PE-Backed Area Wide Protective Appoints Chief HR Officer from Search by Hanold Associates


Area Wide Protective (AWP) has appointed Dan Gillen as Chief Human Resources Officer based in North Canton, Ohio. Hanold Associates’ Katrina Prospero and Sandra Peña led the search.

Dan Gillen comes to AWP from leadership roles at IDEX Corporation and General Electric Company. Reporting to the CEO of AWP, John Sypek, Mr. Gillen will oversee all Human Resources operations throughout the entire AWP organization. He will lead a team of twenty-one HR professionals in recruitment, compliance and compensation and benefits, continuously working to develop this team and elevate the function.

“Dan is an influential leader who will be a transformative addition to Area Wide Protective’s HR team,” said Sandra Peña, Partner on the search. “Having a strong HR executive like Dan will enable Area Wide Protective to better tell their story, elevate their employer brand, continue to foster a culture of safety, and attract and retain key talent into the organization at a crucial time during the company’s growth journey. We’re excited to see the many successes of their collective efforts.”

AWP is America’s leading traffic management company. It delivers comprehensive traffic control services in support of utility repair, maintenance or construction activity on public roads. Services include traffic control and flagging; equipment rental and sales of barricades, signage or road plates; event services, i.e., traffic control for concerts, marathons or parades.

Originally founded in 1992 as a small security agency, the company has grown significantly in its nearly thirty-year history. AWP regularly acquires smaller, localized traffic companies and grows organically to serve its larger customers wherever they need it. This has caused the company to nearly double in size in the past four years, resulting in approximately $275 million in revenue in 2018. AWP has approximately 5,000 full- and part-time employees, with around 500 of those on the corporate side. Since 2015, AWP has been held by The Riverside Company, a private equity firm based in Cleveland and New York City that is focused on acquiring and investing in growing companies.

Hanold Associates is the leading retained boutique executive search firm focused on HR and Diversity & Inclusion Officers. Our client list is diverse across industries, geographies and business scenarios, and culture is at the core of everything we do. Our clients include the National Football League, Domino’s Pizza, Under Armour, Patagonia, Gucci, Kohler, REI, Live Nation Entertainment, Major League Baseball, Kellogg, Apollo, Blackstone, TPG, L Catterton, Northwestern University, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, Kohler, SC Johnson, eBay, Great Place To Work, Fossil, Vail Resorts, Edward Jones, AbbVie, Carnival Corp., Google, Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Wikimedia, CNA Insurance, Cummins, Tyson, ClubCorp, CDW, Nike and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, among others.