Some financial firms tackle diversity gap head-on, say they can’t afford not to.”

The article explores how the financial services companies in Chicago are working to attract and retain more diverse talent:

Susan Medina and Peter Gomez, Chicago headhunters who specialize in recruiting minority candidates for executive roles, said attention to diversity transparency in Silicon Valley and other industries has helped move the conversation in the right direction. But many efforts continue to be just lip service.

And there are more insidious challenges.

“When people think diversity, they think minority, and when they think minority, they think lowering the bar, and that’s a mindset that has to change,” Medina said.

Read the full article here. 

 

How Will Brexit Affect the Hiring Decisions of International Companies?

Terry Gallagher has shared his insights on the hiring implications of Brexit with CEO World. In this article, Terry identifies 5 immediate realities international companies must be prepared for:

  1. Companies will be in fierce competition for talent in European countries.
  2. Businesses that “wait and see” will fall behind.
  3. Leaders that are nimble, flexible and comfortable with change will succeed.
  4. Companies that lack change management expertise in the c-suite will need to bring someone on board – quickly.
  5. Temporary hires will be tempting, but ultimately won’t be a good solution.

Read the entire article on CEO World. 

Rahquel Purcell joins L’Oreal as Vice President Supply Chain, Americas

Rahquel Purcell has joined L’Oreal as Vice President Supply Chain, Americas. Terry Gallagher completed the search.

L’Oreal, the world’s largest beauty products company with revenue in the Americas of $16 Billion, creates cosmetics, perfume, and hair and skin care items. L’Oréal USA boasts a host of consumer and luxury brands, including Garnier, Maybelline, Lancôme, and Kiehl’s. It also owns salon professional product makers Matrix and Kérastase, as well as mass market label SoftSheen/Carson and perfume brands Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani. L’Oréal sells its products across 130 countries. Worldwide, the beauty company boasts two dozen research centers and about 15 evaluation centers, 45 factories and some 70 distribution centers, and a handful of development and learning centers with global revenues of $32 Billion.

Ms. Purcell has a 24 year career history working for Proctor & Gamble. She is a supply chain executive with a proven track record of transforming organizations, developing opportunities and delivering game-changing results. She is a strategic thought leader with international business management experience and supply chain breadth spanning global Procurement, Supply Planning, Distribution Management and Customer Service Operations. Most recently, Ms. Purcell was Director of Global Packaging & Design Purchases and led a global team to procure $5.5 billion in packaging materials and design services. She also served as Senior Purchases Leader for the Beauty Sector, supporting $6.8 billion in raw and pack material procurement for Hair, Skin, Prestige and Cosmetics.

Prior to that Ms. Purcell was Director, Global Product Supply Leader for New Business Creation and was on the Special Task Force to deliver $5 billion in incremental revenue in 3 years. As Director of North America Product Supply Operations, she was responsible for $30 billion in finished products and led 1,200 people managing 22 distribution centers supporting 18 consumer goods categories and 2,000 daily shipments.

Ms. Purcell earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan on a full academic scholarship. Ms. Purcell also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Urban League’s Cincinnati Chapter.

Terry Gallagher Shares His Perspective on the Hiring Implications of Brexit

Terry Gallagher, President of Battalia Winston, recently shared his perspective on the hiring implications of Brexit with HRE Daily. Through his work with a number of international companies, Terry is already seeing how the Brexit fallout is shaping the hiring decisions and retention strategies of his clients. Companies that retain their top performers and develop strategic talent acquisition plans will fare better than those who halt staffing investments, he says.

“The biggest challenge will be to engage and retain talent in this environment of more global uncertainty and more possible exits from the E.U.” he says. “Those companies that are nimble and proactive will do better than those waiting to see the impact and putting everything on hold.”

Read the complete article here. 

Letha A. Steffey Joins Protection 1 as VP, Integrated Marketing and Planning

Protection 1 is a $650+ million premier full service security provider backed by Apollo Private Equity that protects residential, business, national account and integrated system customers at millions of locations. They are a vibrant, growing company and serve over 2.5 million customers with 4,200 employees at more than 80 full-service branch locations across the country.

