Liz Stone Brewster, Senior Vice President, joined The Elliot Group with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including leadership roles in human resources, organizational development, training and operations. Prior to joining The Elliot Group, she led human resources and training for CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc., a multi-brand restaurant operator headquartered in Denver, Colorado. In addition, Liz has held leadership positions in growth organizations in the polished casual and casual dining segments and has worked effectively across private, private equity and franchisee domains.

We spoke to Liz about her role with Elliot’s Business Development team.

As one of the leaders of Elliot’s Business Development team, how do you foresee relationships with current and and future clients evolving with the increased adoption of artificial intelligence and social platforms? 
I do not see it changing. The Elliot Group was founded on the mission of connecting people and changing the industries we specialize in. Our greatest success comes from building deep and meaningful relationships that are genuine and trust-based. This is as inherent in our culture today as it was when Alice Elliot founded the company over 35 years ago. You cannot replace the power of a personal note or phone call with technology. We are a high-touch, relationship-based firm. We are continuously investing in innovative technology to increase speed of research, depth of analysis, and help streamline communication. However, technology cannot develop and foster relationships the way people can.

How do you see Elliot’s presence in the marketplace evolving with hiring pressures? 
Clients more than ever are looking to executive search firms as strategic partners and advisors who provide counsel on a broader business level, including organizational structure, skill and competency models for newly created leadership roles, and executive on-boarding. This requires us to be true students of the industry and requires more agility. We will continue to orchestrate and host opportunities for thought leaders to come together for impactful industry-wide discussions on business pressures and human capital strategies. As more companies are looking to capitalize on the surge of new AI-based software, more automation, and people data applications, we are seeing a shift in the organizational structure to allow for newly created roles that require complex problem-solving and cognitive abilities to manage this technology.

What are the biggest challenges you face as you compete for business in the restaurant, hospitality, and retail sectors? 
It is a competitive market, so as the labor market continues to tighten, securing the right executive has become much more difficult. There is no room for error on hiring the wrong person. Companies are looking to hire a firm who can provide a true partner approach, more collaboration, and a much higher level of communication. It is more important than ever that we continue to identify and incubate relationships with the next level of executive leadership. It is a chase for talent out there.

Why Elliot? 
I was a client of The Elliot Group; we hired Elliot for several critical executive hires over a period of several years. This offered me the unique advantage to work closely with several Elliot executive consultants. I was amazed with the level talent, professionalism, and deep level of insight into the business each Elliot executive brought to the assignment. The true partnership and level of commitment with both the client and the executives we hired far surpassed my experiences with other executive search firms. It is a great honor to work with this exceptional group of talented thought leaders and professionals.

You cannot replace the power of a personal note or phone call with technology.
Liz Stone Brewster, Senior Vice President