Executive Search Case Study

Perry-Martel Replaces Beloved Executive Director

Position: Executive Director
Industry: Agriculture
Company: Canadian Livestock Records Corporation


Replacing a beloved leader can be emotionally charged and often brings an organization to a crossroads. Few events in the life of an organization will raise stakes – and stress levels – as high as a transition in senior leadership. Finding the right fit and successfully integrating that person into the institutional fabric poses complex and significant challenges. Its consequences are long lasting – and difficult to reverse.


A review of the organization’s strategic plan revealed skill gaps needing immediate attention.  The Board capitalized on the opportunity to expand the scope of the role and experience sought in a new executive director.  Perry-Martel engaged in active dialogue with the Board and Search Chairs to craft a job profile role which mirrored the enhanced experience and competencies befitting the organization’s envisioned future.

From the outset, Perry-Martel engaged the leadership and stakeholders, drawing on their expertise and institutional knowledge to plumb an extensive network of the Canadian non-profit industry to recruit the right talent to move the organization forward. The research team identified two hundred and eighty-three individuals in more than one hundred and ninety associations who had the experience and skills detailed in the Position Profile. Each person was approached by David Perry personally and assessed for interest and fit.  Because we focus on executive search at the senior leadership level, we appreciate the importance of an organization’s unique culture, and as such our focus is on personal attributes and behaviors as well as skills.


Hiring an executive director is one of the most important actions that the governing board of a non-profit agency takes. The board depends on its director for day-to-day operation to achieve the agency’s purposes and objectives within the constraints of its budget—not an easy task to accomplish year in and year out.  Also, the working relationship between the director and the board, the staff, volunteers, clients, funding organizations, and other service agencies can significantly influence the agency’s effectiveness and reputation in the community.

Our sensitive, competency-based approach, harmonized concerns about the retiring executive’s legacy with the additional competencies needed to carry the institution into a new era – three months ahead of schedule.

“When you go out and hire a professional, you're expecting a professional standard. With Dave, he acted in a professional manner all the way through.”

-Sheryl Blackburn, Vice Chair - Canadian Livestock Records Corporation


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