“I owe a debt of gratitude to Mike who helped me navigate successfully through the interview process of my first position as CEO. Mike has a calm and thoughtful demeanor, and his insights in the process were always on point. He is a highly experienced and knowledgeable specialist with invaluable professional connections across sectors built over decades of careful stewardship. I would recommend Mike without hesitation for anyone involved in talent recruitment.”
“In October of 2015, I chaired a working group to undertake a search for a new CEO for the Canadian Association of Radiologists. We ultimately chose Mike Lupiano as our partner and primary contact in the executive search. The search was successful, and we have had stable, excellent executive leadership since.
Working with Mr. Lupiano was a pleasure. He supplied many competent candidates, appropriate background information and documentation. We met in person, on the phone and in teleconferences with our working group and Board. Mike was always well prepared and gave us all the materials we needed in a timely fashion. He helped coordinate a full day of interviews, and a supplementary interview for a candidate not available on our original interview day led to a successful hiring. He was also very helpful in negotiations with our preferred candidate.
If I were doing it again, I would certainly try to have Mike as our partner in the process. He knows the business, has an extensive “rolodex” of contacts, has insight and was a pleasure to work with.”
“I have known Mike Lupiano for over 10 years, both as a candidate and as a client. He is professional and personable. In a challenging and dynamic field, Mike has demonstrated that he is invested in the long-term outcome. He instills a level of trust and confidence that is not easy to achieve in an active and competitive market. Mike has also developed the art of working with Search Committees to provide objective and honest counsel within a budget.”
“Mike has deep and broad knowledge of the Ottawa job market. He has worked for successful corporations in various HR roles before moving into executive search. This gives him a solid perspective and understanding of the reality of managers and leaders. In all my interactions with Mike I have found him very professional and trustworthy. He is an excellent communicator, keeping both candidates and clients informed of progress of search assignments in a timely fashion. He has excellent judgement when it comes to selecting the right candidate for an organization and a broad network to draw from.”
“Mr. Lupiano was critical in our success of finding the right individual for our organization. With the upmost respect for our profession, he made certain that we explored all options and completed a thorough process to be successful in our search. He was extremely responsive to communications, ensuring that our tight timelines were adhered to. He played a critical role in asking the sometimes tough questions of the Committee that resulted in valuable discussions and insight into the true needs of our organization. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Lupiano to be part of your personnel search team.”
“Following the amalgamation of mental health and addiction services in Kingston Frontenac Lennox Addington, in south eastern Ontario, I was appointed as the interim CEO by the newly established Board of Directors. We employed Nicole Poirier to recruit a highly qualified Founding CEO who would lead this new organization. This was a particularly challenging position as the change leadership skills, with a focus on stabilizing a new organization, while ensuring excellent client services and developing a financially stable new organization with many different funders were significant. Nicole led the recruiting initiative, bringing several well qualified individuals to the Board of Directors and resulting in the successful recruitment of a Founding CEO. She understood the context and the organizational landscape at the time, and also was attuned to the multiple needs of clients, service users, staff, and the founding Board of Directors. All were impressed by Nicole’s multiple trips to Kingston to truly understand the needs of the new organization and to successfully obtain a founding CEO.”
“Over the past decade I have had numerous opportunities to work with Mike Lupiano. My perspective is somewhat unique; nine years ago, he recruited me for my current role and since then we have engaged him to manage a number of senior level searches within our organization. His approach has focused very clearly on our needs as an organization all the while dealing with candidates in a very proactive and professional manner. I have always seen him as an extension of our HR department – far beyond someone we simply contract with. I would not hesitate to engage him again should the need arise.”
“It is with great pleasure that I would like to respond as a reference as to my experience working with Mike in the past.
My first experience was with a selection board that was looking for a new Executive Director for the Canadian Association of Optometrists in the spring of 2013. Mike was our main contact. He was able to provide a great array of potential employees for us. He led us through the promotion of the position, the process of deciding what kind of person we wanted for the role, the long and short listing, the interview and finally the offer. We ended up with an executive that moved our organization forward for 6 years until their retirement
My second experience was past President and Chair of the Selection Committee that was looking to replace this retiring executive. After an extensive RFP process and based on our experience with Mike for the first search, we again hired him. Again, the same process and a successful hire occurred with an executive who has been with us for a year and is performing very well.
