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RETAINED EXECUTIVE SEARCH FIRM, LEADERSHIP ADVISORY SERVICES, AND INTERIM LEADERSHIP & PROJECT CONSULTING

Our Services

Executive Search Services

Finding and retaining top leadership and board talent can be a strategic game changer. Our retained executive search firm has been providing executive search consulting services since 1996.

Leadership Advisory Services

Allen Austin’s Leadership Advisory Services are based on Total Performance Leadership (TPL), which is a journey that will never end. It is our study of organizations that perform at the very top of their sectors.

Interim Leadership & Project Consulting

Our flexible model and tailored solutions allow us to operate with precision and rapidly respond to our clients’ needs, providing a roadmap to measurably improve business performance.

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, leadership advisory, and interim leadership and project consulting services firm, our mission is to provide fully integrated management 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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Ari Cretu

President

As President of Allen Austin, Ari’s responsibilities include corporate development, forging external partnerships, championing DE&I causes and embedding them within the firm’s growth strategy, client origination, revenue production, and ensuring world-class quality execution across all engagements and service offerings. As a key member of Allen Austin’s leadership team, Ari assists in the strategic direction and tactical plans of the firm. Also remaining under Ari’s purview…

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Jenny Reed

Managing Partner, Executive Search

Based in Houston, Jenny Reed serves as Managing Partner and is responsible for the executive search team, client service, talent acquisition and certain aspects of the firm’s human capital practices. Working closely with the key members of the leadership and search teams, Jenny is a catalyst for building Allen Austin’s culture of peak performance. Jenny was instantly aligned with the Purpose, Mission, Vision and Values…

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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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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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Mike Rome

Senior Advisor

Based in Houston, Mike Rome serves as Senior Advisor 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. He also currently serves as the Interim Director for the McNair Center for Entrepreneurship at Houston Baptist…

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Danielle Mairs

Senior Advisor

Based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Danielle Mairs serves as Senior Advisor of Allen Austin.  Danielle was drawn to Allen Austin because of the firm’s groundbreaking Total Performance Leadership™ architecture and its close alignment with the four pillars of Conscious Capitalism: higher purpose, stakeholder orientation, conscious culture, and conscious leadership. Danielle brings a unique combination of dynamic leadership, passion for helping others, and entrepreneurship to Allen Austin….

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Ken Wilcox

Partner

Based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Ken serves as Partner and Head of the Consumer Products and Retail Sector. Ken is charged with overseeing the development of client engagements, by leveraging Allen Austin’s formidable portfolio of services, including executive search, leadership advisory and interim executive and coaching assignments. Prior to joining Allen Austin, Ken spent the past 30+ years in increasingly senior roles in corporate America. His…

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Based in Atlanta, Grant Heath is a senior member of the firm’s Architectural, Engineering and Construction practice. A 30+ year veteran of retained search, Grant has conducted C-Suite and senior-level search engagements for some of the largest and most prestigious architectural, construction, interior design and engineering firms in the world. He is one of those rare consultants who understands and relates to both left and…

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Based in Houston, Edie Bartlett is a Partner, and a member of the firm’s Consumer & Retail, Marketing Officer, Business Development, and Industrial practices.  She has over 20 years’ experience in executive leadership roles with prestigious consumer packaged goods companies Including Warner Brothers, MGM Studio and Starz. Edie’s expertise encompasses all areas of CPG distribution including, sales, marketing, and product distribution across all classes of…

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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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Earle leads searches for the firm’s AEC clients domestically and internationally, and also 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 wide…

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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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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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News & Insights

With paraphrased content from Claudio Fernandez-Araoz, Gregory Nagel, and Carrie Green from HBR Magazine May – June 2021 Many large companies fail to pay enough attention to their leadership pipelines and succession practices. That leads to excessive turnover at the top and destroys a significant amount of value—close to $1 trillion a year among the S&P 500 alone, say Fernandez-Araoz, Nagel, and Green. A case in point: In August 2013, Steve Ballmer abruptly announced that he would step down as chief executive of Microsoft as soon as his replacement could be found….”

