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Meet Dave Winston of Caldwell Partners

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Winston.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dave. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
We have been around since 1970 and were the first search firm to go public in 1989. Through 2008, we focused exclusively on the Canadian market. As a top seven North America firm and a top 25 global firm, we now serve clients from offices in London to Auckland, and Toronto to Santiago. If asked about our business and what we do, the consultants at Caldwell will tell you it’s about why we’re in this industry and at this firm, not what we do or how we do it. We share not just a common set of behaviors, but a purpose for why we get up and come to work every day: to help organizations thrive through great people. We believe “talent transforms.”

Personally, and there are nearly 100 “other” stories like mine, I got into search by accident. I had retired from the Marine Corps after 20 years where I (mostly) flew helicopters, and I was not having as much “fun” as I would have liked helping to run my medical business. I was networked into search by a former squadron-mate (who I still work with today) who (through his Naval Academy roommate/boss – with whom I also still work) introduced me the business and an opportunity to learn the craft. That was nearly 18 years ago…

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been mostly a smooth road. Searches sometimes take on a life of their own. I explain it to friends like this, “When I was in the Corps, we would go on deployments all over the world, and each deployment had its own “spinning plates” of people, geographies and logistics. We did one deployment at a time and they lasted from weeks to months. In search, each project is like that, except you have 10 or more ongoing simultaneously. I wouldn’t have it any other way…

We’d love to hear more about your business.
As a top-tier retained executive search firm we are 46 partners across 22 offices where we serve many global clients. We believe great talent transforms organizations, turning potential into success. At Caldwell, our purpose is to enable organizations to thrive and succeed by helping them identify, develop and retain their best people.

We do that through:
• Our purpose that champions being in the people business
• Our ability to truly connect with clients and their organizations
• Our optimal size and infrastructure
• Our global network of colleagues and a common commitment to our clients and our firm
• Our own great people and the systems that support them
• Our culture of collaboration and authenticity

We are organized around industry verticals and I lead the industrial practice. We also have technology, financial services, consumer, private equity & venture capital, professional services, insurance, real estate, life sciences & healthcare, not-for-profit and legal practices. The bulk of our work spans board, P&L, and finance roles while the remainder spans all the business functions.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
We’re happy if our clients and candidates are happy. We use Net Promoter Score to track satisfaction, and our NPS scores are as high as some iconic brands known for superior customer service and engagement. We get a lot of repeat business and our candidates frequently turn into clients.

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