Association of Executive Search & Leadership Consultants Presents Excellence, Community & IDEA Awards

Association of Executive Search & Leadership Consultants Presents Excellence, Community & IDEA Awards

AESC, the Association of Executive Search & Leadership Consultants, honored Rick DeRose of Acertitude, Jennifer Mondoux of MondouxRollins Partners Inc. and Karen Greenbaum of AESC with critical awards.

NEW YORK, May 15, 2024 Today at their annual AESC Global Conference in New York, the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) recognized three individuals for their impact on the profession.

Rick DeRose, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Acertitude, was honored with the AESC Award of Excellence for his impact on the profession.

Karen Greenbaum, AESC President & CEO, commented: "Rick DeRose's stellar career demonstrates a true commitment to the high-quality standards demanded by AESC. As he's grown his businesses, he has maintained these standards while elevating the profession." 

Throughout his 25-plus-year career in the executive search and leadership consulting industry, Rick has founded and built two reputable firms, brought new consultants into the profession, provided a great place for consultants to do meaningful work, and elevated the profession's reputation. 

"Rick's impact in the executive search and leadership consulting domain has been nothing short of extraordinary," said Ed Meyercord, President & CEO of Extreme Networks. Rick has worked closely with the organization on 14 executive appointments in the last six years. "His high standards and commitment to the industry are not merely compliance, but a testament to his unwavering belief in the value of helping people unleash their human potential and building high-quality relationships."   

Rick founded Telecom Executive Group, which later evolved into Technology Executive Group (TEG), in 1995. In 2015, he co-founded Acertitude with Kevin O'Neill. The firm has a "client for life" mentality and not only rejects an episodic mindset internally, but also makes substantial daily investments in the enduring success of the leaders it serves.   

In 2018, Guy Barnes joined as the third managing partner to spearhead the firm's European expansion. This move broadened Rick's impact on the profession as the firm expanded its client-centric founding philosophy, "The Acertitude Way" abroad.  

"Rick exhibits a client-for-life mentality when serving his clients, candidates, and the profession," said Jack Callison, Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Senior Living. Rick has been integral in helping Jack overhaul Sunrise Senior Living's C-level team, acting as an "extension" of the center's brand and team. 

Not only has Rick launched a firm that operates with high standards, but it does so on a global scale. Today, The Acertitude Group has achieved remarkable growth to $34 million in less than nine years, has expanded its client base fivefold, its team by 300%, and its services to multiple countries. The firm takes pride in its superior level of professionalism, demonstrated by a high NPS score of +82 and an unwavering commitment to generating positive outcomes for clients, candidates, and team-members.   

Currently, Rick is a co-founder and managing partner at Acertitude. He also oversees the firm's Technology and Healthcare practices, bringing over 20 years of experience to his role as a leadership advisor to CEOs and senior executives of private equity firms, public corporations and private companies. Rick and his team are also highly specialized in running CFO, CIO/CTO, GTM, CISO, and PE operating partner searches and in supporting value-creation, growth, restructuring, carve-out scenarios.  

Rick continues to be an advisor to TEG, which is now an Acertitude company specializing in management search across technology, digital infrastructure, healthcare, and professional services. 

Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Rick progressed through an array of leadership roles at Cable & Wireless Communications. He earned an MBA, Finance from Drexel University, and a B.S., Accounting from St. Joseph's University, where he is currently serves on the Board of Trustees. 

"I am honored to receive this year's AESC Award of Excellence, yet the credit truly belongs to our remarkable clients, candidates, and team members," said DeRose. "At Acertitude, we are committed to consistently delivering excellence at a global scale and developing life-long partnerships. Witnessing our clients' successes in the marketplace fills us with excitement, and in my view, this award is a testament to our collective efforts and our capacity to collaborate towards unleashing human potential."  

About the AESC Award of Excellence    
The AESC Award of Excellence honors individuals at the height of their careers who have made significant, outstanding contributions to the executive search and leadership consulting profession. Since 2000, this award has been given to recipients who promote AESC's commitment to the highest professional standards through its Professional Practice Standards at their firm and within the profession.

Jennifer Mondoux, CEO and Founder at MondouxRollins Partners Inc., was awarded the AESC Commitment to the Community Award for her work in both the executive search and leadership consulting profession as well as the broader community.

Karen Greenbaum, AESC President & CEO, commented: "Jennifer Mondoux exemplifies a true leader not just in the profession but also importantly in her community. Jennifer's commitment both in terms of time and treasure have ensured an impact in everything she does." 

Throughout her career, Jennifer has remained dedicated to serving the community through her work with The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, while helping private company clients find leadership talent for their teams. 

"Jennifer is not just a successful businesswoman; she is a role model who exemplifies everything a business and community leader should be," said Angie Hoang, a member of the Compensation and Succession Committee at The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health. "Her tireless dedication to supporting the Royal Ottawa, the largest and most significant institution in the Ottawa area for mental health, is truly commendable." 

Jennifer has served on the Board of Directors for The Royal Ottawa Foundation for nearly five years, serving several of those years as founder and chair of the foundation's first Compensation and Succession Planning Committee. She now leads a group of professionals in human resources and organizational leadership in the oversight of performance, compensation and succession for the foundation's president, on a pro bono basis. Additionally, Jennifer and her team at MondouxRollins Partners Inc. actively participate in two annual events supporting the foundation: The Leaders for Mental Health Breakfast and The Run for Women.

Jane Duchscher, Board Chair, The Royal Ottawa Foundation, noted that Jennifer's work developing and working with the committee has had a tremendous impact on the foundation. She explained that Jennifer's work provided the foundation with structure and guidance, advanced the foundation's talent retention efforts and grew the foundation's fundraising and awareness efforts.

