CarterBaldwin assists MJ Murdock Charitable Trust with CEO search
March 23, 2022 – Following a nationwide search, CarterBaldwin Executive Search helped place Microsoft executive Romanita Hairston as CEO of the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust in Vancouver, WA. The mission was led by partner Andrea McDaniel Smith and consultant Ted Wieber. Ms Hairston will officially join the nonprofit in July. She succeeds Steve Moore, who announced his intention to retire last June after 16 years in the role.
“Romanita brings a strong leadership profile that is a perfect fit for the mission and work of the Murdock Trust,” said Trustee Jeff Pinneo. “As a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest and someone who has dedicated more than 25 years of her life to roles that serve the greater good of the community, she will be a tremendous asset to the future of the Murdock Trust. and for those we partner with and support. During the search, CarterBaldwin engaged hundreds of applicants from across the nonprofit and for-profit spectrum. Murdock Trust said it was the unique experience of Ms. Hairston’s leadership in the nonprofit, for-profit and philanthropic sectors, coupled with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, which made Ms. Hairston the ideal candidate to lead the Murdock Trust.
In her new role, Ms Hairston will assume overall responsibility for planning, developing and executing innovative, effective and efficient operations of the Murdock Trust as the foundation manages thoughtful growth in its endowment and operations, a said the organization. She will be responsible for leading a highly effective team and fostering a culture of collegiality and mutual respect both within the organization and as an effective public ambassador to the region and to the broader philanthropic community. Core responsibilities of the role include being a strategist and innovator; team builder; connector, community, and constituency relationships; and general manager.
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“I am honored and grateful to join the exceptional team that works every day to advance Jack Murdock’s vision of innovative service and capacity building that nurtures and enriches life in the Pacific Northwest,” said said Ms. Hairston. “Having observed and worked for and with the Murdock Trust for many years, I know it is a unique institution dedicated to serving the common good. I look forward to partnering with leaders from nonprofits and businesses, colleagues from community foundations, and civic leaders who are all working to help ensure that individuals, families, and the communities in our region are thriving.
Ms Hairston began her career in the not-for-profit sector at World Vision, the world’s largest private child-focused charity, where she worked for more than 20 years, including a decade as Vice President of American programs. In 2016 Ms Hairston joined the Murdock Trust as Program Director. Two years later, she joined Microsoft’s for-profit sector, focusing on the future of work and learning. In her current role as the Technical Content Portfolio Team Leader, Ms. Hairston is focused on building capabilities in Microsoft’s solution areas for its global customers, partners, and next-generation audiences.
The Murdock Trust, established by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, provides grants to organizations in five Pacific Northwest states – Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington – that seek to strengthen the education, spiritual and cultural basis in a creative and sustainable way. Since its inception in 1975, the trust has awarded more than 7,800 grants totaling more than $1.2 billion.
Based in Atlanta, CarterBaldwin provides executive search services in the healthcare, technology, nonprofit, consumer services, industrial, and media/telecom sectors. Its clients include branded institutions, such as KPMG, ADP, Teradata, First Data, Duke University, Pepperdine University, New York Life, Fleet Pride and Berkshire Hathaway. The firm is listed in a variety of rankings published by Hunt Scanlon Media, including its Top 50, Private Equity Power 100 and Top 40 Higher Education Search Firms.
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Ms. McDaniel Smith directs CarterBaldwin’s office in Washington, DC, and serves social sector clients including nonprofits, universities, foundations and social enterprises. Prior to embarking on executive search, she gained extensive experience in public policy, public-private partnerships and non-profit organizations.
Mr. Wieber has extensive international experience in business, government and academia. He brings a broad knowledge base to corporate and nonprofit practices within CarterBaldwin. As a consultant, Mr. Wieber associates closely with CarterBaldwin’s C-suite and VP-level roles, both for mission-driven research and for the company’s diverse client base.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media