Judith von Seldeneck

Honored by Ellen Alemany, her colleague

Of all the words used to describe Judee—powerful, trailblazer, intelligent, influential—the one I like best is authentic. Judee is a true original. What you see is what you get. And what you get is a gracious woman who is as approachable as she is accomplished. Judee runs the largest woman-owned search firm in the world. She is chairman and CEO of Diversified Search. Thirty years ago when women started entering the workplace in large numbers, Judee started her own business placing women in time-share jobs. Today, Judee’s multinational company is responsible for placing C-level executives in firms with operations worldwide.

By all accounts Judee is a power broker, but what impresses me most is how she uses that power. I first met Judee a few years ago during a significant transition in my life. I had recently joined my company and was named CEO within a few months. Just six months later, the financial crisis hit. During this time, Judee was an engaged and supportive board member and became a confidante and a real champion for me. She didn’t just want my company to succeed—she wanted me to succeed, and she would do everything in her power to help make that happen. Judee cares about me as an individual first and a professional second. She has a knack for bringing out the best in people. Judee brings out the best in me.