Gene Rice, Chairman, Co-Founder & CEO
The Chairman and Co-Founder of Rice Cohen International, Gene Rice, has been in the recruiting industry for nearly 30 years and has been recognized as one of the top Executive Search professionals in the world. He has completed over 1,000 retained searches which have included 211 in the C-suite. Having also filled over 300 Partner, Principal, and Director level searches in the Management Consulting, Performance Improvement, and EdTech verticals, Gene is considered to be the #1 search executive in the space. He has even been recognized by Recruiter.com as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the History of the Executive Recruiting Industry.”
Gene also co-founded Rice Cohen Training & Consulting, the largest training firm focused on improving the skills of executive recruiters. Their training series, “The 25 Common Traits of the Big Billers”, was developed after interviewing over 400 top executive recruiters and has been used by over 2,300 companies worldwide. Gene is very passionate about this space and believes in supporting the industry he loves. He has become an Executive Coach to the CEO’s of many search firms.
Gene’s working career began while attending St. John’s University in New York. Starting as a bartender, he grew to manage and eventually own Rock & Roll clubs on Long Island. He prided himself on only booking original acts and some of the bands he had play live included The Ramones, Stray Cats, Richie Havens, Bo Diddley, Herman’s Hermits, Joan Jett and Cyndi Lauper. After getting engaged to Michele he decided to leave the club business and pursue a career in corporate America. He joined a division of Alcatel, an international Fortune 100 firm, where he was promoted four times in a six-year span and eventually grew to be one of their Senior Executives responsible for hundreds of employees.
As an active member of the community, Gene finds various ways to give back and contribute. He created a summer internship program at RCI that hires college students each year whom he enjoys the opportunity to share “Gene’s Life Lessons” with on a weekly basis. He also has volunteered his time to coach an AAU basketball team that was sponsored by Under Armour and from which seven players received full scholarships to college. Gene carries a strong belief that successful people have an obligation to give back and allocates time each week for pro bono calls as an Executive Coach. After years of being involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation and serving on the board, Gene and his wife Michele founded the Plant A Seed, Inspire A Dream Foundation. This is a 501 c-3 non-profit that helps to allow financially challenged youth to pursue their passions. Since being founded in 2008, the foundation has awarded over 700 scholarships and has been featured in People Magazine
In his current role as Chairman of Rice Cohen International, Gene is responsible for strategy, innovation, and international expansion.