Most search firms have their roots in either human resources (HR) or in a particular business function, such as accounting or engineering. Firms in the former group often have a generalist practice, whereas firms in the latter group frequently confine their practice areas to the functional spheres out of which they arose. Some firms, however, have a foothold in both HR and one or more functional areas or industries, and draw on the diversity of their experience to better serve a broad range of clients in an array of business functions and sectors.
Torch Group is such a firm, as demonstrated by the backgrounds of its founders and principals, who have deep roots both in human resources and in functional areas such as marketing, sales, communications, and general management, as well as first-hand functional and search expertise in industries as diverse as foodservice, food equipment, building materials, B2B manufacturing, software development, and information technology and services.
Founded on the East Coast in 1990 by Ronald S. Torch, the company’s president and CEO, Torch Group began as a marketing consultancy that drew on Ron’s extensive experience as a brand manager and marketing strategist at Fortune 500 Foodservice and Packaged Goods companies such as Pepsi-Cola, Kraft Foods, and Seagram’s to provide expert marketing counsel to a variety of national clients.
In the mid-1990s, Michele Torch—the company’s current Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer, as well as a former senior HR manager in the consumer products, finished goods, and banking sectors—joined the company, and Torch Group transformed itself into a search consultancy and grew its practice to address functions, industries, business sectors, within Michele’s realm of experience. At this time, Ron and Michele developed the company’s comprehensive Signature Search Process™ and introduced the use of its competency-based behavorial interview protocol, among other innovations. In the years since, Torch Group has become a nationally recognized executive search firm known for delivering executive talent such as CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CMOs, CIOs, CTOs, EVPs, and SVPs to large, mid-sized, and small businesses and organizations across North America.
Recently, Torch Group has expanded its areas of special focus to the software, hardware, and information technology sectors through the acquisition of the highly respected Selker Leadership and the addition of its founder, Greg Selker—formerly of the celebrated search firms CTPartners and Christian and Timbers—to its leadership team as Senior Vice-President and Search Operations Leader, enabling it to optimize its delivery of a flawless client experience and to strengthen its commitment to high-profile C-level and board-level search.
Now, in its third decade, Torch Group looks forward to building on its recent unprecedented growth, to expanding the breadth of functions and industries addressed by its executive search offerings, and to providing the personalized “white glove” service that enables it to supply mission-critical executive talent that can make a difference to its clients’ businesses.