Blackshaw Partners is planting a flag in Texas. The executive search firm moved its flagship office to The Star in Frisco earlier this year and is looking forward to embracing all that the city’s dynamic business community has to offer.

“We want to be part of the city’s growth and part of the talent development in the local community,” said Kevin Howard, senior partner and leader of the Frisco office. “With all the business that’s going on here, we can serve and grow our business at the same time.”

Founded in 1976 by Brian Blackshaw, the boutique search firm specializes in identifying, attracting and delivering top executive talent for a range of business sectors, including hospitality and leisure, oil and gas, private equity and franchise systems. Since its inception, the firm has completed more than 3,000 search assignments globally for high-level positions like vice president, CEO, board members and other C-Suite Level executives.

“What an amazing city Frisco is, corporate-wise and lifestyle-wise,” Blackshaw said of the company’s decision to move its flagship office to the community. “Just in Frisco there are 30 U.S., North American or world headquartered companies, and there are more coming. Frisco is the place to be.”

Recruiting has long been a part of Blackshaw’s life; he was first introduced to the industry in the early ‘70s after taking a job with Singer Business Machines to head up campus recruiting.

“That was my first exposure to recruiting and telling the story of the Singer Corporation’s Business Machine Division and how it competed with Xerox and IBM at the time,” he said.

By the mid-’70s, the concept of retained search firms—companies that receive an up-front fee to carry out a specialized search for executive-level talent—was coming into its own. But there was a caveat: You needed decades of experience and a Rolodex full of contacts to break into the industry at that time, neither of which young Blackshaw had yet. Nevertheless, he didn’t let that stop him.

“I started my own firm on July 16, 1976 in Atlanta, Georgia, and the rest, as they say, is history,” he said.

In the decades since, Blackshaw Partners has expanded its global network to Daytona Beach, Little Rock, Raleigh Durham, Bogota, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and now Frisco, Texas. Blackshaw and his team were all seasoned former executives in their prior businesses and are dedicated to working with their clients 24/7, through the bad and the good.

“It’s a very fulfilling business because you are changing people’s lives for the better and are bringing value to these companies that they were missing,” Blackshaw said. “These companies are hiring [us] to find someone who can solve a problem or go in and open new markets.”

Since the pandemic began, the need for talent to lead companies is as great as it ever has been, Blackshaw said.

“It’s very competitive, because companies want to keep their key people right now,” he said. “With competent executives, I’m not the only person calling them. Everybody knows what their worth is in the marketplace.”

As Blackshaw Partners settles into Frisco in the coming months, its leaders want to continue to be a small to mid-sized company, which will allow them to continue navigating their clients through problems and talent searches.

“I feel very fortunate that I’m not only a resident of the great state of Texas, but that I live in Frisco,” Blackshaw said. “What a vibrant, dynamic growing economy in Texas, and we will continue to be a part of it.”

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