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Meet DRiWaterstone’s senior team! This week, continuing our conversation with Senior Consultant, BJ Davis, to find out, in her own words, what drives her and why DRiWaterstone is one of North America’s top executive search firms for the non-profit and social impact sectors.
DRiW: How do you describe your role at DRiWaterstone?
BJD: I get to be a casting director – a nonprofit talent casting director. I work with incredible organizations making an impact in many ways, and I have the ability and eye to find talent that they’re not going to find on their own or that they may not think to consider.
I was doing research for a VP search recently, and when we were presenting candidates to the CEO, he was blown away by the talent, the breadth of skills, and the different sectors from which candidates came from. And he said: “You think they’d really want to work here?” Absolutely they would! That is my role – to find amazing people who will be the unexpected find and thrill the client with whom I am working.
DRiW: How does your background influence your approach to executive search?
BJD: I’ve been in the social sector for 25 years. And innately when I was hiring, I always acted like a recruiter. I like to say I listen to people and not read resumes. I’ve always wanted to source certain people that would align not only with the position, but be a leader and culture add to my teams. I don’t want to wait for them to come to me. People may feel hesitant to apply because they don’t “check all the boxes”, but for me not all the boxes are on a piece of paper.
My work is deeply rooted in social justice. That foundation combined with one of my strengths, connectedness, and I tend to see how we are all part of the greater picture. Because of this I explore unlikely avenues and I just think inclusively. That’s how I show up. I try to bring things to the table that our clients may not think of. It just comes from a different space. My experience in leadership, comes from various roles, in the LGBTQ movement, reproductive rights, in environmental and climate justice spaces, it all allows me to see and resource different talent across the board. There may be someone from a job I worked on 10 years ago or someone from El Paso who is working on a Board and they’re going to have the skills and alignment for a position I am recruiting for. I bring that network and all those just outside of it into the circle for consideration. I can utilize all of the different spaces I’ve worked in and leverage the connections I’ve made to deliver top in class talent for our clients.
DRiW: What do you love most about working in the non-profit and social impact sectors?
BJD: First and foremost, it’s the people. I love people. I love stories. I love getting to know people. I love walking into a room and meeting as many people as possible – but in genuine ways. It’s an authentic curiosity I have always had. I want to know how you ended up in this room with me and what’s your backstory. This work gives me the opportunity to meet brilliant people, and people who are doing incredible things in the world, and it inspires me every day.
At DRiWaterstone, we work with mission and purpose-driven organizations across the U.S. to help them build mission and purpose driven teams. We’d love the chance to work with you – reach out today and book a meeting with our team and find out how we can help.
Meet DRiWaterstone’s senior team! This week, we’re continuing our conversation with Managing Director Julio Suárez about what drives him and why DRiWaterstone is one of North America’s top executive search firms for the non-profit, philanthropic, and social impact sectors.
DRiWaterstone Human Capital (DRiW): How do you describe your role at DRiWaterstone?
Julio Suárez (JS): I lead DRiWaterstone’s social impact business, which focuses on helping clients that are foundations, social enterprises, or corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ESG teams embedded within private businesses.
I leverage my experience running foundations and CSR programs to help clients determine the skill sets they need to add to their teams to grow, meet their goals, and drive impact. I also leverage the professional network I’ve built in these sectors to help find high-performance leaders for our clients working across the sector.
DRiW: How does your background in the non-profit/social impact sector influence your approach to executive search?
JS: I bring 17 years of experience in the philanthropic, CSR, and DEI fields. I’ve led two corporate foundations, including the Anheuser-Busch and Darden Restaurants Foundation. I also led several CSR and ESG initiatives such as cause marketing partnerships, workplace giving and volunteering programs, established and supported Employee Resource Groups, and led an employee disaster relief fund.
So, when I am meeting with clients, I understand their priorities and challenges. I’ve been there. I’ve worked in similar organizations that are just as committed to driving an impact. I understand the responsibilities and challenges of running a foundation. I also understand the complexities and potential opportunities that come with running CSR, ESG, and DEIB programs – I understand what it means to have to work with so many people and departments across an organization and to have to get them to buy into your program and ultimately become champions, even when it is not their responsibility. The work is not easy, but it is very rewarding, and I understand that because I’ve been there.
DRiW: What do you want candidates to know about working in the non-profit/social enterprise space?
JS: Everyone can make a positive impact in the community and on the environment. You don’t have to have a fancy title to make a positive impact. Also, non-profits, foundations, and ESG/CSR teams all have objectives. To reach these goals, they need talented and experienced people who can serve as leaders within their organizations. Leaders who have the skillset, the know-how, and the commitment to the mission. If you are a passionate, talented, purpose-driven person, there is a lot of potential for you in this sector.
At DRiWaterstone, we work with mission and purpose-driven organizations across the U.S. to help them build mission and purpose-driven teams. We’d love the chance to work with you – reach out today and book a meeting with our team and find out how we can help.