Executive Search/C-Suite

We’ve recently worked with WilliamCharles for placement of two key roles within our executive leadership team – Chief Financial Officer and Chief People Officer.  Bill and Chuck took the time to learn about our business, understand the skill gaps we were trying to fill, and kept our desired culture top-of-mind. In both cases, they were able to source and pre-screen a variety of individuals, providing us with a panel of highly qualified candidates.

Throughout the process, they thoughtfully communicated and served as a liaison between all parties to make sure that the candidate experience was top-notch.  They engaged with the candidates throughout, offering timelines, feedback and next steps to keep the relationship warm as we narrowed down our selection.  In the end, we extended offers to our top choices and they accepted.  We would definitely recommend WilliamCharles to anyone who may need help finding the perfect person (or persons!) in this extremely challenging job market – they deliver!

Bob Von Kaenel || President & Chief Executive Officer, Hope Network

At Kentwood Office Furniture, we could not be happier after working with WilliamCharles as a resource to help us hire our new CEO. They were organized, thorough, responsive and professional. The process Bill Benson established made it very easy for us, and did not waste our time. They did all the time consuming work of identifying and qualifying the candidates, scheduled our time with the candidates, provided appropriate time and space for the interviews, and recommended an outside testing service we had not used before that proved to be incredibly helpful as we made our final decision.

Because Kentwood Office Furniture is well known in the industry, we typically assume we can run ads, and people will apply for the our open positions. Although that might have been true this time, there is no possibility that we would have surfaced the number of excellent candidates that WilliamCharles brought to the process. They did the prescreening and did an excellent job. After reviewing a limited number of very qualified candidates, we narrowed it down to three. The quality of the candidates was so good that we could have hired any of the three.

KOF is an employee-owned, ESOP company, so it was essential that our new CEO fit with our existing culture. We wanted a leader who is a servant leader with a commitment to integrity and the values upon which the company has been built. Of course, our new CEO also needed the essential attributes of being a good leader, a person with vision and strategic thinking, and someone who would lead by example and hold people accountable.

Not only were we pleased with the process, but the candidate we hired has exceeded our expectations. As someone who has hired a large number of managers and executives, I can honestly say that when we made this decision with the help of WilliamCharles, I was never more confident that I/we had made the right decision.

If you are looking to hire someone, I would strongly recommend WilliamCharles. Working with everyone there was a very good use of our time and money.

Art Hasse || Chairman of the Board, Kentwood Office Furniture

Our collaboration with WilliamCharles in the search for a President for our trucking company was a tremendous success. From start to finish, their expertise and dedication made the hiring process seamless and efficient.

They took the time to understand our company’s unique needs, values, and goals, ensuring that they sourced candidates who aligned perfectly with our vision. They maintained open lines of communication, providing regular updates and valuable insights throughout the entire search.

WilliamCharles showcased their extensive network and proactive approach to candidate sourcing. They presented us with a diverse pool of highly qualified individuals with a deep understanding of the trucking industry. Their thorough screening process and evaluations allowed us to focus our attention on the most promising candidates.

Thanks to their diligent efforts, we were able to secure a President who possesses the leadership qualities, industry knowledge, and experience necessary to drive our trucking company forward. We are thrilled with the outcome of our collaboration. Their professionalism, expertise, and personalized approach exceeded our expectations. The process was efficient, and the quality of the candidates presented was outstanding.

We would highly recommend WilliamCharles to any organization in need of executive-level talent. Their commitment to excellence and tailored approach ensured that we found the ideal candidate to lead our trucking company.

Ben Borisch || Managing Partner, DWH Corp


As Schupan and Sons Inc. embarked upon the process of hiring a new CFO, we interviewed several search firms to assist us in making this most important hire. We ultimately decided on the WilliamCharles Search Group and Bill Benson to help us find the right fit for our company and our culture. Bill’s calm, professional, and persistent approach proved to be exactly what we needed in our search. Bill presented several qualified candidates and worked well with our executive team to narrow the list and find the perfect fit. We could not be happier with the results of working with Bill and his company to guide us through this process and ultimately finding a match that works for both Schupan and Sons and our new CFO!

