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Mr. Gary Craig’s career represents almost 30 years of experience in organizational change management, human resources development and organizational development and effectiveness. Recognized for his ability in efficiently and accurately assessing organizations and recommending and implementing changes aligning human behavior with strategic business objectives and organizational values, he is highly skilled in driving optimal performance and human capital within organizations.
Based on strong analytical, problem solving, and organizational skills, his extensive achievements result in sustainable organizational change. Highly regarded for his integrity and strong commitment to delivery of results, Gary is adept in the human side of change management and leadership development. He has significant domestic and international experience across numerous industries including transportation, insurance, freight, manufacturing, oil & gas, high-tech, printing and telecommunications. He contributed significantly to a number of large-scale strategic initiatives in the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Mexico, South America and most recently the Middle East (Yemen in 2012).
Presently, Mr. Craig is the Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer for Vector Group, Inc. following an invitation to rejoin the firm earlier in 2009. Gary is a former Senior Consultant with Vector Group, a boutique global consulting firm. As head of North America and Asia operations, he oversees business development domestically and internationally. He has forged relationships with accounting and legal entities and is building a strategic alliance with a consulting group in Nigeria.
He first joined the firm in 1989 and, as a senior business consultant, he engaged in large organizational change and transformation projects on an international basis through 2006. He conducted systematic and systemic diagnoses of organizational performance leading to highly successful change initiatives. Gary’s work included projects with HP/Compaq, British Airways, Prudential Retail (UK), Square D Company, Alliant Techsystems, Texaco, Community Mutual Insurance Company, and Jeppesen-Sanderson.
In his consulting work, Mr. Craig incorporates 360° feedback-driven executive coaching, management and leadership development, organizational alignment and transformation, Issues-Based Team Building, cross-functional partnering, cultural due diligence (CDD) and performance management. He is highly skilled as a facilitator.
From June 2011 until the present, Gary led projects for conducting an operational analysis for an electrical co-op, development of an HR Blueprint for Acquisitions for a Quebec-based company and recently worked with a new oil and gas client in Alberta to help them develop an effective strategic alliance with another company insuring that organizational culture issues are recognized and managed properly.
He was heavily involved in a project for an Ohio-based company that had recently acquired a new company in Texas and contributed significantly to the assessment of post-acquisition integration efforts. He completed another integration assessment for an additional acquisition for the same company (2013 to 2015). Based on this organizational analysis, he facilitated a New Leader Assimilation process and an Issues-Based Teambuilding for the leadership team of that company. He delivered a one-day “Quick and Dirty” training program for supervisors in September 2014.
As the only US –based consultant on an international due diligence team, he contributed to a comprehensive review and identification of key areas of liabilities and outstanding obligations of the previous Oil and Gas operator on behalf of the Yemen Government’s newly created national oil company, Petro Masila. The project reported on all areas of the business including operations, HR, finance, government approvals and procedures and technology (2012).
Beginning in April 2014, Gary and a team of Vector Group consultants conducted an organizational assessment of a securities software company with two locations (US). The emphasis of this assessment was on management and leadership capabilities. Based on their findings, they facilitated a two-day leadership session with the entire management group producing 38 management practices that support eight organizational values. These will form the basis for a 360° feedback process for all management staff.
Highlights include his investigating a broad, globally dispersed cross-section of key operations for Hewlett-Packard and Compaq targeting South America, Mexico and the US to identify specific cultural attributes and operating practices of both companies prior to their merger. The data feed from the focus groups provided a critical foundation for integration strategies and the creation of the new company vision. He brought critical deliverables by beginning the employee engagement process, developing a leadership coalition and building a qualitative understanding of key issues.
As part of the overall communications plan, he facilitated cultural due diligence virtual meetings with focus group participants to roll out information gathered in the cultural investigation of both companies.
As a key consulting team contributor, he increased sales productivity 40% and reduced cost of sales at Prudential Assurance Retail Services. He conducted over twenty Leadership Mandate programs (5 ½-day feedback-driven management and leadership development programs) designed for the top 500 sales executives during organizational transformation. He personally coached over 150 managers in areas of 360° feedback to help them develop action plans in implementing new organizational values and practices. He helped managers find new ways of leading their people and working more effectively across the organization that dramatically reduced the cost of sales.
He achieved a $13M increase in profitability for Community Mutual Insurance Company. He engaged in multiple management development and organizational alignment activities for one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies in the US with 3,300 employees and 350 managers. His efforts improved internal operations through development of management capabilities, reduced complacency and created a sense of urgency to take action. Overall activities resulted in statistically significant increases in 32 management practices across total population of 350 managers. An independent audit showed a 600+% return on investment with an additional $8M benefit related to behavior change.
Gary led a team to increase profit and productivity for British Airways WorldCargo in the UK and the US. He directed an organizational assessment effort that investigated current situation at numerous airport freight locations in the US with additional data gathering from Canada and Central and South America. In communicating his findings and his recommendations for new organizational values and practices, he was instrumental in developing a significant strategic direction that increased profit and productivity for British Airways WorldCargo—The Americas.
From 2006—2007 Mr. Craig served as a Principal Consultant with Perot Systems Corporation, a $3B technical solutions company. Over his tenure, he engaged in both client facing projects and internal initiatives. He wrote and published a white paper on organizational assessment used to teach other consultants effective means of assessing and changing organizational culture. He developed a reward and recognition program for the consulting division and provided quality assurance for a training and development program as on boarding for new hires. While participating on a business process-reengineering project for a federal government client, he provided recommendations for organizational design and development along with cultural assessment to aid implementation. He contributed to new business development through proposal writing.
