The Ascend Advantage
What We Do What We Do

What We Do

Ascend is a woman-owned, retainer-based executive search consulting firm founded to find exceptional talent to fill senior roles for board
directors and senior executives. We are trusted advisors to our clients helping them acquire outstanding talent from the C-suite and partner through director levels. We do not represent individuals, but pro-actively seek out passive candidates with specific experience that ideally fit defined roles. We work with clients on global searches throughout North America and EMEA, and have reach to critical growth areas including Asia and Latin America.
How We Do It How We Do It

How We Do It

At Ascend, all searches are partner-led – from research and outreach through interviews and references. With almost twenty years of recruiting
experience, we have an extensive network of sources, yet always approach each assignment with original research and a rigorous candidate mapping process. We work to discreetly and aggressively locate, identify, and evaluate all candidates whom we believe to be appropriate for the position, shepherd them through interviews, conduct detailed references, facilitate offers, and help our clients make great hires.
Why We're Different Why We're Different

Why We're Different

Partner led searches throughout the entire process – If you work with an Ascend partner, you get that partner and not a junior associate.
•  No onerous off-limits — Our size enables us to be nimble but thorough in our searches and also gives us virtually unlimited access for us to find candidates.
•  Industry knowledge — We have experience fulfilling searches in most functional areas for industries where we have deep market knowledge.
•  Long-term relationships with select clients —  We aspire to become an extension of our client’s organization — search partners, not vendors. The majority of our assignments come from ongoing work from satisfied clients or from their referrals.
•  We are good at what we do — We always deliver and will not leave our client’s with an unfilled position. We help our client hire executives who will succeed.
Our Leadership
Anna McCormick Kelch
Anna McCormick Kelch
Managing Partner


Our Team
Stephen Buchanan
Stephen Buchanan
Partner
Joanna Reesby
Joanna Reesby
Partner
Dante Sucgang
Dante Sucgang
Partner
Franca Virgili
Franca Virgili
Partner
Ginny Hood
Ginny Hood
Associate Partner
Kay Kaleba
Kay Kaleba
Associate Partner
Practice Areas
Clients
Testimonials
Since 2007 I have partnered with Ascend to fill numerous critical leadership roles. Their sophisticated yet transparent ability to learn our specific needs, comb their stout network, and deliver the best-in-class talent when others have struggled is the reason why Ascend has been my Senior Executive Search Consultant of choice. Each of the executives I’ve hired with Ascend on my side has been a dynamic performer that delivered on the requirements needed. One of the most important decisions I constantly make is who to have on the team, Ascend is a mainstay on my privileged list! Richard Pineda, CEO, Spear Inc. and former President, Dell Government Services
I have worked with Ascend on a number of searches over the years, helping me to identify, recruit and hire outstanding senior executive talent for roles at prestigious federal contractor companies. Ascend’s understanding of the federal marketplace, their commitment to outstanding service, never quitting until the job is done, and going after the great, “passive” candidates who may not have been looking for a change – is what differentiates them in my mind. Their “white glove” service levels applied to how their treat both their clients and candidates is truly remarkable, and the fact that their partners get their hands dirty in the search project execution work makes them more successful. Val Lyons, Executive Vice President, CACI
Ascend has been one of our go-to executive recruiters because they really understand our culture and business environment, and the candidates they’ve delivered have been successful once they get here. They are personally invested in the success of the searches they do, and in the results they deliver – their personal contribution and connectivity to the candidates helps ‘sell’ our story and attract the right talent. Matthew Reilly, Senior Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
I strongly recommend Ascend for the simple reason is they get results. The partners are intimately involved with each search assignment and consistently surface highly qualified candidates that fit not only the job requirements, but also the company culture. Ascend is especially creative on hard-to-fill roles and finding and then recruiting candidates that are not actively seeking new roles. I am confident that you will not be disappointed having Ascend as your executive search partner. Walt Shill, CEO - US for Environmental Resources Management, and former Managing Partner - North America, Accenture Management Consulting
We used Ascend to fill a critical product executive role. We had limited time to find someone extraordinary. Ascend worked quickly to assemble a stellar short list. There were obvious fits on the list, but also people who could bring something new and different to the role, people I might not have imagined on my own. In less than 3 months from the time I made the initial call to Ascend, we had the perfect person working in the role. They are strategic, unbiased, consultative in their approach, and highly responsive. I cannot recommend Ascend enough for executive recruitment and human resource consultancy. Diane Bartoli, SVP General Manager, Clinical Reference & Workflow Solutions, Elsevier
Ascend has done an excellent job for us at Gale-Cengage. They partnered with us to craft a unique position description, leveraged a vast network to present a strong candidate slate, and then helped us land the most qualified prospect. Throughout, Ascend was a pleasure to work with. Paul Gazzolo, SVP General Manager, Gale-Cengage Learning
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