Mike was very professional and careful in his attention to the needs of our group. He has extensive contacts and means of sourcing candidates. He led us systematically through the processes involved in reviewing and selecting the candidates. He was ever mindful of discretion, completeness, and fairness in his conduct with us and the people he brought forward for us to consider. He was timely and communicated frequently during the process, so we were never wondering how the search was going.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Mike Lupiano to help you and your organization in filling an executive position you may have available. He is the complete package.”
“While I have known Mike as a trusted advisor for years, I had the pleasure of working with him directly on a difficult search. We were a women’s shelter (Interval House of Ottawa), looking of an Executive Director. Mike was excellent to work with; he was patient and organized, he is very well networked and builds relationships quickly and easily, and his character and integrity is the best you will find. He fully understands the not for profit world, and the business world, and helps organizations focus on what is important and what really matters for their organization specifically. I would recommend Mike to anyone; I would use him again in a heartbeat.”
“I am pleased to write this testimonial on behalf of Mike Lupiano.
Our firm has many clients in common with Mike. A few years ago, our law firm decided that we needed someone to assist us in many dimensions of business that were not focused on purely legal expertise. We engaged Mike to find us a General Manager/Chief Operating Officer who could help our law practice grow, prosper, appropriately and competitively change, and continue to adapt to the changing business climate.
Mike has a considerable network in Ottawa talent circles to market and promote our opportunity to both find and attract quality candidates. We relied on him to find us someone who would fit well with the culture and style of our firm. We were successful and decided on an incredibly talented individual who has dramatically upgraded how we operate our legal and consulting practice.
Selecting Mike to lead us through this critical executive search exercise was a great decision on our part. He was excellent at communicating progress to the Partners, guiding us through the search, interviews and negotiating, and helping us understand the many different merits and competencies of all the candidates we met. He did this with a superb interpersonal style, and with an engaging sense of humour. We appreciated the very professional manner he carried himself with and the way he so appropriately represented our firm publicly. Overall, it was a phenomenally successful and satisfying exercise.
I would heartily recommend Mike to anyone who is seeking a professional and qualified approach to finding superior executive talent. Please feel free to connect with me directly should you wish to discuss this reference further.”
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Mike Lupiano. He was extremely supportive, motivating, and highly professional during our collaboration. I gained valuable information from Mike in my preparations and had such a positive experience throughout the process. Mike is truly an expert in his field.”
“J’ai beaucoup apprécié travailler avec Nicole lors du processus de recrutement de PDG au Réseau de santé Vitalité (Nouveau-Brunswick). Madame Poirier a fait preuve de diligence, de professionnalisme et d’intégrité. Je me suis senti en confiance tout au long du processus de sélection. Elle a su s’assurer que la sélection était rigoureuse mais ses conseils m’ont été utiles en phase d’adaptation à mes nouvelles fonctions.
(I really enjoyed working with Nicole during the CEO recruitment process at the Vitalité Health Network (New Brunswick). Ms. Poirier has shown diligence, professionalism, and integrity. I felt confident throughout the selection process. She was able to ensure that the selection was rigorous, but her advice was useful to me during the adaptation phase to my new duties.)”
“A few years ago, we needed to find a new COO for our firm. Before holding a competition for the position, we held a competition for the firm that would perform the search for us. We unanimously chose Mike Lupiano out of an extremely robust field. He was at one and the same time the most compelling candidate and the least expensive – a combination you do not often see.
Through his connections and investigative work, he pulled together an initial group of highly qualified people. We then whittled that down to six candidates who went through a vigorous interview process with us. We all concluded that we would have been well-served by any of the candidates. And so, we were fortunate enough to have the luxury of choosing without fear of making a mistake. The person we ultimately chose has fit into our firm beautifully, so much so that she has become our CEO.
Mike was integral to the success of this process. To start, he spent a great deal of time getting to know us, our culture and what we value. I feel certain that is why we ended up having such a strong field of candidates because he only brought to us those he felt would fit with us. In the interview and selection processes, Mike was a strong but quiet presence. He was very respectful of our autonomy but at the same time kept us focussed. And most importantly, he only provided advice when asked for it.
