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New Chairman, New Board For Stanton Chase

September 2020
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Jan-Bart Smits succeeds Mickey Matthews as International Chairman to lead a new board into 2021

Stanton Chase is pleased to announce the newly elected Board of Directors and International Chair. The new board will continue to develop and manage the firm’s client-centered collaborative services and values, as well as execute the strategic vision of Stanton Chase.

Incoming Chair Jan-Bart Smits hails from the Managing Partner position at Stanton Chase’s Amsterdam office and is Global Technology Leader and Global Professional Services Leader for the firm. He succeeds Mickey Matthews, who served the board as International Chairman for three terms that cemented Stanton Chase’s international standing.

“It gives me great pleasure to lead our new board as we continue to build and grow our firm as a world-class organization that is responsive to our global clients,” Jan-Bart said. “We will continue to develop the existing culture and values. As an organization, Stanton Chase has always and will continue to place a premium on top-quality services and multinational collaborations that benefit clients seeking the finest leadership.”

He added that Mickey’s “relentless dedication” to Stanton Chase has left the firm in his debt.

“Mickey has always been available for everyone, super responsive and fully supportive,” Jan-Bart said. “He was the right person in the right place in the right time.  I’ll be struggling to fill his shoes and shall reach out on a regular basis to enlist his support and counsel.”

As with past boards, this one continues the practice of having representation from around the globe: the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, and the Czech Republic. Returning board members include:

  • Christopher Arnold, Vice Chair, Finance & Administration (Boston, USA)
  • Jozef Papp, Vice Chair, Business Excellence (Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Fiona Lavan, Vice Chair, Practice Groups (Sydney, Australia)

In addition to Smits’ entrance, the board welcomes a new Vice Chair this year in David Harap (Dallas/Austin, USA), who will head Regions.

Jan-Bart Smits
International Chairman

Jan-Bart Smits takes over as International Chairman. His decades of experience, combined with his tireless pursuit to stay abreast of cutting-edge developments in technology and professional services, make him a powerful leader and partner in the global executive search business.

He is currently the Managing Partner of the Stanton Chase Amsterdam office in the Netherlands. He is also the Global Leader for the firm’s Technology and Professional Services Practice Groups. In these leadership roles, he provides guidance and facilitates collaboration among the other specialized consultants at Stanton Chase around the world.


Christopher Arnold
Vice Chair, Finance & Administration

Returning to the board for his second term, Christopher Arnold is the Vice Chair for Finance & Administration. He has a demonstrated record of success in completing assignments for global clients.

With over 25 years of executive search experience, Chris has a global practice that includes functional appointments of Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Head of Human Resources, and other key leadership positions in senior management, product, engineering, strategy, sales, marketing, distribution, investment management, operations, compliance and risk, legal, infrastructure, technology, and finance.


David Harap
Vice Chair, Regions

David Harap

David Harap joins the Stanton Chase board this year as Vice Chair of Regions. He is a Managing Director at Stanton Chase’s Austin office who is widely recognized as a strategic partner on all of his client engagements. He has been involved in over 425 successful searches spanning all senior level executive and functional leadership positions.

David has more than 25 years of experience serving a broad client base as a senior-level executive search consultant. Prior to joining Stanton Chase, he was a partner with a boutique search firm and a Principal with Korn/Ferry International, where he was a founding member of the Global Healthcare Products Practice and a core member of the Global Technology Practice, with a focus on emerging technologies within both global practices.


Fiona Lavan
Vice Chair, Practice Groups

Fiona Lavan returns to the board, this time to spearhead Practice Groups as Vice Chair. Fiona joined Stanton Chase Sydney in 1988 and became an Equity Partner in 1998. She has successfully conducted searches for clients in agribusiness, financial services (particularly private equity and trade finance); higher education; industrial; life sciences and healthcare; and logistics and transportation across Australia, the Pacific, and Asia. She has also developed a strong practice in the appointment of Non-Executive Directors to statutory authorities and other public and private sector organizations.


Jozef Papp
Vice Chair, Business Excellence

Jozef Papp is Vice Chair for Business Excellence on the board and a Managing Partner for Stanton Chase’s Prague office. He has been in the executive search industry since 1998 and has expertise in acquiring candidates for middle and top management assignments in several market segments. Jozef joined the search industry from the management consulting division of Deloitte.

His professional career encompasses various sales roles within the IT industry, with a particular focus on ERP software sales in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Jozef has been focusing primarily on the technology and industrial market sectors but he has conducted searches in all market sectors.



Smits says the lineup represents an “exciting team of independent thinkers” who will help challenge each other and the firm as a whole.

“I look forward to working with the returning board members and getting the perspectives from new officers,” he said. “This will provide a healthy blend of new ideas while maintaining consistency. This provides stability and continuity with new ideas and innovations to ensure the continued pipeline of insights to improve client service globally.”

About Stanton Chase: Your Leadership Partner

Stanton Chase is ranked as one of the top ten global retained executive search firms. With proven expertise in key sectors of the global economy, Stanton Chase has nine specialist practice groups that operate as international teams.
Stanton Chase is owned by its partners who take individual responsibility for delivering outstanding quality for each assignment. Stanton Chase is a member of the Association of Executive Search Consultants.



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