“As a relatively new CEO of Fuss & O’Neill, Inc. in 2012, I decided we needed to make a number of course adjustments to strengthen our nearly 300 person consulting firm of engineers, scientists and planners. One of these changes was to add a new Chief Operating Officer position. We needed someone with a proven track record in the A/E/C industry of making positive improvements to operations and profitability.
So, how to do this was the next question. To find the right person, we knew we needed a strong executive search firm, one with a reach beyond New England, to help us. After speaking with several others we identified firms and interviewed two. Gaines International was our clear choice, based on Donna Gaines’ quick understanding of our needs, knowledge of the industry and matter of fact answers to questions like “How long will this take?”
Donna and her team developed a very good understanding of the challenges and strengths of our firm and the type of COO candidate that would meet our needs, aided by on-site interviews with several senior managers and multiple conversations with our Human Resources Director and me. Gaines provided four strong candidates, with candid pros and cons of each, and handled all the arrangements for interviews with our short-listed candidates.
We were fortunate to have a clear choice for our COO position, and worked with Donna to develop an offer and negotiate a deal. Our situation was dynamic, as our top candidate had another opportunity to consider, and Donna was very helpful in working through this situation. She did a nice job managing the challenge of representing our interests, while also providing a realistic set of the candidate’s expectations.
We were successful in hiring our first COO a year and a half ago, and he has, as hoped, been a critical leader in implementing positive changes to our operations and improving our financial performance. We were very happy with Gaines International’s role in making this happen. I particularly enjoyed working with Donna Gaines, who got quickly up to speed in understanding what made our firm tick, and what kind of a person (experience and personality) would work best in implementing positive changes for Fuss & O’Neill. I have, and will continue to recommend Gaines to other organizations seeking to fill top level positions.”
– Fuss & O’Neill, President/CEO