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Philanthropy Ohio

What our client has to say

Need:          Assistance in finding a new president

Service:     Executive search


Seeking a new president after the announced retirement of the incumbent, Philanthropy Ohio (formerly Ohio Grantmakers Forum), an association of about 200 independent foundations, community foundations, corporate foundations, giving programs and public charities with offices in Columbus and Cleveland, engaged Smith Beers Yunker to assist its Search Committee.”


Commenting on its experience with Smith Beers Yunker, Chair of the Search Committee, Dave Abbott, Executive Director of The George Gund Foundation, says, “This was definitely the smoothest search process I’ve ever worked on with a consultant. SBY did a great job screening clients for our benefit, quickly narrowing the pool from 50 to 12.”


Dave recalled that “one of the reasons we selected the Cincinnati-based firm was their flexibility and willingness to adapt to our needs and interests, rather than presenting us with a template to follow. After reviewing their proposal and having numerous people vouch for their services, we came to the conclusion that Smith Beers Yunker was who we needed for the job.”


According to Dave, that choice paid off for the committee, who developed an excellent rapport with Smith Beers Yunker during the search. “They were masterful at striking a balance between giving direction based on their knowledge and expertise and listening to our thoughts and concerns. They really helped steer the process in a helpful way while still giving us space to engage in our own deliberations and come to our own decisions. The fact that they were able to provide such useful guidance in this process may stem from the firm’s broad base of experience and extensive knowledge of fundraising management. I think that may give them an edge on other more specialized search firms.”


The search concluded successfully with the appointment of Suzanne T. Allen, PhD as the third president in the organization’s 28-year history. Allen joined the organization from her position as Vice President for Development and Donor Services for the Akron Community Foundation. Suzanne found that her experience as a candidate was “entirely appropriate for the position.”


She further notes that Smith Beers Yunker was “extremely helpful and offered guidance as the process concluded,” adding, “I would not hesitate to hire the firm, or to recommend them.”