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Allen Austin is pleased to announce that we have been retained to conduct a nationwide search for Overhead Door Corporation’s next Vice President and General Manager, Sales.  Overhead Door, based in Lewisville, Texas, is North America’s largest manufacturer of upward acting doors, and the second largest garage door opener manufacturer in the world. The VP and GM of Sales will be charged with executing a compelling, long-range sales and business development strategy for Overhead Door’s branded products and program, that maximizes and expands market potential for the Access System Division’s…”

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With paraphrased content from Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller, and Vikram Malhotra’s article in Chief Executive April 25th, 2022 In the new book `CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest, three McKinsey senior partners share insights based on 20 years’ worth of corporate performance data and in-depth interviews with 67 of the most successful chief executives of the 21st century. Here’s Part 3 of our series based on this important work. REGULARLY APPLY ‘HEART PADDLES’ As we learned in last week’s post, Setúbal describes one of a…”

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(Houston, TX) – Monday, May 9, 2022 – Allen Austin, a leading management consulting firm based in Houston, is thrilled to announce that Edie Bartlett has joined the firm as its newest Partner in the executive search practice. Edie has over 20 years’ experience in executive leadership roles with prestigious consumer packaged goods companies Including Warner Brothers, MGM Studio and Starz. Edie’s expertise encompasses all areas of CPG distribution including, sales, marketing, and product distribution across all classes of trade such as, E-Commerce including Amazon, digital platforms such as Apple and…”

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With paraphrased content from Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller, and Vikram Malhotra’s article in Chief Executive April 25th, 2022 In the new book `CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest, three McKinsey senior partners share insights based on 20 years’ worth of corporate performance data and in-depth interviews with 67 of the most successful chief executives of the 21st century. Here’s Part 2 of our series based on this important work. KEEP AN EYE ON THE DOWNSIDE To be clear, boldness doesn’t mean recklessness. Excellent CEOs fully…”

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(Houston, TX) – Monday, May 2, 2022 – Allen Austin, a leading management consulting firm based in Houston, is thrilled to announce that Courtney Kroll has joined the firm as its newest Associate in the executive search practice. Courtney’s background is in human resources, administration, and communications. She has a range of human resources skills such as analytics, recruiting, organizational structures, onboarding and more. She also has experience in journalism, copywriting, marketing, and social media management. She is enthusiastic about people and culture. Finding a perfect candidate who fits the…”

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With paraphrased content from Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller, and Vikram Malhotra’s article in Chief Executive April 25th, 2022 In the new book `CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest,’ three McKinsey senior partners share insights based on 20 years’ worth of corporate performance data and in-depth interviews with 67 of the most successful chief executives of the 21st century. All aspects of the role are covered, including setting direction, aligning the organization, mobilizing leaders, engaging the board, connecting with stakeholders, and managing personal effectiveness. In this…”

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With paraphrased content from Bill Higgs’ book Culture Code Champions This week, we continue our examination of Bill Higgs’ success in building a peak performance culture using two key TPL principles, Disciplined Human Capital Practices, and a High-Performance Mindset. The Right DNA Bill Higgs says that hiring only people who had the Mustang DNA into the firm was critical to its success. The Mustang DNA requirement was necessary to build a strong cohesive culture. I’ll pause for a moment and address diversity, equity, and inclusion. Bill believes, and it’s been…”

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With paraphrased content from Bill Higgs’ book Culture Code Champions This week, we continue our examination of Bill Higgs’ success in building a peak performance culture using a key TPL principle, Disciplined Human Capital Practices. The job on the corner of the desk, which Bill speaks of often, also meant that there wasn’t as much downtime in Mustang’s overhead costs. This led to increased profitability within the standard billing rates for the oil industry. This efficiency was where Bill was able to squeeze out bonus money for everyone who was…”

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With paraphrased content from Bill Higgs’ book Culture Code Champions This week, we continue our examination of Bill Higgs’ success in building a peak performance culture using a key TPL principle, Disciplined Human Capital Practices. Bill’s hiring methods created significant savings to his bottom line in many ways: First, most companies hire four to six people for every “keeper” (someone who stays two years) they find. This churning of people makes your existing team less efficient as they must train and sort through them. Bill’s team hired for culture fit…”

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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 led by purpose and how we implement it into our Executive Search (executive recruitment) and Leadership Advisory practices.