PDA Q&A: The E-Interview, Peter M. Bridges

Peter M. Bridges is the Senior Managing Director at the Townsend Search Group in Birmingham
Peter Bridges
Courtesy of Townsend Search Group

DB: Where are you?

PB: I’m in our Traverse City office. I came up for a meeting with a prospective client, to learn about their history and where they’re going. The company was just acquired, and I took a facility tour. We plan to work with them to strengthen their management team.

DB: How often do you visit?

PB: I try to get up here once a week, but in reality it typically works out to be twice a month. We opened our Traverse City office four years ago. The business opened in 2004 and I joined Townsend Search Group in 2006.

DB: Why Traverse City?

PB: It was a combination of things. One of my colleagues wanted to move up here. We’ve done a good job of servicing Michigan (by) successfully placing senior executives, and we saw that an office in Traverse City would strengthen our reach. People like doing business with people in their neighborhood.

DB: Did you fly?

PB: I got my private pilot’s license in 2005 and today I’m a commercial, multi-engine instrument-rated pilot. Flying a plane is incredibly efficient. If I drove here (from metro Detroit) it would take eight hours, but with the plane it’s two hours (of travel). That means I can have a whole day up here to work.

DB: How efficient is a plane?

PB: I flew two hours to Virginia to see a company in a rural location; it would have taken all day with a (commercial) flight into Atlanta and then another flight. I was able to spend time with the CEO on the plane, visit with their general manager, and meet the workers. You really get to see a company’s culture that way, and it helps a great deal when we search for a senior executive who will make the right fit.