Thomas Emmerich || Chief Operating Officer/Schupan

Internally, we spent several months trying to fill a critical Director of Accounting position for our organization. After sifting through dozens of resumes and interviewing several candidates, we were unsuccessful in finding the right candidate. Personally, I had a very good experience years ago with WilliamCharles when they helped place me in a new role, so I reached out to them for assistance. Chuck Smeester and his staff were able to identify several excellent passive candidates in a short timeframe. WilliamCharles was attentive and helpful throughout the process as we hired a very strong leader who is doing a great job for Kamps.

Joe Laurent || Vice President, Human Resources, Kamps Pallets

What I most appreciated about working with WilliamCharles Executive Search was the fact Bill Benson took the time to really understand our needs concerning our Chief Financial Officer position. The complexity of our Foundation demanded that we attract a seasoned and accomplished professional with a great depth of experience and knowledge. The person we hired is simply the best. Definitely recognizing the fit that this individual possessed for our organization could only be realized by the WilliamCharles Executive Search firm. The reach that they have in attracting key individuals for top level positions and matching them to needs of their business clients, is the value that distinguishes them. We hired the best of the best when it came to the CFO position and our relationship with WilliamCharles and Bill Benson did not end with the hire. He does seek feedback from the executive we hired and checks in with me as well.

Diana Sieger || CEO, Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Professional Recruiting

We have worked with WilliamCharles Search Group (WC) for a number of years with executive and professional recruitment; and we continue to go back to them for their services. With our most recent recruitment we had the luxury of WC finding several qualified candidates and WC assisted us in narrowing our selection to the person best suited for our company and the position. We have had direct access and excellent communication in the recruitment process and appreciate their calm and friendly persistence and professional demeanor.

Tami D. Vincent || Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, EJ Group

During the past two years, we have relied on WilliamCharles to successfully recruit top talent for four senior level positions. Bill Benson and Chuck Smeester are seasoned executive recruiting veterans with deep relationships and knowledge particularly in the Michigan market. They take a structured approach to ensure the job requirements and ideal candidate description is clearly defined. Then, leveraging their network and database, their team proactively finds candidates fitting the profile, building interest with them. We appreciate having a slate of quality candidates to consider so that we are not just choosing the single one which fits, but rather have the high-class problem of choosing between a couple of strong fit candidates.

Jim Fox || CEO, Garrison Dental

We engaged with WilliamCharles to help us find talent and build muscle within our finance function as we embarked on building our capability to go public.

WilliamCharles is always very thorough and efficient. They helped us hire a dozen people between finance (7 CPA’s, HR (3 key HR leaders) and legal (contract attorney and SEC Attorney). They are experts in receiving feedback and using this information to refine the search and ultimately find us the right person.

WilliamCharles understands who we are as a culture and what is truly important to us from a Talent Acquisition perspective. They are very candid in their approach and have the ability to streamline what can be a daunting process. We appreciate that they take the time to understand who we are … beyond the role that we are looking to fill. They spend the time to really understand the people involved so that in the end we have an incredible hire.

Gretchen Overbeek || Vice President of Human Resources, Hagerty

Family Business

WilliamCharles takes the time to understand their clients and helps them define the skills, experience and cultural fit that will help the owners realize their envisioned future. WilliamCharles helps clients understand the market for executive talent and what it takes to attract those who will add the most value. Clients feel a sense of comfort and trust with the people at WilliamCharles. Having earned my confidence over the years, I have recommended them for a number of significant family enterprises.

Rob Sligh || The Family Business Consulting Group

Bill Benson, President of WilliamCharles, has helped my company secure some amazingly talented people. We have hired two individuals, with Bill’s help, that have directly contributed to our bottom line. The positions Bill helped us fill were our CFO, Chief Financial Officer and our VP of Human Resources. WilliamCharles shared details for these two candidates and they are a great fit for our company.

Bill supplied a number of excellent candidates for the positions. I highly recommend Bill and will certainly use his company to secure more talent in the future.

Marc Schupan || Schupan

WilliamCharles hit the mark with the type of candidates we are looking for in a position – they don’t just push people, they send qualified candidates which makes the process of filling open positions much more efficient.

I have been very satisfied with all of the positions that WilliamCharles has filled for us – they not only find us individuals who fit the job requirements, they also understand what we are looking for from a cultural fit.

