The following appeared in the Long Beach Business Journal on July 30, 2013




Articles by Business Journal Senior Writer Tiffany Rider;
Photographs by the Business Journal’s Thomas McConville

July 30, 2013 – Almost one-third of all businesses (about 30 percent) in the U.S. are now owned by women according to the National Women’s Business Council. Clearly, companies with female leadership will have much impact in the country’s economic recovery. From a consumer perspective, the growth of women-owned businesses across the nation may help fuel the economic recovery because women are responsible for more than half of domestic spending.

In Long Beach, successful women business owners tend to have three common goals: turning their passions into sought-after products and services, making a real difference in their community, and, of course, financial success.

Local Women Small Business Owners

Tomilee Tilley Gill

Executives Unlimited, Inc.

5000 E. Spring St., Ste. 395, Long Beach

The experience of raising five children while having a busy management responsibility in banking that included travel, led Tomilee Tilley Gill into a career that allows her to put family first. “Executive search was something I fell into,” Gill told the Business Journal. She got a job in the executive search business with a company called IMCOR in 1997 and worked as their regional managing director for the West Coast.

Tomilee_Gill_LBBJWhen the company was sold to a publicly held organization, Gill said the individuals from the very entrepreneurial, boutique-style IMCOR were finding that the culture of the public company was not going to work very well for them. Gill and others decided to concentrate their efforts by teaming up and starting a new venture. In 2001, Gill founded Executives Unlimited.

“I ultimately am the primary shareholder in the organization and put it together, but we all stuck together for many years,” she said. Three of the company’s managing partners retired just last year.

Executives Unlimited is headquartered in Long Beach with offices in Texas, Chicago, New Jersey and Connecticut. Clients are primarily the CEO, CFO or the board of directors of entrepreneurial companies in a variety of industries.

Gill said her boutique company conducts approximately 65 searches a year with an average placement term of more than five years. “The average CFO and CEO terms on a national basis are less than three [years],” she said. “We significantly beat these averages.”

The business works with clients to define what they expect in terms of performance in the first three months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months of the executive they hire, she said. “It takes time to find the right client-candidate relationship,” she said. The typical client profile is a $100 million to $500 million company, though Executives Unlimited also works with several billion-dollar companies.

The top challenge in the industry, Gill said, is skepticism. “When we go to recruit candidates, they may not like the ‘devil’ they’re with,” she explained. “They may not like their employer. But they will be darned if they will change employers and go to the ‘devil they don’t know’ without being 100 percent convinced that the position they are being recruited to is professionally a progression in the role or in compensation, and that the environment is going to be better than what they are in.”

– Assistant Editor Tiffany L. Rider

The complete article is available online.