Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - April 25, 2017
April 25, 2017 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #21

Authorization to commence negotiations with Springsted Waters for Executive Search Services for a County Administrator


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Rodney Barnes, Director, Human Resources Department, ext. 3813

Melissa Wendel, Purchasing Official, Financial Management Department, Procurement Division, ext. 3056

Action Requested

Pursuant to Request for Proposal RFP No. 17-1078DW for Executive Search Services for a County Administrator, authorization to commence negotiation with  Springsted ¦ Waters, Kansas City, Missouri, and adoption of Budget Resolution B-17-049.

Enabling/Regulating Authority

Manatee County Code of Laws

Background Discussion


Manatee County ("County") has solicited proposals from Executive Search Firms to assist the County with identifying, recruiting, and hiring the most qualified candidate for the position of County Administrator.

The County intends the successful proposer, once engaged, will conduct a focused search for qualified candidates for this position.  To carry out this objective, the County expects the successful proposer will work in close consultation with the County’s Human Resources Department in collaboration with the Board of County Commissioners.


The RFP was advertised on the Manatee County website, DemandStar, and was also provided to the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce for release to its members.   A total of five (5) proposals were received. 

Colin Baenziger & Associates, Inc.
Daytona Beach Shores, Florida

David Gomez & Associates
Oakbrook, Illinois

Slavin Management Consultants
Norcross, Georgia

Springsted ¦ Waters Executive Search
Kansas City, Missouri

S. Renee Narloch & Associates
Tallahassee, Florida

Evaluation Committee Members:

Rodney Barnes, Director, Human Resources Department
Chris Louria, Director / Chief Human Resources Officer, Sarasota County Government
Dennis W. Wallace, Contract Manager, Financial Management Department / Procurement (Chair)

Evaluation Summary:

The Evaluation Committee (the "Committee") convened on April 11, 2017, to review evaluation committee responsibilities, discuss members' availability for future meetings, and the Florida Sunshine Law as applicable to public meetings. The Evaluation Committee then proceeded to review each of the five (5) proposals for their responsiveness to the requirements of the RFP.

Springsted ¦ Waters, Kansas City, Missouri – Springsted ¦ Waters (“S¦W”) presented a very strong proposal from one of the largest public sector executive recruitment consulting firms in the United States.  The proposed S¦W team includes an experienced and participatory perspective to this engagement as they cite the more than 413 executive recruitments since 2012. The S¦W recruitment project team will partner with the County’s Human Resources Department and Board of County Commissioners to assist with the screening and evaluation of candidates.

S¦W’s methodology and project approach includes six (6) distinct tasks and corresponding timelines and  is comprehensive and structured to allow transparency as S¦W recruits qualified candidates and incorporates the active participation of the County’s Human Resources Department and the Board at key steps in the process. Keeping elected officials fully advised of all aspects of the process allows the Board to avoid expending large amounts of time in the search process.

S¦W’s proposed recruitment will be national and inclusive in nature with a candidate pool of diverse, experienced, and talented individuals. S¦W will collaborate with the County to develop a community survey to provide the desired characteristics of the ideal candidate.   In addition, candidates can complete a management/leadership style assessment analysis used to determine if a candidate’s management style matches the profile for the ideal candidate. Also available from S¦W is a reliance on technology to customize the recruitment process. For example, S¦W utilizes an online application system to facilitate talent management as well as an on-line interview process which can be used to assist the Board in narrowing down the semi-finalists for on-site interviews; this allows for better screening of candidates and reducing costs by eliminating unnecessary travel expenses for on-site interviews.  

As corporate members of National Forum for Black Public Administrators and the Hispanic Network, S¦W has established strong networks with minority and female leaders nationwide and will use these established networks to make direct contact with prospective minority and female candidates and encourage them to consider the Manatee County Administrator position.

Finally, S¦W offers a triple guarantee that includes (1) a commitment to remain with the recruitment assignment until the County makes a selection, (2) the recruitment is guaranteed for 24 months against termination or resignation for any reason; a replacement recruitment will be repeated with no additional professional fee, and (3) S¦W will not directly solicit any candidates selected under this contract for any other position while the candidate is employed by Manatee County.

S¦W was previously contracted by Manatee County for the successful recruitment of the Director of Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity.

In sum, as a result of S¦W’s seasoned recruiters with government experience, candidate-matching recruitment approach, strategy for recruitment of diverse candidates, and unconditionally guaranteed placements for two years, the Committee is confident that S¦W would provide a candidate of sound professional and personal character and recommends  approval to begin negotiations.

Colin Baenziger & Associates, Daytona Beach Shores, Florida – Colin Baenziger & Associates (“CB&A”) presented a strong proposal in developing a problem-free process. CB&A has conducted over 170 city, county, and special district searches over the past 19 years. Utilizing a diverse candidate pool where 40% of CB&A’s finalists are female and/or minorities CB&A has demonstrated that they are client and candidate focused. Their methodology is comprised of five phases and include (i) needs assessment, (ii) recruiting utilizing CB&A’s website, appropriate publications, and e-mailing 13,100 local government professionals, (iii) screening, reference checks, and credential verification, (iv) interview process and selection, and (v) negotiation of the employment contract.

While CB&A’s credentials are highly regarded, their proposal did not present any use of groundbreaking or innovative technologies and, as a result, the Committee did not evaluate them as high as the selected firm.

S.Renee Narloch & Associates, Tallahassee, Florida - S.Renee Narloch & Associates presented a client-driven approach to executive search in their proposal. Their approach begins with working directly with the County to learn as much as possible about what is expected of a new County Administrator. In addition, S. Renee Narloch & Associates will reach out to community members to gather their input. Based on these discussions, S. Renee Narloch & Associates develops a profile that addresses core competencies and professional characteristics, education and training, operational and organization issues relevant to the position; this profile will subsequently guide the recruitment efforts.

While the S.Renee Narloch & Associates proposal indicated broad experience conducting public sector executive recruitments throughout Florida and elsewhere, the Committee felt their methodology did not present a thorough process and, as a result, they were not evaluated as high as the selected firm. 

Recommendation: Upon completion of the Evaluation Committee meeting, the Committee recommended the Intent to Negotiate award for Springsted ¦ Waters, Kansas City Missouri.


The remaining respondents, although well qualified, were not selected based on a comparison of capabilities of the selected firm:

David Gomez & Associates
Oakbrook, Illinois

Slavin Management Consultants
Norcross, Georgia

The above justifications are a generalized summary of major observations intended only to provide the Board of County Commissioners a sufficiently detailed overview of the main observations of a majority of Committee Members.  Each Committee Member may have considered one or more facts or factors more or less important than the other Committee Members when voting, and this summary of the Evaluation Committee’s decision is not an attempt to exhaustively describe each of the relevant factors which motivated each of the Committee Members to select the rankings described.

The Evaluation Committee voted 3-0 to proceed with Springsted ¦ Waters as detailed.

The resulting agreement will be managed by the Human Resources Department.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records


Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
$35,000.00 / Budget Amendment B-17-049

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  IFB 17-1078DW.pdf
Attachment:  Colin Baenziger Proposal 17 1078DW.pdf
Attachment:  Colin Baenziger Appendices 17 1078DW.pdf
Attachment:  David Gomez Proposal 17-1078DW.pdf
Attachment:  Slavin Proposal 17 1078DW.pdf
Attachment:  Springsted Waters Proposal 17 1078DW.pdf
Attachment:  S Renee Narloch Proposal 17-1078DW.pdf
Attachment:  B-17-049 County Administrator Executive Search.pdf