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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 leadership advisory and retained executive search firm, our mission is to provide fully integrated global 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

"

[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 Andrewsis 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 supermarket chains, Rob conducts searches for board members, CEO and senior…

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Darcie Murray

Managing Partner

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 of peak performance. Darcie is a key member of Allen…

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Tom Fritsch

President

Tom Fritsch consults with senior leadership teams and boards with a wide range of organizations, including Fortune 500, mid-cap and privately-owned companies in oil & gas, energy, private equity, paper, manufacturing, infrastructure services and financial services. Since 2001, Tom and his teams have helped clients build high performing organizations and implement strategies that have generated over $6 billion in added enterprise value. Before Allen Austin, Tom spent 11 years as a senior partner with the…

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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 slowed the design and construction industries. The impact was felt…

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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 colleges and universities, community colleges, private schools and government…

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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 the firm, Grant is responsible for client acquisition, executing…

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Ken Minter

Senior Partner

Ken has two key facets to 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 securing top talent have contributed to the…

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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 wide range of industries (domestic and international) including architecture, engineering…

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she is also a leading member of the firm’s diversity and inclusion practice. 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 on 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 a passionate, visionary executive experienced in strategy,…

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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 Alliance Residential Management. Rick has led strategic change management initiatives…

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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 which 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 operated food company. His strong management and consultative…

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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 has sourced executives from over 100 countries worldwide, including most…

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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 placements over a three year time period. Kelly successfully completed…

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Echo Green

Partner

By leveraging her global marketing, business development, digital transformation, social media, software, and project management experience, combined with her infectious energy, endurance and tenacity, Echo wins the confidence of her clients in ways that result in real, sustainable solutions. Echo was an exchange student in Russia before attending Texas A&M University where she graduated with her bachelor’s in biomedical science and marketing. After graduating, she moved to Silicon Valley and worked in the tech arena…

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Taija Pupillo

Principal

Taija Pupillo is a Principal with Gaines International, an Allen Austin company. She has over 12 years of experience as a Leader and Advisor in Career Planning and Placement and she enjoys all facets of candidate development and strategic talent matching. At Gaines, Taija focuses on executive recruiting and candidate development targeting mid- to senior level strategic hires within Architecture, Interiors, Engineering, and Construction and Real Estate Development firms. She partners closely with the internal…

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Mike Calimbas

Principal

With over 15 years of recruiting and talent acquisition experience, Mike has partnered with companies ranging from Fortune 500, mid-cap and privately-owned companies to hire the best possible candidates into their organizations. He brings a diverse array of expertise into his engagements and has conducted searches for hard-to-fill roles ranging from senior executive leadership to sales and front-line operations. Mike’s industry experience includes, but is not limited to, facilities management, energy, high-tech, engineering, construction and…

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Allen Suvorov

Principal

In addition, Allen serves multiple clients across Manufacturing, Technology, Financial Services and Consumer industry sectors. Prior to Allen Austin, Allen spent 10 years in both retained and contingent executive search environment recruiting for large international corporations across the professional services, consumer, financial, technology, industrial, energy, metals and mining sectors carrying out C-level and middle management searches. Over the years Allen served many well-known companies: PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, Accenture, IBM, A.T. Kearney, McKinsey, Strategy Partners, Nike,…

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Rob Walker

Principal

Rob’s specialties include energy, industrial, consumer and retail and is well known for identifying key, high-caliber performers across a myriad of functions specializing in the C-suite. Rob began his career in outside sales and business development before his introduction to search. It is now his passion as he enjoys “the hunt”, finding the ideal candidate for the specific organization’s culture and performance expectations.  He began his search career focused on senior level industrial sales and…

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News & Insights

Like every business that builds customer loyalty and raving fans that evangelize on their behalf, customers who come back again and again, refer their friends, relatives and random people on the street, Sewell drives its business with the Ten Commandments of Customer Service. Bring ‘em back alive. Ask customers what they want and give it to them again and again. Systems, not smiles. Saying please and thank you doesn’t ensure you’ll do the job right the first time,…”

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Last week we promised to dig into how Sewell Automotive Group choreographs every customer’s experience. Carl Sewell Sr. started his business in 1911 but it was his son, Carl Sewell who shaped today’s business. Building relationships, not selling cars and trucks, is our first priority, and it has been for more than a century. “Customers for Life” – that is our aim. Our secret is how we treat others, and each other. You never get…”

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This week’s post continues to explore the customer experience, which, as we’ve established, is not about you or your brand. The result of an awesome experience is a customer that feels so good about him/herself as a direct result of their interaction with your company that they’re inspired to evangelize others, tell stories, and spread goodwill on your behalf. I have such a feeling for the Sewell Automotive Group, and General Manager Lance Baker of…”

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(Houston, TX) – Friday, January 24, 2020 – Allen Austin, a global retained executive search and leadership advisory firm, is pleased to announce Darcie Murray has joined the firm as Managing Partner. “Over the last several years, we’ve been working to build an infrastructure capable of supporting world-class consultants and large, complex global clients. We’re excited about Darcie for many reasons, including her experience in building great teams, opening and leading global offices and scaling networks,”…”

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Allen Austin recently completed a retained search engagement for the Texas Automobile Dealers Association and Darren Whitehurst was selected to serve as the Association’s next President. Darren is joining TADA after spending fifteen years at the Texas Medical Association. Darren’s career has been dedicated to leadership roles where, time and time again, he has led organizations to new heights. Prior to joining TADA, Darren enjoyed a 15+ year career in senior leadership with the Texas…”

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Allen Austin has been selected by Burckhardt Compression to conduct a retained search for the President of Arkos Field Services, which is part of Burckhardt Compression Group. Burckhardt Compression is the worldwide market leader for reciprocating compressor systems and the only manufacturer and service provider that covers a full range of reciprocating compressor technologies and services. The search will be led by Tom Fritsch, President of Allen Austin and Kelly Thomas, Partner

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Allen Austin recently completed a retained search engagement for the Houston Energy Corridor District® (District)and Elijah J. Williams was selected to serve as the District’s Executive Director. Created in 2001 by the Texas Legislature, the District consists of over 2,000 acres that extend along both sides of Interstate 10 from east of Kirkwood to west of Barker Cypress and along Eldridge Parkway from north of IH-10 to south of Briar Forest. The District is one…”

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We are announcing the launch of our Organizational Health Index, something about which many of our clients are excited. OHI is a time and cost effective method of determining your organization’s health relative to nine principles we see at work in companies that outperform their peer group. Much like making connections between your blood pressure, heart and lung function, body mass index, and other vital signs to those associated with optimal health, OHI measures nine cultural…”

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The Houston team welcomes Victoria Lopez Negrete  . Victoria Lopez Negrete brings over three decades of business experience in the financial services and banking industry to her role as leader of the Financial Services Practice at Allen Austin. she is also a leading member of the firm’s diversity and inclusion practice. Victoria’s practice areas include all facets of financial services including retail banking, FinTech, payments and insurance.

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A friend and thought partner of the firm, Mike Lejeune, is a host of a new platform for leaders across industries to share their insights, pain points and experiences. He sat down with our CEO, Rob Andrews, to talk about Total Performance Leadership (TPL). TPL is our  research-based architecture that combines Foresight, our search, selection and hiring process, and Insight our Strategic Transformation process, to help us fulfill our firm’s core purpose, which is to enhance…”

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