JM Search Appoints COO and CHRO

January 31, 2024 – JM Search has named Seth Gillespie to chief operating officer and Ashley Jaspersen to chief human resources officer. “This announcement follows another year of impressive organic growth for the firm, which has more than doubled in revenue and size over the past three years,” JM Search said. “These promotions will empower this collective group to play a significant role in supporting the firm and its clients during the next phase of growth.” Mr. Gillespie is responsible for leading our growth (strategy, marketing, business development) and operational (finance, IT, and search) efforts, as well as working to improve the maturity of the overall management operating systems and cadence. His experience in transformations and ability to drive change will be an integral part of JM Search’s future. Previously, Mr. Gillespie was at SBI Growth Advisory, a management consultancy specializing in go-to-market strategy & execution.

Ms. Jaspersen will now be leading the HR function for JM Search. She has nearly 20 years of progressive HR experience in areas such as talent management, employee relations, organizational development, and HR compliance & administration. Ms. Jaspersen joined JM Search in 2018 to develop and execute a scalable human resources strategy and has since supported the firm through a tremendous period of growth, including doubling in revenue size between 2020-2022. She previously served as a business partner at Medecision, a healthcare IT firm.

In addition, Andy Siravo was promoted to partner to support the firm’s dedicated team of search experts focused on placing CFO & financial executives. JM Search has placed more than 500 financial executives in the last three years and the CFO role is expected to continue to be the firm’s top role recruited. Mr. Siravo will continue to play an instrumental role in identifying top financial leaders. He has executed search engagements across a range of industries including specialty distribution, industrial manufacturing, building products, industrial services, and consumer products.

In the consumer sector, Jim Ipema was promoted to partner. With more than 15 years of executive search experience, he has track record of identifying executives within merchandising, supply chain, ecommerce, marketing, product development, finance, and human resources for consumer retail, direct-to-consumer, and food distribution businesses.

Related: JM Search Names Co-Practice Leader for Media, Entertainment, Martech & Communications Practice

Bruce MacLane was promoted to partner and co-leads the newly launched team dedicated to serving the aviation, aerospace, and defense (AA&D) sector. Prior to joining JM Search, he led global talent acquisition for several large companies including GE Aviation, Newell Brands, and Novelis.


Supporting PE Growth & Valuation During Market Volatility
At the start of 2022, boards advised CEOs to take an aggressive approach to growth in all forms: top line revenue, margin expansion, and market share. As the year has unfolded, variables ranging from the war in eastern Europe, divisive mid-term elections in the U.S., inflation, and rising interest rates have created a drag on profitability. Now, the prevailing message is that CEOs must prepare for a potential recessionary slowdown, preserve cash, pull back on anticipated investments, and reduce growth expectations.

As growth, valuation expectations, and exit timing are reset, the conversations business leaders are having with their boards are shifting from balancing growth goals and market share expansion to capital efficiency and maintaining robust EBITDA margins, says JM Search in a new report authored by Chuck Egoville, a partner and a founding member and co-leader of the  firm’s technology practice.


Across the technology sector, Doug BowerRyan GilliganBrent Lamb, and Jeff Slade were promoted to partner. Mr. Bower specializes in recruiting C-suite and go-to-market executives for private equity-backed cybersecurity, SaaS, and tech-enabled services businesses. Mr. Gilligan has a track record of recruiting IT executive roles, including CIO, CTO, CISO, chief digital officer, and chief data officer, among others. Mr. Lamb specializes in recruiting finance and accounting executives for private and investor-backed SaaS, technology, and services companies. Mr. Slade focuses exclusively on placing leaders within the education technology and services sectors, representing investors and companies that span across early childhood, K-12, higher education, and workforce development/corporate learning.

New Level of Leadership

“Each of these individuals has earned this new level of leadership and having these roles in place will allow us to continue to deliver exceptional client service and award-winning results,” said John Marshall, CEO of JM Search.

JM Search is an advisor to CEOs, investors, and boards of directors in recruiting, assessing, and delivering high performance leaders and transformational leadership teams. Its clients include private equity firms and portfolio companies, venture capital-backed businesses, and publicly held companies across North America. Founded in 1980, the JM Search recruiting team brings together former operating and financial executives, investors and experienced search professionals with deep industry specialization, functional expertise, and proven access to talent spanning multiple industry sectors.

In December, JM Search launched a dedicated team of recruiting experts focused on supporting the aviation, aerospace, and defense sector. In a sector that has experienced strong financial performance in recent years, JM Search has witnessed an increased demand from both investors and executives for key leaders within this sector. “JM Search has a significant track record in placing executives across the industrial industry, including businesses that serve the aerospace and defense end market,” said Mr. MacLane. “By formalizing a focused team, we’re solidifying our commitment to bringing true industry expertise to every search we execute on.”

Related: JM Search Appoints Partners

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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