"Jennifer's career in executive search and independent director search has made her an expert in leadership development and board governance, which she applied in the selection of the committee to ensure each member was a value-add to the foundation," said Jane. "Jennifer's voice with respect to her commitment to the Royal Foundation Board, [her work and] the personal time commitment she has provided the Foundation Board, clearly demonstrates her commitment to community service."

Jennifer has also made a significant contribution to her alma mater, Queen's University. In 2023, and in partnership with Queen's, Jennifer launched "The Valerie Feltham and Tammy Bekkers Memorial Bursary", a $50,000 bursary honoring the lives of Valerie and Tammy, Jennifer's classmates and friends who lost their lives in a car accident in 1993.

"Jennifer is determined to raise additional funds for the bursary [to help] more students at Queen's," explains Laura Costello, Sr. Development Officer Queen's University at Kingston. "She headed a fundraising campaign, reaching out to classmates and friends and asking them to join her. Thousands of dollars in additional bursary money were raised, and she remains committed to keeping the momentum going."

Jennifer has more than 15 years of experience working exclusively with private company clients in helping them find leadership talent for their teams. In 2018, she made the entrepreneurial leap to launch MondouxRollins Partners, Inc., Canada's only bilingual human capital advisory and talent solutions firm exclusively serving founder-led, family-run or VC/PE-backed privately-held companies. Since its inception, the firm has successfully completed 92 leadership assignments, earning trust by averaging 5.5 assignments per client and achieving an industry-leading close rate of 68 days.

Under Jennifer's leadership, the firm has advanced the importance of leadership talent specifically in private company governance through the launch of an independent director search practice. The firm also founded Canada's Best Private Boards, a first-of-its-kind, national and annual program that will recognize the impact of great governance on the performance of private companies. The inaugural summit and awards will be held on November 6th, 2024, in Toronto.

Jennifer holds a bachelor's degree in political studies from Queen's University, a post-graduate degree in journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University, as well as a director's certification from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). 

About the AESC Commitment to the Community Award  
Established in 1993, the AESC Commitment to the Community Award honors firms, offices or individuals who combine excellence in executive search or leadership consulting with a strong commitment to community service and volunteerism toward charitable causes.

Karen Greenbaum, CEO at AESC, was honored with the AESC IDEA Award for her commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access. 

Karen has served as CEO at AESC for the last decade. Within that time, she has played a critical role in advancing the profession, ensuring that AESC sets the quality standards for the profession globally while shining a light on the high-impact work done by AESC members. 

Karen has remained a vigilant champion for inclusion, diversity, equity and access in the profession. In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, Karen led AESC through a genuine diversity, fairness and belonging awakening. Together with CEOs from AESCs largest member firms, Karen co-authored AESC's Diversity Pledge and Guiding Principles. The pledge, which has since been signed by 150-plus CEOs, is a bold commitment to combatting bigotry. Each CEO who signs this pledge is committing to developing and deepening actions toward inclusion within their own firms, with the clients and candidates they serve, and in their communities. 

Six original coauthors and the first signatories of AESC's Diversity Pledge personally endorsed Karen's selection: 

Since its creation, Karen has been the key driver ensuring AESC and its members live up to that promise.  

Clarke Murphy said, "From the day we came together as leaders to make our pledge, [Karen] has never wavered, never stopped holding us accountable, never stopped working toward a better, more fair, and more equitable world." 

Under Karen's leadership, AESC's IDEA Councils were born. AESC's five IDEA Councils ensure the association remains on a path toward furthering our DEI mission, elevating the conversation around diversity and inclusion. In the aftermath of the US Supreme Court decision undermining affirmative action in US college admissions, Karen brought AESC Diversity Council members together to address the decision and its implications.  

Amid a global backlash against DEI, Karen led the development and execution of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Creating Competitive Advantage Through Fairness, Inclusion and Belonging, an AESC report. This research brought together the expertise of AESC members and the insights of clients committed to DEI work around the world. 

"Today, DEI is under attack. Karen Greenbaum is undaunted. As a fierce advocate for fairness, inclusion and belonging, her impact is exponential and immeasurable," said Julian Ha, AESC Board Chair and Heidrick & Struggles Partner. 

Additionally, Karen is a regular author and frequent speaker on topics including the positive business impact of diverse and inclusive leaders, teams and culture; critical CEO business issues; the key to attracting and retaining diverse executive talent; the importance of leading with purpose; the impact of legislation on talent and leadership solutions; and overall trends and innovations in the Executive Search and Leadership Consulting profession. 

Karen is a member of the 30% Club, a global group of Chairs and CEOs committed to board diversity, and The Committee of 200, a global non-profit focused on advancing women in business. She was recently featured in the book Women Mean Business, a celebration of trailblazing women who have risen to the top of the business world and helped others do the same.  

Krishnan Rajagopalan said of Karen, "The legacy [she] created on these issues will endure. [Her] influence on our firms has – I am confident – helped to change the world." 

Karen's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion precedes her tenure at AESC. Before joining AESC, Karen served as the President and COO for the $1 billion US business of Mercer Consulting/MMC, a Fortune 200 company and later as COO for Nixon Peabody LLP a nearly $500 million global 100 law firm. She also served as an executive search consultant and partner. 

About the AESC IDEA Award  
The AESC IDEA Award was established in 2020 to support the goals of the AESC Diversity Pledge, signed by more than 100 CEOs of leading executive search and leadership consulting firms. The award recognizes initiatives within the executive search and leadership consulting profession that demonstrate an exemplary commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access. These initiatives must be of sufficient significance and external impact to be recognized as excellent by the profession.