Optimum Talent Names Leader of Executive Search for Central Canada

Optimum Talent Samantha Wood

February 22, 2018 – Toronto-headquartered Optimum Talent has 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. 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,” said Peter Zukow, the firm’s president of the central region. “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.”

Ms. Wood brings 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.

“I believe in doing what’s best for my clients and that goes beyond finding them the right talent,” said Ms. Wood. “My colleagues, the culture of the firm where I work and the services we offer collectively influence the quality of the experience my clients’ have.”

Previously, Ms. Wood served as managing partner, recruitment solutions at Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge, where she worked closely with human capital consultants to provide top talent. Before that, she was managing director, Toronto and national business development manager, at Ontario-based executive search firm Stoakley-Stewart Consultants. In that role, Ms. Wood led a team of recruiters that specialized in different industries and functions.


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Growing Organization

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 company 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.


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In October, Optimum named Mike Bacchus as CEO.  He replaced Ronald Dahms, who now serves as a senior advisor for the firm. Mr. Bacchus had been Optimum’s president for Western Canada. He joined the firm after serving as CEO of Conroy Ross Partners, which Optimum acquired last year. He has over 20 years of experience at the senior management level, including as president of David Aplin Group.

“Mike 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,” said Ronald Dahms, Optimum’s former CEO. “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.

Optimum also named Peter Zukow as president of central Canada and Matt Goff as vice president of client solutions within its leadership assessment and development practice. Over the past 21 years, Mr. Zukow has been a driving force behind Canadian executive search firm Conroy Ross Partners.

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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