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AESC Honors Egon Zehnder and Joe Onstott as Recipients of Executive Search Industry Awards
[March 11, 2014]

AESC Honors Egon Zehnder and Joe Onstott as Recipients of Executive Search Industry Awards

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

At their annual Global Conference on Executive Search and Talent Acquisition, March 10th and 11th in New York City, the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) presented two awards to executive search professionals who have made significant contributions to the executive search profession. The Gardner W. Heidrick Award was presented to Egon Zehnder, Founding Chairman, Egon Zehnder, and the Eleanor H. Raynolds Award was presented to Joe Onstott, Co-founder and Managing Partner, The Onstott Group.

The AESC's Gardner W. Heidrick Award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the executive search consulting industry. The 2014 award was presented to Egon Zehnder. A pioneer of retained executive search in Europe and the first executive search consultant to operate there, Zehnder's career spanned four decades and provided critical contributions to the growth and evolution of the industry. In response to what Zehnder perceived as the unique values and needs of the European business community, he founded the firm Egon Zehnder in 1964.

At the time of founding his firm, the concept of executive search was alien to the European labor market. Even though he would receive threatening letters from the companies from whom he was trying to recruit executives, Zehnder persisted. He was confident that through discreet and professional practices, retained executive search would eventually be accepted in Europe. This acceptance came largely through the professional and systematic approach Zehnder put into place, setting the high industry standards that are at the core of retained executive search consulting today. Egon Zehnder grew to be one of the world's largest executive search firms, with officeopenings in Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America.

The Eleanor H. Raynolds Award is awarded annually to an executive search professional who combines excellence in search with a strong commitment to volunteerism. The 2014 award was presented to Joe Onstott, who brings over 26 years of experience in the technology sector. Joe is a critical advisor to many CEOs and Boards of Directors, assisting them in strategically building their companies. His search practice has focused on recruiting Board members, CEOs, and executive teams for early stage, high growth, and turnaround businesses in enterprise software, communications, ecommerce, media, defense, security, and business services.

In 1986, Joe founded the Onstott Invitational, a charitable golf tournament. Originally this tournament donated its net proceeds to the American Cancer Society in honor of Onstott's mother, however, the focus of the Onstott Invitational became even more deeply personal for Onstott when his oldest son Kevin died at the age of 27 in a tragic workplace accident in December 2004. Kevin, who majored in Turfgrass Management at North Carolina State University, was killed by a piece of heavy equipment while working as Assistant Superintendent at North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Onstott Invitational changed its focus in support of the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, the largest independent scholarship fund in Massachusetts. The Ouimet Fund's purpose is to help deserving young men and women who have worked at golf courses in Massachusetts obtain a college education. Through the Onstott Invitational and Joe's fundraising efforts throughout the year, his work has raised more than one million dollars for charity.

About the Association of Executive Search Consultants

The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search and leadership consulting industry. The AESC promotes the highest professional standards in retained executive search and leadership consulting, broadens public understanding of the executive search process, and serves as an advocate for the interests of its member firms. For more information, or to download the AESC Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, please visit

The AESC also offers, a career management service for senior executives, and, a free service for the HR community offering industry information and tools to assist with senior executive recruiting, including access to the AESC's International Executive Search Directory.

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