Maureen O’Malley Rehfuss, newly named president of Career Partners International, Twin Cities, plans to expand the reach of the Bloomington-based talent management consultancy’s services.

O’Malley Rehfuss said she would like to broaden the firm’s executive coaching and leadership development services relative to its career transition services, now accounting for 60 percent of business. “We’ve been branching out to take our coaching services deeper into organizations, ” she said.

O’Malley Rehfuss, a corporate human resources leader for three decades, had used all of CPI Twin Cities’ services before joining the firm as president in 2017. As a corporate client, she sought CPI Twin Cities’ advice for onboarding new executives and taking care of transitioning leaders and employees through numerous mergers and acquisitions. Then, she said, she returned as a candidate client of the firm when she was in career transition during the Great Recession.

O’Malley Rehfuss succeeded former CPI Twin Cities CEO and owner Patricia Berg in a planned transition.

Berg bought the company in 2006 from Personnel Decisions International.

While independent, CPI Twin Cities is part of Career Partners International’s global network of 350 equity partner firms, O’Malley Rehfuss said. She has a master’s degree in industrial relations from Loyola University in Chicago.

CPI Twin Cities clients include Harris, a mechanical contractor, and Marsden Holding, a security and facility services company, both in St. Paul.

Q: What recurring themes do you see in leadership development?

A: What I’ve seen from the last couple of years and even when I was in corporate human resources is that we cannot develop the next-generation leaders fast enough. It takes years to develop talent and we have to accelerate that. So we take a blended learning approach involving traditional cohort-based leadership programs and supplement it with action learning and coaching.


Q: What advantages are there being independent and part of a global partnership?

A: We can serve our clients and meet the local needs as well as provide outreach around the globe. If we have a client that has people in California or Singapore or Ontario, we can refer them to partners in those regions and they’ll get the same type of service. We share some of the best online tools for candidates in transition.


Q: How strong is the PDI legacy at CPI Twin Cities?

A: Many of our current staff were at PDI and many of our coaches as well. We have a strong [industrial-organizational psychology] background, which is part of that PDI background.