American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists | Executive Search & Strategic Planning
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), a globally active and widely respected coalition, brings together more than 2,600 members to advance occupational and environmental health. Through a variety of activities—scientific publications, continuing education, professional development programs, symposia, webinars, and conferences—it helps to promote a safe, healthy workplace for employees.
Because ACGIH works to improve the health of thousands of workers around the world, it is essential to have leadership in place who can articulate farsighted visions—and who possess the experience to transform those bold goals into reality.
In 2018, the moment arrived for ACGIH to identify its next Executive Director. ACGIH partnered with Benefactor Group to select an individual who could drive growth and transformation as the organization (and profession!) continued to evolve.
- Thorough preparation is the cornerstone for a successful executive search. Benefactor Group reviewed key documents and interviewed ACGIH’s volunteer leaders, executives, key constituents, and staff members to develop a position profile and search plan.
- Building from a combined 60+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector, Benefactor Group also provided guidance to the search committee, helping to identify and screen potential candidates, narrow the pool, and prioritize top prospects.
Through the collaborative efforts of the search committee and Benefactor Group’s search team, ACGIH hired Frank Mortl III, CAE, an accomplished executive deeply committed to the mission of the organization. Shery Milz, the chair of the search committee, expressed that “Benefactor Group was able to identify more candidates than we imagined…all of the candidates brought unique skills, and the candidate that we selected stood out; we believe he will successfully lead the organization forward.”
After ACGIH extended an offer to Mortl, Benefactor Group assisted him through the transition and onboarding process, an oft-overlooked facet of an executive search. Successful onboarding allows new executives to assimilate quickly and develop strong relationships with donors and constituents early on. “It was important for us that the new Executive Director understood who ACGIH is and what we do,” shared Milz. “Benefactor Group’s commitment through the whole hiring process pulled ACGIH through in a fabulous way.”
Executive transitions are pivotal moments for nonprofits. Successful organizations leverage these turning points to become stronger, more vibrant, and of greater service to the community. Benefactor Group is proud to partner with nonprofits to transform these moments of change into opportunity.
“ACGIH had a wonderful relationship with Benefactor Group. There was a tremendous amount of communication,” Milz concluded. “They were very good about listening to our opinions and facilitating the search process.”
ACGIH re-engaged Benefactor Group in the fall of 2019 as it considered its next steps as an organization. The strategic planning project would take on a slightly larger scale than usual. Supported by a robust volunteer committee structure, ACGIH chose to conduct two retreats: one focused on the function and work of volunteer committees, and the other covering overall strategy for the organization.
The Discovery Phase of the project proceeded with stakeholder interviews and an organization-wide survey. When the COVID-19 pandemic surged in the United States, ACGIH made the decision to postpone until the situation improved.
Partnering with ACGIH’s Strategic Planning Task Force, Benefactor Group evaluated the project timeline and decided to transition the retreats to a virtual platform. The retreats, held in September and October of 2020, brought together board, staff, and volunteer committees to discuss the critical issues raised in the Discovery Phase, as well as the organization’s future. The project came to a successful conclusion at the end of 2020 as the ACGIH staff took over the development of the operationalized plan.
Mortl commented, “Despite COVID-19 restrictions on in-person gatherings, the Benefactor Group team excelled at delivering online strategic planning exercises to ACGIH. The Board of Directors and staff are extremely pleased with the tangible results borne from high expectations, particularly given the logistical challenges amid a global pandemic.”