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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the July 9, 2003 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Park Madison: Miles & Patrick
In the headhunting business, referrals and reputation
are everything. It’s also an area where the upscale extras can pay
So when Lisa Miles and Jo Anne Patrick opened their executive search
firm, Park Madison Group LLC at Forrestal Village, they did not scrimp
on first impression items, such as the company brochure. "We spent
wisely, but it was costly. We are a retained search firm, and we needed
the brochure to represent the quality of our service and our knowledge
of the business," says Miles.
They chose the name because it was both appealing and stylish. "Combining
Park Avenue and Madison Avenue connotes an elite organization that
has lots of class," says Miles.
If the name of the company is a made-up moniker, the location is Miles’s
hometown. "We chose Princeton because of the name," says Miles.
"Growing up in Princeton, you discover everyone knows where Princeton,
New Jersey is, whether you’re in China or Tibet. The connotation carries
a lot of weight. To be able to tell about the town, to say that my
grandfather is a longtime Princetonian, gives a lot of credibility."
Miles and Patrick opened Park Madison last October as a women and
minority-owned business. The company focuses on life sciences and
consumer products and services, as well as executive level searches.
"The ideal candidate is someone at the top of their game at a
premiere competing company," explains Miles.
Claiming to be "very client fee friendly," Patrick cites how
most retainer-based firms have fixed fee schedules, whereas Park Madison
can adjust its fees according to the needs of the client.
Lisa Rhodes Miles grew up in Princeton, where her father, Emmanuel,
worked for RCA, and her mother, Hazel, was an instructional aide.
At Princeton High School, she and Paul Miles became high school sweethearts.
A football star in both high school and college, Paul graduated from
Nebraska and was drafted into the NFL, where he played for two years
before an injury ended his career. He is now president of the New
Jersey chapter of Junior Achievement (see page 37). Lisa graduated
from Princeton High in 1981 and attended Hampton University, graduating
After an accounting internship at Dow Jones she went to Volt Information
Sciences in Blue Bell, first as an accountant and then as financial
manager. Soon she was asked to take over the human resources department.
"I had never taken any courses in HR, but I was mature for my
age, a quick learner, and had the respect of everyone in that company,"
She and Paul had stayed in touch at holiday times. "What brought
us back together was that Paul returned to Princeton from Oregon when
his mother was ill, and he never went back."
The year after they were married, Lisa joined Bristol-Myers Squibb
as director of recruiting for clinical research and development. She
focused on recruiting PhDs and MDs for the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical
Research and Development, a division of Jannsen, which was expanding
Patrick grew up in Tipton, Indiana, where her father was a school
teacher and her mother a banker, and she attributes her success in
the headhunting business — at least in part — to growing up
in a small town. "In the recruiting world, you have to establish
a relationship on the phone very quickly, and I guess growing up in
a small town helped me develop that."
She majored in psychology and sociology at Indiana University in Kokomo,
Indiana, Class of 1974. She was the director of field audit at K-mart
and an internal auditor at Fortunoff’s. She loved her job, which involved
lots of travel, but in 1986 encountered a headhunter who wanted to
hire her on the spot. "He had a big retail client and needed someone
who was friendly, articulate, and understood finance." She did
Leaving a nine-to-five job to go on commission at a contingency-based
recruiting firm can be scary, says Patrick, because such firms do
not get paid unless the placement is made. But Patrick had planned
ahead and stashed away a hefty savings account. "When I started
I earned $1,000 a month draw. I knew I had a year’s worth of income
in savings, that even if I didn’t make it, I could live for a year."
Then she was recruited to a retained search firm in the apparel-retail
business, Union-based SK Associates, and stayed for eight years. After
that, she went to a firm that specializes in pharmaceuticals. There,
she met Lisa Miles.
The company’s lawyer is Jack McCarthy III of McCarthy & Schatzman,
whose father had represented Lisa Miles’s father and grandfather.
Their accountant is Susan van Arsdale of Murphy & Hoffer on Roszel
Road. Dave Moran of Bridgewater-based Mindworks is their consultant
for web-based ACT sales management software.
Miles points out that in her business, competitors take no prisoners.
"It is very cutthroat, and reputation is important. Park Madison
is a new business, but we are not new to this business. We have grown
— Barbara Fox
Suite 200, Princeton 08540. 609-524-4033; fax, 609-520-1702. Www.park-madison.com
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