From my observation, the key strengths Mike displayed were his propensity to listen rather than speak and his strong emotional quotient. The ultimate goal of any search like this is to find a “good fit”. That involves more than resumes, academic achievement, and career milestones. It is about understanding the people in the organization he is trying to help and finding someone who will ‘join’ with them in moving forward. It is easier said than done. Mike does it exceedingly well.
If there is anything else you need, don’t hesitate to ask.”
“The Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club had engaged the professional services of Mike Lupiano several years ago in their search for a new General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, with a highly successful outcome. Several years later, when we once again needed to find our next GM/COO (and Head Golf Professional), it was an easy decision to engage Mike again to assist us in this critical task. Mike had developed a considerable level of credibility and trust with the Board of Directors and that continued throughout the second engagement.
Mike’s ‘servant leadership’ style and both his confidence and competence leading us through the search process made it an extremely comfortable and satisfying exercise for the Board. Interestingly, one area where Mike made our decision ‘a bit difficult’ was in his sourcing and provision of multiple excellent candidates to choose from – several good choices. In the end, he once again provided us with a superb result. Mike consistently demonstrated a good-natured approach; great interpersonal skills; comprehensive communications skills; and provided us with very sensible and sage advice during the process. He completely understood our leadership needs and went to work to fill them. His extensive national network within the private club world along with his total professionalism were invaluable.
I am pleased to give Mike my unconditional endorsement and would recommend him sincerely. Please feel free to contact me for any additional information.”
“I have enjoyed Mike’s acquaintance for many years. He has been very active in the community and we crossed paths on many occasions.
More recently, I had the opportunity to work with Mike in executive recruiting processes on two occasions. In both instances, Mike led our selection teams and guided us most successfully through a very complex and extremely important process.
Mike begins each recruiting mission with the development of the positions’ terms of reference followed by extensive marketing of the positions we are seeking to fill. Thereafter he produces a list of top candidates. Mike supplied each of our committee members with a thick binder analyzing all of the candidates and including their detailed CV’s and other pertinent information.
Prior to formal interviews with our team and candidates, Mike vetted the applicants through rigorous testing and evaluations. We ultimately, with input from Mike, narrowed our searches down to the top few candidates. Mike guided us through the interview process, helping us to compile questions for the candidates and helping us evaluate each candidate with a scoring system based on many factors. In the end, we were highly successful in recruiting top caliber executives to fill very senior positions. Our management and selection teams were appreciative of the fine work Mike executed for us and we all felt the investment was well worth it. Many of us have since recommended Mike to other executives looking for guidance in the very challenging executive recruitment process.
Recruitment is so important to a company’s success and, to reiterate, investing in the professional services provided by Mike is prudent and effective.
I recently retired as President of Coughlin and Associates Limited after 41+ years there and I would welcome any enquiries from parties considering Mike’s services.”
“Let me start with saying that we are 18 months into our relationship with our new Chief Executive Officer, and we couldn’t be happier! Now let me talk about the ‘who’ and ‘how’ we got to that point, and the tremendous job Mike Lupiano did to get us here.
A little context to start. Although it was planned well in advance, we were losing our founding CEO after 34 years in the role. Part of our challenge was to find a replacement who could not only deftly manage the transition of the outgoing CEO, but also bring the skills and demeanour necessary to preserve our ‘family first’ culture, and assist us with our expansion desires and the fundraising experience to get us there.
Based on Mike’s experience and track record in the not-for-profit and the healthcare sectors, and the professional style and approach he communicated to our Selection Committee, we elected to work with him and his team to find our next CEO. Mike personally & individually engaged with me, the Selection Committee, and other key stakeholders at Ronald McDonald House Canada to effectively capture and distill our ’success criteria’ for the role. Using his knowledge and network from his history of involvement in our sector, he created the job description and posting we would use to communicate our requirements to potential candidates. Based on his understanding and empathy for our mission, he effectively became ‘one of us’ in his outreach to all potential candidates. This was unexpected and invaluable.
