The Alumni Society Hosts First Influencers Dinner in Chicago
Latino influencers and Heidrick & Struggles leaders in Chicago gathered at Soho House for the dinner
By Frannie Sprouls, Photos by Cass Davis
NOVEMBER 29—The Alumni Society brought together an exclusive group of its Chicago members for its first-ever Influencers Dinner: Chicago. The event was hosted by Heidrick & Struggles at Soho House.
The dinner is also the first event with new partner Heidrick & Struggles, an international recruitment firm headquartered in Chicago. Carlos Garcia, one of the earliest members of The Alumni Society and partner at Heidrick & Struggles, flew in from Los Angeles.
Garcia leads the supply team and operations practice at Heidrick. He shared his thirty-plus-year career journey with dinner attendees—from line management and manufacturing to partner at Booz Allen Hamilton to executive search—and asked attendees to think about how their careers evolved.
“I swore never to be a head hunter, until I just fell into executive search by accident,” Garcia said. “I’m having much more impact as a head hunter than I ever did as a partner at Booz Allen. I just help place the right person in the right leadership position, strategies follow business impact.”
The objectives to the night’s conversation were to share perspectives on Hispanic leadership opportunities and consider what stepping into executive search might look like.
“Something magical happens when you get the right people in the same room and bring together Latinos in positions of influence to connect with like-minded professionals in a meaningful way,” said Pedro A. Guerrero, CEO and cofounder of The Alumni Society. “And it’s important for us to do this as often as possible.”
Guerrero recalled being at a conference where he heard the CEO of a Fortune 100 company remark how the people he works with don’t give him résumés of Latino candidates. “I was shocked. It’s 2018,” Guerrero said.
“We recognize that diverse representation isn’t there yet, and we work at the highest levels, between the board and executive level,” said Lyndon Taylor, partner at Heidrick & Struggles. “We are not going to get represented if we aren’t in the room.”
Over dinner, leaders spoke with each other about opportunities for Hispanic leadership and, at the end of the night, walked away with strengthened connections.
The event brought together leaders from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Accenture, Heidrick & Struggles, Sodexo, and more.
More photos of the event can be found on our Facebook page.