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Endorsements

“James is an extremely knowledgeable executive recruitment expert in the nonprofit sector. He is an articulate and engaging professional who can laser in on the most critical issues in making a hiring recommendation. In addition, he is able to put the interviewee at ease due to his warmth and sense of humor. It is my great pleasure to know him.”
Ken Berger, President & Chief Executive Officer at Charity Navigator

 

“During my 25 years in the aquarium and zoo business, I have had the good fortune of knowing and working with James Abruzzo and his team. They bring a level of experience and expertise to their understanding of how the aquarium and zoo business really works. They understand completely the required skills for leadership positions within our industry. There is a fine line in our profession between the conservation/education mission and the necessary business management skills for a successful leader. They have the know-how to find those leaders of tomorrow.”
Ted Beattie, President, John G. Shedd Aquarium

 

“James is extremely effective. Over the last several decades I have hired him for executive searches in five nonprofits and recommended him to several others. I classify him as one of the most competent professionals I have ever seen in action.”
Len Lieberman, Independent Banking Professional

 

“I originally met James when I was considering taking a new job two years [ago].  Although I did not know him.  He was extremely gracious with his time and expertise and I really appreciated the honest and straight-forward advice he gave. In retrospect, I can confidently say that he led me down the right path (which in this case,  was to take that job). I have since stayed in contact with James and he has remained someone who is always happy to provide insight or share some of his knowledge when asked.”
Scott Harrison, Executive Director of Board Engagement and Strategy at Detroit Symphony Orchestra

 

“James Abruzzo at DHR is a true professional bringing quality people into organizations. At United Way of New York City he helped us achieve our recruitment goals efficiently and effectively.”
Chandra Y. Anderson, CFRE, Owner, Anderson Consults

 

“James is a colleague of mine at DHR International. Part renaissance man, part subject matter expert, as proficient a practitioner of executive search as you could ask for – and all gentleman – if your need is executive search in the nonprofit sector anywhere in the world, there is no better suited professional to lead your search than James Abruzzo.”
Lawrence Poster, Founder and Managing Director, Catalyx Group; Producer and Managing Member at Asparagus Entertainment, LLC

 

“I worked with James on his search assignment for the COO position at the Columbus Zoo for which I was hired. James proved to be an executive search professional with the highest ethics helping me and the organization through the process making sure the communication flow continued until the hiring process. I would recommend James to anyone in need of a professional and caring search executive.”
Manny Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer at National Society of Hispanic MBAs

 

“James is an expert in the field of nonprofit executive search. He commits himself to his clients and his candidates and exhibits flawless search work. He was truly a great partner to work with!”
Kelly Kress, Director of Recruiting at L Brands

 

“I am pleased to endorse the work of James Abruzzo. Working with him to fill a position at The New Jersey Historical Society, I found his recommendations about the institution and appropriate candidates insightful. In fact, the benefits of a search extended far beyond filling the specific position. James’s experience allows him to draw from a wide selection of candidates and present the very best for the position in question, but his understanding of organizations and organizational cultures allows him also to provide guidance and direction for the future as well. He is a pleasure to work with and I endorse his work whole-heartedly.”
Sally Yerkovich, Creating opportunities to realize social justice

 

“Pilchuck Glass School, whose board I am president of, recently hired DHR to conduct a search for a new CEO/Executive Director for the school. Prior to deciding on DHR we interviewed many national search firms. Their nonprofit practice was superlative. James breadth of knowledge, experience and connections in the arts is unparalleled. We began the process in late Spring and by the end of October we had a new CEO in place. DHR thoroughly researched the candidates, conducted preliminary interviews, and only sent us the best. We are thrilled with our new CEO.”
Patricia Wallace, Real Estate Sales

 

“I was recruited via James Abruzzo and DHR International for my current position. They worked hard to ensure that it was a good match on both sides. DHR has a deep knowledge of the field and is able to successfully meet the goals of their clients.”
Catherine Fukushima, Program Officer at The Wallace Foundation

 

“James Abruzzo has been in executive search for the arts field for many years and makes a point of knowing and keeping in touch with top-performing professionals over the course of their entire careers. He is able, quickly, to identify the most accomplished candidates for senior-level positions.”
Shelley Jane Grossberg, Campaign, Leadership, and Major Gifts Fundraising | Board Development | Executive Coach

