The 2000s – reminiscing thru history, laser focused on today and tomorrow

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In the last issue of Tyler’s Tidbits, I shared some of the highlights of the very fast-paced ‘90s. As we transitioned into the 2000s, we continued to blaze forward at a record pace, but we also firmly secured our place as a nationally recognized healthcare search firm. Here are some of the highlights from the past 15 years.

Starting in the year 2000, Dennis J. Kain, FACHE,  joined Tyler & Company. With his help, the “Philly” office has remained a stable contributor for us. I have long been an advocate for succession planning. In the years at Tyler & Company, there have been a few iterations of our succession plan, and we now have one that works.

Dennis, a previous hospital CEO, was promoted within our firm to Executive Vice President and then to President. When he reached 10 years with us, Dennis was presented with a Sisyphus Award – for always pushing the rock up the hill.

Writing a second book was a great pleasure for me. In 2000,Practical Governance was published. Throughout my career, I have worked with countless hospital and health system board members. We have a saying that “if you have dealt with one search committee, you have dealt with one search committee.” Experience also revealed that  “choosing a CEO is the most important thing you will do as a board member.” Over the years, I have developed a close, personal relationship with Errol L. Biggs, PhD, Director of Graduate Programs in Health Administration and Director of Center for Health Administration at the University of Colorado. Together, we wrote Practical Governance to help guide committees and have given the CEO Governance Roundtable at ACHE’s Congress on Healthcare Leadership for eight straight years.

In 2005, we opened an office in Austin, Texas, and cemented our footprint in the Southwest. Stefan M. Werdegar continues to grow this market at a steady pace, as well as nurture our ongoing relationship with the Texas Hospital Association.

Shortly after opening our Texas office, the soon-to-be-retired President of the Texas Hospital Association, Dan Stultz, MD, FACP, FACHE, invigorated the HealthSHARE subsidiary. We were delighted to have been chosen as the sole endorsed retained executive search firm. Tyler & Company continues to work with the association and HealthSHARE in providing speakers and other programs to help the membership.

In 2008, Tyler & Company partnered with Signium International, a consortium of independent, retained executive search firms throughout the world. The concept of working collaboratively with other firms had always intrigued us. During our time with Signium, we successfully completed a CEO search for Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti. Representing one of the largest firms in Signium, I served on its board and provided a great deal of counsel on good governance practices. After five years with Signium, we decided to get back to our roots and focus on the domestic healthcare market and have since amicably parted ways.

I have always been impressed with the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC). Its emphasis on ethics and upstanding guidelines for retained executive search firms, such as the Client’s and Candidate’s Bills of Rights, has resonated with the variety of innovations at Tyler & Company. We were pleased to have had our application accepted in 2004, and I’ve enjoyed serving on the America’s Council and the Membership Committee. Dennis now serves in those roles.

In 2010, I was honored to receive the President’s Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). How this came about, I do not know. The fact that I was only the second person ever selected for such an award is very special to me and our firm.

In 2011, the fourth edition of Tyler’s Guide was published. It has been enjoyable to have executives approach me to let me know that their copy of the book is located in a prominent spot in their office. When I wrote the book, I had no idea it would make such an impact. It is one of my greatest honors to have helped shape so many careers.

Looking ahead, I am excited by the additions of Joan E. Gee, who heads our Financial Leadership Practice, Kenneth C. (KC) Kunze, MD, CPE, who has coordinated the transition of our Physician Leadership Practice with the retirement of George E. Linney, MD. Alan D. Johns, also has joined the Atlanta Office to expand our academic practice to include health sciences. Elizabeth B. Hanckel is also soon to re-join us to lead our Human Resources Practice. In addition, we continue to scout out our next office expansions and plan to open offices both out West and in the Midwest.

Reflecting through all 35 years, one wonders where the time went. As a business owner, it’s been my pleasure and privilege to work with some of the greatest professionals in executive search. Some of our employees have been with us for 10, 15, and even 20-plus years. These people have become my business partners and most valued employees, but even more importantly, my dearest friends. Their support through the ups and downs of 35 years of business has meant the world to me. I have truly enjoyed helping to advance their careers, as well as those we place in hospitals, health systems and academic settings. We look forward to another 35 years of sailing without an anchor.

Reach J. Larry Tyler, FACHE, FHFMA, FAAHC, CMPE, Chairman and CEO, at 770 396 3939 or

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