About Us

Based on the Atlantic Coast in Wilmington, North Carolina, Hawthorne Search has been a leading player in the recruitment of SaaS, Data & Software talent for the past decade. President, Robert Hawthorne, and his team of practice leaders, recruiters and researchers work with companies paving the way in this space on a daily basis.

The firm’s core philosophy is “information-based recruiting.” In essence, the firm‘s members immerse themselves in the industries they cover by reading trade publications, e-newsletters, attend conferences, work through social media groups and anything else that enables them to increase their market awareness.

It is only after our team learns everything we can about your company and industry position that we feel comfortable enough to act on your organization’s behalf, reaching out to everyone in the industry in an effort to secure the best available talent for your critical role.

Our Team

Recruiting is competitive. Our team is composed of athletic-minded people who combine high drive and empathy to find the best possible fits for our clients.
Robert Hawthorne
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Robert Hawthorne

The client comes first – with over a decade of national and international search experience behind him, these are words that Robert puts into practice on a daily basis. For years, he has worked within several core industry markets, gaining a reputation for helping his clients fill the most difficult of search projects within tight timelines, while offering strategic insights into the employment markets within those industries.

Robert and his team were first onto the scene of local search, working with directories, online search engines, and data publishers who sought to take the search engine experience to the local marketplace. A frequent speaker at conferences on local search, Robert and his team have worked extensively in sales, business development, marketing, e-commerce, and on high level company leadership assignments.

In addition, Robert has worked for over a decade in the travel and travel technology markets working with leading industry suppliers, online technology providers and travel web sites across the globe. Working with information based companies, both online and offline for many years, has provided Robert the confidence of industry difference makers who have no interest in putting their resumes out on public boards. He often works one on one with high level candidates who ensure that HES will provide the privacy and confidentiality they require.

He maintains relationships with key industry thought leaders like The Kelsey Group, Interactive Advertising Bureau, National Business Travel Association, Infocommerce Group, Association of Directory Publishers and Association of Directory Marketing, attending and contributing to notable industry functions.

Robert is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in English and also attended Northern Illinois University College of Law. When not working, he can be found competing in tennis, road races, golf, or playing competitive scrabble. He resides in Wilmington, North Carolina with his wife Katharine, daughter Morgan, and son Maxwell.

Jill Pantano
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Jill Pantano

Jill Pantano heads up the Retail Practice at Hawthorne Search. She has been with the firm for 10 years and in that time, has led search efforts with clients like Amazon, Shopbop, Nordstrom, J. Crew, HauteLook, RueLaLa, BCBG, Intermix, Modcloth, Uniqlo, Stella & Dot, Kurt Salmon Associates, Consumer Reports, CrossFit, Inc., and many others. Working with Amazon closely for the last nine years growing Amazon Fashion, Private Label, Grocery, Prime, Devices, Hardlines, and Corporate Communications business units, has been a huge highlight for the retail team.

Over the last 10 years, she has grown the Retail Practice to become a leader in the boutique agency world. National Fortune 10 companies frequently lean on her team to find the Marketing, Creative, Merchandising, Product, Planning & Finance, Supply Chain & Logistics, and Customer Service leaders they need to take their businesses to the next level.

Ms. Pantano joined Hawthorne Search to expand the firm’s retail and CPG practices. Prior to Hawthorne, Jill had a long career in retail, most notably she was the VP of Merchandising for Retail Brand Alliance, parent company to Brooks Brothers. A native New Yorker who always had a love of fashion and style, Jill got her start in retail with ABC Carpet & Home. Over the next 12 years she led retail Merchandising teams for large retail organizations. Fitness, specifically CrossFit, is a huge passion for Jill, as she holds her Level 1 and Level 2 certifications. Ms. Pantano earned her Bachelor’s degree from New York University.

Tina Kahler
Tina Kahler
Tina Kahler

Tina Kahler is a Recruitment Specialist with over 25 years of experience in intense recruiting efforts across numerous industries. Tina’s recruiting expertise includes Corporate, Technical, Agency, Sales, Management, and C-level placements. Tina’s knowledge of targeting an area’s market and employee base makes her invaluable in the recruiting industry. Tina has prior experience in the advertising and public relations field, both in national and international markets. Tina’s strong and diverse background, and personal and professional abilities aid her in strong talent connections and exceeding client expectations.
Tina graduated from Western Illinois University with a B.A. in Communications, Arts & Sciences, and a double minor in Journalism and Dance. Originally from Greece, Tina enjoys the beach, travel, dancing, time with her family, and makes a mean Moussaka!

Katharine Hawthorne

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Katharine Hawthorne

A Clemson University grad, Katharine started her career after college in sales and corporate communications at The Weather Channel. From there she worked for Starz Entertainment/Lionsgate Company leading the point of sale, marketing, and communication strategies for clients in the northeast. Most recently she was a Customer Success Manager at nCino where she managed 20 Financial Institutions. Having worked closely with executive-level contacts at several Fortune 500 and publicly traded companies, Katharine excels at understanding the correlation between building strong, meaningful relationships with clients and finding candidates with the right skillsets that align with company goals and strategies.

Cathy Bagley
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Cathy Bagley

Experience, integrity, and professionalism. That is what you will get when working with Cathy. She brings over 20 years of experience recruiting top talent for clients that range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. By understanding her client’s skillset needs, she also strives to understand the corporate culture to make the best fit possible. Prior to joining Hawthorne Search, she had her own recruiting practice. Cathy currently works with clients in the SaaS, Digital Marketing, and Agency verticals, and has placed candidates in roles ranging from Sales to C-Suite.

Her attention to detail, reliability, and entrepreneurial spirit is a tribute to her success.

A comment made by a candidate who then turned into a client was: ‘…can strongly recommend Cathy to source top talent for you and your business! Very professional and structured approach for both candidate and hiring partner.’

In her downtime she enjoys boating, traveling, and working out. She earned her B.S. degree in English and Management at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. She was raised in Gainesville, Florida, and is an avid Florida Gators fan!

Matt Derry
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Matt Derry

Matt Derry has over 6 years of recruiting experience focused on sourcing top-quality candidates for hard-to-fill niche roles across various industries. Matt graduated from college with an accounting degree and after spending 10 years working in public accounting he began his recruiting career focusing primarily on the accounting and finance industries before joining Hawthorne search where he has broadened his knowledge of various other industries. He has led searches for Fortune500 companies, and high-growth SaaS startup technology companies, as well as placed key members within the private equity space.

Megan Osebold

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Megan Osebold

Megan is a dedicated professional who will give nothing less than her all to uncover qualified candidates that fit her clients’ needs. Equally as committed to matching skill set to job description she believes matching company culture with personality is imperative. Her diverse background in sales, management and educational recruiting allow her to successfully recruit across a wide range of industries and roles.

Hawthorne Executive Search maintains a 90% success rate on retained searches and an 80% success rate on exclusive contingency search by doing the following.
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