Closeup of businessman making decision. How to Choose an Executive Recruiting Firm.

When a company has an important high-level opening, there are several ways to evaluate which type of executive recruiting firm will be best-suited to perform the search. Some companies may elect to work with firms that recruit for specific functions — finance is a good example — like CFOs or Controllers. Those recruiters would source for candidates who have held that position in another company, but not necessarily within the opening’s industry.

Bristol’s specialty falls into a second category; our clients will often choose to work with us because we have depth of industry knowledge. For example, a food production enterprise or hospital may be specifically looking for someone with a background in those industries.

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Established in 1988, the Stars Behavioral Health Group is a for-profit Behavioral and Mental Health organization with over 22 Program sites in California. They are mindful of succession in their company as several senior executives will be exiting within the next few years. Last year, their CFO retired and the existing Controller was promoted to that role. Stars needed to find a new Controller who would be based in the Bay Area.

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Movin’ on Up! Bristol Promotions and New Hire. Image shows audience applauding.

This year, Bristol Associates is celebrating its 50th year in business. Started by Jim and Sandie Bright in 1967, then passed to Jim Bright, Jr. and Lucy Farber, Bristol is proud of its heritage and the fact that it is still helmed by family. Today, Bristol is led by President Ben Farber, nephew of Jim, Jr. and Lucy, and his cousin, Nora Bright, Executive VP and granddaughter of Jim and Sandie.

In addition, the Bristol team can boast of the long tenure of two of its recruiters, Kelly Nelson and Peter Stern. Kelly, recently promoted to Senior Vice President, began working at Bristol in 1995 and Peter Stern, also just promoted to Senior Vice President, has been with the company since 1989.

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Executive Recruiter Bristol Associates places new VP Operations for Munchery. Image shows Munchery logo.

San Francisco-based Munchery, the leader in gourmet-quality home-meal delivery, is ramping up for growth. Their dynamic new CEO, James Beriker, is assembling a top executive team. Backed by VC firms: Sherpa Capital, Menlo Ventures and e.Ventures, Munchery placed an order for a Vice President of Operations…and Bristol Associates delivered. Peter Stern, Bristol SVP and Food Industry Executive Recruiter, handled the assignment. As desired by the client, new VP Operations, Gopal Vashist, brings a wealth of culinary experience  and continuous improvement skills necessary for expanding capacity while maintaining impeccable product quality and delivery service. Eat Better!

Bristol Associates is an executive search firm with a 49-year history of excellence. Bristol specializes in recruiting for companies and candidates in the casino gaming, food manufacturing, hospital/healthcare, hotels/resorts, travel/tourism/attractions, facilities/concessions, restaurant and nonprofit/arts businesses.

To view Peter Stern’s LinkedIn Profile, click here.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer, or here if you’re a job seeker.


Ask a Recruiter: What Do You Wish You Never Had to Tell a Candidate. Illustration of an Executive Recruiter rejecting a candidate.

There are probably a million reasons a candidate doesn’t get hired. Some reasons lay with the client (the opening has been put on hold), and some rest with the candidate (lack of relevant experience, for example). As executive recruiters, the Bristol team regularly interacts with clients and candidates so they’ve got their fingers on the pulse. We’ve included feedback from the employer and from the recruiters themselves. We polled three of our recruiters: President Ben Farber, Sr. Vice President Peter Stern and our newest addition, Associate Account Executive Sean Parry to find out the news they hate to deliver to a candidate. 

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Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts, founded in 1985, is the leading US manufacturer of premium mochi ice cream. On January 4th of this year, Bubbies was sold by its original owner to private equity firm Kenex Holdings. Bristol Associates’ Peter Stern, on a very tight timeline, was tasked with upgrading the executive team to successfully manage the growth and expansion of Bubbies. Kenex wanted a Sales and Marketing-oriented President/CEO with broad consumer products executive experience and sound strategic vision to ignite growth and profitability.

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Bristol Associates.Interviewer holding up sign with question mark

There’s a lot riding on the interview. The resume is in and suitability has been examined — the candidate seems like a good fit. But it’s during the interview where an employer really gets a chance to interact with the person they’re considering hiring. There’s talk of skills, of expertise, of relevant experience. But asking the right questions — to understand if this candidate is the right candidate — is priority #1.

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Social Media and Getting Hired (or Not) illustration of magnifying glass and social media on computerby Nora Bright

Social media and our online presence is an ever-increasing phenomenon. People on both sides of hiring, employers and candidates, spend more and more time engaged online. Candidates are looking for openings and researching companies; employers are looking for candidates and evaluating them, via social media, for potential hires.

As a candidate, similar to how you represent yourself in real life — your personal rules of conduct — your online self represents you, too.

According to CareerBuilder’s Annual Social Media Recruitment Survey, the number of employers using social media to screen candidates has increased 500% over the last decade. Now, 60% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.

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Coaches, Consultants, Recruiters – Building a Job Search Support System

Nora Bright, Vice President at Bristol Associates: “I recently met Alyson Garrido through a mutual friend and was thrilled to have a strong career coach to whom we could refer candidates. We often find that job seekers are unclear on the difference between a career coach and executive recruiter — which is why it’s great to have someone we can send candidates to when they need guidance that goes beyond the scope of our work as executive recruiters. In this guest post, Alyson sheds some light on what a career coach does and how it’s different from the role of both recruiters and consultants.”

by Alyson Garrido, Career Coach

Friends, bosses, coworkers, therapists, mentors — the list of people who can help you in your job search can seem endless. When it’s time to enlist a professional, I see many misconceptions about what a coach, consultant and recruiter do. Each serves a unique and beneficial role in helping a candidate land their next role.

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Bristol Associates places Nevielle Pathanky at IHOP/DineEquity

Al and Jerry Lapin opened their first International House of Pancakes in 1958. Five decades later, there are 1,650 IHOP restaurants across the globe. IHOP’s parent company, DineEquity, also owns the Applebee’s brand name.

Bristol has worked extensively with DineEquity, having placed ten candidates within 2016 alone when Applebee’s moved their offices from Kansas to Glendale, CA. So when DineEquity started looking for a new Vice President of Culinary and Menu Strategy, they contacted Bristol’s Steven Kessler. DineEquity defined the role as fit for an effective leader and innovator who could help grow and differentiate the IHOP brand and experience.

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