One of the most satisfying things about our business is the variety. Almost every search we take on is difficult, but some of them really make you think outside the boat, so to speak.
McKeil Marine needed an executive to develop new business along the St. Lawrence, Eastern Canada and the Arctic. The company was expanding its offerings and needed a bi-lingual executive capable of navigating the sophisticated, competitive and regulated world of marine services.
Cultural fit was extremely important for Mckeil. They wanted a professional who was entrepreneurial, hands-on, and knew which way the wind was blowing — someone who could navigate international nautical policies and complex sales deals.
We did more than sail the seven seas to find a match for Mckeil. We left the water entirely. We researched and brainstormed industries that ran in parallel with marine. Verticals that had international-scale logistics . What came up was Rail. Heavy manufacturing. Air.
We went looking for Canadians who had successful transportation careers in those sectors, with a focus on people whose work had led them to Europe or Asia.
Our thinking went that international experience would point to a broader ability to negotiate complex, multi-modal deals. We wanted ballast, and we knew where to look.
We had mapped Mckeil's cultural axis thoroughly, so when our research started to make waves, we knew what personalities would make the shortlist.
We vetted and presented several excellent candidates. As we’d hoped, our willingness to look below the waterline paid off.
John Kardos, the professional that Mckeil selected, had not worked directly in the marine sector, but floated an outstanding transportation pedigree – one that included overseas business development, billion-dollar deals, contract negotiation, engineering, manufacturing and procurement. He also possessed an MBA and dual Canadian/EU citizenship.
Mr. Kardos was exactly what Mckeil was looking for.