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Executive Search Services

Finding and retaining top leadership and board talent can be a strategic game changer.

Board of Directors Services

In for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, board of directors’responsibilities go beyond traditional governance and oversight.

Leadership Advisory Services

There is compelling evidence that organizations perform better if they have a clear sense of purpose.

The Allen Austin Difference

Since 1996, Allen Austin, has been dedicated to building lasting relationships and delivering real value to our clients.

As a global retained executive search and leadership advisory firm, our mission is to provide fully integrated executive search and leadership solutions that allow our clients to unleash the full potential of their organizations and deliver outstanding business results. Our fundamental commitment is to do the right thing, for our people, our clients and for the global communities in which we work.

Our Clients

What Our Clients Say

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When Tanglewood Legacy Advisors engaged Allen Austin for a retained search I expected just that. What we received was so much more.

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Andrew T. Gardener CFP , President, Tanglewood Legacy Advisors

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[Allen Austin’s] approach is different than the big three or four firms, and they deliver a much more hands-on experience led by senior executives.

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John Dennis , Managing Partner & Founder of WoodRock & Company

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I have had the opportunity to engage with a number of different recruiting firms over my career and have to say that I thought the experience with Allen Austin was exceptional.

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Bob Aylward , Chief Executive Officer & President of Jones & Carter

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Tom was not just a consultant; he was a member of our team. I very much appreciate the impact Tom had a me as a leader, and the impact he had on our performance for Hess.

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Brian Truelove , Retired Senior Vice President of Hess Corporation

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Allen Austin is pound-for-pound the best executive search firm that I dealt with over a 40-year career — no contest.

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Jim Eggleston , Board Member of Silberline Manufacturing Company

Consultant Spotlight

Rob Andrews

Chairman & CEO

Based in Houston, Rob Andrews is Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Allen Austin, a leadership advisory and executive search firm. Rob leads Allen Austin’s global CEO, Consumer Packaged Goods & Durables Practice, and is also a member of the firm’s Leadership Advisory, Private Equity, Industrial and Marketing Officer practices. Building on his earlier career experience as an operating president with major convenience store and…

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Darcie Murray

Managing Partner, Executive Search

Darcie’s responsibilities include client service, partner-level talent acquisition, and professional development. Darcie was drawn to Allen Austin because of its purpose and commitment to the highest levels of relationship management and client experience. Darcie’s understanding of the firm’s Foresight™ process, facilitating matches that work and last, make her an integral part of expanding the firm’s global footprint while building on the firm’s values and culture…

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Danielle Mairs

Managing Partner, Leadership Advisory

Based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Danielle Mairs is Managing Partner of Allen Austin’s leadership advisory practice. Her responsibilities include client delivery, talent acquisition, and strategic partnerships. Danielle was drawn to Allen Austin because of the firm’s groundbreaking Total Performance LeadershipTM architecture and its close alignment with the four pillars of Conscious Capitalism: higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious culture, and conscious leadership. Danielle is a key member…

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Donna Gaines

Founder & Managing Partner, Gaines International

Donna gives a unique sensibility to executive and management recruitment and understands the impact of architecture and design on cultures and societies. Since 1981, Donna has assisted clients in finding key professionals with leadership talent to meet the challenges of modern business. Donna relocated the Gaines headquarters from Atlanta to Chicago following a decade that included the Gulf War, an economic downturn, and overbuilding that…

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Mike Rome

Senior Partner

Based in Houston, Mike Rome serves as Senior Partner and co-leads the Board, CEO, and Private Equity practices. He is a member of the life sciences, industrial, professional services, and financial services practices, and plays an integral role in the firm’s growth, culture, and client service excellence commitment. Mike was drawn to Allen Austin because of the firm’s history, leadership architecture, and disciplined approach to…

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Jackie Gorman

Senior Partner

She has a particular interest in the areas of Higher Education, Government, Workforce Development, and Non-Profit organizations, where she brings over 16 years of executive-level management experience. Jackie is also a specialist in diversity executive searches and can bring to the table the highest caliber of diverse candidates for any organization. Jackie has developed a reputation for superior customer service. Her client list includes major…

