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Leadership Delaware contracts with Placers for executive search

Katie Tabeling
Leadership Delaware series


WILMINGTON — Leadership Delaware Inc. has contracted with recruitment agency Placers to aid in the search for its next executive as CEO Jennifer Cohan will depart by the end of the year.

Placers and Leadership Delaware are both advertising the position through their respective channels, although Placers is also actively recruiting possible candidates, according to Leadership Delaware officials.

It is currently the highest executive-level role advertised on Placers’ website, which also features positions in accounting, administration, engineering, hospitality, human resources and manufacturing. The firm is also advertising jobs in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and Georgia.

“We actually considered many search firms and we selected Placers because they understood the Leadership Delaware culture best,” Cohan told the Delaware Business Times. “They’ve spoken for our classes before and really understand what it’s about. But we also wanted to cast a wide net for the best candidate possible out there.”

This is not the first time Leadership Delaware has consulted with a search firm to find its next leader. Cohen, the former Delaware Transportation Secretary, was recruited by a Leadership Delaware advisory board member who was hired specifically for the job.

Leadership Delaware is a yearlong program that unites rising Delawareans to leave lasting change on the First State through issue-based focus forums on diverse topics ranging from the economy to corporate governance and more. Terry Strine founded the organization in 2009 with his wife, Sandy, and former Gov. Pete du Pont after he stepped down as the chair of the Delaware Republican Party.

Each year, the Leadership Delaware cohort serves as a who’s who list of prominent or rising Delaware business representatives, politicians, nonprofit officials and more. The program includes several seminars about state government, health care, banking, agriculture and more.

Cohan announced she would step down as Leadership Delaware’s CEO at the end of this year. She will complete her three-year term, which she has said in the past was to serve as a “transformational leader” to bring the organization into the next phase of growth.

Placers will not only help recruit and screen potential candidates for Leadership Delaware’s next executive, but they will also triage current applicants in the first round of interviews. The application period will span the next 30 days.

Cohan told DBT the candidate pool was large already with business leaders and politicians reaching out.

“It’s a good problem to have and I’m very happy that we were able to take Leadership Delaware to the next level to attract that kind of attention,” she said.

Placers and Leadership Delaware aim to have identified the next CEO by the end of this summer.

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