Need: Finding a new leader to follow a long-term executive
Service: Executive Search
C&A, as it is known in northeast Ohio, is an $8 million full service, non-profit, trauma-informed mental health organization specializing in the emotional and behavioral needs of children, young adults, and their families. Its chief executive had announced his retirement after nearly three decades with the organization. The Succession Planning Committee was referred to Smith Beers Yunker by a similar agency in southwest Ohio and retained the firm to conduct a comprehensive search.
“I got a really great feeling about Smith Beers Yunker from the very beginning because they actually came and presented to us in person,” recalls Search Committee Chair Lisa Warburton-Gregory. “That meant a lot, and it wasn’t something the other firms were willing to do.”
Lisa notes that the thoroughness of the search and vetting of the candidates was a high point for her: “We were so impressed with the binder that we received detailing the final ten candidates – and all the information presented to us. I was always the kind of person to ask, ‘What distinguishes these candidates from these other candidates who didn’t make the cut?’ and Jim Yunker was very open and willing to discuss that with us.”
“Jim’s ability to listen and adapt the search process to the needs of our organization and the search committee stands out the most for me,” said Mike Flood, Search Committee member and former head of Human Resources for The Timken Company. “Having been involved in numerous searches and with a variety of search firms I would put Smith Beers Yunker up there with the best of them. Without the firm’s involvement I am not confident we would have selected the best candidate. We might have, but not with the confidence with which we did.”
Tony Peldunas of the Search Committee concurred that the thoroughness of the search gave him confidence that the Board had performed the best possible search: “Hiring Smith Beers Yunker really made us feel like we did our due diligence – that we looked throughout the state and really throughout the country to find the best candidate, and that we really conducted the very best search possible. We ended up with someone who was right here under our nose, but we wouldn’t have known that person was the best candidate if we hadn’t done our due diligence.”
Lisa summarized, “It was a really great experience. I don’t know of anything I would have done differently. In the end, I think we picked a really great person to be our new CEO.”