WilliamCharles facilitated quality searches that produced qualified candidates in a reasonable amount of time – they make sure that they understand your company and culture and the importance of how fits in the hiring decisions. They are a true business partner, not just another vendor.

Jim Green || Executive Director of Human Resources, Lacks

Human Resources

When I recently retained WilliamCharles for two key executive roles, I was highly interested in hiring for leadership effectiveness and certain behavioral competencies. I expected interest from technically capable executives, but wanted much more. I am very pleased with the results. Both individuals are highly competent and trustworthy. Our goals was to find that right “fit”. WilliamCharles listened well, engaged in strategic sourcing, and as a result, exceeded my expectations.

Pam Ries || SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, Spectrum Health

We’ve recently worked with WilliamCharles for placement of two key roles within our executive leadership team – Chief Financial Officer and Chief People Officer. Bill and Chuck took the time to learn about our business, understand the skill gaps we were trying to fill, and kept our desired culture top-of-mind. In both cases, they were able to source and pre-screen a variety of individuals, providing us with a panel of highly qualified candidates.

Throughout the process, they thoughtfully communicated and served as a liaison between all parties to make sure that the candidate experience was top-notch. They engaged with the candidates throughout, offering timelines, feedback and next steps to keep the relationship warm as we narrowed down our selection. In the end, we extended offers to our top choices and they accepted. We would definitely recommend WilliamCharles to anyone who may need help finding the perfect person (or persons!) in this extremely challenging job market – they deliver!

Bob Von Kaenel || President & Chief Executive Officer, Hope Network

In today’s challenging labor market, finding good candidates to hire is increasingly important, which is where WilliamCharles excels. WilliamCharles helped us fill multiple roles this last year, including Chief Financial Officer and National Sales Manager. Chuck Smeester made the entire process easy, not only sending qualified candidates but also giving insightful information about their fit for the position and making the whole process of scheduling and offering as smooth as can be. I have known and used the services of WilliamCharles for years and highly recommend them to anyone looking for a true search partner.

Heidi Hayes || SoundOff Signal


WilliamCharles has filled two key leadership roles at STARS. In June 2014, we hired a female executive with extensive revenue cycle and health care operations experience for our Chief Operations Officer role. This hire has been an extremely valuable addition to our company. She has been instrumental in improving our culture, leading upgrades to our information technology infrastructure and preparing us for the complex transition to value based payment models. She has since been promoted to our top administrative role- Chief Executive Officer. The other position was a newly created role of Quality Manager. WilliamCharles identified a local candidate with strong clinical management, quality improvement and regulatory compliance experience. This highly successful, passive candidate came from a very small pool of qualified prospects. We hired this candidate to create and implement our quality program in September of 2016. This leader has already been promoted to a director level. WilliamCharles has been a strong partner for us in expanding our recruiting efforts for difficult to fill positions. They welcome the challenge and have an impressive track record of success at STARS!

Michele Bishop, PHR || Talent Acquisition and Communications Consultant, Advanced Radiology Services, PC

I had the opportunity to work with Chuck Smeester and his team at WilliamCharles during a recent search for our Director of Operations. Knowing that this was going to be fairly significant investment of both time and money, it was critically important to work with someone that was completely aligned with what we were trying to do. After the first conversation with Chuck, I was extremely comfortable that he understood our business and the type of candidate we required. 
This confidence in his people and the process was only reinforced as we reviewed the first (and what ended up being only) round of candidates. The resumes were great, but the candidate profiles that Chuck’s team prepared are what absolutely made the difference in the evaluation process. Not only were they thorough, but they were extremely accurate. The character traits that were called out in the profiles were very apparent during the interview process. It was obvious that the WilliamCharles team had invested the time to get to know the prospective candidates, and understood our needs and the required fit as well. After several rounds of interviews, we ultimately made an offer to one of the initial candidates. Chuck was able to advocate well for both parties as we briefly negotiated a few final details and the offer was quickly accepted. Our new Director of Operations has now been on the job for over 60 days and has absolutely hit the ground running. He was the exact right person for this role and the Company will be reaping the benefits of this addition well into the future. The WilliamCharles team was able to bring significant value and made what can be a tiresome process extremely efficient. I can’t speak highly enough about Chuck and his team, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future.