 

“James is, in a word, amazing. Without his input and guidance, my first company would never have gotten off the ground. James is a mentor, a true professional, a polished business expert, an exceedingly rare Renaissance Man, someone that anyone would be proud to know and call ‘friend’. Work with James and you won’t regret it.”
Phil Willson, Recruiting / Biz Dev / Sales / Marketing / Startup

 

“I am writing to thank you for your great service in helping the DCPA recruit a new Chief Executive Officer. Our search in Dallas has to rank as one of the fastest searches of your career. I was in a hurry, it is true, and I thank you for helping me speed things along. You brought us good candidates, and most importantly, you brought us one absolutely outstanding candidate[s]…You have a real talent for what you do, and I know whatever you undertake will turn out good.”
Howard Hallam, Chairman, Dallas Center for the Performing Arts

 

“DHR worked well to provide us with a choice of excellent candidates for the position of President of the Direct Marketing Education Foundation. They also helped our committee to revise the by-laws that ultimately has led to a stronger organization. The new President of DMEF is now in her position for over a year and has already had a positive impact on both the DMEF and the Direct Marketing Association.”
John Greco, President, Direct Marketing Association

 

“It is a professional pleasure for me to write this open letter of reference regarding DHR International and James Abruzzo, its executive in charge of nonprofit executive search.

I have known James over the past ten years in his capacities as a search consultant, cultural industry surveyor, CEO advisor and, most recently, also as co-founder and co-director of The Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Leadership at the Rutgers Business School. This spectrum of capacities, building upon his earlier reputation as head of AT Kearney’s nonprofit practice, give James a uniquely strong set of credentials in the world of museums, arts and performing arts organizations.

As background context, Liberty Science Center is New Jersey’s most visited museum and, as a result of a recent $100+ million expansion and renewal project, ranks as a new benchmark for the museum field’s quest for new models that combine usefulness and popularity. James has a deeply experienced grasp of the history and challenges of the museum field, especially as they pertain to leadership imperatives.

In each of my interactions, James Abruzzo has consistently combined a soft-spoken, listening-ready manner with the powerful additions of his knowledge and network.

For an executive search by any nonprofit seeking to make a difference, I strongly recommend consideration of James Abruzzo and DHR International.”
Emlyn Koster, President & CEO, Liberty Science Center

 

“The National Aquarium in Baltimore has called upon James Abruzzo and his team to assist us in a variety of organizational development projects. These have included analyses of establishing satellite facilities and benchmarking our development program, executive compensation planning, and executive searches. James’ work has always been of enormous help to both the Board and staff, bringing to bear his own expertise and that of a talented group of associates.”
David Pittenger, Executive Director, National Aquarium in Baltimore

I had the privilege of serving as the interim president and CEO of the Naples Zoo in Florida from October 2, 2012 to May 5, 2013. My consulting firm provides non-profit management services, including interim leadership, and I have been a long time supporter of our Zoo.

During my tenure as interim director of the Naples Zoo in Florida, one of the most critical tasks was to facilitate the search process. I identified three nationally recognized firms, including DHR International, for the Search Committee to interview by telephone. It was the unanimous opinion of the committee that James Abruzzo with DHR International was the best fit for our needs. Mr. Abruzzo had extensive long-term experience with placements at other zoos and he was to be our sole point of contact for the search process, which was not true at some of the other firms.

At our first meeting in Naples, Mr. Abruzzo provided a detailed schedule of the process and the expectations and deadlines that we would need to meet. His professionalism and calm optimism relieved a great deal of our concern. We met all our deadlines and the search was facilitated remarkably quickly.

As I write this, the new president and CEO of the Naples Zoo, Jack Mulvena, has just completed his first year. Mr. Mulvena was a candidate presented to us who was not actively seeking a new position. Mr. Abruzzo’s knowledge of the zoo world was the only reason we found him. To say he was a home run for the zoo would be an understatement. Mr. Mulvena was an ideal fit for our culture and our future challenges.
Ellie Krier, Krier Consulting

In addition to serving in an executive search firm capacity, James Abruzzo also handles executive compensation and contract negotiations.  Also, see the DHR International page here.
 
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