Life Line

CEO Seeker Cindy Hilsheimer

By Jane Hawes
From the July/August 2013 issue of Capital Style

If it’s possible for someone to be still and moving at the same time, Cindy Hilsheimer is that person. As the founder and managing principal of Beecher Hill, a Columbus-based executive search firm with an international clientele, Hilsheimer’s days often are packed with 20 hours of busy. Yet she strives to maintain a balance between activity and serenity.

That balance is reflected in the New Albany home she shares with her husband, Larry, who is the chief financial officer for Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. Together they’ve raised two now-adult daughters and a college-aged son. Their current home’s design is soothingly spacious with high ceilings and neutral walls. But it’s decorated with a museum-worthy collection of colorful art created by artists with Columbus connections like Paul-Henri Bourguignon, Aminah Robinson and Paul Hamilton.

“After we buy something, we always try to have the artist over so we can show them how we’ve displayed it,” Hilsheimer says. She has just greeted a cavalcade of her son’s friends who are reconnecting after their first year away at college.

“We also want our children to meet the artists,” she says, smiling, “so they’re less inclined to not keep it later.”

It’s that care for connection that marks Hilsheimer’s approach to life and work. In finding the right fit between companies and individuals, she maintains that listening well and identifying genuine cultural alignment are the keys to success. “The bond of trust benefits us both,” she says.

A voracious curiosity about life clearly benefits Hilsheimer, 55. But she never stops searching for the stillness between her moments of busy.

“This will sound strange, but my favorite sound is silence,” she says, “I don’t even drive with music on. Life is so busy, and silence is very calming.”

Living Better: 5 things to know

Hilsheimer shares her thoughts

  1. Be an authentic listener.
  2. Let fate guide your life. But believe that fate is the optimal combination of choice and chance.
  3. Give without expectation of getting anything in return.
    Two of Hilsheimer’s favorite organizations to give to are The James Foundation Board and the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
  4. Don’t have a rigid timeline for desired accomplishments. Or you’re going to miss opportunities.
  5. Do the right thing.
    ...No matter what. It’s all about integrity.