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Community Legal Aid Services, Inc.

What our client has to say

Need:          Find a talented successor to retiring Executive Director

Service:     National executive search


Pleased with the service provided by The Yunker Group on two previous searches (chief development officer and chief financial officer), Akron-based Community Legal Aid turned once again to The Yunker Group to find a successor to its long-serving and retiring Executive Director.


Board Chair Nancy Grim explained, “We knew they had done searches for other Legal Aids besides ours and was therefore familiar with Legal Aid organizations—and that’s important. We’re a particular kind of organization, and that expertise is really crucial. It was good to have their experience and guidance since all of us on the Search Committee were volunteers. We really wanted to make sure that it was our input and our vision for the organization guiding the process. In this sense, they worked with us very professionally—meaning that it was our interests, not theirs, setting the priorities.”


“We made a point of having various constituencies within our organization represented on the Search Committee,” explained Nancy. “So there was diversity in what people thought was important. I think Jim Yunker really helped us make sure those perspectives were incorporated.”


Having participated as Associate Director during the CDO and CFO searches, the successful ED candidate, Steven McGarrity, gained a different perspective on The Yunker Group’s process. As a candidate, Steven said he especially valued the level of communication he received from Jenny Weiglein, and Jim Yunker’s exceptional interview skills:“Jim himself is an amazing interviewer. He can really draw out the strengths and weaknesses of a candidate,” shared Steven. “I could sense when he was asking questions with varying level of difficulty—some were really challenging, some were more softball questions. In other words, he paced it in such a way that you didn’t feel you were constantly being bombarded with difficult questions. I thought it resulted in a nice back and forth, more of a conversation than an interrogation.”


As chair of the Search Committee, Nancy commented, “The interview reports they generated were really helpful. Their summaries really gave us insightful information and some answers that you wouldn’t necessarily get if you just gave someone a written questionnaire. I believe that speaks to the caliber of their interview skills.”


For both Steven and Nancy, The Yunker Group’s experience with other Legal Aid organizations was critical. Steven explained it this way: “There are lots of options for hiring consultants. But in the Legal Aid world, there aren’t many who know us well enough to address our particular needs. I believe The Yunker Group is in a unique position to do that due to Jim’s board leadership with Pro Seniors and his involvement with other Legal Aids. He is in a unique position to bring a non-Legal Aid perspective while understanding our needs.”


After experiencing The Yunker Group’s search process from both sides, Steven’s willingness to endorse their work comes down to results—and integrity: “In the CDO and CFO searches, we ended up with strong candidates. And in the one situation where we didn’t, The Yunker Group was right there to help. I have a lot of comfort knowing that they stand behind their work.”


Relative to the ED search, Nancy concluded, “In the end, we had a unanimous decision and a candidate who accepted the position; so, yes, we were very pleased.”