A few weeks ago, at the mid-point of 2020, we transitioned the role of Chief Executive Officer to Barret Cole, fifteen years to the day after I accepted the title from Paul Sanborn. The Board of Directors unanimously supported this transition at its December 2019 meeting, and going forward, Barret will now hold the title of President and CEO. From my perspective, this transition is highly significant in two ways. I’d like to share these with you.

First, the transition marks an important career achievement for Barret. Barret took over the role of President in 2015 and has shown himself to be an exceptional leader ever since. He is adept at the many nuances and complexities of our business. He brings a thoughtful and balanced perspective and is always well prepared, no matter the issue. He has excellent focus, and the ability to see the most critical things that need his attention. And, perhaps most importantly, he is a promoter of our culture and leads by example in his every-day actions.

The new title gives Barret more room to expand the boundaries of his role, to meet new challenges, and to continue to grow professionally to the benefit of Sanborn Head. And as his role continues to evolve with the growth of the firm, it will give others a chance to grow in their careers as well. As immediate evidence of this, Matt Poirier will become Chief Operations Officer adding this to his role of Executive Vice President. Matt brings depth of understanding of our business, including risk management and business practices. And, like Barret, Matt is a promoter of our culture.

And that leads to the second way I believe the transition is highly significant.

When Paul Sanborn, Scott Shillaber, Chip Crocetti and I founded the company in 1993, we envisioned a firm that would outlast the career spans of the founders. We envisioned a company that would be generational – the ownership and leadership would be passed to others coming along. Over the years we have kept this vision front and center; it is incorporated into Sanborn Head’s DNA, from our Board Charter to our ownership documents to our strategic plan and even to our everyday communications.

This transition, therefore, is an embodiment of the philosophy that the firm’s culture is founded upon. In order to fulfill our original vision to be a successful and flourishing company, we must provide opportunity for everyone to grow in their careers, to do meaningful work, to be recognized for their contributions, and then to turn and lend a hand to others coming along. Achieving this is the real barometer of success of what we set out to accomplish 27 years ago.

In this same spirit, this is an opportunity for me to once again deepen my engagement in the consulting work of the firm that drew me to this career in the first place. It is also an opportunity to focus on our key strategic growth initiatives and to engage in Board projects that help the firm move forward.

And most importantly, I really enjoy working with the staff at the firm and I love seeing their success. If I can teach some of the things I’ve learned over my years in this business and help find opportunity for others coming along to grow in their careers, that for me is the biggest thrill. We have a remarkable group of people here at Sanborn Head, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their contributions to all we have built over the past 27 years. I look forward to the continuing journey.

Posted In: Blog

Written By

Charlie Head, PE, PG

Founding Principal

Charlie is a co-founder of Sanborn Head.  He serves as the Chair of the company’s board of directors and oversees the implementation of the firm’s strategic plan.