Michael Stomberg is the founder and CEO of The Planet Group which includes several renowned staffing companies and global consulting organizations. Since founding Planet in 2009, Michael has led the organization to record organic growth while also leading the company through the launch of four new business lines and the acquisition of multiple firms. He also led the M&A activities when in May 2021, The Planet Group merged with ProPharma Group, the leading global provider of outsourced regulatory, clinical research, compliance, pharmacovigilance, and medical information services for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. Michael assumed the role of ProPharma Group's CEO in September 2021.
Michael has over 20 years of experience developing and leading global organizations focused on the Life Sciences, Technology and Energy industries. His expertise includes organizational development, leadership development, streamlining operations, technology integration, team development, and global business strategy. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University and an MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management.
President, Planet Forward
Andrew is an accomplished leader in the recruitment industry with over 25 years of experience in sales strategy and management. Prior to joining Planet Forward, he served as CareerBuilder’s Senior Vice President of Staffing and Recruiting, which served nearly 98% of the top 150 staffing firms in the country and had more than 3,000 customers. In the role, Andrew led the sales strategy and product vision for one of the most critical segments in the world of recruitment, the staffing industry. He also served as Senior Vice President of their Managed Services division while running numerous regions as Vice President of Sales responsible for developing human capital strategies for a variety of organizations ranging from Fortune 1000 companies to mid-sized businesses. Andrew holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business and an undergraduate degree from West Virginia University.
Chief HR Officer and General Counsel
Marni Helfand is the Chief HR Officer and General Counsel for The Planet Group. Marni oversees all legal and HR functions including providing training, advising on all areas of compliance, negotiating client agreements, managing litigation, and protecting the company's intellectual property. After leaving private practice with the law firm of Littler Mendelson, most of her career has been spent in the staffing and consulting industries. Prior to beginning her career, Marni received her Bachelor's Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations form Cornell University, and attained her JD Law Degree from Northwestern University's School of Law.
President, Planet Healthcare
Jim Patton joined The Planet Group in 2016 to expand the healthcare division and services. Jim brings over 13 years of experience in healthcare and is responsible for business development, recruitment strategies and account management. Jim brings a wealth of experience to clients with attention to detail and offering flexible solutions. Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Cleveland State University.
Executive Vice President, Planet Technology
Formerly one of three Partners of R121 (Planet121), the first company acquired by The Planet Group, Andrew John now serves as Executive Vice President of Planet Technology. In this position, Andrew is responsible for the continued expansion of the Enterprise Systems Group in North America and Europe, which covers SAP, Workday, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and ServiceNow.
Andrew has worked in ERP staffing and consulting since 1998, covering industry verticals such as manufacturing, insurance, energy and utilities, life sciences, and professional services.
President, The Planet Group
Tim Simmerly is the President of The Planet Group and oversees global strategy as well as the day-to-day operations for our global staffing and consulting companies. With more than twenty years of experience in talent and human capital services, Tim has helped launch three of Planet's companies and continues to lead PFES today.
Tim's leadership ability, business development acumen, and operational excellence are key to his role in expanding The Planet Group into new market segments worldwide.
Tim joined the Planet Group of Companies in 2009 and has held numerous leadership positions including Director of Business Development, Vice President, and Executive Vice President.
Senior Vice President, Planet Technology
Loren Rakowsky leads the Planet Technology Creative & Digital sales team with drive, enthusiasm, and passion. A New Yorker, business professional and people-person by nature, Loren's sales experience has spanned over industries as well as the country. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with her degree in Business & Marketing, she began her career in sales which led to more than 12 years of working in the staffing industry. She has been with Planet since 2015, where she provides strategic staffing solutions for major clients across the US.
Chief Financial Officer
Tim Bauwens is the CFO of The Planet Group of Companies and is responsible for accounting and reporting, financial planning, cash management, human resources and risk management. He has over 25 years corporate accounting and finance experience, having spent the early part of his career focused on mergers & acquisitions, mostly in the service and utilities sectors. Tim has spent the last ten years in the professional services and construction industries working with publicly traded and privately held companies with an emphasis on accelerated topline growth, improved cashflow, and maximizing return on investment. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Augustana College, and holds a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
President, Planet Pharma
Nick Demling offers 25+ years in Clinical Trials Resource Management, Business Development – Consulting / Project Teams, Staff Augmentation, FSPs and Outsourcing. Nick has expertise in Global Workforce optimization solutions across multiple areas of clinical research to the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Device, and CRO Industries. He provides a lead role in business development and client management, working with managers and on-site vendors within the industry to meet their needs for staffing solutions.
Among Nick's specialties: Deep-rooted relationships in the pharmaceutical / medical device / CRO industries, strategic planning, business development, resource management, business re-engineering, P&L management, acquisitions & divestitures. He's intelligent, cost conscious, innovative, and a natural problem solver, all of which lend tremendous expertise when working with international clinical trials focused on helping patients live longer, healthier lives.
President, Planet Technology and Planet Professional
As president of Planet Technology and Planet Professional, Scott Ragusa oversees the strategic direction and daily operations of these two impactful contingency search and contract staffing businesses. Scott joined Planet Technology's predecessor, WinterWyman, in 1999 after more than five years with two national temporary staffing firms. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Staffing Association (MSA).
Executive Vice President, Planet Professional
As EVP, Stuart Coleman oversees the strategy and operations of Planet Professional, formerly WinterWyman’s Professional division. Stu joined WinterWyman in 1999 and quickly helped the company expand its financial services contract and temporary offerings.
