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The kids are back in school, summer is officially over and the Finance team is getting ready to drive the 2015 budgeting process. Globally we are seeing increasing political instability; nationally we are seeing a slow, but sustained economic recovery, and in California the traffic tells us that the economy is recovering nicely, but we could really use some rain.

We continue to be busy with a variety of retained searches. As we largely serve middle market companies, we still see a lot of caution around hiring and growing headcount. We believe that the caution is prudent as hiring mistakes cost many multiples more than just the compensation outlaid. Activity in venture capital brings back some memories of 1999, but this time emerging companies are generating real revenue and a lot less credit is being extended to them. Still, we believe that there will be a talent flight to quality next year and that all companies should plan accordingly.

On a personal note, Marty and his family moved to Danville, CA this summer and Fleming celebrated his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We are having a record year business-wise and are really enjoying helping our clients compete in the talent market.

As we begin to plan for the coming year, the theme of this newsletter is around goal setting and planning — both business and personal. So enjoy your business and personal planning, and Keep Moving Forward!

Fleming Jones
[email protected]

Martin “Marty” McMahon
[email protected]

Thought Provoking Articles

Client Snapshot – Bell-Carter Foods

Bell-Carter Foods LogoFor more than 100 years, Bell-Carter has been bringing fun and flavor to America’s kitchen table. With a full line of domestic and imported olives as well as specialty condiments, Bell-Carter offers a wide variety of flavors perfect for family-favorite recipes and new culinary adventures. The fourth generation, family-run company is the second largest global producer of table olives and processes well over half of all California olives.

Headquartered in Lafayette, CA and with manufacturing operations in Corning, CA, Bell-Carter is focused on providing its customers with the best products possible, at the highest quality available.

This summer, we had the pleasure of working with Tim Carter, Bell-Carter’s CEO, to find a new Chief Financial Officer for the company. We are pleased to announce that Paul Adcock, a 25-year veteran of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, is Bell-Carter’s new Chief Financial Officer. At Dr Pepper, Paul was a key figure in turning around the underperforming West region and turning it into a highly profitable model for the rest of the company. The search was jointly led by Fleming Jones and Marty McMahon.

Recent Events

In June, we organized a discussion amongst Silicon Valley HR leaders that was led by Chris Galy, VP of Talent at Intuit. Chris shared with the group how Intuit has built the infrastructure to use big data around all talent decisions and outcome measurements in the company.

In July, we brought together Wayne Best, the Chief Economist from Visa International and Ted Egan, the Chief Economist for the City of San Francisco to address local, national and global economic trends. A summary of the discussion can be found in the news section of the FlemingMartin website or at this link: Chief Economist Panel 2014.

In August, The Institute for the Future presented their outlook for labor and the future of work to a group of San Francisco Bay Area HR executives. Also, Alessandra Murata from Skadden Arps shared best practices in drafting and negotiating employment agreements with a group of Silicon Valley executives. In September, we hosted two CFO Leader Dinners and surveyed both groups on their prognosis for the next six to twelve months.

In the San Francisco East Bay, the majority believe that the Dow will move lower than its present value in 2015. However, in Los Angeles, the majority were optimistic about the economy in general. The dialogue was enthusiastic on both sides of the argument, and all in attendance enjoyed the debate. We look forward to getting everyone’s feedback at our future dinners.

Recently Completed Searches

Bell-Carter Foods

  • Chief Financial Officer

Ekso Bionics

  • Vice President of Product Development


  • EVP Sales & Marketing


Current Searches

Public Biopharmaceutical Company

  • Corporate Controller

Public Technology Services Company

  • Director of Sales (Multiple)

Public CPG Food Company

  • Head of Human Resources

VC-Backed SaaS Company

  • VP People

PE-Owned Medical Device Company

  • SVP Marketing