Exemplars of Excellence in the Executive Search & Leadership Consulting Profession Recognized at AESC Conference in London

The worldwide Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) honored during the 2018 AESC European Conference in London on November 8 the achievements of executive search and leadership consultants for their outstanding contributions to the profession and to the community.

The AESC Lifetime Achievement Award honors lifetime achievement in the profession and recognizes the highest standards of work. Award winners all embody AESC’s highest professional practices. This award was presented to Edward Speed, who has just completed his two three-year terms as Chairman of Spencer Stuart and is based in London. Speed joined Spencer Stuart in 1990 and has applied his 30 years of executive recruiting experience in Board Chair and CEO succession work, as well as board searches for international organizations. He also led Spencer Stuart’s EMEA Board and CEO Practice, focusing on CEO search and succession. He has recruited Chairs, non-executive directors, CEOs and top management for leading public and privately-owned companies, as well as led other leadership advisory assignments. 

Speed is on the development board of the Francis Crick Institute in London, a global center for cancer research. As Chairman of the Board at Spencer Stuart, Speed has led effectively through his unique combination of warmth, inspiration, humor and discipline. Throughout his tenure, he has been an outstanding ambassador across the business landscape, not only for Spencer Stuart, but also for the importance of leadership and the wider profession.
The AESC Award of Excellence recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact in enhancing the profession in a meaningful way, especially reinforcing a commitment to the highest professional standards through AESC’s Code of Professional Practice. The award was bestowed upon Dr. Christine Stimpel, partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ Düsseldorf office and member of their global Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors Practice. Her focus is on industrial and life sciences clients with a strength in advising clients on the different cultures and needs. Stimpel is co-author of the German issue of “Five patterns of extraordinary careers” and author of about 100 publications in print and other media. She holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Munich and an MBA from the German branch of the City University of Washington.
Stimpel is on the faculty board at the TUM School of Management of the Technical University Munich. Since 2012, Stimpel has been Chair of the AESC Steering Committee for the DACH region—AESC’s regional group of members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This is one of the strongest regional groups for AESC worldwide. Under her leadership, this group has worked collaboratively together for the benefit of the entire profession.
The AESC Future of the Profession Award is designed to engage the next generation of leaders in executive search and leadership consulting. The award honors innovation and leadership, and applies to professionals earlier in their career. This award was granted to Zdenka Vitkova, Senior Consultant at Coulter Partners and based in London. With a special interest in Artificial Intelligence for life sciences, Vitkova focuses on executive search for highly technical and commercial roles at senior level and business development across the life sciences spectrum. A Czech native speaker, Vitkova is fluent in English and holds an MA in Media and Communication from Charles University, Prague.
Vitkova prizes respect for others and their points of view, demonstrates the utmost warmth and consideration for colleagues, candidates and clients alike, and above all, is generous in mentoring and nurturing those around her. She challenges colleagues to do their very best and goes above and beyond to make them feel they are fulfilling their potential.
The AESC Commitment to the Community Award recognizes an individual, office or firm who combines excellence in executive search or leadership consulting with a strong commitment to community service and volunteerism toward charitable causes. This award was bestowed upon Odgers Berndtson UK. For over 50 years, Odgers Berndtson has helped some of the world’s biggest and best organizations discover and develop the senior talent to drive their agendas. For the firm, it is a great privilege to advise senior leadership across a wide range of organizations. With that comes a real responsibility considering the impact this has on so many people’s lives.
Over the last 5 years, Odgers Berndtson UK has supported Centrepoint, a charity that helps young homeless people, through a variety of activities. One of the many activities included staff from across the UK offices participating in a “sleepout” in November, raising much awareness and funds. They have also partnered with Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, providing interview skills and CV workshops as well as clothes for interviews. In 2018, Odgers Berndtson UK offices are supporting charities focused on Dementia and how it impacts families. The teams have held a Dementia Action week across the UK offices, helping children and families deal with Dementia when it occurs to a loved one. Odgers Berndtson CEO Kester Scrope remarked, “I am very proud of the work that our people do around the world and I think it’s a great reflection of our everyday culture.”
Karen Greenbaum, AESC President & CEO, said: “We are delighted to honor the exceptional achievements of these AESC members at our 2018 European Conference. Through their commitment to excellence within the profession and the community at large, our AESC award recipients are outstanding examples of how AESC members both serve client organizations worldwide as trusted advisors and give back to their communities, too.”
About the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants
Since 1959, AESC has set the quality standard for the executive search and leadership advisory profession. AESC Members, ranging in size from large global executive search and leadership advisory firms and networks to regional and boutique firms, represent 9,000+ trusted professionals in 1200+ offices, spanning 70+ countries. AESC Members are recognized leaders of global executive search and leadership advisory solutions. They leverage their access and expertise to place, find and develop more than 80,000 executives each year in board of directors and C-level positions for the world’s leading organizations of all types and sizes. AESC raises the visibility of the profession and supports its members through quality standards and best practices; advocacy; insights and education. Learn more about us at www.aesc.org.