He subsequently began directing all the firm’s Accounting & Finance, HR, Administrative and Professional business development and recruitment services. Stu has expanded the division's national presence with teams in Boston, NY, Chicago, San Diego and recruiting throughout the country.
Executive Vice President, Planet Technology
As EVP with Planet Technology's Core Tech division, Melissa Masse oversees a national sales team servicing the East Coast, Western US, and Southeast regions. Additionally, she leads Planet Tech's Cybersecurity team that provides security talent on a national scale.
Melissa joined Planet Technology's predecessor, WinterWyman, in 2004 and held various roles in sales, recruiting, and leadership. With over 20 years of operations, training and sales / business development experience, Melissa is focused on providing top technology talent within Software Development, Information Technology, and Cybersecurity to organizations across the country.
Originally from New York, Melissa holds a Bachelor's degree from The State University of New York College at Geneseo with a degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication.
Executive Vice President, Planet Technology
Formerly COO of Interactive Business Systems, one of the legacy companies forming Planet Technology, Jeff Jorgensen now serves as Executive Vice President overseeing the Mid-West. Jeff has played a pivotal role in developing many of Planet Technology’s key practice areas, including Microsoft 365 implementation and automated testing solutions.
Jeff joined IBS in 2001 as the Cincinnati Branch manager and was crucial in distinguishing the firm within the IT consulting space. Jeff doubled majored in Accounting & Finance at Kent State University in Northeast Ohio.
Executive Vice President, Planet Technology
Formerly founder and CEO of I.T. Works Recruitment, one of the companies acquired by The Planet Group, Gary Dytor now serves as Executive Vice President of Planet Technology. In his role, Gary oversees the continued expansion of niche recruitment for ERP, HCM, EMR, and Lab Informatics.
Gary has over 20 years of experience in staffing and has worked with tier two software systems and users since 2004. He has a background in Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Logistics, and Business Management.
Vice President, Marketing
As Vice President of Marketing, Elizabeth Spayne develops promotional and branding strategies that expand and further strengthen the position of The Planet Group and its multiple staffing firms, consulting companies, and consultants in the marketplace. She has extensive experience designing and implementing social media, public relations and communication programs in both the consumer and business-to-business sectors. Prior to joining The Planet Group, Elizabeth served as EVP of Marketing for WinterWyman, an award-winning staffing firm that was acquired by Planet in November 2019.
Previously, she served in senior marketing roles for a well-known career management firm and a publicly-traded senior housing developer and operator. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Providence College.
Chief Technology Officer
Jon Whiley is the CTO of The Planet Group of companies and is responsible for leading the firm's innovative technology strategy, including network infrastructure, system integrations, process improvements, new technology implementations, and IT support.
Jon has over 20 years of progressive tech and operations experience delivering transformative solutions that drive immediate business impact and continuous improvements across enterprises. During his career, he has designed competitive tools and adopted technology to optimize workflows and strengthen service delivery across multisite operations.
Prior to joining The Planet Group, Jon was Executive Vice President and CTO of Majestic Steel USA. A veteran of the US Marine Corps and graduate of Ohio University, he serves as a Governing Body Member of Evanta’s Midwest CIO group and is also involved with the Northeast Ohio chapter of SIM.
President, Strive Consulting
Brian Ganser brings over twenty-five years of experience, including several executive-level roles at high-growth consulting firms, to his role as President of Strive Consulting. In addition to leading the firm, he plays an integral part in helping client companies rapidly scale, all while evolving their service offerings to provide more innovative and impactful solutions.
Brian has also been intimately involved in the creation of high-performing teams by fostering a culture of empowerment, engagement, and collaboration. A native of the Chicago area, Brian is a graduate of Millikin University and earned a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in entrepreneurship from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Director of Corporate Development
As Director of Corporate Development, Dustin Abbs helps The Planet Group's executive leadership team execute on our mergers and acquisitions strategy. Dustin joined the company with a proven track record of success having spent his career in investment banking and management consulting, most recently serving as a Director with AlixPartners, a global consulting firm.
Dustin also served in a similar Corporate Development role with a publicly-traded human capital firm for four years. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.
Vice President of Finance
The Planet Group's VP of Finance, Kyle Hemenover, is a strategic financial leader who embraces change and is committed to continuous improvement initiatives, with a focus on developing talent. He also serves in the same capacity at Strive Consulting, a business and technology consulting firm that Planet acquired in December of 2021. Kyle joined Strive in early 2020, where he helped support their incredible growth and build out an internal Finance & Accounting team.
Kyle began his 15+ year Finance & Accounting career with RSM's Chicago-based audit team. Prior to joining Strive and The Planet Group, Kyle spent five years at Transco Inc., initially as Corporate Controller and was quickly promoted to CFO, helping them navigate several divestitures during this tenure.
Kyle is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Masters in Business Administration from The University of Notre Dame.
Chief Operating Officer
Jeff Dillenburg brings over 20 years of experience in operations within the human capital consulting and staffing world to his role as Chief Operating Officer of The Planet Group and has a strong track record of success everywhere he has been. He was one of the first employees at both Inforte and Slalom Consulting and played an integral role in executing their high growth strategy as Managing Director.
Along with his Planet COO responsibilities, Jeff concurrently serves in the same capacity with Strive Consulting which The Planet Group acquired in December of 2021. Jeff has been with Strive since 2015 and has been instrumental in helping drive the strategy to restructure the organization from a staffing firm to a consulting firm.
Jeff brings a tremendous track record of success and hard work and is a thought leader that has used many innovative approaches to help construct some of the best delivery platforms in the business.
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