Robin Toft, Founder/CEO, Toft Group Executive Search Wins Three Gold American Business Awards Maverick of Year – Woman of Year – Lifetime Achievement

Robin Toft, the Founder and CEO of Toft Group, a leading executive search firm fully devoted to life sciences and healthcare, won Gold, the top award, in the American Business Awards for 2020. Toft won in three categories: Maverick of the Year; Woman of the Year and Lifetime Achievement – all in Business Services Industries.

Winners were announced on Monday May 18th, 2020. This year, a total of 3,600 companies/entrepreneurs entered the awards; the American Business Award competition is one of the top two business awards in the U.S. 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. 

Toft won 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, which is five times the national average; and a 48% placement rate for women in senior level positions (Catalyst reports 29% of senior management roles held by women in 2019); and for Toft Group’s speed to placement.  

In February of 2019, the awards “year,” Toft published a diversity-based book titled WE CAN, The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement. Inspired by Toft’s personal experience as a career executive, coupled with her first-hand 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 your career. In 2019, Toft has mentored 1000s of women free-of-charge to assist them in building careers that matter to them, both professionally and personally.

The nomination included keynote addresses for major corporations, non-profit organizations and universities, including Qualcomm; Illumina; the top conferences for next -gen women leaders as well as in biotech and precision medicine.

For the Lifetime Achievement award in particular, Toft’s contributions in healthcare and biotech as a top executive for 20 years, working in virology and diagnostics, before starting her company ten years ago, played a part. These included 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 becoming a chronic disease and no longer a fatal one.

In 2020, Toft turned WE CAN into a start-up company aimed at helping women – and men – “grow from the ‘outside IN.’” 

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 has proven its ability to quickly fill highly specialized leadership roles where talent is limited. For more information, please visit