President & CEO

Talent Optimization Partners, LLC

Ginny Clarke is a nationally-recognized expert in talent and career management, diversity recruiting and executive coaching. The author of Career Mapping: Charting Your Course in the New World of Work (Morgan James Publishing), she is a frequent writer, speaker and media guest on issues related to career development and job search. She has helped more than 300 executives land new jobs.

Ginny is the founder of Talent Optimization Partners, LLC, a talent and career management firm offering live and web-enabled career management programs and services for individuals and for leading companies such as CDW, Microsoft, Hyatt Hotels, Marsh and Dell.

Prior to forming her own firm in 2009, Ginny was a partner at Spencer Stuart, the global executive search firm, and worked in its Financial Services and Financial Officer Practices. For nearly twelve years, she successfully recruited professionals in a variety of senior-level executive and board positions. She co-founded and led Spencer Stuart’s Diversity Practice, working with global clients to customize diversity recruitment and employee retention strategies. She strived to embed diversity and inclusion into each client’s corporate culture and infrastructure.

After a short stint at First National Bank of Chicago (now Chase), Ginny spent 10 years in the institutional real estate business with Jones Lang LaSalle and Prudential Real Estate Investors. Her responsibilities included asset management, portfolio management, raising capital and providing client services.

Ginny earned her BA in French and Linguistics from the University of California at Davis, and her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. She was a board member of Medical Properties Trust for five years, and is currently chair-elect of the Chicago Sinfonietta, the country’s most diverse orchestra, and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. She and her teenage son reside in downtown Chicago.

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Co-author Echo Montgomery Garrett is a journalist with 25 years’ experience and author of several books, including most recently Why Don’t They Just Get a Job? One Couple’s Mission to End Poverty in Their Community (aha! Process, 2010) and My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change (Operation Orange Media, 2010), which was the November 2010 book selection of the Pulpwood Queens, the largest book club in the nation. Her first book was the well-reviewed How To Make a Buck and Still Be a Decent Human Being: A Week with Rick Rose at Dataflex (HarperBusiness, 1993). She also ghostwrote Tales from the Top: Ten Crucial Questions from the World’s #1 Executive Coach (Nelson Business, 2005). Her first business book received glowing write-ups in the Wall Street Journal, Inc., Publisher’s Weekly, and several other publications on management issues. Tales from the Top was a summer read pick in the Harvard Business Review Online and was excerpted and well-reviewed in many publications for corporate leaders and human resource managers. After her selection from a field of 25 writers, Echo wrote Dream No Little Dreams: How Clay Mathile transformed The Iams Company into the leader of the pack in the world of pet nutrition, the authorized biography of Clayton L. Mathile, former CEO/chairman of The Iams Company.

Formerly an editor at McCall’s and Venture magazines, and formerly a contributing writer for Money, BusinessWeek, Management Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and The Atlanta Business Chronicle, Garrett has been published in more than 75 national magazines, newspapers, and websites, including Parade, INC. Magazine, The New York Times, Delta Sky,
Chief Executive, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, and She has been interviewed on Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and NY-1. She served as editor in chief of Atlanta Woman magazine. Her first issue took the gold for Best Single Issue out of 300 entrants at the 2005 GAMMA awards sponsored by the Magazine Association of the Southeast. The Auburn University graduate is a member of the Authors Guild, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Federation of Press Women, Atlanta Press Club, the Buckhead Club, and the Buckhead Business Association 2009 Leadership Class. Married to professional photographer Kevin Garrett and mother to two sons, Echo is co-founder and president of the Orange Duffel Bag Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for homeless youth and those aging out of foster care.