April 1, 2022

Dear Clients, Colleagues & Friends,

Two years ago today, a new search from Smith College was awarded to my firm. A week later, Covid-19 changed the world. Everything in the world of education shut down. Everything.

After 19 years, my search business came to a complete stop. And there were no searches in sight. During these darkest of business times, I kept my spirits up with one prevailing thought. I told myself, “Because of this, something good will happen. Because of this, something good will happen.”

Then in September of 2021, the most amazing thing happened…  there was an explosion of new jobs like I’ve never seen before. There were so many new searches that I couldn’t believe it! Something good DID happen! During a normal month, I’d receive five requests for search work. In the fall of 2021, I received 15+ requests a month. And this incredible upsurge has continued to this day.

So here we are in 2022.

It was a record-breaking first quarter for DEERFIELD ASSOCIATES. We truly went from the worst of times to the best of times!

I want to share with you four important lessons I learned in the last two years:

#1. PASSION PREVAILS. To be successful at anything, you have to have a burning desire to do your work well and do more than expected.

#2. EVERY OBSTACLE IS AN OPPORTUNITY. Every setback is a setup for a comeback!

#3. DON’T GET FRUSTRATED – GET FASCINATED. The problem isn’t the true challenge – how you handle the problem is the challenge. Remember to be flexible and adapt to change.

#4. CONTROL THE CONTROLLABLES. I could not create search work if educational institutions were not hiring, so I had to wait for opportunities to reemerge. That totally went against my DNA. I had to reprogram myself to focus only on what I could control.

See the list below as proof that these four points work!  Here’s a roster of the ten (10) seasoned and talented professionals whom we recruited and placed with our clients in the education sector in the first quarter of 2022.

Position Institution Person Hired
Chief Advancement Officer Dalton School L.J. Mitchell
Executive Director Development/Thayer Dartmouth College Mark Dorgan
Director of Development King School Barbara Drayer
Director of Sponsored Research/Grants Smith College Lisa Stoffer
Director of Finance & Operations Spence School Bruce Orem
Chief Advancement Officer St. Andrew’s School Ann Wardwell
Chief Financial Officer Trinity School Tom Stanton
AVP Corporate & Foundation Relations University of Vermont Jay Caporale
Chief Operating Officer Wheeler School Ian Moorhouse
Director, Parent Gifts Yale University Anne Bergen

Now in our 21st year, DEERFIELD ASSOCIATES welcomes seven (7) new clients including St. Andrew’s School (Middletown, DE), George School (Newtown, PA), The Pennington School (Pennington, NJ), Trinity School (NY, NY), Viewpoint School (Calabasas, CA), Smith College (Northampton, MA) and the University of Vermont (Burlington, VT). A personal note: I grew up a block from Smith College and my son graduated from the University of Vermont, so these two searches have special meaning for me.

We continue to focus on long-term relationships with established hiring clients and talented candidates. Our search firm enjoys relationships collectively built over the years with Heads of Schools, College Presidents, and Trustees. At the same time, we continue to adapt to a new, very complex business climate to hire the right talent for key leadership positions. Our ability to adapt to such changing needs in the marketplace, for both hiring clients and candidates, is essential to our core values.

Over the past five years, DEERFIELD ASSOCIATES has teamed up with 53 new clients, along with institutions from our long-term client base. We continue to change and offer strategic hiring value and knowledge to our clients during these times of rapid social change.

In closing, I want to congratulate all of my professional colleagues at DEERFIELD ASSOCIATES for their perseverance, grit, and guts. We made it through the past two years successfully and on course. For me, that’s proof we can make it through anything.

With admiration and gratitude,

Doug Cooney
Executive Search Consultant

PS. For a review of our current searches, please click here: https://deerfieldassociates.com/current-searches/