Search Wizards Appoints President

Search Wizards Appoints Eric Winegardner President

October 31, 2017 – Executive recruitment firms have made a number of top leadership appointments since the start of the year, many focused on strategy, growth, branding efforts and operations.

The latest: Search Wizards, a specialist in “recruiting for recruiters,” has named Eric Winegardner as president. He will be responsible for day-to-day operations, developing and launching new service offerings and expanding the Search Wizards’ brand to offer more global coverage in all areas of talent acquisition.

Mr. Winegardner is a recruiting industry veteran. His career has included leadership roles in niche staffing, Fortune 500 corporate recruiting as well as the talent acquisition vendor space. Prior to joining Search Wizards, he was senior vice president at Monster Worldwide.

“I have known Eric for several years and have always admired his ability to analyze and predict market trends,” said Leslie O’Connor, founder and CEO. “His background has provided him a unique ability to decipher talent acquisition from all perspectives – corporate, vendor, service provider – and translate those insights into avenues for success. He has built a stellar reputation in both the HR and talent acquisition communities, and has combined that with deep executive level relationships.”

“He brings incredible energy and focus to each and every endeavor that he tackles, and I have no doubt that he will incite a new and exciting energy into Search Wizards as we continue to grow and rise to the next level,” Ms. O’Connor said. “Our current clients have an appetite for more from us, including global expansion, MSP offerings and direct hire capabilities. He will provide the leadership, guidance and foresight to take us to the next level, creating more opportunity for existing and new clients to meet their domestic and global needs to expand their talent acquisition teams.”

Mr. Winegardner said this is an opportune time to take on his new role. “I am honored to join Search Wizards at a time when the marketplace for talent is exploding,” he said. “The company has a powerful reputation in this industry and is primed for both regional and global expansion. There is also clear opportunity to expand our portfolio within talent acquisition by providing a dedicated focus on executive search, direct hire, payroll services and managed service programs.”

Leadership Appointments Rising at Search Firms

Leadership appointments have been gaining traction at executive search firms in recent months. Here’s a look at several taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

U.K.-based executive search and interim firm Holmes Noble appointed Donna Chapman as its CEO. Her experience at board level includes mergers and acquisitions, commercial directorship, HR, talent strategies and growth through successful leadership for listed companies, privately-owned and private equity-backed organizations.

Non-profit executive recruiters Higher Talent appointed Mindy Cohen as president and managing partner. Ms. Cohen has been instrumental in establishing the firm’s dedication to educational institutions and non-profits across the country over the past 15 years. She has recruited senior executives, nationally and internationally, for non-profit organizations…

Lois L. Lindauer Searches (LLLS) named Deb Taft as its new CEO. The carefully planned changeover comes as the firm celebrates its 20th anniversary. Chosen by founder Lois L. Lindauer to lead the firm into the next era, Ms. Taft brings over 25 years senior-level development and executive management experience to the role.

Sales-focused executive recruitment provider TwentyPine has promoted Jamie Coakley to CEO. In her new role she is responsible for leading growth strategy and execution of the company’s long-term vision across operations, sales and marketing. Ms. Coakley has a history of re-energizing growth and profitability for mature recruiting and staffing companies.

Heidrick & Struggles recently named Krishnan Rajagopalan as its new president and CEO. Mr. Rajagopalan has served as acting CEO since Tracy Wolstencroft took a medical leave of absence in April. Based in Washington, D.C., 57-year-old Mr. Rajagopalan also leads the firm’s executive committee. He has been with Heidrick for 16 years.

San-Francisco-headquartered executive search firm O’Rourke & Associates appointed Rebecca Bower as president. Ms. Bower is widely regarded as a top leadership advisor with a career that spans nearly 25 years in human resources, management, training and sales. O’Rourke & Associates specializes in credit union industry recruiting.

Ratliff & Taylor appointed Beth Sweeney as its president, where she now has full profit-and-loss responsibility for each of the company’s three practices: executive search, leadership development and career transition. Ms. Sweeney previously served as market president at the firm.

Executive search firm Cobalt Recruitment tapped James Wakefield as its CEO. Mr. Wakefield joined Cobalt in 2007 coming from the management team at Michael Page in London. In 2009, Mr. Wakefield moved to the UAE to help Cobalt establish a presence in the region, and in 2014 he was promoted to international managing director.

Witt/ Kieffer named Andrew P. Chastain as its new CEO taking over from Charles “Chuck” W.B. Wardell who remains a senior advisor to the firm. Mr. Chastain has been with the firm since 1997 and previously served as managing partner and chairman of its healthcare practice. He assumed the CEO role in July, and plans to remain active in healthcare.

McDermott & Bull appointed Brandon Biegenzahn as its new president. Mr. Biegenzahn has been one of the top producers at McDermott & Bull for several years and leads the firm’s financial institutions practice.

SRiCheyenne named Jay Hussey as CEO. Chief executive and founder, Pat Mastandrea, has moved into a new role at the firm as vice chairman. He joined SRiCheyenne from Odgers Berndston where he led the firm’s U.S. technology and digital transformation practices.

Legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA) and executive search firm Allegis Partners named John Cashman as president. In his new role, Mr. Cashman will head strategic efforts to elevate the business of both firms, jointly owned by Allegis Group, a global talent solutions leadership provider. Since joining Major, Lindsey & Africa in 2005, Mr. Cashman has risen through the ranks as a recruiter, manager and leader.

Eric Salmon & Partners announced that its long-standing president, Massimo Milletti, has handed over management of the search firm to two partners who will co-head the partnership. Sophie Wigniolle from the firm’s Paris office will lead together with Raoul Nacke, a managing director in Frankfurt.

JR Partners named Josh Gonnella as president and senior managing partner. He joins founding partner and chief operating officer Joe Wein to lead the organization. He brings experience and a diverse career in financial services to the firm. Prior to accepting his new position, he held senior managing director roles at Lloyds Bank.

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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