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Jena Abernathy Named Managing Partner, Chair of Board Services

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Oak Brook, IL – Witt/Kieffer, a leading executive search firm, has announced the transition of Jena E. Abernathy to lead the firm’s Board Services practice as Managing Partner/Chair of Board Services. Jena also serves on the firm’s Board of Directors.

In her new role, she will help corporate and other boards identify and recruit healthcare executives to fill key membership positions. She will also support healthcare boards in recruiting essential talent. Abernathy will continue to serve as a Senior Partner in the firm’s Healthcare practice, specializing in assisting clients to identify CEOs, Presidents and other C-Suite leaders for hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and foundations, as well as manufacturing, distribution and healthcare corporations.

“We are pleased to recognize Jena’s commitment to Witt/Kieffer through her new position,” said Charles W.B. Wardell III, President and CEO of Witt/Kieffer. “Jena is instrumental to the growth of the firm and—in particular—the Healthcare practice, where we continue to serve the most complex healthcare systems in the nation. We also serve individual healthcare executives, and feel it is critical that they play a larger role in board governance across industries. Given her exceptional experience and leadership capabilities, we are better suited to serve and counsel our clients and candidates under her guidance.”

Abernathy begins her new position with over 25 years of senior level executive management experience. Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer, she served as Chief Administrative Officer at Premier, Inc., where she led comprehensive human resources and administrative services and served as the executive lead for their successful Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. She also held senior leadership positions at Fisher Scientific International and McKesson/General Medical Corporation. Earlier in her career, Abernathy served as Vice President, Human Resources and Administration for a publically-traded financial services organization.  

Today, she is a nationally recognized leader in organizational development, succession planning, performance excellence and human capital management. She is a passionate advocate for mentoring women and minorities in executive and governing board roles. 

She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia, with a B.S. in Business Administration.

For more information, a headshot or for interview requests, please contact Jessica Small at 212.576.2700 and


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