Innovation Works Launches National Search for New CEO with Search Firm Korn Ferry
April 11, 2022 – Pittsburgh, PA – Innovation Works (IW) has selected Korn Ferry to conduct a national search for a CEO to replace Rich Lunak who announced that he will be retiring at the end of the year. Korn Ferry is the country’s largest executive search firm placing leaders at for- and non-profit organizations.
The firm’s Nonprofit Practice Principal Rosa Morris will lead the search along with help from other senior member of their team. IW will leverage Korn Ferry’s expertise and best practices to solicit input from stakeholder groups, establish a profile of desired traits for candidates, finalize the job specifications, develop a search strategy, post the position and begin building a robust candidate pool. Following this process, Korn Ferry’s lead partner and team will interview candidates with members of IW’s board and staff before making a recommendation of the leader to bring on.
According to Rich Lunak, president & CEO of IW, says: “Now that Korn Ferry has been selected and under contract, IW will work with them to refine the candidate profile. This includes utilizing a proven survey tool to solicit input from key stakeholders like IW staff and board members. But there will be a particular emphasis on hearing from entrepreneurs since their perspective is so vital to what we do. Other stakeholders include leaders of the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development, investors, foundations, university partners, and others in the communities where we work.” The stakeholder survey information coupled with Korn Ferry’s due diligence on Innovation Works’ culture, operations, and strategic direction will be used to construct a final profile of a desired candidate. Then Korn Ferry will develop the search strategy and begin mapping the outreach efforts to reach all relevant markets. Once completed, the CEO position will be posted and Korn Ferry will develop a candidate pool for interviews.
According to IW board chair Catherine Mott, “We will look for candidates possessing strong leadership skills with an emphasis on entrepreneurial, investment, economic development, innovation, and community building skills. Given the broad set of skills and stakeholders that the CEO must balance, IW must cast a broad net for the search. Using Korn Ferry ensures that the board is supported by a professional, experienced team.” Catherine added that the CEO is ultimately responsible for helping grow the region’s innovation economy and the community-wide ecosystem that supports PA innovators. As an organization committed to inclusion, the search process will encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, representing all parts of the region’s innovation economy. Korn Ferry shares this commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and will help to conduct a fair, consistent and unbiased process for all applicants.
“I’m excited to get the process started,” said Rich Lunak. Rich will be available through the end of the year to support a smooth transition of leadership and to help bring the new CEO up to speed. “IW has a complex set of expectations from stakeholders and is an important part of so many game–changing projects lined up such as Pittsburgh’s application for millions of dollars in Build Back Better funding, SSBCI dollars flowing to qualifying entrepreneurs, helping to manage Riverfront Ventures and much more,” Lunak stated. “The CEO also needs to help guide our acclaimed seed fund and accelerator programs. So the new CEO will join IW at a very exciting time and have a terrific opportunity to boost the growth in our region’s startup community.”
CONTACT: Terri Glueck
Innovation Works (IW) is the Pittsburgh region’s most active early-stage investor and one of the nation’s top investors in early-stage technology startups. Along with investing more than $117 million into the tech startups of the Pittsburgh region, IW provides these emerging companies with assistance and the network to customers and other investors that startups depend on to grow and succeed. IW is SWPA’s Ben Franklin Technology Partner, a statewide network of four centers that was created by the Commonwealth to concentrate investors and experts to grow the state’s innovation community and to diversify and strengthen PA’s economy. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners are partly funded by the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development.