Comhar Partners Appoints Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice Leader

February 23, 2021 – Chicago-based executive recruitment firm Comhar Partners has named Marion Spears Karr as managing director and leader of its healthcare and life sciences practice. He will be based in the firm’s Atlanta office. “We are excited that Marion brings a career in serving top organizations across multiple industries in the area of healthcare and life sciences,” said Bernard Layton, co-founder and managing director at Comhar Partners. “We look forward to developing and expanding our healthcare and life sciences practice. Under Marion’s guidance, we will be able to expand into new business markets, including biotech and medical devices. Attracting someone of Marion’s caliber and reputation sends a message to our clients and candidates that we are committed, even during challenging times,” he said.

Mr. Spears Karr brings over 30 years of executive recruiting and talent acquisition consulting in the healthcare industry. He joins Comhar Partners from Tyler & Company, the executive search branch of Jackson Healthcare, where he served as vice president. Before that, he was president of Avery Executive Search, a subsidiary of Avery Partners Inc., a talent and solutions company specializing in healthcare, where he directed business development efforts for healthcare executive search along with other staffing augmentation services. In 1999, Mr. Spears Karr founded ExecQuest, an executive search firm serving the healthcare sector. ExecQuest was acquired by Avery Partners in 2011.

Mr. Spears Karr says he looks forward to building and leading Comhar Partners’ healthcare and life sciences practice. He sees an opportunity to make a big difference in this mission-driven industry through his partnership with the firm. “If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that healthcare and life sciences organizations are mission-critical to the people of this country,” he said. “I can’t think of a better way to serve than to make sure these essential organizations have the absolute best leadership in place. This is a particularly challenging time for organizations to plan for and execute on their talent agenda, but I am confident that Comhar Partners will be able to help organizations do just that.”

Comhar Partners, led by former Stanton Chase executives, was formed to focus on providing recruiting solutions in consumer products and services, education and non-profit, financial services, healthcare and life science, industrial, private equity, professional services and technology industries. Besides its Chicago headquarters, the firm has specialized recruiting consultants based in seven offices across the country, including New York City, San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, South Florida and Mid-Atlantic, with additional offices to be announced in 2020.

Comhar Partners Names Sports, Higher Education, & Non-Profit Practice Leader
Comhar Partners has appointed former Chicago Bear defensive tackle Chris Zorich as leader of its newly launched sports management, higher education and non-profit recruiting practice. “Any Chicago area professional sports fan or Notre Dame alum will recognize Chris from his litany of accomplishments on and off the gridiron,” said Bernard Layton, a co-founder and managing director of the search firm.

James J. O’Malley co-founded Comhar Partners with Mr. Layton in 2019. Mr. O’Malley previously served as managing director of the Chicago office of Stanton Chase. His role centered around senior-level searches for the professional services and financial services practice groups in Chicago. For more than 25 years, Mr. O’Malley has developed talent acquisition solutions to help leadership talent align with changing business needs.

Before Stanton Chase, he was a partner and executive search practice leader at TalentRISE, a recruitment solutions firm in Chicago. Prior to that, he was senior vice president in the human resource function of Fifth Third Bancorp. Mr. O’Malley has also worked for several professional service firms, including Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, Huron Consulting and Lante.

Mr. Layton has over 30 years of mid-level and senior-level executive search experience within the consumer products, packaged goods and industrial products industries. Previously, he built and led the Chicago office of Stanton Chase. He performed over 2,200 searches spanning a wide range of senior and mid-management positions such as presidents, CEOs, partner, chief information security officer and senior vice presidents across a number of industries, with particular expertise in engineering, information technology/information security, construction, management consulting, consumer products, industrial and financial services.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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