Anne Sample Reflects on First Year as CEO
This spring marks my first anniversary as CEO and owner of Navigate Forward. I’m thrilled to have taken the helm of such a successful business. We’re celebrating 2019 as Navigate Forward’s strongest year ever, and planning for an even more exciting year in 2020.
As a team, we continued the trajectory established by founders Teresa Daly and Mary Kloehn, providing highly customized support to senior executives seeking their next opportunity. In addition, we grew the business with more clients, new services and a greater voice in the community.
2019 at a Glance
- 394 – Senior leaders we helped follow their career passion
- 2 – Awarded Outstanding Director honors for board service
- 12% – Clients worldwide, using our services virtually
- $306,000 – Average compensation in their new role
- 83% – Executives who found their next job through networking
- > 3.5% – Revenue donated to 100+ charitable organizations to honor our clients’ successes
Thank you to all the clients, alumni, staff and supporters who helped make these milestones possible.
For the year ahead, I’m excited to announce big news on several fronts. We see tremendous opportunity to build on Navigate Forward’s strengths and enhance our services for executives.
- Launch of two new executive career services, Fast Start and Legacy Planning
- The addition of three new consultants, John Bergstrom, Mike Carey and Linda Menar
- Our move in May to new offices at International Market Square
More details on our 2019 accomplishments and 2020 plans follow.
Maximized Transition Services. Our core business of helping executives find their passion and their place in business continues to thrive. In 2019, we worked with nearly 400 clients across seven countries—our biggest year ever. Thanks to technology, our footprint continues to expand. Twelve percent of our clients now access our services globally via Zoom conferencing and other remote delivery methods. We also saw more individuals engage us proactively for a fresh perspective on their career journey.
Elevated Board Readiness. Service on corporate boards appeals to many, but seats can be difficult to land. To better meet this challenge, we elevated our Board Readiness service to its own practice, led by veteran consultant Patti O’Leary. We’ve had fantastic response from seasoned executives and corporate HR leaders, as well as the media. Last fall Twin Cities Business honored Navigate Forward’s own Karen Grabow and Board Readiness alum Kathy Roedel as Outstanding Directors.
Supported Our Communities. Giving back remains one of our core values. In 2019, we continued our tradition of celebrating our clients’ successes with contributions to their charity of choice. In total, we donated more than 3.5 percent of our annual revenue to nearly 100 different organizations.
Embraced LinkedIn. Social networks play a substantial role for senior leaders. Consultant Richard Dodson now leads our own hands-on LinkedIn workshops tailored to executives. We stepped up our own social media activities to tell the Navigate Forward story, share industry trends and support our clients and alumni. You can keep current by following us on LinkedIn and joining other like-minded executives in our private forum.
Strengthened Our Connections. Networking remains the most effective way for senior leaders to enhance their careers; last year, 83 percent of our clients found their next opportunity through networking. To foster these powerful connections, we hosted and participated in a variety of events. More than 700 business leaders frequented our weekly executive forums. A snowy April made our alumni Boomerang party especially memorable, and we thank the small (but mighty) few who donned their snow boots to attend! In October, we welcomed Michael Fanuele for a dose of inspiration at our annual Author Breakfast.
Exciting 2020 Plans
Looking ahead, we have no plans to slow down. The hiring market remains steady, although CEO turnover is escalating nationwide. Our clients, on average, took 8.5 months to land their next role, with an average compensation of $306,000.
Here’s a preview of a few things you’ll be hearing more about in 2020:
Moving our offices. After more than a decade at Loring Park, we’re moving to a larger space at International Market Square. The new suite gives us more collaboration space, co-working options for executives, free parking and plenty of room to grow. We’re excited about the positive energy and amenities at IMS, and hope to be operating in the new suite by May.
New consultants. This month, we’re welcoming two new consultants to the Navigate Forward team. John Bergstrom and Mike Carey join us after successful careers in human resources. In May, Linda Menar will move from operations to a consulting role as practice lead for style and image. We look forward to tapping all these talented individuals.
Legacy Planning service. When and how should you leave a rewarding full-time role for retirement or an encore career? Our new Legacy Planning service aims to help C-suite leaders and their organizations plan that journey together. We’re currently piloting this service with select companies.
Fast Start service. For senior leaders, the first 100 days in a new role are critical. Later this year, we’ll pilot a new Fast Start service to extend our highly customized support to executives as they begin a new position.
Through all of this, I’m grateful for the generosity, support and guidance of the Navigate Forward staff, and the many alumni, clients, friends and community who have made me so welcome. I especially appreciate that all of the Navigate Forward staff chose to move forward under my leadership.
You’ll hear much more from us in the coming weeks as we move forward with these and other exciting plans. We’ll also be more visible on social media and in the Twin Cities, sharing our story and engaging our community. It’s because of everyone at Navigate Forward—the clients, alumni, friends, partners and supporters—that the leaders among us can build a bright future together.