I kidded Mike that he made our job extremely challenging by the number of interested and very well qualified candidates we were presented with. He then prepared the candidate interview session, supplying the Selection Committee with a complete work-up on each of the candidates to be interviewed, and even ‘coaching’ us through the team interview process in order to get a structured assessment of each candidate. He made sure that each and every candidate was treated professionally and respectfully, ensuring they exited the interview process with positive feelings towards our House and our mission. Once the Selection Committee was able to whittle the candidate pool down to two final candidates, Mike wisely suggested an in-person and more ‘social’ meeting between myself and the candidates, given that in my position as Board Chair I would be working closely and regularly with the CEO and that a positive chemistry was paramount. This was a fabulous idea and led us to focus on the candidate we wanted to become part of our ‘family’.
Now that we had selected our CEO candidate, Mike’s experience and professionalism helped us to put an attractive and comprehensive offer on the table. Given we had never been down this path before, his understanding of the market dynamics for this role were invaluable to us, and the candidate accepted our offer.
I have worked with a number of recruiters in my professional life but have never experienced the dedication and commitment to finding the RIGHT person for the role that Mike brings to the party. He truly becomes an integral part of your team and is personally invested in ensuring a positive, and long-lasting, outcome. We were very lucky to have him as part of our family and would highly recommend him to others in their search for the RIGHT addition to their team.”
“During my active career I enjoyed thirty-seven years working as an HR Executive for large Canadian Companies involved in Transportation and Communication (Air Canada, CP Rail, CBC/Radio-Canada). I learned very early that a Corporate HR function requires the support of specialists in many areas of expertise including Benefits, Pensions, Training and Development and, perhaps most importantly, Executive Search.
Over that period my experience was uniformly better with small boutique consultants offering these specialist services and as a result I developed relationships with HR specialists that followed me during several career moves.
After I retired in 2010, I continued to work in HR/IR; teaching at Queen’s University, consulting for several large Canadian Corporations and Universities and sitting on not-for-profit Boards of Directors.
When one of those not-for-profits was looking for a GM and COO, I was appointed Chair of the Search Committee and it was during that exercise that I first met (and hired) Mike Lupiano.
Mike’s approach was consistent with the boutique Executive Search firms with which I had been working in Toronto and Montreal. He was personally involved in every step of the search process. He met regularly with our Search Committee and answered any and all questions tirelessly. He supported not only the search, vetting and interview process, but also the decision-making process and the follow-up references, employment contract negotiation and on-boarding. He was never afraid to push back or challenge the Committee, all in support of making the right hiring decision, and all the while building strong relationships with Committee members.
Mike’s work was thorough, and he took the time to understand the organization which contributed to a most positive outcome. As a result, Mike was invited back for several other searches and remains on the speed-dial for that organization.
I highly recommend Mike Lupiano and the valuable HR specialist services which he and his colleagues offer.”
“Mike Lupiano has earned the reputation of being an outstanding HR and executive search professional. I went through an extensive recruitment process for the role of Managing Director at Nelligan O’Brien Payne. During those many weeks, Mike led extensive research for the firm, both in finding suitable candidates and in interviewing internal stakeholders to ensure a successful fit. The level of detail in his research and his analysis was extraordinary. His approachable style and his responsiveness put candidates and stakeholders at ease and created the ideal environment for an effective recruitment process. He deftly understood the culture of the firm and was able to provide immense value by ensuring a good fit.
Mike is a world-class coach, strategist, and executive search specialist.”
“I have had the pleasure of working with Mike Lupiano on two senior executive searches and in both cases, he exceeded our expectations. Mike is extremely responsive and resourceful in helping us identify some great candidates in a challenging field. He delivers on his promises on time and on budget. Above all he is conscientious and personable, qualities that helped us make the right hires for our organization.”
“I worked with Mike several years ago when contemplating a career change in professional industry. The attention and service I received from Mike were at a much higher level than I was used to; he listened carefully, demonstrated a clear understanding of positions and profiles, and showed investment in aligning me with the “right” role. The recruitment process that I underwent with him was comprehensive and professional, with a good amount of individualization and humanity. Since being recruited, I have reached out to Mike for my own hiring needs and have a deep trust in his instincts and respect for his credibility.”
“I have had very positive experiences working with Mike throughout the executive search process for several different roles. I have been impressed by Mike’s level of professionalism and how well connected he is to opportunities within our region. Mike is highly organized, supportive and an exceptional communicator, able to clearly articulate the unique and nuanced requirements of an organization in a straightforward manner. Working with him resulted in my obtaining an exceptional chief executive opportunity that is a great fit with my interests and experience.”