Our Search Division is Ramping Up to Meet Increasing Demand for Talented, Purpose-Driven Executives

Our clients continuously inspire us to improve our services and capabilities as a firm. Our organizational design work and succession planning in particular have led to Arthur Comb’s article on Power Sharing (here). We see this as a way of short circuiting many of the challenges that arise with traditional succession planning and another way to engage with our excellent clients. 

Here are some of the search engagements S&C has been engaged with this previous year:

Build It Green (BIG) has been making healthy, sustainable homes more accessible for families across California for over 15 years, and is now entering a new phase in which it aims to form an innovative, inclusive community of practice around regenerative building through education, convening, and standards-setting. S&C was pleased to help BIG hire Jeremy Madsen as its new Executive Director to bring about this ambitious new vision.


For over 45 years, Children’s Council of San Francisco has been at the heart of early childhood education in San Francisco, supporting families, providers, and caregivers with a myriad of services. S&C had the pleasure of placing Children’s Council’s first Chief Strategy and Impact Officer, Yvette Renteria, who will be leading the implementation of the strategic plan S&C developed with them.


Community Foundation Sonoma County (CFSC) brings together community-minded donors and diverse nonprofit grantees to catalyze change in health and human services, emergency response, education, environment, arts and culture, and animal welfare. S&C was proud to place Kris Van Giesen as CFSC’s new Senior Vice President of Philanthropy to help the organization move toward a philanthropic model focused on deeper community impact and donor relationships.


S&C helped Higg Co build its teams for customer success and support, product management, sales, business intelligence, marketing and communications, and more in 2019-2020. We are now continuing this exciting effort by supporting Higg Co’s partner organization, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, builds its teams in HR, product tools, marketing and communications, and membership and stakeholder engagement in 2020-2021.


Mission Neighborhood Centers (MNC) provides culturally-sensitive education and social services to low-income youth, seniors, and families–mostly from Latinx, African American, and South Sea Islander backgrounds–in San Francisco’s Mission district and adjacent neighborhoods. S&C partnered with MNC to place Richard Ybarra as its next CEO, and looks forward to seeing him grow the organization’s strategic footprint in the coming years.


myAgro is combating food and economic insecurity by providing smallholder farmers with access to critical resources through their mobile layaway tool and village entrepreneur network. To date, the organization has reached 90,000 farmers in Senegal, Mali, and Tanzania, and is on track to reach its ambitious goal of 1 million farmers by 2025. S&C is proud to be working with myAgro in the placement of their inaugural Chief Operating Officer, Deepti Mathew


The Namchak Foundation promotes the growth, study, and practices of the Namchak lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and does so in a modern, Western, and accessible style. Led by the Board and S&C placement, Managing Director Lincoln Wachtel, Namchak offers a variety of learning programs and retreats to serve students on every step of the path; from those exploring meditation for the first time, to more experienced practitioners.


One Heart Worldwide (OHW) believes all women and newborns should receive the quality healthcare services they deserve during pregnancy and childbirth, anytime and anywhere. Led by their CEO and S&C placement, David Murphy, OHW aims to improve access to quality healthcare services to reduce the risk of maternal and neonatal mortality in remote rural areas of the world, and employs an adaptable, sustainable, and scalable approach.


VisionSpring is a pioneering social enterprise that creates market-based access to vision screening and radically affordable eyeglasses for people who live on less than $4 a day so that they may earn, learn, stay safe and care for their families. Led by their CEO and S&C placement, Leena Palav, VisionSpring provides affordable eyeglasses, vision screening and training so that non-profits, social entrepreneurs, government agencies, and corporate clients can bring the wonder of clear vision to their communities.


S&C’s Ongoing Work

S&C is excited to work with B Lab USA and Canada to place a new Senior Director of Community, who will steward the more than 1,700 B Corp Certified organizations throughout North America, help them find their place in the economy for good, and mobilize them to create systems change.


The Coleridge Initiative is strengthening the empirical foundation for decision making in the public sector with tools, training, and projects to collect and leverage microdata from institutions across the country. S&C is proud to partner with The Coleridge Initiative to search for its new CEO and develop the tools and frameworks for a successful leadership transition for the organization.


The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful, complex, diverse, and culturally rich areas on earth. Both Navajo and Ute people call San Juan County home today, but it is revered as an ancestral home to Hopi, Zuni and other Puebloan people. Working closely with the Intertribal Coalition, Friends of Cedar Mesa (FCM) is in position to protect this land.  FCM has an extraordinary opportunity to help define how a truly unique and culturally significant landscape can be collaboratively managed and protected and S&C is honored to be working in tandem with the FCM leadership to place their next Executive Director


New Island Capital Management is a leading impact investment advisor with an institutional-scale, 100% impact-focused portfolio placing it among the world’s largest in this category. New Island is committed to delivering positive social and environmental outcomes as well as industry-leading cultural change from within. New Island is moving the well-organized narrow boundaries of the financial industry toward a more inclusive and diverse group of voices. S&C was honored to work with New Island in the placement of  Lisa Ellis, Chief Operating Officer, and our continued work together finding their next Managing Director, Private Credit


S&C is hiring! If these clients fascinate you as much as they do to us, consider joining the S&C team. S&C is looking for a dynamic, ambitious, purpose-driven professional to join our team as a Senior Associate, Talent and Executive Search. Learn about the role here, and reach out with any recommendations on who we should be speaking with at seniorassociate@schaffercombs.com.



Like many, we have found ourselves seeking greater connection and guidance both within our communities, and without. The purpose of this newsletter is both to share what’s on our minds, and to invite— perhaps provoke— relevant conversations. If you’d like to learn more about what we’re up to, or chat about what’s going on with the organizations that matter to you, just let us know. And if you’d rather not receive future such infrequent communications from us, please let us know that, too.


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