Shana Plott named CEO of Coleman Lew + Associates


Plott becomes one of a handful of women CEOs in retained executive search

Charlotte, N.C. Shana Plott, currently a managing director at Coleman Lew + Associates, has been named the first female CEO in the company’s 37-year history.

“Shana is the best search professional I’ve seen in my life,” said company founder Chuck Lew, who has been in the industry since 1979. “She’s sharp, puts people at ease, asks good questions, follows through on everything and is the consummate connector. Not only does she excel at search, but she’s an exceptional manager and an even better leader. I’m honored to pass the reins to her.”

Lew, who continues in his role as the firm’s managing director, added, “The retained executive search business is one whose upper ranks are dominated by men, unfortunately. We need more women at the top, and we’re excited that Coleman Lew is leading the way – on a national level – by promoting a capable, talented woman to the top. Shana has earned this.”

The leadership transition will be seamless to employees and clients, as Plott has been helping manage the company for the past two years.

Boyd L. George, chairman of Alex Lee in Hickory, N.C., is a Coleman Lew client who has worked with Plott on a few searches – both for his own company, one of the largest food retail and distribution companies in the Southeast, and for the search for the president of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory. (George serves as chairman of the university’s board of trustees.) He describes Plott as “very patient, well-organized, deliberate and effective.”

Plott said, “Chuck has built an incredible company. From the time I first interviewed here, I liked Coleman Lew’s work ethic, values and reputation. Being part of this team has been the greatest joy of my career, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a team I respect so much.”

Prior to joining Coleman Lew + Associates in 2011, Plott worked for several years in retained search with the Carolinas office of Heidrick & Struggles, serving as associate director and successfully completing many retained searches for CEOs, CFOs and other senior executives across many industry sectors.

Her career has been varied. She spent almost 20 years in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors, including stints at N.C. Memorial Hospital, Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, The Methodist Home and KinderMourn, Inc.

Plott graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in recreation therapy. She is a member of the Junior League of Charlotte, a founding board member for SouthPark Engineering and Robotics Clubs and currently serves on the boards of Let Me Run and Loaves and Fishes.

Coleman Lew is Charlotte’s longest-standing retained executive search firm. The company has clients across the globe and sources the globe for top talent. Organizations hire Coleman Lew to recruit CEOs, presidents, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, board members, executive directors and other top positions. Coleman Lew works across a number of industry sectors including financial services/private equity, consumer/retail, industrial, life sciences/healthcare, technology and government/education/nonprofit.

More about Coleman Lew & Associates 

Coleman Lew + Associates, Inc., founded in 1979 and headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a retained national executive search firm that recruits board members, officers and senior level executives for national and international companies, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations. The firm also provides customized leadership development services to organizations seeking to maximize corporate performance. Coleman Lew is a member of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) and is affiliated with Penrhyn International, a worldwide partnership of independent executive search firms working to provide the highest standard of service for international assignments.