Recruiting Success Stories

It’s been a remarkable summer for Leap Solutions recruiting. Here, we highlight four of our recent success stories because we’re not only proud of our accomplishments and delighted to match our clients with their ideal candidates, but we’re also struck by the uniqueness and complexities of each search. There’s no cookie-cutter approach to what we do at Leap Solutions, as no two recruitments are alike.

Six-Week Sprint

When United Way of the Wine Country needed a new CEO—and fast—they partnered with Leap Solutions. They wanted a candidate with high-level strategy and vision, and they preferred someone local, if possible.

Vital to their recruiting success was the formation of an unusually diverse search committee representing a variety of industries and perspectives. Some members brought to the table extensive experience and knowledge in interviewing and hiring, while others took advantage of Leap’s seasoned guidance and interview coaching. “Each committee member was looking for something a little different, so when we unanimously agreed, within minutes, that our candidate was the right person, we had a lot of confidence,” recalls Karissa Kruse, United Way of the Wine Country’s 2018-2019 board chair. (They were so confident, in fact, that the candidate was still making her way home from the interview when she got the call!)

While there was a sense of urgency throughout, the process never felt rushed. From job description and posting to candidate screenings and in-person interviews, Leap kept everyone focused and on target, accommodated busy summer schedules for all parties, and recommended several stellar candidates. In just six short weeks, Kruse happily reports, Leap helped land “the perfect leader to take the United Way of Wine Country to the next level.”

Congratulations to Lisa Carreno, CEO and president, United Way of the Wine Country!


Slow and Steady

With an interim CEO in place, Canine Companions for Independence had the luxury of time for their executive search. They turned to Leap Solutions for our strong nonprofit background and national reach, and, together, we launched a massive national search for their ideal new CEO.

Leap used traditional and non-traditional advertising methods, sifted through hundreds of resumes, formed a robust search committee spread across the country, and employed a variety of committee interview techniques (from phone to video conferencing to face to face) with the most promising candidates. Success wasn’t immediate, says Chris Kittredge, national board member for Canine Companions for Independence, but the Leap team was “persistent and thorough, and they maintained an incredible calmness and an appropriate sense of humor” to stay the course.

Leap’s connections and ability to see candidates beyond their resumes led to additional, better-fit candidates. To whittle those down, Leap asked the final candidates to give a 15-20-minute presentation. Hands down, one “knocked it out of the park,” says Kittredge. “I am absolutely thrilled and can’t wait for our new CEO to start!”

Congratulations to Paige Mazzoni, CEO, Canine Companions for Independence!



Locally Sourced

Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau looked to Leap Solutions when they needed to fill an unexpected Executive Director vacancy. They were eager to get a new leader in place in order to move forward with business planning and strategy during their busiest season.

We didn’t have the time to go through the usual job posting channels. But because the Leap team is deeply connected in the community and knows so many people in the industry, we were able to quietly and quickly source a solid selection of local candidates.

“There’s no way we could have done this without the Leap team,” says Hunt Bailie, board president of Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau. “They were our sounding wall, but they didn’t just repeat what we said. They walked us through the emotional parts and were strong enough to come back with, ‘let’s think about the direction you initially asked us to go—does this person really fit?’ Ultimately, I was very impressed.”

From the candidate’s perspective, Leap was equally invested in ensuring the perfect match. “The Leap team was very good at talking not just about the position, but about the entire process, the organizational culture, and the opportunities that it presented to me and my career,” says Tim Zahner, the newly hired Executive Director. “There was no overselling of anything—just honest discussion so that I was informed, prepared and ready not just for the interview but for the job.”

Congratulations to Tim Zahner, Executive Director, Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau!


Partners Beyond

When Los Cien Sonoma County made the momentous decision to hire their first-ever paid employee as an Executive Director, they knew they needed the kind of customized support, coaching and executive search services that only Leap could provide.

For nine years, Los Cien had been a volunteer-led startup. “We needed somebody with the depth and breadth of background to succeed in our startup setting and be a strong fit with our founder and chair, founding board members and board of directors,” says Lisa Carreno, board member of Los Cien Sonoma County. The Leap team coached them to identify what they genuinely wanted from the position; heard and addressed their concerns and fears; and sourced quality candidates, including standout Magali Telles, who now serves as Executive Director of Los Cien Sonoma County. “Through Leap,” says Carreno, “we got exactly the right person at the right time.”

After walking the board through every step of this meaningful hire and milestone placement, Leap continues to partner with Los Cien. We’re coaching Telles through the transition, aiding in establishing connections and more. “I feel like I’ve grown so much that I can’t even articulate it,” she says. “I’m very grateful to the Leap team for helping me live up to this huge responsibility to the community.”

Congratulations to Magali Telles, Executive Director, Los Cien Sonoma County!


These success stories illustrate just how much we tailor our recruiting services and processes to our individual clients. We never lose sight of what you want and need in a position, we meet your timeline, we guide you skillfully through every step, and we leave no stone unturned in finding and placing your perfect fit.



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