Feedback: March 2024

by Elizabeth Hale, Michael Krentz, Christian Leon, Sandra Torre

Q: In terms of succession planning for leadership positions (top-level and/or mid-level) in your company, how are you developing a leadership pipeline within your company?

Elizabeth Hale HeadshotElizabeth Hale

Chief Executive Officer
Sector: Financial

It’s no secret that the accounting market is highly competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining quality senior talent. As the CEO of eeCPA, I recognize the critical importance of succession planning for leadership positions in this environment to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of our company and the industry at large.

Developing a robust leadership pipeline involves a strategic and proactive approach that’s rarely as simple as recruiting someone with the right pedigree. We don’t just bring in talent — we seek out potential and pave the way. This can look like securing opportunities for our CPAs to present at major industry conferences, funding their master’s degree and compensating them often for their success. Not only are all these things good for them, but they build a foundation for us to forge future firm leaders.

It’s crucial to never forget that we’re shaping the future of the entire industry. While the short-term burn of building up a green employee’s potential is temporarily challenging, the long-term benefits are significant to any organization’s success.

Elizabeth Hale is the CEO of eeCPA, a leading accounting resource for elite entrepreneurs and high-net-worth investors seeking transformational growth in the Phoenix metro area. A CPA and Certified Tax Coach, she has 30-plus years of experience and an enthusiasm for entrepreneurship. Hale is also a co-founder of The Cash Source, which helps entrepreneurs reach their potential creatively and profitably. 

Mike Krentz HeadshotMichael Krentz

Sector: Architecture

As the president of DAVIS, I am aware that a well-structured succession plan and a strong leadership pipeline are essential for the long-term success of our organization. We have implemented a comprehensive approach to succession planning and leadership development to achieve this goal.

Our strategy involves identifying and nurturing talented individuals within our organization. We provide mentorship programs, leadership training and career development opportunities to enable our employees to grow into leadership roles. We also conduct regular performance assessments to identify high-potential candidates and their unique strengths.

We foster a culture of teamwork and knowledge-sharing by encouraging collaboration across different departments and projects. This approach broadens the skill sets of our future leaders and prepares them to take on senior leadership roles.

We are committed to transparent communication about career paths and leadership expectations. We inspire our employees to be ambitious and dedicated, providing them with a clear path to success.

Through our strategic initiatives, we ensure a continuous infusion of talent to ensure a bright future for our firm and the architectural excellence that we are renowned for.

Michael Krentz, AIA LEED® AP, serves as president of the architecture firm DAVIS. He has been an architect for 37 years, 30 of which have been with DAVIS. Before his promotion to president, Krentz acted as principal of DAVIS. His design expertise encompasses hospitality, multi-family residential and corporate headquarters. He is a skilled leader who connects with clients and employees to provide critical, professional insight.

Christian Leon HeadshotChristian Leon

Arizona Market President
Equality Health
Sector: Healthcare

Equality Health is a leader in value-based care (VBC), an important movement in the U.S. health system toward the quality care model and away from fee for service, a system that has historically prioritized volume over value. We’re based right here in Arizona. As leaders in this crucial movement, we are change agents and we focus on enabling independent primary care providers — especially those in underserved communities — to be successful in this new model.

Because the health plans and providers we work with interact in such diverse communities, our team is made up of diverse voices. Our people at all levels must be passionate about VBC and embody compassion, empathy and cultural humility every day.

We must meet people where they are in their health journey, addressing language, race, culture and social determinants of health. So, as we bring up new leaders and recruit new Equality Health team members, we look for these key characteristics to help our team drive innovation, our business model and PCP- and community-based success. Aligning leaders toward these elements of our DNA is crucial.

Christian Leon is the Arizona market president for Equality Health. With more than a decade of experience in the healthcare industry, Leon brings expertise in operations management, strategic planning and scaling value-based care. Originally from Mexico, Leon has a deep understanding of the needs of the Latino community. His background has been pivotal in enhancing access to healthcare in Arizona communities.

Sandra Torre HeadshotSandra Torre

Chief Financial Officer
Sector: Public Relations

At LAVIDGE, we enhance succession planning for leadership roles with tools like the Predictive Index and Clifton Strengths, ensuring a strategic fit between potential leaders and our future needs. This approach is a testament to our mantra: “Be Creative, Work Smart, Have Fun.”

The Predictive Index pinpoints individuals whose natural behaviors and motivations match our leadership needs, allowing us to customize development programs effectively. Meanwhile, Clifton Strengths highlights each candidate’s distinct talents, empowering our future leaders to fully utilize their strengths. By integrating these tools with focused mentorship and leadership development sessions, we achieve a precise alignment between individual capabilities and our strategic objectives. This approach not only prepares our employees for leadership positions by nurturing their unique strengths but also ensures they resonate with our company’s culture and goals.

Following our mantra throughout succession planning ensures a strong, adaptable leadership pipeline ready to guide LAVIDGE toward continued success. Our strategic, data-driven approach underscores our dedication to developing skilled leaders ready to meet future challenges, while safeguarding our company’s legacy and competitive advantage.

Sandra Torre is the chief financial officer and executive vice president at LAVIDGE. She holds a B.S. in accounting, is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Global Management Accountant. In addition, Torre has served on the boards of multiple business-related organizations. Before joining LAVIDGE in 2002, Torre worked in accounting and finance for other industries.

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