Ray Sayers || President, Thoroughbred Fulfillment

I have had the privilege of working with WilliamCharles on several occasions across three different businesses. Chuck Smeester has identified outstanding candidates in roles as diverse as Procurement, Sales/Marketing, and Finance. Most recently, WilliamCharles guided Crystal Flash in recruiting an exceptional CFO by developing a deep understanding of our culture and business needs, pre-screening a small group of qualified candidates, then helping negotiate a superb match. It is always a fun journey working with the WilliamCharles team.

Tom Olive || President/CEO, Crystal Flash

Private Equity

Our organization had the need to fill a new role in talent acquisition leadership. I am a member of a local HR advisory board, so I reached out to other members of the board to recommend their preferences of recruiters. Each of the three board members I surveyed, based on their past experiences, recommended WilliamCharles. Chuck Smeester worked very closely with me to understand the need and to clarify the various responsibilities which would be expected of the new leader. After this initial vetting process, Chuck provided three very highly qualified candidates for interview. The result was a great hire (and we couldn’t have made a bad choice with either of the other candidates), with whom we are very satisfied. The new leader hit the ground running, has engaged the team and has brought meaningful process change to our organization. Based on my experience, like my colleagues on the HR advisory board, I will recommend WilliamCharles in the future.

Steve Blubaugh || VP Human Resources, USF Holland

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bill Benson and his team at WilliamCharles as both a candidate and a client. As a candidate, Bill was extremely professional, thorough, and engaging as he helped me navigate the decision-making process. As a client, we’ve worked with Bill and his team on numerous successful placements and could not be more pleased with the results. He and his team are very thorough in getting to know the unique needs and requirements for working in a private equity backed high growth business. They know our culture and pace and have helped us find the right talent that will help us drive our performance to the next level. If you are looking for a true partner who will get to know your business and team and stick with you until they get it right, then look no further than William Charles!

Melissa Duncan || Orthodontic Partners

Sales and Marketing

WilliamCharles has been a great partner for Schupan over the years. We have had tremendous success not only with the quality and fit of our new team members , but they provided a very diverse skillset pool which was extremely helpful. Most recently we hired a sales leader for our plastics and aluminum business. WilliamCharles covered the market in terms of industry experience and we found an excellent fit who worked for a competitor.

I also appreciate the extra help they give our organization such as passing along tailored interview questions for positions we were filling on our own.

John Barry || President, Schupan

I am excited to share my experience working with WilliamCharles Search Group. As a company in need of exceptional employees to drive our organization forward, we turned to WilliamCharles to assist us in finding the right candidates for some of our leadership and high-profile individual contributor positions. From the outset, their professionalism, expertise, and dedication was evident.

WilliamCharles took the time to truly understand our company’s values, culture, and specific position requirements. Their approach was not just about matching skills to job descriptions, but about finding individuals who would seamlessly integrate into our team and inspire those around them. Their commitment to delivering candidates who aligned not only with the job but also with our company’s culture was impressive.

Throughout the process, communication was excellent. They kept us informed at every step, providing regular updates, feedback from candidates, and their own insights into how each candidate could contribute to our company’s growth. This level of transparency and engagement made us feel like true partners in the hiring process.

What truly sets them apart is their ability to identify those rare individuals who possess not only the requisite skills but also the intangible qualities that define great leaders and employees. We were faced with the difficult yet exciting task of choosing from a pool of qualified and genuinely impressive individuals.

Thanks to WilliamCharles, we have successfully onboarded outstanding Marketing, Sales, and R&D employees who have already made a significant impact on our company. Their expertise in talent acquisition and their commitment to ensuring the right fit have undoubtedly contributed to our continued success.

I wholeheartedly recommend WilliamCharles to any company seeking top-tier candidates. Their dedication, integrity, and exceptional service make them an invaluable partner in the journey of building a strong and capable organization. We are incredibly grateful for their efforts and look forward to working with them again in the future.

Craig G. || President, Butterball Farms

WilliamCharles found our very successful head of sales in Chicago. From the initial engagement to the final stages of the recruitment process, Bill and his team demonstrated a level of professionalism and dedication that surpassed my expectations. Their ability to understand the nuances of our organization’s requirements and culture was impressive. The executive we selected through WilliamCharles has brought a fresh perspective, valuable skills, and a cultural fit that has positively impacted our organization.

