Optimum Talent Appoints VPs in Manitoba and Toronto

January 24, 2020 – Toronto-headquartered Optimum Talent has expanded with the additions of Mark Shayna as vice president and market leader of executive search in Manitoba and Debbi Ragogna as vice president of executive search in Toronto.

Mr. Shayna has had a 30-year career in sales and recruitment. After 12 years working with Xerox Corp., Baxter Corp. and Pharmacia, he made the leap into recruitment where he built a $5 million dollar operation covering just Manitoba, with a focus on recruitment in both retained and contingent perm and executive search. Previously, Mr. Shayna was vice president and managing partner of the Winnipeg region for David Alpin Group.

“We view Mark joining the firm as a win on two fronts,” said Mike Bacchus, CEO of Optimum Talent. “First, we’re thrilled to be able to provide his expertise and local industry knowledge to our clients; and secondly, Mark joining the firm represents the opening of our first office in Manitoba. I had the pleasure of working with Mark for many years at another firm, so I have seen firsthand the value that Mark delivers to his clients and how his expertise truly impacts their organizations.”

Ms. Ragogna holds a bachelor’s degree from Lake Superior State University in Michigan. After an internship at Toronto General Hospital, she transitioned into the recruitment industry where she fine-tuned her skills at Korn Ferry, Odgers Berndtson and Signium. During her 15 years in recruitment, Ms. Ragogna has completed over 300 searches, most at the CEO, president, vice president, CFO, general manager and board member level.

“We are thrilled to welcome someone with Debbi’s experience and positivity to the firm,” said Peter Zukow, president, central region at Optimum Talent. “She has a reputation for being high energy and genuinely passionate about the work she does, which in my experience is always a winning combination for our clients.”

Growing Search Firm

Optimum Talent’s Canadian team is comprised of more than 260 colleagues in 13 offices nationwide, from Vancouver to Halifax. Internationally, the firm has a strategic partnership with Career Star Group to deliver coaching, career transition and change management solutions.

Optimum Talent is a provider of human resources consulting services with expertise in career management, career transition, coaching, executive search and organizational psychology. With origins dating back over 40 years, the company has grown to over 260 colleagues operating in 13 offices.

In October, the firm added Jeff Cole as vice president of client relations and commercial development. He is responsible for collaborating with organizations in designing talent management solutions involving evaluation, leadership development as well as recruitment and career transition and management.

“Jeff has an impressive background in terms of leadership, learning and development as well as talent management experience,” said Marie Pinsonneault, president of Eastern Canada at Optimum Talent. “He is recognized in the market for his insight and sensitivity concerning client business needs. His ability to ascertain business challenges and propose effective, adapted solutions based on organizational needs will be an asset to Optimum Talent and our clients.”

Optimum Talent also partnered with CareerJSM to develop Thrive, a software-driven solution that makes learning a key priority during career transition.

“Thrive represents the future of outplacement and career transition. Over the past decade, we have seen rapid changes in the job market and outplacement support has not kept pace, until now.” said Mr. Bacchus. “The needs of our clients and job seekers have evolved. Upskilling, reskilling, flexibility and affordability are now top priorities, and Thrive addresses those priorities first and foremost.”

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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