As a partner at Tatum, Fitz Hoskins leads a team tasked with parachuting into companies to fill executive vacancies.
One of Tatum's main services is to give clients "breathing room" as they recruit the best candidate for a position like chief financial officer, said Hoskins, whose mission is developing business for the firm's newly opened Baltimore office, a five-person operation formally announced last week.
A subsidiary of global temporary staffing company Randstad, Tatum has run its Mid-Atlantic operation from Vienna, Va., but recently launched new bases here and in Richmond, Va. The firm's clients include MedStar, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and YMCA of Maryland.
"There's a lot of economic activity and business at this location and [the firm] felt it was important for us to establish a presence," Hoskins said.
The 51-year-old is no stranger to proving himself in new situations.
In 10th grade, he left his home in Cleveland for a scholarship at Phillips Academy Andover, an elite Massachusetts boarding school. Hoskins' parents, with jobs in construction and cleaning, never graduated from high school. His classmates included John F. Kennedy Jr., son of the president.
"It's one thing to go from being the top of the class … and then be thrown into an environment where everyone was the top of the class and having to compete in a way that I wasn't accustomed to," Hoskins said. "I learned some very valuable skills from being in that environment."
Hoskins came to Baltimore in 2002, working for Comptroller Joan Pratt as director of the city's communication services for a few years before a series of information technology positions at health companies.
Being a minority motivated him to succeed, Hoskins said, but also was limiting because there were so few examples to follow.
"When I was coming up, you felt you were up against something and trying to break through something," he said. "With my kids, I think [race] is much, much less a factor. They're growing up and the only president they know of is Barack Obama, so there are no excuses. You can be, do what you want."
Title: Partner at Tatum
Residence: Mount Vernon
Education: B.S. in electrical engineering, Brown University, 1985; MBA, Case Western Reserve University, 1990
Family: Wife, Nicole Greenridge-Hoskins; son, Ethan, 14; daughter, Erin, 10
Other: Volunteer at Mount Vernon's Emmanuel Episcopal Church