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Witt/Kieffer Announces Promotions Across Practice Groups

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Witt/Kieffer has announced ten promotions in its expanding search practices. These promotions follow the elevation of Andrew Chastain to CEO of the firm, and the joint appointment of Paul Bohne and Donna Padilla as co-leads of the firm’s Healthcare practice. All promotions are effective as of July 1, 2017.

“During this time of unprecedented change across industries, we are thrilled to recognize these professionals who have helped our clients to build successful, thriving leadership,” said Chastain. “They each bring a wealth of experience and valuable marketplace insight, allowing them to serve as experts in their fields as well as in the practice of executive recruiting.”

The ten promotions are:

Werner Boel, LL.M., based in Atlanta, GA, is now Senior Partner and Leader of the firm’s Legal Services practice. Boel excels in helping clients to evaluate the new breed of senior legal executives who take leading roles in developing emerging business models, assessing and managing risk, shaping public policy and leading government and legislative relations. Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer in June 2007, Boel worked as an International Legal Coordinator providing immigration advice to Fortune 500 clients. Boel earned an LL.M. from the University of Georgia as well as Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium.

Zachary Durst, based in Oak Brook, IL, is now a Senior Associate in the firm’s IT practice. Durst focuses on searches to identify Chief Medical Information Officers, Chief Information Officers, and other IT leaders in hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and other health-related organizations. Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer in 2014, Durst worked with nonprofits on unemployment initiatives and in managing Illinois Department of Labor grants to small business owners. Durst earned his B.A. in Economics & Sociology from Roosevelt University.  

Melissa Fincher, based in Columbus, OH, is now a Senior Associate in the firm’s Education practice. Melissa has developed meaningful relationships with her clients through years of higher education, non-profit and academic medicine collaborations. Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer in 2015, Melissa had worked for Rutgers University, Johns Hopkins External Affairs and Development, and The Ohio State University. Melissa earned an M.S. in Non-Profit Arts Administration from Drexel University, and her B.F.A. from Rutgers University.

Ben Haden, based in San Diego, CA, is now a Consultant for WK Advisors, a division of Witt/Kieffer. Haden’s search expertise is focused on mid-level executive placements within healthcare and higher education. Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer in 2015, Haden was an executive recruiter for University of California at San Diego, and a lead talent manager at Scripps Health. Haden earned his B.A. in International Studies from Southern Oregon University.  

Beth Nelson, based in Oak Brook, IL, is now a Principal in the firm’s Healthcare practice. Beth joined Witt/Kieffer in 2005, and has over 30 years of experience in recruitment, human resources, healthcare consulting, program development, and general management. She is passionate about rural healthcare and community hospitals where she has identified strong, effective leadership. Beth earned her B.A. in Psychology from Aurora College in Illinois.

Morten Nielsen, based in Cleveland, OH, is now a Senior Partner & Global Managing Partner, Life Sciences. Morten has over 10 years of experience in executive search, and excels in recruiting board directors and CEOs, in addition to other C-suite positions. Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer in 2015, Morten spent over 20 years working in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Morten earned his Business Administration degree from the Copenhagen School of Commerce after receiving a Biochemistry degree from the University of Copenhagen.

Andrew Trechsel, based in Emeryville, CA, is now a Senior Associate in the firm’s Healthcare practice. Andrew works to identify leaders for hospitals, health systems, and academic medical centers across the country. Andrew has extensive knowledge in the recruiting field, having previously worked as a technical recruiter and recruiting coordinator at an IT staffing and consulting firm. Andrew earned his B.S. in Economics from the College of Charleston.

Mercedes Chacón Vance, based in Portland, ME, is now a Principal in Witt/Kieffer’s Education practice. She utilizes 17 years of education and not-for-profit executive search experience in her work identifying presidents, vice presidents and deans in colleges and universities on behalf of a broad spectrum of Witt/Kieffer education clients. She also leads the firm’s Advancement team. Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer, Mercedes worked in corporate retained search. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

Adriane Willig, based in Oak Brook, IL, is now a Senior Partner in the firm's Healthcare practice. Adriane joined Witt/Kieffer in 2008, and brings over 20 years of healthcare experience, a national network of health system leaders and extensive knowledge of physician relations and relationship management to her senior-level executive search assignments. Her varied background in the healthcare sector along with experience in working within the executive ranks, gives Adriane a deep understanding of health system strategies and executive leadership needs. Adriane earned her B.S. in Business Administration from The Ohio State University.

Ann Yates, based in Leesburg, Virginia, is now a Principal in Witt/Kieffer’s Education practice. Ann joined the firm in 2013, and brings nearly two decades of search consultant experience to her searches. Ann’s broad understanding of education leadership allows her to maintain exceptional quality and close engagement with clients and candidates in all her work as she continues to identify leaders with the right institutional fit. Ann holds an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven in New Haven, CT, and earned her B.S. in Psychology from Bethany College.



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