The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), a respected nonprofit with more than 2,300 members, works to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees through a variety of activities: technical and scientific publications, continuing education courses, professional development programs, symposia, webinars, and conferences. Because ACGIH helps to improve the health of thousands of workers across the country, it was imperative for the organization to find an Executive Director with passion for the mission, a compelling vision, and the experience to transform future goals into reality.
ACGIH partnered with Benefactor Group to identify, select, and hire a new Executive Director, and to provide transitional assistance—ensuring a positive, seamless transition for both the new executive and the organization.
A successful executive search depends upon thorough preparation. Benefactor Group began the search process by reviewing key documents and interviewing ACGIH’s volunteer leaders, executives, key constituents, and staff members. Based on this information, Benefactor Group developed a position profile and search plan—key ingredients to attract a diverse, talented pool of candidates.
The Benefactor Group team, utilizing its combined 60+ years of knowledge in the nonprofit sector, provided guidance and support throughout the entire process, especially during the selection phase. They helped to identify potential candidates through national networks, and screen candidates to narrow the pool and identify top prospects—i.e., those with the management and leadership skills and cultural fit to lead the organization forward.
Sherry Mills, the previous Board Chair and the Chair of the Search Committee for this project shared, “ACGIH had a wonderful relationship with Benefactor Group, and there was a tremendous amount of communication. They were very good about listening to our opinions and facilitating the search process.”
Through the joint efforts and cooperation of the Search Committee and Benefactor Group’s search team, ACGIH hired Frank Mortl. Mills confided that Benefactor Group exceeded her partnership expectations. She and her team were hoping for the base essentials: “Someone who met the job specifications, accepted the suggested salary, and aligned with our time frame. Benefactor Group was able to identify more candidates that we imagined. All of the candidates the search committee interviewed brought unique skills. The candidate that we selected stood out and we believe will lead the organization forward.”
After ACGIH extended an offer to Mortl, Benefactor Group assisted him through the transition and onboarding process. Transitional assistance, an often-overlooked facet of an executive search, is an important step. A successful onboarding allows new executives to assimilate quickly to their organizations, reduce the learning curve, and develop a strong relationship with their donors and constituents. Mills said that Benefactor Group’s included transitional service was one of the biggest reasons why ACGIH chose them as their partner. “We knew that it would be nice to have a firm help us through this phase. It was important for us that the new Executive Director understood who ACGIH is and what we do.” Mills believes that it was Benefactor Group’s commitment through the “whole hiring process” that “pulled ACGIH through in a fabulous way.”
For nonprofits, the stakes surrounding an executive transition could not be higher. Each organization’s mission of service relies on strong, effective leaders at the helm, now and in the future. Successful organizations leverage turning points—in leadership, the economy, culture—to become stronger, more vibrant, and of greater service to the community. Transforming change into opportunity requires a partner who can help navigate challenges and achieve excellence. Benefactor Group dedicates itself to building strong partnerships with clients and is determined to help create long-term sustainability for nonprofits.