Consumer MarketsCFO & Financial OfficersDiversity & InclusionPrivate Equity
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Mary began her search career with the firm in 1984 and has been promoted several times to her current position of CEO of Cook Associates. In addition to her role as CEO, Mary leads the Consumer Markets Practice, managing an integrated team of consultants specializing in Consumer Services, Consumer Durable and Non-Durable Goods, CPG and FMCG. Mary is a leader in our Private Equity Practice as well as a key member of our Board Advisory Practice.
Understanding the DNA of private equity is key to Mary’s expertise in placing executives in private equity portfolio firms. That is why she has come to be respected for her abilities to ascertain the underlying themes in the company, and to identify with the executive leadership teams, in order to select new executives to enter and be impact players once they are on board. That same deep diagnostic is applied in her advisement of Board’s to ensure succession planning for more successful enterprise value as companies grow and expand.
In addition, Mary serves as the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Practice leader. She is passionate about building diverse teams and has successfully worked with members of senior management teams to develop high performance plans to build best-in-class diverse organizations. Cook Associates recognizes the value in a team comprised of diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. The Diversity & Inclusion Practice believes that organizations with a strong belief in diversity recruitment will be prepared to take the lead in their respective industry for years to come.
Mary is also actively involved in the firm's partnership with InterSearch - one of the top ten worldwide executive search consortiums - where she serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
Throughout her search career at Cook Associates, Mary has been recognized for bringing unique value to every search initiative and for passionately delivering on her promises. She measures her success on personally contributing to the face of corporate America, uniting the best and brightest talent to her client companies. She is respected for her comprehensive understanding of the strategies, operations and management of companies in the Consumer marketplace and for her grasp of the cultural nuances of companies and executive leadership teams. Her search work encompasses CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CMOs, Divisional Presidents as well as functional heads of Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, and Operations.
In addition to being called upon as an executive search expert, Mary is also actively involved in the community. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois (NKFI). The mission of NKFI is to educate communities on the ways to prevent kidney disease, improve the health and well-being of the individuals and families affected by the disease through education, resources, support and medical research and to increase the availability of all organs for transplantation. Nephrology research is near and dear to Mary as her mother had kidney disease for the final years of her life.
Mary received her bachelor of science degree in management and industrial relations with high honors. She is a member of several industry organizations.