If you are seeking a recruitment partner that goes beyond traditional search firms to understand your unique needs, WilliamCharles is the right choice. Their commitment to excellence, integrity, and results is unmatched, and I confidently recommend their services to any executive or organization seeking top-tier talent.

Tim Shields || President & CEO, Kentwood Office Furniture


Jeff McGraw and his team have consistently delivered exceptional results, serving as our go-to recruiting firm time and time again. Their deep understanding of our portfolio companies coupled with their extensive network and rigorous selection process ensures that we consistently secure the best-fit candidates for our portfolio companies.

Pete M. || Senior Vice President, Family Office

Engaging with Jeff McGraw for the first time has been an absolute success story for our family office. Right from the outset, they impressed us with their unparalleled dedication to understanding our industry nuances, particularly in manufacturing. Their extensive network and meticulous selection process ensured that we found the perfect candidate swiftly and efficiently.

Tim G. || CFO, Heavy Manufacturing Company

Partnering with Jeff McGraw and his team was a strategic decision for our company. Their proactive and retained recruiting approach guaranteed timely results, backed by genuine commitment and effective solutions. We highly recommend their services!

Brad B. || President, Composites Manufacturing Company

Interim/Project Placement

WilliamCharles utilizes an employee selection rigor that keeps a complex recruiting project on track. This process includes job analysis/position description development, compensation benchmarking, candidate sourcing, preliminary interviewing, advanced leadership assessment, candidate selection decision making, offer negotiation, and employee onboarding. Working with WilliamCharles is highly efficient and yields very positive results for all parties involved. I utilized WilliamCharles for several difficult, niche-like executive level roles. WilliamCharles was able to source several ideal candidates. I was impressed that WilliamCharles identified qualified candidates for very specific and difficult openings. We were able to fill our openings with highly qualified and ideally situated candidates. WilliamCharles prides itself in knowing their client. This helps with job fit and job motivation criteria. WilliamCharles provides outstanding 3rd party advocacy to the prospective employer and to the prospective job candidate. This helps all parties in a recruiting transaction. I would use them again. I am using them again right now.

Steve Busch || Director of HR, Grand Rapids Foam Technologies

I appreciate the time WilliamCharles takes to understand not only the position we’re trying to fill but our culture and the characteristics most likely to make candidates successful at our organization. WilliamCharles comes through time and time again when we’ve engaged them on a search. The WilliamCharles team does the hard work of sourcing strong candidates, calibrating on our needs and refining the search and starting the process over again. We have a WilliamCharles alumni group at Ranir. Some on this team go back 10 years or more and others are relatively new. Finding talent that excels and grows with the company begins with understanding what both the candidate and our company are looking for and making those connections. We will continue to partner with WC based on the success we’ve had in the past and their ability to provide talent for our future growth.

Denise Phillips || Sr. Director HR, formerly of Ranir Corporation


I had an exceptional experience working with Paula Perkins at WilliamCharles. Throughout the process, I was met with professionalism, expertise, and a genuine commitment towards a successful outcome. Paula displayed an impressive understanding of the industry and took the time to thoroughly comprehend my skills and career aspirations to ensure a great fit for both myself and the organization. Her personalized approach made me feel valued and supported throughout the process. She addressed my questions to ensure I made informed decisions. Thanks to her unwavering dedication and support, I ultimately secured a position that aligns perfectly with my skillset, goals and aspirations. I cannot express my gratitude enough for the wonderful experience I had working with WilliamCharles, and I wholeheartedly recommend their services to anyone seeking a truly exceptional recruiting firm.

Heather Zak || Chief Financial Officer, Hope Network

The process of working with WilliamCharles was very smooth. They were extremely communicative throughout the entire process, was always on top of scheduling and follow-up questions/concerns. Ensured the process was moving in the right direction and smooth.

I most appreciated the amount of communication and attention I received during the entire process. I was not used to someone remembering exactly what time my interviews would be to then call/email right after asking how it went. it was refreshing to have the amount of support throughout an interview process!

Riley Pobocik || Operations Support Manager, Orthodontic Partners

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