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Prior to Gaines International, Grant was a Vice President with W.L. Handler & Associates, a generalist retained search firm specializing in mid to senior-level searches within the Fortune 500 markets. During his tenure with W.L. Handler & Associates, Grant was fortunate to work with such notable corporations as Anderson Consulting, Coca-Cola, Deloitte & Touche, Georgia Pacific, IBM, PepsiCo, and many more. As a Partner in…

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Based in Tampa, Florida, James Wilkson is a Partner within our Executive Search,  Leadership Advisory, and executive coaching practices. He specializes in Medical Management, Environmental Health and Safety, Technology, Software, Manufacturing, Retail, Hospitality, and Financial Service verticals. James is a gifted profiler of executive talent and an accomplished search consultant delivering competitive leadership ranging from start-up and private equity-based companies to Fortune 500 organizations. Drawing…

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Ken Minter

Senior Partner

Ken has two key facets of his practice: C-level corporate placements, particularly in situations of change or distress (M&A, restructuring, and post-bankruptcy) and senior-level professional services: consultants in operations, turnaround/restructuring, finance, accounting, and economics. Ken takes a client-centric approach to understanding an organization’s needs and clearly finding the best-fit candidates for the situation, the culture, and the future. His integrity and success in identifying and…

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He leads searches for the firm’s AEC clients domestically and internationally, as well as oversees business development and marketing for the firm’s Atlanta offices. Prior to joining Gaines International, Craft spent almost two decades as the Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for tvsdesign, inc., a premier A&E design firm with offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dubai, and Shanghai. He has significant experience in a…

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Victoria’s practice areas include all facets of financial services including retail banking, FinTech, payments, and insurance. She partners with clients who are global leaders in solving their senior executive talent and leadership needs. Victoria fills critical leadership roles at the C-Suite level that span general management, digital, data analytics, finance, marketing, and operations. She is also a leading member of the firm’s diversity and inclusion…

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Rick Hodge

Partner

Rick has eight years of search experience and has conducted C-Suite level searches across a broad range of sectors including Technology, Energy, Retail, Hospitality, Multi-Family, Logistics, Accounting, and Financial Services. Prior to joining Allen Austin, Rick has 20 plus years in Human Resources and served as the top HR leader for Star Furniture, a Berkshire Hathaway company. He also held similar positions at Dynegy and…

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After a successful twenty-year career at Kraft General Foods, where he held a series of management and executive-level positions, Pat spent five years as Managing Partner of a Connecticut based management consulting firm that specialized in providing added value via client-specific sales and marketing solutions. Prior to joining Allen Austin, Pat was Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing for a Connecticut based, family-owned and…

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He began his search career in 1996, in research and research management. He managed research teams at two London-based executive search firms in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Over the last ten years, Stephen has delivered searches across multiple sectors, functions, and geographies. He has executed searches on behalf of some of the world’s biggest companies, including Disney, Sony, Microsoft, IBM, and PWC. He…

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Kelly specializes in industrial, oil and gas, power, midstream, and consumer products, and has a unique talent for conducting search engagements across a broad range of industries. Kelly feels building relationships is her biggest asset. Prior to Allen Austin, she worked for one of the largest firms in Houston and successfully completed a large engagement with a rapidly growing midstream company resulting in fifty executive…

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Echo Green

Partner

By leveraging her global marketing, business development, digital transformation, social media, software, and project management experience, combined with her infectious energy, endurance, and tenacity, Echo wins the confidence of her clients in ways that result in real, sustainable solutions. Echo was an exchange student in Russia before attending Texas A&M University where she graduated with her bachelor’s in biomedical science and marketing. After graduating, she…

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News & Insights

  Building Peak-Performance Cultures #29: Disciplined Hiring Practices Write a Better Job Description that Attracts the Right Candidate Paraphrased by Rob Andrews from Whitney Johnson’s article in Harvard Business Review August 08, 2020   Whitney Johnson, CEO and Founder of boutique consultancy firm WLJ Advisors, is one of the leading management thinkers in the world and author of the award-winning Disrupt Yourself (Harvard Business Review Press). When I read Whitney’s article in this month’s HBR, I immediately wanted to sign up as president of her fan club! Below are her thoughts, with…”

