Marcia Ballinger, PhD

Co-founder, Principal


Marcia has been a leader in the Twin Cities executive search community for nearly two decades. Over the years, she has developed a specialty in nonprofit recruiting, most often working with boards of directors and search committees, assisting them as they make important and often challenging decisions.

Marcia got into executive search after a career in human resources development with technology companies, beginning with IBM.  Marcia co-authored The 20-Minute Networking Meeting with Nathan Perez and is a frequent speaker on the topics of networking, career management and best practices in executive recruiting.

To me, executive search is both a science and an art. The rigor of finding the right candidates and the creativity of helping guide a complex process…that makes me feel good.


Marcia holds a doctorate in organization and management from Capella University where her dissertation topic (in conjunction with Personnel Decisions International) focused on executive coaching. She has a master’s degree in speech-communication and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota. Marcia is trained in executive coaching through New Ventures West and is certified as Senior Professional in Human Resources by the Human Resources Certification Institute. Marcia is also a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).


  • “The (Real) Power 50” by Minnesota Business magazine

  • “Top Women in Business” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

  • Luminary Award from the National Association of Woman Business Owners

  • "50 Over 50" by AARP of Minnesota and Pollen

Civic Leadership

  • Board Chair, Capella University 2007-2016.

  • Board of Directors, Children's Home Society of Minnesota 2016 - present

  • Board of Directors, Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul 2017 - present

  • Board of Directors, HR Connection 2014 - present

  • Board of Advisors, Employee Strategies Inc. 2015 - present

  • Member, National Association of Corporate Directors 2012-2016

  • Board of Directors, Vice Chair, American Red Cross, Twin Cities Chapter 2004-2011

  • Board Member and Chair, Human Resources Executive Forum 1997-2012

  • Board Member, Minnesota Adoption Resource Network, 2008-2010

  • Board Member, Milkweed Editions 2000-2004

  • Volunteer and Board Member, Crisis Connection, 1990-2002

  • Member, United Way Women’s Leadership Council

  • Participant, Leadership Minnesota

Fun Facts

  • Marcia and her husband, Brad, are the proud parents of Analisa, a recent college graduate, as well as two French bulldogs, Reggie and Suzy.

  • Reggie and Marcia are a registered therapy dog team, specializing in visits to senior residences.

  • Marcia loves to entertain, play piano, hike, travel and read. She is also an exceptional whistler, food aficionado and Les Miserables fanatic.