We’re off to our next encounter with Jay Millen. He proposed to meet at the Highline in New York. An oasis in the middle of the buzz. We’re discussing his view on the importance of stewardship and sustainability in his daily work.

How did you get involved with the concept of sustainability in the first place?

I grew up in and around National Forest and Park and the Florida State Park system. My father was a botanist and spent a large part of his career dedicated to preserving local species of plants and trees and caring for the land and water around us a resource for everyone.

What I saw during that time was a key difference in companies that were true stewards of the land and the resources around us. Today, I work with a lot of those very same companies.

What is the role of sustainability and stewardship in the executive search sector?

I have spent the majority of my career after getting out of the Army in the natural resources sector. First as an early career manager and executive, and later leading operations and businesses in the forest products sector before moving into business consulting.

We can argue about causes of issues such as climate change or deforestation, but what we should all be able to agree on is responsible use and stewardship of the planet we have. It’s the only one we know of thus far that can sustain human life and the stress on it only grows every day.

Most of my clients have a profoundly positive impact on our environment while being commercially successful and they demonstrate these aren’t mutually exclusive goals.

I work with companies that are doing amazing things from treating contaminated water and improving the water supply cycle; to providing millions of forestry seedlings a year to reforest developing nations and preserve our forest footprint in the developed world.

Just to name a few I’m proud of working for and with: ArborGen, Domtar, Ingevity, the South Carolina Aquarium, Xylem.

How can each of us contribute practically?

We can all do little things that turn into big results such as use paper bags which are renewable and biodegradable resources instead of oil-based plastics which do not degrade or simply use our recycle bins to eliminate landfill. Most of the companies I work with sponsor employee and community education in these areas and also contribute their time, talent, and treasure to stewardship.

It is in these companies I get the most satisfaction in placing executives and assisting with their board recruitment when asked to do so.

What do you contribute outside your role in executive search?

I’ve served on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Aquarium for the past six years and have worked with Water Missions International extensively which is a part of my “fair share”. I want my children and their children to be able to look back and see that we did the right things to pass on the right legacy to them.



Tags: Caldwell Partners, Jay Millen, #JayMillen, #CaldwellPartners, #Caldwell, Agile Talent Solutions, Compensation Assessment, Competitive Analyses, Executive Recruitment, Executive Search, Recruitment Strategy, Succession Planning, Jonathan Millen.

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