About Us

Samuel J. Associates was formed as an executive search firm specializing in the placement of highly qualified candidates in the U.S. retail market, specifically offering the retail industry an expert resource for recruiting personnel.  Founded by former retail executives and executive search consultants.

Keys to our Success

Samuel J. Associates knows that the key to our success is in the relationships we develop and cultivate, the quality of the clients and candidates we represent, our unparalleled industry knowledge and our flawless execution. It is also developing visibility to generate new business and leveraging our resources into expanding the retail markets we service.

We send a clear message to perspective clients.  Working with Samuel J. Associates is the most efficient way to recruit high impact individuals to their organization.

Though our initial focus was recruitment primarily for the grocery/supermarket industry, we now offer services to a broader scope of clientele in the retail industry and will continue expanding the company.

A continued goal of Samuel J. Associates is to create an atmosphere that is professional, challenging, rewarding, and respectful of individuals and their ideas.

Why use Samuel J. Associates

Let us be an extension of your company. When it comes to recruiting, the human resource department performs this task as part of their regular business functions.  Our key advantage in this scenario is that this is not the sole focus of a human resource manager; therefore they generally do not have the time to dedicate to completing this task as quickly and accurately as we might.  They do not have the resources, contacts, or pulse of what is happening in the rest of the industry as we do.  We have the ability to approach alliances, vendors, and potential candidates on a confidential basis.

Many boutique firms and even national search firms are essentially generalists who represent one candidate that may fit a position they know exists within a company.  In general, they have no solid information of the company’s situation, goals, or restraints.  The national search firms have several offices and a significant amount of recruiters to generate and send out resumes.  However, generally speaking they are not interviewing candidates and making the referral with company’s specific goal in mind.  The other significant weakness to pinpoint is their retention rate.  We compete against them as experts in our field and with a guarantee to our clients that only top-level individuals will be performing the duties.  Our massive database of candidates complete with profile assessments enables us to evaluate qualifications and quickly fill the position with top-notch personnel.  We provide counseling to ensure the transition is comfortable for the individual and their family.  The largest percentages of our candidates are not actively engaged in a job search and Internet advertising represents less than 5% of the candidates we place.  Our retention rate is over 98%.

Internet job sites such cannot provide the standard of identification and selection process that Samuel J. Associates can provide.  The Internet sites do not qualify candidates submitting resumes to job postings.  The result is an influx of resumes.  The time consumed in sorting out potential individuals and prescreening to begin the interview process is extensive to say the least and delays the job fulfillment.

Samuel J. Associates Commitment

Samuel J. Associates is a search firm dedicated to assisting companies in the difficult task of enticing high impact individuals to their organization. These candidates are an investment for our clients and must be capable of making an immediate contribution to the success of the client company.

We must ensure these individuals are capable of performing the duties in question. Extensive interviews, reference/background checks, and meetings with the client company are just parts of the selection process to ensure only the finest candidates are selected for the client company’s consideration.

Jean Forney, Managing Partner, Executive Recruiter

Jean Forney started her career with a major regional supermarket chain in upstate New York, which is one of the largest private companies in the U.S. Fortune magazine named this supermarket to its list of The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America in 1998 and every year following. Industry analyst Neil Stern, quoted in a 1994 front-page story about the grocer in the Wall Street Journal, said, “We consider them the best chain in the country, maybe in the world.” Jean worked through various positions to multi store supervision roles, while completing several continuing education courses including those offered by Cornell University.

After relocating to South Florida, Jean moved on to become a Sales Manager for one of the largest floral importers in Miami. In this role she was responsible for consulting with several large supermarkets around the United States and assisting them in the developing and implementing strong floral programs with innovative product that would generate higher sales and stronger gross margins. She worked almost exclusively with one of the largest Mass Market retailers in the United States in developing their first floral program.

In 1994, Jean started her career as a recruiter to the retail industry, with a specialization in the grocery sector. Now, more than a fifteen years later Jean is well known in both the Executive Search industry amongst her peers as well as in the retail industry amongst her colleagues and clients for her ability to deliver exceptional candidates with a degree of accuracy and integrity unparalled in the recruiting field. Jean has worked with many well known and respected Supermarkets, Mass Merchandisers, Specialty Retail Chains as well as Drug Store Chains. She has successfully partnered with companies such as Weis Markets, Price Chopper Supermarkets, HEB Grocery, The Fresh Market, WinCo, CVS and Rite Aid.

Jean is known for her integrity and client loyalty as well as her professional approach to executive search. Her long-term association with the industry provides her the ability to communicate with all levels of management and to provide valuable input to her clients in the selection process. It is for these reasons that Jean is considered to be a true partner with both her clients as well as the candidates she represents.


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