Mike Palma Founder & Owner

Michael Palma began his professional career as a basketball coach at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA in 1984 following a Parade Magazine All-American playing career.

In 1989, he transitioned into executive recruiting for advertising agencies. Since then he has placed more than 1,300 of the top professionals in the industry at nearly 200 agencies.

In 2004, Palma spent two years on the agency side as SVP, Director of Business Development for BBDO.

He then re-launched The Palma Group in Atlanta, as a hybrid headhunting/new business firm for ad agencies. Since then, he has helped his agency clients win over $400 million in revenue.

In 2010, The Palma Group began managing agency reviews for brand marketers. Since then, Palma has run more than 40 reviews for top brands, including The Coca-Cola Company, Arby’s, Zaxby’s, Heineken USA, Peugeot North America, Church’s Chicken and Stainmaster.

He’s the proud dad of three children, including a son with a One Show Gold Pencil and Cannes Lion as an agency copywriter.

Mike is also a single-digit handicap golfer with three holes-in-one in his bag.

Ryan Farinella National Recruiting Director/Partner

Ryan is one of the top recruiters in the Southeast with over a decade of experience attracting top talent to the best independent agencies in Atlanta: 22squared, Blue Sky and Trade School. His dedication to understanding what makes agencies grow positions him as a strategic partner to the C-Suite, Directors and Managers. Ryan’s roles have been critical in advancing the key initiatives of recruiting and retaining top professionals as well as maximizing client revenue.

A SHRM-certified recruiting veteran, his passion lies in solving Human Resource challenges. When he isn’t searching for the rising agency rockstars or giving career advice to candidates, you can find him at Taqueria Del Sol with his wife Michelle or messing around in his yard planting and gardening. He is an avid sports fan with loyalties to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Manchester United, and his alma mater, the Tennessee Vols.

Ryan will lead national recruiting efforts at The Palma Group, the most prolific headhunting firm in the history of advertising.

George Swisher Business Transformation Advisor, Partner

Former agency entrepreneur and management consultant with a 15 year track record of improving company performance, shifting cultures through change management, and strategic growth for mergers & acquisitions.

Currently co-founder and CEO of changeforce.ai, a software platform that helps leaders lead organizational change more precisely by analyzing sentiment of company objectives in real-time.

Gill Duff Business Transformation Advisor

As CEO of two major advertising agencies, he helped both grow their revenue, profitability and creative reputation while widening their experience base beyond traditional advertising into integrated, digital and social marketing channels. As CMO for Shoney’s, he brings his skills and experience to work on behalf of the iconic family dining brand, Recently, his duties expanded to include all brands and concepts within Best American Hospitality Corp’s restaurant and hospitality portfolio.

His work has been honored with creative and effectiveness awards including winning coveted Cannes Lions and EFFIE Awards. His work has been featured multiple times on the Super Bowl and written about in leading publications such as the NYT, WSJ and Ad Age.

Jeff Steinhour Business Transformation Advisor

Jeff Steinhour has worked in advertising and marketing for over 30 years.

As an original Partner of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky he was instrumental in building the agency’s legendary creative reputation. He worked there for 24 years serving as President and Vice Chairman / Managing Partner. He joined the agency with a staff of 35 and helped grow it to 1,250 employees in eight offices. Over the years he personally hired over 750 employees. He opened CPB LA in 2001, CPB Boulder in 2006, CPB Stockholm in 2008 and CPB London in 2009.

Some of the accounts he led and managed include Nike, Under Armour, Schwinn, Coke Zero, Sprite, Molson, Best Buy, IKEA, Domino’s, Applebee’s, Arby’s, Met Life, American Express, Mercedes Benz, VW, BMW’s MINI, Porsche, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Voyages, Turkish Airlines, Microsoft and hotels.com. The accounts he personally led won 24 Lions at the Cannes Festival for Creativity.

During his tenure the agency was named Agency of the Year nine times over a 15 year period and was named Agency of the Decade in 2010 by Ad Age.

Jeff has also served on the Board of several universities including the University of Colorado, the University of Miami and served as Chairman of the Board at VCU Brandcenter where he was a Board member for 14 years.

Linda SanGiacomo Global Marketing Executive

Linda SanGiacomo is a consumer marketing executive with success impacting brands in both large and small organizations. She is an unwavering brand steward and creative champion, with an expansive background at iconic brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Johnny Rockets. Linda led the advertising team that launched the highly recognizable, award-winning “America Runs on Dunkin’” brand positioning and tagline. She most recently re-energized Johnny Rockets with a global brand position and “Rock On” creative expression. Linda has a deep background in creative development and agency management, leading multiple agencies and production teams. She began her career on the agency side, in account management and media planning in the Boston area. Linda does her best thinking hitting the boxing bag or walking her two dogs — Buster & DonDraper.

She assists The Palma Group by coaching marketers in the following areas:

Pre-search prep, Brand house & architecture, and agency/client relationship management.