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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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News & Insights

This post contains paraphrased content from Daniel Juday. For many years, we’ve studied organizational culture. When I’m speaking with clients, discussing their issues, and trying to get clear about what they are really trying to accomplish, invariably we wind up talking about solutions designed to move them toward what we call a culture of peak performance, which we believe is truly the only sustainable competitive advantage. While we’ve built a very robust suite of diagnostics to assess organizational health and an architecture to help leaders build such cultures, we are…”

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Cost containment has been defined as the practice of recording and controlling expenses to eliminate overspending. Companies like QuikTrip, UPS, Nordstrom, Wegmans, H-E-B, Waste Connections, and Southwest Airlines, all of whom consistently outperform their competitors, define cost leadership as driving costs out of the business that do not serve the company’s purpose or do not enhance stakeholder experience. There are healthy ways to cut costs and there are ways that do untold damage to customer and employee experience and destroy enterprise value. Bad cost-cutting is like cigarette smoking, an unhealthy…”

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Why should an “A Player” who is head down, working hard, not looking for change, and doing a great job for your #1 competitor come to work for you? If your words don’t yet paint a very compelling “Why”, you’ve got work to do. Short of being just plain lucky, if you’re not able to clearly articulate why your next impact player should put down what he or she is working on, and listen carefully, you are destined to select from the ranks of the unemployed, underemployed, and disgruntled. This…”

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Simon Sinek says that leaders and companies that start with “Why” are infinitely more able to inspire and engage stakeholders than others. They also make better decisions, formulate better strategy, and execute better. Sinek says that all leaders know what they do, some know how they do it, but precious few know why. He refers to what he calls the Golden Circle, with “Why” in the bullseye, “How” in the middle ring, and “What” in the outer ring. Most leaders, says Sinek, think, act, and communicate from the outside in….”

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By Rob Andrews with paraphrased content from Lolly Daskal’s November 2, 2020 article in Inc. Magazine What a year! A global pandemic none of us saw coming, knew how to deal with, or knew what to expect as a result. Racial unrest at a level we haven’t seen in fifty years. Remote work for much of the global workforce. Economic insecurity at a level we’ve not seen in decades. A political cycle so bizarre many of us wonder if we’re still living in the United States. With all the crap…”

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By Rob Andrews with paraphrased content from various studies around diversity and inclusion So how do we define diversity in 2021? For decades, we’ve been told that organizations that employ diverse leadership teams perform better. But what does diversity really mean these days? Total diversity now includes gender and race for sure. It also means diversity of thought, generation, culture, hardwiring, nationality, and more. Building a truly diverse leadership team is far more complex and more difficult than most realize, and it affects every sector of the planet: public, private,…”

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By Rob Andrews with paraphrased content from Lisa Earle McLeod’s December 2, 2020 article in Harvard Business Review. I read Lisa Earle McLeod’s article on Purpose in today’s HBR with great interest. Lisa notes that many organizations are shifting to what she refers to as a purpose-driven strategy, which as she states, can be an effective north star in helping guide employees. She goes on to say that as the purpose movement goes mainstream, the pressure for organizations to deliver on their purpose is high. “An effective organizational purpose acts…”

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There is no better time of the year to express gratitude than Thanksgiving. A blinding flash of the obvious, right? Less obvious is how a daily commitment to gratitude makes for a better leader on many levels. The effects of gratitude were studied in the works of Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., at the University of California, Davis. Emmons studied the impact of gratitude on physical health, psychological well-being, and our relationships with others. Immersed in this work for over a decade, Emmons found that gratitude comes with benefits few realize….”

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By Rob Andrews with paraphrased content from Warren Bennis and James O’Toole in the October 2005 edition of Harvard Business Review Fifteen years ago, Warren Bennis and James O’Toole published an article in the Harvard Business Review in which they said that business schools were on the wrong track.  That they were facing intense criticism for failing to impart useful skills, failing to prepare leaders, and failing to instill norms of business etiquette and ethical behavior. They believed that was because the curriculum was the effect, not the cause, of…”

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  By Rob Andrews with paraphrased content from Joan Williams and  Ro Khanna 10.29.20 article in Harvard Business Review   The conversation about stakeholder capitalism is heartening evidence that much of the business community recognizes that capitalism has gone seriously off track. The obvious criticism is that, while CEOs are well-placed to pursue profits, they are ill-suited to weigh and balance the needs of many different stakeholders, as has been cogently argued in The New York Times. And so far, the follow-through on the embrace of stakeholder capitalism has been decidedly mixed. What’s needed…”

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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.