Executive Search for Employee-Owned Companies

Executive Search for Employee Owned Companies

ESOPs Require Unique Leadership

KeyStone has over 20 years of experience identifying and securing leaders for employee-owned companies. We have successfully worked with ESOPs all over the country to identify and hire the right executive level talent or Board Director.

Through our experience we’ve learned the profile of the successful ESOP leader is different from other companies. Along with having the appropriate competency level and a fit with the core values, a leader must also display 5 key Leadership Qualities.

Download the ESOP Hiring Guide

The KeyStone ESOP Leadership Search Process

Our proven process is built specifically for ESOPs. It starts with in-depth understanding of your culture and core values, as well as the mission and goals of your company and employee-owners. We then partner with you to define the profile for your executive, and focus on identifying candidates who not only bring the correct skills and competencies, but who truly fit.


CEO Succession/Transition

You cannot start too early when planning. The ideal time frame is four to five years out from the transition, but better late than never. Our CEO Succession Guide can help you plan. The guide includes common questions when facing top level transition including:

• How should our Board of Directors be involved?
• How should our CEO be involved?
• What should our search process look like?

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What Our Clients Are Saying

Being a 100% ESOP company, cultural fit is really important, especially for leadership roles.  KeyStone Search did an excellent job of understanding our culture and identifying candidates who fit. The COO we ultimately hired certainly has a great skillset, but also fits our culture extremely well.
Jim Smiley
CEO and President, HM Cragg
I worked directly with KeyStone Search through a CEO transition process (as an ESOP Board Director).  Not only did KeyStone help us hire a strong CEO for the company’s future, but also did an outstanding job of guiding the Board and Employee Owners through the challenges of hiring an outside CEO for the first time in its 25-year history.
Steve Doerfler
President and CEO, Metalcraft

ESOP Services

Nothing is more important in an ESOP than “who” is leading the company. This includes Senior Leadership as well as the Board of Directors. Our team at KeyStone is passionate about employee ownership and it has been our pleasure to help ESOPs grow and create more employee owners. If your ESOP is facing an executive transition, expanding your leadership team or expanding/revising your Board, please reach out, we’d love to talk.

The Right Leadership for Your Company

President / CEO Transition

A top leader who fits your ESOP

  • President/CEO Search
  • President/CEO Transition Preparation

Top Functional Leadership Search

Executives that fit your ESOP

  • CFO/VP of Finance
  • COO/VP of Operations
  • CHRO/VP of Human Resources
  • VP of Sales/Marketing
  • CIO

ESOP Board of Directors Search

Strategic advisors to advance your ESOP

  • ESOP Expertise
  • Industry Expertise
  • Functional Expertise

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Mike Frommelt


Mike co-founded KeyStone Search in 2002 and has 30 years of experience in the executive search industry. He has successfully conducted hundreds of senior level assignments for companies throughout the U.S.

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Bill Frommelt


Bill has over 20 years of senior level and executive leadership experience. Since joining KeyStone, Bill has led C-level searches for ESOP companies as well as companies running on EOS™.

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