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Allen Austin recently completed a retained search engagement for Lexitas with the selection of John Baker as the new CIO, based in Houston, Texas. Mr. Baker brings over 23 years of extensive experience as an IT leader, developing and executing technology visions, strategies and plans for global organizations. He holds an MBA from Rice University – Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management and a JD from the University of Houston Law Center. Gary Buckland, Lexitas’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are delighted to welcome someone with the experience and…”

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Building Peak-Performance Cultures #27: Peak Performance Cultures Why Checking your Organizational Health is Critical During the Pandemic   Henning Strubel, Senior Partner with The Boston Consulting Group, said in a recent article published in HR Technologist that “organizational complicatedness is the biggest barrier to high performance” and that smart simplicity, stakeholder management and organizational health are critical to peak performance. “Organizational Health is an organization’s ability to function effectively, to cope with change appropriately, and to grow from within which results in high performance.” I agree.   I’ve long been…”

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Building Peak-Performance Cultures #26: Customer Experience Build B2B Revenues during the Pandemic Paraphrased from Jeff Winters’ article in Harvard Business Review July 29, 2020 Covid-19 has changed the world of B2B sales. Even if you started the year with a packed pipeline, few businesses have escaped the economic turmoil. Heidrick & Struggles posted revenues of $145.6 million during the second quarter of 2020, vs. $173.1 million the same quarter in 2019, a 16% drop in revenues. They expect similar results during the 3rd and 4th quarters. Other search firms are…”

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Allen Austin has been selected by Platinum Pools to conduct a retained search for a COO to be based in Houston. Platinum Pools is the top custom pool builder in Houston, Beaumont, and Victoria TX. They have been building custom swimming pools in Southeast Texas since 1998, and is the Houston pool builder whose clients can trust with the construction of their backyard swimming pools.  Platinum Pools prides itself on providing high quality swimming pools, and no matter what the design is, every customer can count on the company’s team of…”

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How Gordon Bethune led Continental Airlines out of Crisis Written by Rob Andrews We deliver a leadership communications workshop developed over eighteen years, by my late best friend and business partner, Bob Knowlton, who died of pancreatic cancer on October 20, 2009. What we now call TPL Leadership Dynamics was his life’s work and his pride and joy. The workshop, which we’ve continued to enhance over the last eleven years, delivers the most powerful leadership communications methodology I have ever seen. Bob’s premise in developing this methodology was that effective…”

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My first real job was in a U-Totem convenience store, where I worked through five different store managers and had an opportunity to observe how not to manage a business. My second job was in a small independent grocery store where I survived three management changes, command and control management, and more examples of what did and did not work. In July of 1970, I turned sixteen and was old enough to go to work legally. Having four years of full-time food retailing experience, I went to work as a…”

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Dealing with Racism and Other Forms of Misunderstanding Written by Rob Andrews and paraphrased from Arbinger Institute Research One of my business partners recently introduced me to the Arbinger Institute, where he studied and learned about the concept of self-deception. It seems we all slip into self-deception multiple times each day, even if we have been trained not to! Self-deception causes people and organizations to get stuck, in old patterns, old behavior, old thinking, and old prejudices. To escape self-deception requires herculean effort, a new paradigm, better training and development,…”

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What we need right now is calm, steady leadership; not panic, hysteria, and rush to judgment. We need our leaders to tell us we’re going to be ok, that this too will pass, and that we can emerge from our current crises better and stronger than ever. We need leaders who let us know what they expect of us.  Nancy Koehn wrote an article in the April edition of Harvard Business Review that speaks to this issue very effectively. I’ve taken her content and added a few thoughts of my…”

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How World-Class CEO Selection applies to Every Position in your Organization Paraphrased by Rob Andrews from Ram Charan’s October 2018 Harvard Business Review article. The article focuses specifically on CEO selection but is equally valuable when contemplating evaluating the critical needs for any position, at any level. While most of this article addresses the board’s role in CEO selection, I am convinced the principles apply to every position. As you read the article, think of various roles within your organization and how to retrofit the four things that highly effective…”

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Why Do You Do That?

Rob Andrews talks about why our team at Allen Austin operates the way it does; how it’s all lead by purpose and how we implement it into our Retained Executive Search and Leadership Advisory practices.