Terry Gallagher completed the search. The successful candidate was identified in 9 days and the search was completed in 147 days.

Ms. Steffey has 25 years of marketing experience working in VP roles companies like Hallmark Cards, Zillner Marketing, Enhance Publications and most recently AMC Entertainment, Inc.

At AMC Theaters, a $2.2 billion company which serves 200 million customers annually through more than 350 theatres nationwide, Ms. Steffey was Vice President, Studio Partnerships and was responsible for revenue generation and film terms negotiation with movie distribution partners Disney, Warner Bros, Lionsgate Films and several other major studios. Ms. Steffey negotiated key short and long term deals and developed innovative marketing initiatives that led to strong AMC market share and incremental revenue gains.

Previously Ms. Steffey served as Marketing Executive and Chief of Staff, Marketing reporting to Hallmark Chief Operating Officer where she led a team of 80 that was accountable for marketing strategy, communications, multi-million dollar budget and flawless retail execution of marketing media and merchandising campaign programs for corporate owned and franchise stores; promotions, trade shows, and retail tests; partner with ad agencies to deliver sustainable CRM.

She earned a MBA in Finance from Webster University and an undergraduate degree from Jewell College.

 

How to Vet Leaders for Crisis and Change Management Skills

Terry Gallagher contributed the following article to Manufacturing Business Technology.

To stay competitive in today’s market, industrial and manufacturing companies must constantly respond to rapid change. Change comes in many forms — the positive changes associated with emerging technology, new product developments and company growth — and the more disruptive changes resulting from recalls, accidents or failed product roll-outs. Regardless of the nature of the change at hand, when an organization is looking for a new leader, he or she should be carefully vetted for crisis and change management skills.

I help companies in the industrial and manufacturing industry recruit leaders, and in nearly 90 percent of the searches I conduct the client specifically asks for change management skills. A number of market conditions have combined to make change management and crisis management even more critical than they were a few years ago. As our economy becomes more global, industrial and manufacturing companies aren’t just up against regional or national competitors — they’re competing with companies worldwide. The increasingly competitive market means that companies must relentlessly pursue methods for producing superior products at a better cost. Companies are continuously searching for ways to automate, streamline, innovate and attract customers who are savvier and more educated about their choices than ever before.

Internally, companies are dealing with the impending retirement of baby boomers and a widening manufacturing skills gap, which, according to a 2015 study by Deloitte, could result in 2 million unfilled jobs over the next several decades.

Needless to say, companies need strong leaders with a proven track record of change management in order to propel business growth and retain and recruit top talent. To ensure that prospective executives have the required skills, companies should consider applying the following best practices:

Ask the Right Questions During the Interview.
An open-ended question, like “Can you tell me about your change management skills?” will not provide the insight decision makers need to properly evaluate the candidate. Instead, ask a more pointed, metric-based question. For example: “What is the most significant change management situation that you have led, why was it important to the organization and what were the results in terms of revenue cost saves and enhanced customer service?” These questions leave no space for vague answers of ambiguity. If the candidate can’t fully provide a response, he or she likely does not have the necessary change management skills.

Confirm That the Candidate’s Broader Skill Set Aligns With an Ability to Manage Change.
Managing change or navigating a company through a crisis involves a suite of skills that will come into play long after the initial communication of the situation. The ideal candidate should have experience in new product development, changing product mix, and overall project management skills. The candidate should also be able to effectively hire and retain new talent. For example, if a company is entering a new market or introducing a new product, the new leader will naturally need to hire new talent for the R&D and sales team.

Consider Looking Outside of Your Specific Sector.
When a company is in a transition period, considering a candidate from another sector can seem risky. Bringing in an “outsider” can fuel uncertainty among employees, board members, and shareholders. However, a leader with a different perspective and experience in another industry may be exactly what is required. I recently worked with a company (a major producer of consumer goods in the Northeast) that had a product suite consisting of both low-tech and high-tech products and processes. The company wanted to move away from the low-tech (and low-profit, low-margin) work and focus on their high-tech products. In order to do so, they needed a new leader — one with creativity and experience working with a highly engineered products R&D Department. This type of candidate simply could not be found in their sector. Instead, we brought in a new executive from s a highly engineered custom product manufacturer in the high technology industry, with the right experience and change management skills, and the company is now in the process of changing their product mix.

