Brian Clarke is a company founder and today serves in an Of Counsel capacity to Kensington International. During the course of his career, Brian led the firm’s Energy/Infrastructure and Supply Chain practices, conducted numerous C-Suite and leadership search assignments across the diversified industrial, energy and infrastructure sectors for PE-backed, private and a select group of large cap and publicly held companies. Brian’s work experience prior to executive search included progressively responsible roles with The Quaker Oats Company and First Chicago/JP Morgan.
Brian’s education background includes a Master of Management degree from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Personnel and Labor Relations from Indiana University.
Brian currently sits on The Distinguished Alumni Council School of the O’Neil School – Indiana University and the Board of Trustees for The Chicago Theological Seminary.
During his time with Kensington International Brian was named to BusinessWeek.com’s list of The World’s Most Influential Headhunters.
Rick George is a company founder and Managing Partner of Kensington International. He is the practice leader for Private Equity, recruiting C-Suite and senior executives to key leadership positions for lower-mid to mid-market platform companies nationwide.
Prior to founding Kensington International, Rick was a Principal and Managing Partner of a significant mortgage brokerage and banking firm. Before entering the mortgage business, he worked progressively through higher marketing and sales management positions with Federal Signal and Honeywell, Inc.
Rick is active in various civic and community organizations with a particular interest in cancer and ALS. He is the Board Chair for the Wellness House Foundation (Cancer Support – Hinsdale), Board member of SWLMCD (environmental) in Culver, IN, member of the Chicago ALS chapter, and a past Commissioner for the Fire and Police Departments in Clarendon Hills, IL. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management from Purdue University.
Tim Bealert is a Partner and co-leads the Private Equity practice of Kensington International which spans across core industries including manufacturing and distribution, healthcare, financial services, business services, retail and consumer product goods. His expertise includes a wide range of disciplines including general management, corporate strategy, sales and marketing, operations and finance. Tim handles assignments at the C-level in addition to other key senior leadership positions.
Tim has completed hundreds of searches for private equity firms since 2005. Prior to joining Kensington, Tim was a Founding Partner of Laramie Group, a middle management search firm that is a division of Kensington. Before that he worked at a top five global executive search firm.
Tim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Loyola University – Chicago. Tim and his wife live in the Chicago suburbs with their three children.
Partner, Healthcare & Life Sciences
Partner, Healthcare & Life Sciences
MJ Schermer is a Partner and leader of the Healthcare Services and Life Sciences practice with Kensington International. Her executive search expertise includes partnering with Private Equity to lead engagements at the C- level in addition to other key members of the leadership team. She has significant functional expertise in recruiting Operations, Finance, Corporate Strategy, Commercial, Marketing, Information Technology, Human Resources, and General Management talent.
MJ has been in executive search for 20 years. Prior to joining Kensington International, she was a key member of Cook Associates in both Chicago and Denver – where she managed a regional office and for Korn Ferry International.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Accounting from Purdue University. MJ and her husband live in the Chicago suburbs with their three children. In addition, she is a volunteer Junior Achievement educator dedicated to teaching youth about workforce readiness.
Steve Goering is a Partner and leader within Kensington’s Private Equity and Venture Capital practice groups. With over 20 years of executive search experience, Steve leads C-suite engagements for PE & VC backed portfolio companies within a diversified industry group that includes Advanced Technology, Distribution, Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Professional Services, and Supply Chain.
Prior to joining Kensington International, Steve started his career as a Research Associate at a global retained executive search firm where he became Director of Strategic Accounts and executed multiple C-Suite and Board of Director assignments across multiple industry segments. In 2008, Steve was a Co-Founder of The Laramie Group – a wholly owned subsidiary of Kensington International – which has since been folded into Kensington.
Steve is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio), where he received his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and Effectiveness. Steve resides in Glencoe, IL with his wife and two children.
Andy Wolkstein is a Partner and co-lead of the Energy and Engineering & Construction practice at Kensington. He also works extensively in the Diversified Industrial Sector. His clients consist of multi-generational family businesses as well as public, private and PE owned companies.
With over 15 years of search industry experience, Andy’s career path enables him to provide high-level consulting services to his clients when filling key positions across the functional spectrum. Simultaneously, he remains a valuable hands-on part of the project execution team to help expertly address any challenges that may arise during senior leadership through Board level searches.
Andy and his family reside in River Forest, IL. His family enjoys many activities together, particularly downhill skiing and hockey. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from New York University.
Matt Kerr is a Vice President and leads the execution of key searches within the C suite as well as other key management areas. He brings extensive experience in executive search, research, talent acquisition, and human resources management.
Before joining Kensington, Matt was the North American Practice lead, Executive Search for BPI Group | Grant Alexander. He led the HR function for a design | build engineering and construction firm and spent 15 years at Motorola in several positions, including senior-level human resources management roles. Additionally, Matt served as a coach with several career management firms.
Matt holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor’s in Business from Loyola University of Chicago. He also achieved SPHR designation through the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Matt spent 12 years as a Board of Education official for his local community. He currently serves on the board as well as the Human Resources Committee for Holy Family Ministries, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization focused on empowering children in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods to move beyond the barriers of their community.
Elizabeth Fish joined Kensington International in 2021, and as a Principal of the firm, Elizabeth is responsible for the execution of Kensington’s executive searches across industries. Elizabeth has successfully executed searches from Director through C-level and has been recognized for her ability to provide both an excellent candidate and client experience simultaneously. Prior to joining Kensington International, Elizabeth spent seven years as a Senior Search Associate at a retained Executive Search firm in the Chicago area. Earlier in her career she spent time in the pulp and paper industry and at a non-profit in Human Resources and Purchasing positions.
Elizabeth graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and received her Master of Arts in Industrial Relations from University of Minnesota.
Elizabeth resides in Deerfield, IL and loves spending time with her family. She enjoys CrossFit and is a huge sports fan.
Ellie Kirshenbaum is a Principal of Kensington International and responsible for executing executive searches across all industries. Prior to joining the team at Kensington, Ellie was a Television Studio Executive in Current Series at 20th Television in Los Angeles. There, she worked to guide the creative direction of series such as This Is Us, Big Sky, Empire, and Modern Family, and collaborated with executive producers on hiring writers, directors, and key production positions for shows, as well as managing day to day problem-solving on active television productions.
Ellie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She is currently the President of JWI’s Young Women’s Impact Network – Chicago, as well as a Steppenwolf Theatre Associate.
Ellie resides in Chicago, IL and enjoys exploring Chicago’s parks with her labradoodle, reading, discovering the latest TV shows and taking in a Broadway show whenever possible.
Vice President, Finance
Director of Search Operations
Director of Search Operations
Sheri Lyons is the Director of Search Operations with Kensington International. Sheri is responsible for the day to day operations of Kensington’s executive searches including candidate and client correspondence, scheduling candidate interviews, expenses, candidate background checks and various other executive search administrative tasks.
Sheri also performs many of the daily operations of the Elmhurst office including information technology, marketing/website management and key office management duties.
Prior to joining Kensington International, Sheri spent nine years with a retained executive search firm in the Oak Brook area as an Executive Search Recruitment Coordinator/Administrative Assistant working with Education, Life Sciences and Healthcare practices.
Sheri graduated from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. Sheri and her husband live in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL with their two children.