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On Human Resources…

“Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.”
Steve Wynn, Wynn Las Vegas


“Companies don’t exist to make you happy. You know that right? The business doesn’t exist to serve you. The business exists to serve your customers.”
Patty McCord, former CHRO, Netflix


“Take our 20 best people away, and I will tell you that Microsoft would become an unimportant company.”
Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft (1996)


“Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first.”
Angela Ahrendts, SVP Retail and Online Stores, Apple


“If you want to add value, ask people what they are trying to accomplish before offering an opinion.”
Terry Stavropoulos


“Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.”
Earl Wilson

FM Broadcast – Fall 2016

“Use Your Powers for Good”

Business Woman Standing In Front Of Business People Sitting In Bleachers, Portrait

We recently got together with a Chief Human Resources Officer who has been a long-time client, and she shared an insightful and funny story that really resonated. Early in her career, her boss and mentor challenged her to stop being a “compliance cop” and start behaving as a businessman (well, businesswoman, in this case). “Think operationally,” he said. “Help me get business done, and use your powers for good!” Those words were exactly what she needed to hear, and that advice has served as the guiding principle throughout her career.

This is a touchy subject. We constantly see the HR function relegated to a subordinate role, which is often justified. Ram Charan said it well: “What (human resources departments) can’t do very well is relate HR to real-world business needs. They don’t know how key decisions are made, and they have great difficulty analyzing why people—or whole parts of the organization—aren’t meeting the business’s performance goals.”

We’ve recently seen an uptick in the number of HR searches we’re being asked to complete, and naturally we’re thinking more about the material value that human resources executives bring to great companies, along with what makes top HR leaders stand out to us and to our clients. Below are some articles for further review, and stay tuned for additional thoughts in future newsletters.

Have a great interview story or some tips on how to improve candidate experience? Please share your stories and best practices with us.

Fleming & Marty               


Thoughts From the Experts…


Client Snapshot

FrontenacFrontenac Company is a 45-year old private equity firm based in Chicago, IL. Frontenac focuses on lower middle-market businesses where they have experience and can offer capital solutions that balance owner liquidity with accelerated growth objectives. The firm targets platform investments with $3M to $20M of EBITDA.

La TavolaThis year we have had the pleasure of working with the team at Frontenac to help find a Chief Financial Officer for La Tavola in Napa, CA and a VP Finance (top finance/accounting role) for Liquid Technologies in Chino, CA.

We were very impressed with Frontenac’s CEO1ST Liquid Technologiesinvestment approach which combines outstanding operating executives with high-potential companies. On both searches, we were able to work closely and effectively with the portfolio company CEOs and complete our assignments in 60 days. We have learned that one of our competitive advantages is the ability to leverage our deep networks to source local candidates for California-based companies.

Recently Completed Searches

E.B. Bradley (a PSP Capital portfolio company)

  • Chief Financial Officer

Frontenac portfolio companies

  • Chief Financial Officer (La Tavola)
  • VP Finance (Liquid Technologies)

DenMat (a Centre Partners portfolio company)

  • SVP Sales


  • VP Operations

Ontic (BBA Aerospace)

  • Director of Human Resources

Sprout LA

  • Head of Human Resources

Bell-Carter Foods

  • Head of Human Resources

Current Searches

Public SaaS & Digital Media Company

  • President
  • VP Finance

Public Aerospace Company

  • Business Unit Leader

Private Equity Medical Device Company

  • Director of Quality
  • Director of Human Resources

Non-Profit Health Organization

  • VP Human Resources

Public Consumer Electronics Company

  • Head of Global Talent Acquisition

Public Manufacturing Company

  • Director of Human Resources

Public Technology Company

  • Head of Public Relations

Private Industrial Manufacturing Company

  • Head of Sales