I had the opportunity to sit down with one of our most fascinating team members for this week’s edition of “Meet Our Team Monday!” Here are the 10 questions we asked CEO of DB&A Executive Search, Cole Costanzo, during our time together…
- What did you do before joining Dickerson, Bakker & Associates?
I’ve been privileged with a diverse set of experiences. After College, I moved to Paris with friends and then returned several years later to pursue my master’s degree. I worked with Coca-Cola in Australia and New Zealand when I was younger, and I had the opportunity to serve the government in Washington DC as well as overseas in Belgium and Afghanistan. I have been focused on serving Christian ministries and nonprofit leadership since 2006.
- Where did you go to college?
I completed my bachelor’s degree at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and then did my master’s degree with Middlebury College. Most of the work for my master’s was done in France. I’ve recently started further graduate work toward an advanced degree in Pastoral Counseling with a focus on Leadership and Coaching.
- How did you hear about Dickerson, Bakker & Associates?
I worked with Derric Bakker when I was serving as a grant-maker and Strategy Director with a private foundation.
- What made you decide to come work for Dickerson, Bakker & Associates?
My passion is to serve – I want to help great organizations and great people accomplish great things and make an enduring impact. By God’s grace and providence, I have been especially drawn toward serving those in leadership positions – from my time at NATO where I worked with Generals and Colonels to my time as a grant-maker and consultant where I interact with CEOs and Boards daily. Consulting in the ministry and nonprofit space is an incredible blessing because there are so many excellent people and compelling missions to serve. It is challenging because resources are constrained and often leaders have ended up where they are organically without formal training or education in their spheres of responsibility – whether that be general management, board leadership, or fund development. We’re often strong on mission and passion, so I love the opportunity to help great leaders bring alignment in the areas of professional acumen, cultural alignment, and strategy.
- What do you look forward to most when starting to work with a new client?
I appreciate the opportunity to really get to know the people and organizations with whom we partner. This allows us to understand them objectively and subjectively – professionally and personally – so we can bring our best to bear to serve them. To serve a client well, you’ve got to know them well. One of the distinctive qualities that drew me to DB&A, and one of the things I continue to appreciate most, is the intentionality with which we seek to understand a client’s unique needs and situation before helping them plan and implement solutions. I think our approach here is unique in our industry in terms of its depth and intentionality, and it allows for us to execute excellent, customized solutions.
- What is one goal you hope to achieve with a client when starting a new project?
I want to understand the needs of the client, our partner, first. Then I want ensure that we are well positioned-to help them develop, plan for, and achieve the goals that align with their needs and further their mission. The accomplishment of basic strategy: understand who and where they are, understand where they want to get to, and then work with them to chart a course to that goal and deliver against it. In executive search, that journey and goal can be quantitatively clear-cut, but qualitatively there is much more nuance.
- What is your favorite part about being a part of Dickerson, Bakker & Associates?
I consider it a privilege to work with our clients and candidates. I love them and care for them. To come alongside such wonderful, smart, hard-working, and dedicated people is a privilege.
- What’s the best/craziest thing that has happened to you out in the field?
I’m not sure it is crazy, per se, but something I treasure is crossing paths with old friends and partners whom I’ve known in the past through my grant-making or ministry leadership and who are now sitting with me as clients and partners once again.
- What is one thing about you that might surprise people?
To people who don’t know me, it might be surprising to know that I was once a Police Officer in Atlanta, GA, and a Special Agent for the Department of Defense. I also used to spend weekends on my motorcycle(s)… until I totaled one on a racetrack and traded the other in on a mini-van! I’m now an avid cyclist – road and mountain. To those who do know me, none of that would probably come as a surprise! Most important, I’m a #GrilDad to two amazing young ladies.
- What is there anything else you’d like people to know?
Nope. Thanks for taking the time to sit down & interview me today. I’ve really enjoyed learning some fun, unknown facts about the people on our team!
About the Series: Over the next few months, we will do a weekly feature of one of our team members giving you ‘insider access’ to our group of unique & talented folks that are in the field working with DBA clients day in & day out. We are proud to have built a team of industry experts from across the nation that not only know the in’s & out’s of the business but have a demonstrated track record of achieving real success.