History

Though Stiles Associates currently works in industries as diverse as healthcare, energy, and media, we are an executive search firm with a history in manufacturing. Our founder, Linford Stiles, grew up working in his father’s plant and began his own career in manufacturing shortly after earning his engineering degree from Boston’s Tufts University.

By the time Toyota opened its first US plant in the early 1980s, Lin had already shifted his career path to executive search. As a nationally recognized recruiter and later a managing partner with the international firm Ward Howell, Lin was conducting senior-level assignments across a variety of industries including manufacturing.

As interest in Toyota’s revolutionary production system increased, so too did the demand for a new breed of executives who could replicate the company’s waste-eliminating model and management system. As an engineer and former manufacturing executive, Lin recognized the simple brilliance of the Toyota Production System and directed his search efforts in support of its advancement in US industry.

In 1991, after completing some of the country’s first top-tier Lean assignments, Lin founded Stiles Associates as the country’s first firm to focus exclusively on Lean/TPS. Since then, the firm has helped some of the most progressive organizations in the world establish and advance their Lean and Operational Performance programs through the acquisition of high-impact, transformational executive talent.

Today, the professionals at Stiles Associates continue the firm’s reputation for excellence while supporting our ongoing growth and expansion into new industries.