Susan Medina and Peter Gomez Contribute to Crain’s Chicago Business

Susan Medina and Peter Gomez of Battalia Winston’s Diversity and Inclusion Practice recently contributed an article to Crain’s Chicago Business.

When Ursula Burns steps down from Xerox later this year, the number of black female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies will shrink to zero. Burns will exit a very homogeneous group of leaders—one that currently has only four black male and nine Hispanic CEOs.

While diversity of the population as a whole is increasing across the country, the representation of people of color in C-suites is decreasing. This is particularly true here in Chicago. According to Chicago United’s Corporate Diversity Profile, minority groups make up only 8 percent of C-level executive positions in the top 50 public Chicago companies; 17 of those companies, or 34 percent, have no ethnic diversity within their executive ranks at all.

Read the full article on Crain’s. 

Frederick Lamster Joins Battalia Winston as Partner in the Retail Practice

NEW YORK, June 2, 2016 – Battalia Winston International announced today that Frederick Lamster has joined the firm as Partner in the Retail Practice.

Fred is a veteran human resources and staffing professional whose career spans more than 25 years. He has worked across all retail apparel and fashion segments, including department and specialty retail, eCommerce, and catalogue retailing.

Fred has used his expertise in organizational design and efficiency to help a number of major retailors through turnarounds, mergers, acquisitions and transitions. Throughout his career, he has transformed HR teams from tactical and transactional departments to strategic and results-oriented teams.

Before joining Battalia Winston, Fred was Chief Human Resources Officer for Orchard Brands, (recently acquired by Bluestem Brands) a $1.1 billion catalog marketer, where he was responsible for making key hires in merchandising, planning and production. He also served as SVP of Human Capital for Body Central, a Florida-based regional retailer that operated more than 250 stores.

As EVP of Human Resources for Charming Shoppes, parent company to plus-sized brands like Lane Bryant and Catherine’s Plus, Fred focused on aligning five disparate HR teams before developing an overarching hiring strategy that led the company to increased profitability and, later, a successful acquisition by Ascena Retail Group.

Fred was VP of Staffing for L Brands (formerly Limited Brands) for 12 years, an international company that operates a number of well-known brand names, including Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works. At L Brands, Fred was responsible a complete overhaul of the leadership teams across the company’s multiple business units. He made strategic hires at every level and spearheaded the rebuilding of the executive team as well as the merchant, design, production and planning teams.

In all of these roles, Fred built high-performing executive teams and developed an internal bench of future leaders. Fred has a keen understanding of creating HR strategies that align with overall business objectives. He takes pride in helping companies build HR programs that will attract key hires while also retaining and cultivating leadership talent.

“My role is not just to fill jobs, but to build better organizations and better executive teams—so they can get better results,” said Lamster. “Even though I’m working on back-of-the-house operations, I’m always focused on the customer. I am always asking, ‘How can we improve internal functions to ensure greater efficiencies and better results?’”

Battalia Winston’s retail practice specializes in recruiting executives and other senior-level leaders across the entire retail spectrum: from chain, department, and specialty stores to restaurants and food services companies.

“We’re thrilled to have Fred join our team,” said Dale Winston, CEO and Chairwoman at Battalia Winston. “His in-house experience at major retail brands will be a valuable asset to our retail practice.”

About Battalia Winston

Battalia Winston was founded in 1963, and today is one of the world’s largest woman-owned executive search firms. The firm is consistently ranked as one of the top fifteen executive search firms. Battalia Winston has offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Woodbridge, NJ and Washington, DC. Over the past 50 years Battalia Winston has conducted executive search assignments and established expertise in virtually every major industry and functional area. Clients range from early stage companies to Fortune 100 global enterprises. Each of Battalia Winston’s partners concentrates in an industry group reflecting his or her individual expertise. These practice groups include: life sciences, healthcare services; technology, media and entertainment, industrial products, professional services, financial services, consumer, legal, risk, compliance, family business, diversity and inclusion, retail, and nonprofit.

