LINDEN, NJ – As the final phase of a two-year planned succession outlined by the Turtle & Hughes Board of Directors, Jayne Millard, the fourth generation of family ownership at this top independent electrical/industrial distributor, is now Executive Chairman of the Board. She remains an active, full-time member of the Executive Committee setting the strategic vision for the company.
Kathleen Shanahan, Co-CEO, becomes the first non-family CEO in the company’s almost 100-year history. In leading this diverse, woman-owned business, Shanahan continues a long legacy of leadership by women starting with Millard’s great grandmother.
“As my Co-CEO for the past two years, Kathleen has transformed the company’s overall business strategy through technology and opened new sales paths,” noted Millard when making the announcement. “Her accomplishments include an industry-leading ecommerce portal that has expanded online sales to the global marketplace; enhanced business analytics; CRM implementation, and driving high margin product sales. Our Net Promoter Score, measuring customer loyalty, rates ‘excellent,’ showing her commitment to a customer-first culture.”
“Kathleen is a compassionate leader, which aligns with our family’s values,” Millard continued. “She mobilized hundreds of employees to remote work to protect us from Coronavirus. She has instituted a culture of accountability with KPIs aligned to an enhanced benefits program that earned us a 2020 Best Places to Work in New Jersey Award. We are very fortunate to have her at the helm.”
Based on her accomplishments as Co-CEO, Family Business Magazine announced that Shanahan has been named a CEO to Watch and is featured in the publication’s November/December issue. Family Business Magazine is the only North American publication dedicated to thriving multigenerational family businesses. This year, 28 honorees were selected for their exceptional leadership and balancing of family and business interests.
“I am honored to have the trust of the Millard family and to be recognized among so many notable CEOs by Family Business Magazine,” said Shanahan. “We have a great team at Turtle, a 98-year legacy of industry leading services and solutions, and strong core values. I am excited for the next chapter.”
Shanahan was named Turtle Co-CEO in 2018 after serving one year as Executive Vice President of National Accounts, driving digital, marketing and brand value for Turtle’s customer service in the broader market place. She had previously served for more than three years on the company’s Board of Directors.
Prior to joining Turtle & Hughes, Shanahan was CEO and Chairman of Ground Works Solutions, formerly URETEK Holdings, Inc., a Florida-based corporation focused on soil stabilization and densification using a patented polymer application process. Before that, she served as CEO and Chairman of WRSCompass, a national footprint environment engineering and construction company, based in Tampa, FL.
Shanahan is a prominent Florida businesswoman with a long and distinguished background in politics and public service. She has held federal and state public policy positions: Chief of Staff for Florida Governor Jeb Bush; Chief of Staff to Vice President‐elect Dick Cheney; Deputy Secretary of the California Trade and Commerce Agency for Governor Pete Wilson; Special Assistant to Vice President George H.W. Bush; and Staff Assistant on President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council.
Shanahan received her undergraduate degree in Nutrition/Biochemistry from the University of California San Diego Revelle College and her MBA at New York University.
Turtle & Hughes has close to 100 years of market experience and ranks among the top 20 electrical distribution companies nationwide.