Billy Dexter is a Detroiter who has spent half his adult life in Chicago. He is currently a Managing Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, a global leadership advisory search firm.
Billy grew up in a tough neighborhood in Detroit’s west side with very few role models and low expectations for career success and many would say if you just read the statistics his story should not have happened.
However, it did. What Billy had was passion and a strong sense of wanting a better life and to “break the circle” of poverty and no sense of purpose. To this end, he channeled his focus to get into college after many rejections, and started his journey of making connections that developed into relationships creating many opportunities for those in his network and himself.
Billy has been called a master networker and connector and has had a great corporate career that has taken him all over the world with United Airlines, Motorola, Deloitte, Monster Worldwide, Hudson Highland Group, Viacom/MTV Networks. For the last eight years he has been connecting executive talent to major firms around the country at Heidrick & Struggles. In his book, “Making Your Net Work: Mastering the Art and Science of Career and Business Networking,” Billy and Melissa share their extensive years of research, practice and insights to pass on a proven process for making your Net Work.
Billy received numerous honors over the years and most recently, Chicago United named him a 2009 recipient of Business Leader of Color. (SHRM) Society of Human Resources Management named Billy one of the “Top 100 Global Diversity Thought Leaders” in 2008-10. Savoy Magazine awarded him the Trailblazer Award and recognized him as one of the Top 50 African American executives in 2010. Uptown Professional Magazine recognized him as one of the “Top 100 Corporate Executives” in 2012. Also in 2011, Billy received the Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from Saginaw Valley State University.
Billy serves on the board of directors of Teen Living Programs, Metropolitan Club of Chicago, Link Unlimited, National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, Executive Leadership Council, Goodman Theater and NFL Players Association.