He dramatically accelerated effectiveness of new managers for Jeppesen-Sanderson. He directed a new leader assimilation process for a new Director of Distribution in the US and a new Manager of Distribution in Mainz / Neu Isenberg, Germany. He gathered functional data
from direct reports, customers, and manager peers, compiled, and analyzed the data. He facilitated a coaching process bringing the new managers up to speed becoming aware of organizational challenges and taking action to resolve them within days rather than weeks or months.
In his earlier career, he held management and supervisory positions within private and public sectors.
Education, Affiliations and Publications
Mr. Craig holds an MA degree in Management / Human Relations and Organizational Behavior and a BA in Sociology and English.
Gary is a Certified Due Diligence Professional (CDDP) by the International Due Diligence Association (IDDA), certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the HR Certification Institute and as a Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP). He is a member of the Association for Psychological Type (APT) and is certified in administration and interpretation of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and all other Level B instruments offered by Consulting Psychologists Press including the FIRO-B and Strong Inventory.
He is currently an Adjunct Professor for University College at the University of Denver and Online Faculty for the University of Phoenix Organizational Management and MBA graduate curricula. He taught over 75 classes in management, leadership development, human resources and human capital management, strategy formulation and implementation, organizational behavior, change management and corporate culture.
Throughout his career, Gary remains actively involved in a number of professional societies including the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), the International Due Diligence Association, and the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
His strong contention is to “always give something back to the profession, coach, and mentor others entering the field.” He held numerous leadership positions at the local and national level of ASTD including serving as President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter in Denver, as a member of the Organization Development Professional Practice Area Executive Committee (ODPPA) and as the Chair of the National Advisors for Chapters.
While serving with the ODPPA, he designed, developed and delivered Organization Development: Practical Tools for a Changing Profession, a two-day professional development workshop for HRD and training professionals. He co-presented these professional workshops in twelve major cities for local members of ASTD and ISPI to transition training professionals into organizational effectiveness and performance improvement practitioners. Because of his work, the Society invited Gary as its first Organization Development Forum Field Editor for Performance in Practice where he authored several articles on organization development and effectiveness.
Mr. Craig served as a member of the ASTD National Board of Directors where he led the effort to create organizational values and practices for this 70,000 member professional society now in place to guide the organization in its global deployment. ASTD recognized Gary for his “outstanding commitment and service to the profession of Human Resource Development and Performance” following his ten years of contributions to the Society.
He chaired the “One Society Taskforce” for ISPI, an 18-month project exploring the relationships and challenges between individual membership, local chapters and the international Society. He presented the work of the task force in actionable recommendations to ISPI’s Board in supporting local chapters and meeting member needs. The ISPI Board President recognized Gary for his leadership of the taskforce during THE Performance Improvement Conference in April 2011.
He frequently presents educational sessions, pre-conference workshops, cracker barrels or poster sessions at international conferences for ISPI (5x 1991—2012), ASTD (8x 1994—2002) and their local chapters. He holds membership in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the local chapter (Mile High SHRM).
An avid writer, Gary published several articles in the field of organizational development, leadership and human resources including The Human Side of Change, Making the Culture Enhance Organizational Performance, and Moving toward Organization Development and Performance Consulting, Emerging Trends in Leadership Development and Managing Human Resources during Uncertain Times. He wrote a regular column called Curmudgeon’s Corner, for the ASTD-Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Vantage Point newsletter. He humorously lent his perspectives as a senior practitioner to the chapter membership.
Gary and J. Robert (Bob) Carleton, Founding Partner and CEO of Vector Group, Inc. are currently working on three books (2016) including:
He co-authored and published an article with Mr. Claude S. Lineberry in the UK (Industrial and Commercial Training Journal, Volume 33, Numbers 6 and 7, 2001) entitled The Management Mirror: Helping Senior Executive Teams See Their Own Reality. The Emerald Literati Club selected both authors as “Highly Commended Award Winners” by for writing one of the best papers published in their chosen field.
He and Barbara A. W. Eversole, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development at Indiana State University are writing The ROI and Executive Coaching: Worth the Effort?, an article for publication later this year. This will be a closer look at the return on investment when using executive coaching based on Seeing the Elephant: Linking Theory and Practice to Integrate the Parts of Executive Coaching and Propose a Definition they published in the 2006 conference proceedings of the Academy of Human Resource Development.
He is also co-authoring with Bob Carleton A Logic and Methodology for Targeting the Focus of Due Diligence Investigations into Organizational Behavioral Norms <working title only> The area of getting the commitment, support and behavioral alignment of the people involved in the organization with the business intent of the acquisition has in particular been the subject of expanded potential analysis. The idea behind this article is to get at the heart of organizational investigations without significantly adding to the amount of detail needed as recent business literature shows. The conundrum this situation poses is how to focus the investigations to save time and money while still guarding against failure to identify critical issues by overly limiting the scope of the investigations.
Originally, from Illinois, Mr. Craig resides in Colorado since 1985. He travels extensively throughout the US, UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Australia and finally, Antarctica, covering 50 countries on seven continents for both business and pleasure (so far).
Gary enjoys gourmet cooking, wine and single malt Scotch collecting and several outdoor activities including golf, backpacking, hiking, fishing, skiing and snowshoeing. He ran his first <and only> marathon in 2003 and on his third attempt successfully summited Longs Peak (14,259 ft.) in Colorado August of 2014.
As a Vietnam veteran, he is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). During the devastating Colorado floods in 2013, he joined Team Rubicon and aided flood recovery efforts in Longmont and Lyons, CO.