Kimley Svendsen, Managing Director

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Kimley is a Co-Founder of Waterstone and leads the Retained Practice with a focus on Cannabis and Private Equity. She builds teams from director-level through the C-Suite, and while an internal veteran of legacy companies and leading services firms, she has excelled in diverse and disruptive industries, such as cannabis and autonomous mobility. Her experience includes leading college recruiting for CNA and heading up recruiting for Capital H Group and GATX. She had a front seat to the financial crisis while at Citadel, and spent four years working with Consumer and Financial Services Practice Partners within Korn Ferry. This prepared her to found Waterstone, where she has provided high touch search services to industries during rapid expansion, including private equity and their portfolio companies.

By working arm in arm with the C-Suite, Kimley has learned the direct correlation between talent, fit, and the survival of an organization. She attributes her longevity to strong relationships and her role as a truly consultative decision-making partner. Her curiosity for how people relate and make decisions earned her success in recruiting, and is bolstered by her master’s in Psychology from Northwestern University.

Kimley sits on the NCIA HR Committee, is a sponsor of The Arcview Group, and a member of Illinois Women in Cannabis. Her commitment to cannabis runs deep. She has personally witnessed the positive impact of the plant for treatment of addiction, cancer, insomnia and mental health issues, and believes in paying it forward so more families can have access and reap the benefits.

The same integrity and sincerity keep Kimley grounded in her life away from work. She finds meaning in service to her family and community. A Chicagoan for decades, Kimley was born in Montana. So when she steps away, she is likely out west, savoring huckleberry pie or hiking a remote trail with her husband and three daughters.