Tim Boerkoel (LinkedIn ) is a New York-based executive search and talent professional and the Founder of The Brownestone Group. He has more than 25 years of experience recruiting executive leadership to emerging and premier brands domestically and internationally. Tim has led over 350 successful searches with a focus in retail, fashion, luxury and hospitality, and has a record of introducing clients to uniquely successful CEOs, Presidents, COOs and other key functional leaders. His professional background in retail, coupled with his deep executive experience throughout the C-Suite and across product categories, enables him to bring fresh and effective solutions to both recurring and new market challenges.
Recognized as a trusted advisor and partner to clients and candidates alike, Tim’s strength – and his mission – is connecting businesses with talent that will symbiotically produce growth and transformation. His dual focus on clients and industry talent is unique to the search industry and in-line with his company’s commitment to finding solutions with integrity. In addition to recruiting impactful leaders, The Brownestone Group connects executives and companies to potential strategic partners, subject matter experts, and initiative-specific advisors. Tim is an engaging relationship builder who leverages emotional and market intelligence for the benefit of people and brands.
Prior to launching The Brownestone Group, Tim served as Managing Partner and Global Director of the Retail, Consumer and Hospitality Practice at CTPartners, then a premier executive search firm. In this role, he built and oversaw a sizeable global business that solidified the firm’s reputation and participation in these industries, while providing strategic management and thought leadership guidance in addition to leading his own executives search projects. In the decade prior, Tim served as a leading Partner at Heidrick & Struggles within the Consumer Markets, Chief Marketing Officers, and Chief Human Resources Officers practices, following earlier Director-level roles at Herbert Mines Associates and Russel Reynolds Associates.
Tim, a retail industry executive before shifting to consulting, held numerous senior positions in merchandising, store operations and human resources with leading retailers such as the Gap and Dayton Hudson/Target Corporation. He is a Board Advisor of a Hong Kong-based global apparel manufacturer, a former advisor to the World Retail Congress, and an active contributor of thought leadership Q&As to Women’s Wear Daily, calling attention to the brands, ideas and leaders changing the consumer and retail worlds.
Aaron Azpiazu (LinkedIn ) has held research, account and project manager positions at executive search and marketing firms. He has enjoyed posts at both startups and international corporations, and been responsible for developing teams and overseeing projects for internal and external partners. At The Brownestone Group, Aaron serves as a knowledge manager and recruiter on executive search and consulting assignments, and provides marketing services, business intelligence and thought leadership guidance to Brownestone and its partners including Fairchild Media’s WWD and The Retail Summit.
Aaron first met Tim Boerkoel at Heidrick and Struggles and was later recruited from his position at a major commercial bank in order to work directly for Tim, then Managing Partner at CTPartners. As the Business Intelligence Manager of the firm’s Global Retail, Consumer and Hospitality practice, Aaron internally consulted on the practice’s resources and informed team leaders of performance metrics during a time of unprecedented growth. He also served as the primary researcher on executive searches, compiled client and client-competitor briefings, devised search strategies, and identified traditional and nontraditional candidates. Aaron also played a key role in the firm’s involvement in the World Retail Congress, providing business leadership analysis and creating dossiers for the conference’s governing body and voting members.
In addition to his executive search experience, Aaron has held project and account manager positions at both a commercial bank and a burgeoning creative agency, Ideas United (IU). He first worked with IU as a student at NYU, and upon graduation was hired to lead their campus marketing tours across the United States. Additionally, Aaron represented the company at the Cannes Film Festival, successfully led the company’s first international tour in Mexico on behalf of Apple Latin America, and produced international projects for brands such as Google, Honeywell and Starbucks. As a key team member, he was invited by the company’s owners to participate in an executive committee focused on instituting and refining processes, capitalizing on new opportunities, and sustaining company culture amidst rapid expansion.
Jodie Freeman (LinkedIn ) has held positions in executive search, marketing and branding, sales and strategic planning in a variety of companies. In addition she has served on a number of philanthropic boards, focusing primarily on education and domestic violence. Throughout her career, Jodie has fostered and developed relationships with leaders, founders and C-suite executives across the consumer, hospitality, fashion, luxury and retail industries.
Jodie was working in Macy’s buying office when she first met Tim Boerkoel. She joined Tim at Gap Executive Recruiting and they enjoyed a daily working partnership until Jodie entered a Senior Merchandising role at Liz Claiborne to develop their emerging small leather goods business. Jodie and Tim remained close; he introduced her to Coach where she accepted a position as a Senior Product Manager for their primary handbag business, and later for their introduction of non-leather goods across all product lines.
When Jodie started her own consulting company, Tim referred her to a number of consulting projects within the luxury market. In this capacity, she has worked with companies such as Ralph Lauren, Stuart Weitzman and Prada Beauty. Other notable companies that Jodie has worked with include MediaCraft, Pendleton James and Associates, Spencer Thomas and Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire. She possesses a broad and rich background working for large and complex brands, as well as with start-up businesses. Jodie’s innate curiosity and her knowledge of the apparel, accessories and beauty sectors have proven her an invaluable asset to her clients.
Jodie is a founding Board Member for the public school The Bronx Academy of Letters and helped to create their trademark event “Food for Thought.” She served on the Board of Sanctuary for Families for nine years and was instrumental in leading their mission, rebranding, and the changing of the structure of the trademark event “Zero Tolerance.” Under her direction, the event increased its fundraising from $750K to $1.8MM. She has also served as the Chair of the Harrison Educational Foundation and volunteered at New York Cares.