Optimum Talent Expands Executive Search Practice

Optimum Talent Ryna Young Chris Heselton Angus McComb

May 29, 2018 – Optimum Talent has announced the addition of three new recruitment professionals to its executive search practice. Ryna Young, Chris Heselton and Angus McComb further strengthen the lineup of the Toronto-based firm.

“Attracting established executive search professionals like Ryna, Chris, and Angus to Optimum Talent says a lot about our firm’s growing reputation,” said Peter Zukow, the firm’s president for the central region. “Our origins date back four decades, but we’ve experienced a real increase in momentum in the last few years.”

He called the trio “experts at what they do,” with the experience to prove it. “They understand the talent market in Toronto as well as the value that an integrated talent management firm can bring clients,” said Mr. Zukow. “One of our firm’s objectives is to attract best-in-class talent, and we’ve absolutely achieved that with Ryna, Chris and Angus.”

Proven Professionals

Ms. Young brings nearly 20 years of recruitment and executive search experience in the financial services, insurance, not-for-profit and public sectors to her new role as vice president of executive search. She has a reputation for placing leaders in roles in which they have excelled and added value in a short period of time. “As a result, she is viewed by clients as a trusted advisor who understands the importance of achieving goals while managing risk and supporting strategic business objectives,” said the firm.

Mr. Heselton also joins Optimum Talent as a vice president of executive search. With an expertise in financial services, technology, venture capital and start-ups, he has partnered with organizations across North America, ranging from Fortune 100 organizations to start-ups. “He is known for his ability to develop an intimate knowledge of his clients’ business model, competitive landscape, culture and market niche,” said the firm.


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Mr. McComb becomes manager of executive search and will oversee the business unit’s research functions in order to maintain success rates and optimize delivery timeframes. Angus’ candidate identification and engagement methodologies have proven highly effective in delivering top talent for clients across industries, including: insurance, wealth management, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing, pharma and healthcare.

Still Growing

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.

Recently, the firm appointed Samantha Wood as vice president and market leader of executive search and recruitment solutions in central Canada.

“Welcoming Samantha to the firm is a big win for Optimum Talent,” said Mr. Zukow. “She brings with her tremendous industry knowledge and a great reputation as a leader, which is exactly what we need as we continue to expand our business in Central Canada. Samantha is known for delivering on client needs, aligning and motivating her team, and optimizing business operations. That’s a powerful trifecta of abilities that we’re certain will benefit our clients and our firm.”

A New Portal

Ms. Wood has 12 years of executive search and recruitment experience throughout North America, with expertise across multiple functions including sales, administration, marketing, operations and engineering in the public and private sectors. Her expertise spans multiple functions in both public and private sector including sales, administration, marketing, operations and engineering at the director level through to the C-suite.

Late last year, Optimum Talent launched a new bilingual career management portal designed to reduce the average length of an employee transition, minimize the emotional impact of the role departure and equip users with the skills to manage their careers. The portal, which is a cloud-based platform, features a new twist on standard tools such as resume development and interview preparation. What makes it unique, according to Optimum Talent, is how the portal has incorporated its neuro-management expertise to help clients manage the emotional impact of a transition and increase personal awareness. By helping clients effectively deal with the emotional component of their transition, they’re able to move on faster, which ultimately makes them more effective in their job search, said the firm.

The firm also recently named Mike Bacchus as its new chief executive officer. He takes over the role from Ronald Dahms who becomes a senior advisor.

The Right Person

Mr. Bacchus had been serving as Optimum’s president for western Canada. He joined the firm after serving as CEO of Conroy Ross Partners, which Optimum acquired in January. He has over 20 years of experience at the senior management level, including as president of David Aplin Group.

“I am thrilled to have Mike step into the role of CEO,” said Mr. Dahms. “He is a tremendous leader who is passionate about creating a strong internal culture and has a great ability to translate his vision and strategy into reality. The company has a tremendous opportunity for growth over the next few years as the largest Canadian-owned, integrated talent management firm, and Mike is the right person to lead the business to achieve its goals.”

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

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