Press Releases

Robin Toft Takes Home the American Business Awards for Maverick of the Year, Woman of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement

San Francisco, CA, June 11, 2020 – Robin Toft, founder and CEO of Toft Group (a ZRG Company), a leading executive search firm devoted to life sciences and healthcare, won in five categories at the 2020 American Business Awards. Toft received gold for Maverick of the Year, Woman of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement, all in Business Services Industries. In addition, she was awarded silver for Best Business Book (WE CAN: The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement) and Entrepreneur of the Year – Business & Professional Services.

“I am honored to have been recognized by the American Business Awards, especially in these categories. The team that makes up the Toft Group is truly unique, and this is a major reason we are able to accomplish so much and make positive change in organizations throughout the globe. I love what we do,” said Toft in reaction to the achievements.

Larry Hartman, CEO of ZRG said, “We are proud of Robin and the entire team. Since joining our ZRG family in 2019, we have seen nothing but a high level of professionalism and passion from each member of the Toft Group. Through her leadership, Robin has built a winning team that consistently goes above and beyond for their clients. Seeing them awarded in these categories is not surprising, but it’s great that they are being acknowledged.”

Toft was awarded gold for leading Toft Group, an executive search firm playing a key role in placing top talent researching a cure for COVID-19; for her focus on diversity, including a 98% women-on-boards placement rate in 2019 (five times the national average) and a 48% placement rate for women in senior-level positions (Catalyst reports 29% of senior management roles were held by women in 2019); and for Toft Group’s speed to placement.  

In February of 2019, the “awards year,” Toft published WE CAN: The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement. Inspired by Toft’s personal experience as a career executive and her firsthand observation that most female executives are “miserable” in their careers, the book is a bold blueprint for what’s needed: decisiveness, discipline, a career map, confidence, and the power to create professional value and ask for opportunities throughout one’s career. In that same year, Toft mentored thousands of women free of charge to assist them in building careers that matter to them, both professionally and personally. In 2020, she turned WE CAN into a startup company aimed at helping women – and men – “grow from the ‘outside in.’”

For the Lifetime Achievement award in particular, Toft was recognized for her contributions in healthcare and biotech as a top executive for 20 years, working in virology and diagnostics, before starting her own company 10 years ago. Her successes include launching the first global initiative to provide access to HIV testing during the early days of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and launching and commercializing the first HIV/AIDS genotype and phenotype test to guide doctors in making correct drug combinations. The latter was key in HIV being recognized as a chronic, rather than fatal, disease.

The American Business Awards competition is one of the top two business awards in the US. Winners were announced on Monday, May 18, 2020. This year, more than 3,600 companies/entrepreneurs were nominated. The awards will be presented in a special virtual ceremony on August 5, 2020, replacing a gala that was originally scheduled at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York City.

About Toft Group Executive Search, a ZRG Company

Toft Group, headquartered in San Francisco, is an executive search firm focused on innovation-driven companies at the intersection of biotech and high tech. In November 2019, Toft Group was acquired by ZRG Partners, a global executive search firm. Toft Group’s WE CAN™ (Women’s Executive Career Advancement Network) and extensive track record of performance have proven its ability to quickly fill highly specialized leadership roles where talent is limited. For more information, please visit

About ZRG

Since 1999, ZRG’s data-driven approach to executive and professional search has been changing the way clients identify top talent. Today, ZRG is one of the fastest-growing firms in the search industry and provides a full suite of executive, middle management, project, and interim search solutions globally through its offices in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia.

ZRG’s sole focus is to match clients with the right leaders, leveraging technological innovation, years of experience, and our ability to identify quality candidates. Strong leadership effectively steers the ship of a company. It’s not uncommon for businesses to falter under sub-par leadership, and that’s where ZRG comes into play by helping firms identify and hire the right leaders. ZRG’s analytical process and collaborative culture give us the competitive edge to provide our clients with the industry advantage