Board of Directors Search Results One Year Later

28 Aug

Part Three – The selection and results one year later

Alicia HarrisonOnce Cardinal Board Services presented the final three candidates to Tim Gray, the chairman of the board, and Pat Ryan, the CEO of Ryan Companies, the decision was unanimous that they would pursue Alicia Harrison.

Harrison had recently retired from Wells Fargo, where she ran the company’s Arizona real estate operation and served as the number two executive in the state. She is located in Phoenix, which also is the home of the Ryan Companies Southwest office. Harrison is also part of a family business in commercial real estate that her husband owns.

She knew of Ryan Companies because of the their presence in Arizona and the very strong reputation they held within the industry.  

What attracted Pat Ryan to have Harrison join the Ryan board was:

Alicia Harrison understands real estate, understands how banks think during both good times and tough times and she intimately understands the Southwest commercial real estate market. To me it was a perfect match.

Harrison is pleased and proud to serve on the Ryan Companies board, her comment was:

“Joining a Board in this case was like joining an old family, they had been together for a long time, the company’s culture was well established and their values aligned with mine. I was familiar with the Southwest President and respected how Ryan nationally had weathered the storm during the 2008 downturn. Being the out–of-town director brought an opportunity to add a perspective to the board. Coupled with banking, large family and privately held businesses spanning three generations has given me actual experience to provide a perspective on business and transition issues. During the interviewing process with Cardinal Board Services the recruiter was strategic in making sure it was a good fit from both sides. I enjoy spending time with each of the directors and feel fortunate to have the opportunity to serve on The Ryan Companies Board.”

A fellow Ryan board member, Pete Scherer CEO of Scherer Brothers Lumber, commented about adding Alicia to the board:

“Harrison has contributed greatly from her first meeting. She has a deep understanding of capital markets, a banker’s eye for best business practices and a thorough comprehension of the real estate industry. A better new board member for Ryan Companies could not have been found.“

Diversity is much more than gender. As evidenced by Harrison, diversity also includes location, experience, industry, size of organization and experience with a family business. Add all this together and the sum truly is greater than all of the parts.

Ryan Companies assertive approach to good governance and foresight in engaging Cardinal Board Services to identify and fulfill the needs for their board is positioning the company for continued success.

Thank you for reading the final piece in this series. Please read Part 1 – The Need, Desire and Challenge and Part 2 – The Search for a New and Different Board Member as well.

For more information regarding the recruiting process for your next board member please call or click here.