4 Qualities All Successful CEOs Have in Common, and Why They Matter

Terry Gallagher recently contributed the following article to Chief Executive. You can read the full article here

Most successful leaders—those who have consistently increased the size of their businesses and reached the upper echelons of their industries—have similar personality traits, definitions of success and daily habits. Here are 4 qualities all successful CEOs have in common.

1. Their definition of success has evolved with their leadership.

To continuously push themselves to become better leaders, top-performing CEOs reevaluate and revise their metrics for success throughout their career. “Initially, the definition of success for me was focused on my results, my promotions and my increase in compensation,” said Ned Hunter, CEO of Harrington Hoists, a $250 million subsidiary of Kito Group Company. “ As I have matured and evolved in my 30 years of business, my definition now is more about the people in my business…If my people succeed, then I have done my job.”

2. They are committed to intellectual curiosity.

Many CEOs credit their intellectual curiosity for their long-term success. A drive to learn, to improve, and to never become comfortable has propelled their businesses forward. Leading CEOs schedule time each day to read industry news. Jim Reavey, CEO and President of Vixxo, an asset management and business insight company, prioritizes continuous learning: “Self-development is key: never give up learning. Arrogance starts to take over when you think you know everything. You never know where your greatest lesson will come from.”

3. They acknowledge the contributions of others, and they want to return the favor.

Successful CEOs recognize that their mentors, colleagues and employees have bolstered or accelerated their success. “An individual’s success is usually tied to the contributions of others. Forgetting this is a mistake,” said Greg Ergenbright, President of Schindler Elevation Corporation. Many CEOs see “paying it forward” as part of their new mission, especially CEOs who are well into their careers. In the words of Jim Reavey: “I feel a sense of obligation to develop others because of the leadership guidance and coaching I received in my life. Sharing my knowledge, empowering others, and creating deeper relationships is at the forefront of everything I do.”

4. They do what they love, and they encourage others to do the same.

While “passion” has become somewhat of a buzzword, successful CEOs faithfully follow their passion and believe that doing so is the key to their success and happiness. Alan McKim, Chairman and CEO of Clean Harbors, a $3 billion environmental services company, advises young people to make pursuing their passion the first priority.

“My advice for any young person is to determine what you enjoy,” stated McKim. “It’s important to go beyond the paycheck. Where do your passions lie? What will spur you to bring the most energy to your job every day? When you can answer these questions, you’ll be able to define what success means to you and how you can best achieve it.”

Dr. Hanh Cao Yu Joins The California Endowment as Chief Learning Officer

Los Angeles (May 10, 2016) – The California Endowment announced today the appointment of Dr. Hanh Cao Yu as its Chief Learning Officer, an executive position responsible for leading The Endowment’s learning and evaluation activities. The Chief Learning Officer is responsible for learning, evaluation, and impact activities, and ensures that local communities, local and state grantees, board and staff understand the results and lessons of the Foundation’s investments. Ellen Romberg, Partner at Battalia Winston, completed the search.

A nationally-recognized researcher and evaluator, Yu has more than 20 years of leading projects, providing oversight of multi-million dollar budgets and leading cross disciplinary teams. She has partnered with over 40 philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to bring intellectual rigor and strategic recommendations to transform organizations, systems, policies, and communities.

“Dr. Yu has a stellar record leading large-scale evaluations of complex philanthropic initiatives, along with creating and facilitating strong learning communities and knowledge sharing among boards, staff, grantee partners and diverse community members,” said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment. “We are honored to have her join our executive leadership team, as she brings a combination of brilliance and commitment that will benefit our entire organization.”

Prior to her appointment at The California Endowment, Yu served as Vice President at Social Policy Research Associates in Oakland where her responsibilities included setting strategic and budget priorities, developing an organizational learning agenda, providing oversight of external strategic digital communications, staff development and diversity action plan. During her 20-year tenure at Social Policy Research Associates she also served as the Division Director of Philanthropy, Equity and Youth. Yu earned her doctorate at Stanford University in Education Administration and Policy Analysis.

Yu will join The Endowment on July 5, 2016 and will work in the Oakland Office. She will report to Dr. Ross and serve on his Executive Team.