Case Studies

Continence Foundation of Australia

Recruitment of a new CEO following an 8-year tenure of the previous leader

The Challenge

The Continence Foundation of Australia faced a significant transition period when their CEO of eight years resigned unexpectedly. With the organisation on the brink of shaping its dynamic Strategic Plan for 2024, the role of the CEO was more crucial than ever. Liz Compton, Chair of the Board, having experienced the high calibre of service from Galvin-Rowley Executive firsthand, reached out to facilitate the search for a new leader. The new CEO would play a pivotal role in refining and implementing strategic priorities including enhancing organisational profile, diversifying revenue streams, and expanding educational offerings.

Strategic Approach and Solution

Galvin-Rowley Executive, under the leadership of Jennifer Galvin-Rowley, employed a hybrid Advertised Search strategy to cast a wide net capable of attracting diverse leadership talents. The position advertised generated substantial interest, leading to:

  • Requests for Candidate Information Pack: 216
  • Formal Expressions of Interest: 111
  • Phone Interviews Conducted: 26
  • Candidates Interviewed: 12
  • Final Shortlist: 5

From this outstanding field of candidates, Dr Gian Sberna was appointed, signifying the successful culmination of a thorough and strategic recruitment process.

Implementation and Execution

The significant interest in the CEO role necessitated a meticulous review process by our research team. This was crucial to ensure that applications closely aligned with the specific leadership profile sought, including qualifications, career achievements, and leadership style, all underpinned by a cultural fit with the Foundation. This phase included extensive phone screenings and in-depth interviews to create a strong long-list and a final shortlist of five exemplary candidates.

Results and Impact

Dr Gian Sberna commenced his role as CEO in April 2024, bringing a fresh perspective and renewed vigour to the Foundation’s mission. Under his leadership, the Foundation is set to increase its visibility in the community, enhance educational initiatives, and secure sustainable funding for future projects.

Industry: Not-For-Profit
Challenge: Recruitment of a new CEO following an 8-year tenure of the previous leader.
Strategic Approach: Hybrid Advertised Search led by Jennifer Galvin-Rowley.
Execution: Detailed application screening, extensive phone screening, and in-depth interviews leading to a shortlist of five outstanding candidates.
Outcome: Dr Gian Sberna appointed as the CEO in April 2024.

Candidate, Dr Gian Sberna:

“My journey through the recruitment process for the CEO role at the Continence Foundation of Australia was nothing short of extraordinary. From the initial contact to the final interview, every step was meticulously organised and conducted with utmost professionalism. The support and communication provided throughout the process was exceptional, showcasing Galvin Rowley Executives commitment to finding the right fit. The interview panel’s insightful questions and genuine interest in my experiences and vision for the Foundation truly impressed me.

I am honoured to have been selected for this role and am excited to contribute to the Foundation’s mission of improving the lives of Australians impacted by incontinence.”


Client, Elizabeth Compton, Chair, Continence Foundation of Australia:

“Jennifer and the team at Galvin-Rowley Executive have a very personalised and nuanced approach that meant not only was it an extremely smooth process, but we saw a diversity of very high calibre candidates. I’ve been on the other side as a candidate with Galvin-Rowley Executive and was so impressed by the experience as a candidate that when it came time to find our new CEO at the Continence Foundation, Galvin-Rowley Executive stood out. The entire Board Nominations Committee was very pleased with the process, and we are thrilled to be welcoming Gian to Continence Foundation Australia as our new CEO.”

What Our Clients Say

I have had the great fortune to partner with Galvin-Rowley Executive for over 15 years. Jen and the team are extremely professional and above all take the time to understand the role requirements to ensure the right candidate is matched. When labour markets are tight, and roles are in high demand Galvin-Rowley Executive always find the right candidate. I really appreciate how they keep me informed of their progress, challenge my thinking and create a collaborative environment. Finding the right candidate is never easy, Jen makes it easy!

Georgegina Poulos

T2, Global Director People

“In 2021, we worked with Jen to recruit the new CEO for Windana – a leading Victorian drug and alcohol recovery service.

She worked closely with us to ensure she had a good understanding of the brief, provided regular progress updates and delivered a strong shortlist from which we were able to select our new CEO. We found Jen’s approach and follow up to be really professional and engaging and we achieved a great outcome.”

Jenny Gillam

Chair Windana - a leading Drug and Alcohol Recovery service.

“Jen is as invested in getting amazing people into T2 as we are. Settling for average is not an option and this comes from her deep understanding of our business and culture and a strong appreciation for the emphasis we place on both capability and fit in equal measure. We are delighted with the great people we have at T2 thanks to Jen – they are most certainly our cup of tea!”

Nicole Sparshott

T2 Tea, Global Chief Executive Officer

I have had the absolute pleasure of partnering with Jen both as a client and candidate and the experience has been seamless & pleasurable on both fronts. Jen sets herself apart from the plethora of recruiters in that she fosters an intricate understanding of her clients vision and culture and weaves this delicately into the people she puts forth. Jen has been a formidable partner in building high functioning and performing teams. Needless to say we thoroughly relish working with her!

Sharon Elding

HR Director , Jungheinrich Australia

“Further to our discussions from time to time, I am writing to express my appreciation more formally to you for so well managing the process for recruitment of our new Executive Director. The process ran seamlessly, and the ultimate appointment of Lynn Haultain was correct as her performance has shown. Thank you. Kind regards.”

The Honourable Hartley Hansen QC

Victoria Law Foundation, Chair

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