Kimley Svendsen, managing director
Kimley is a Co-Founder of Waterstone and leads the Retained Practice, helping clients build talent teams from director-level through C-Suite and across all functions. As a veteran of internal companies and leading services firms, Kimley excels in diverse industries (CPG, software & technology, manufacturing, financial services, advertising, and healthcare) and companies ranging in size from startups to the Fortune 100. She has placed executives within and for industry leaders (Korn Ferry, Citadel, ConAgra, ITW, Uptake), led the college recruiting function for CNA, and the talent function for both GATX and Capital H Group. In these roles, working arm in arm with the C-Suite during rapid expansion, Kimley learned the direct correlation between talent, fit, and survival.
She attributes her versatility and longevity to, first and foremost, strong relationships, as well as a love for systems, processes, and consultative decision-making. Her curiosity for how people relate, work, and make decisions earned her success in recruiting, and is bolstered by her master’s degree from Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. Immersed in the application of business systems to human capital, she has continued to learn new ways to help clients win by aligning talent with company culture.
Placing candidates into the C-Suite, Kimley earns respect from all parties for her consultative candor, uncommon courtesy, and fearless diligence. She treats discovery phases as sacred, and uncovers the reasons roles come open, the obstacles facing the business, and the systems likely to support future success. By leading with questions rather than assumptions, Kimley endears herself to professionals, who feel heard and understood, as well as clients, whose dignity and experience she honors. As a trusted advisor, and self-described “completionist,” Kimley leverages her deep network of relationships to relentlessly serve her clients, often coaching them through systemic challenges rarely solved through hiring alone.
The same integrity and sincerity keep Kimley grounded in her life away from work. She finds meaning in service to her family and community, where she is active with the Lincoln Park Community Shelter. A Chicagoan for decades, Kimley was born in Montana. So when she steps away, she is likely out west, savoring huckleberry pie or hiking a remote trail with her husband and three daughters.
Shawn Primavera, managing director
Shawn co-founded Waterstone to serve diverse clients while thinking and acting as a trusted partner, sharing the disposition of colleagues and offering innovative tools and external perspective. His credibility as an advisor derives from experience in leading successful talent teams and participating in business discussions about the health and direction of firms he’s been a part of throughout his career.
Too often we see other agencies making bold hires without integrating the executive or team into the culture, operations, and future of a business. In contrast, Shawn partners with clients on-site to learn the business, perform current-state analyses, and align his findings with business objectives and resources. He invites clients to discover how current talent choices impact their business, from an individual business unit up to the enterprise level. In partnership, Shawn creates talent strategies to help leaders benchmark successes against actionable checkpoints. With each great hire, department leaders recognize Shawn’s shared investment and become confident champions of the process.
Prior to Waterstone, Shawn led the talent growth of Acquity Group, at the time an emerging services firm that is now part of Accenture, increasing the number of full-time employees from 80 to 450 in two years. In his early career, he honed his skills within talent development while working at leading organizations such as Whitman-Hart, Accenture, AON/Hewitt and Hudson Highland. Throughout his career, Shawn spent a good percentage of it within companies going through a transformation and/or high growth.
Since Waterstone’s inception, Shawn has had the great privilege to leverage his experience with companies like iManage, a software company, where he led talent strategy and hiring initiatives and expanded the team of core engineers to over 200 full-time employees; Aptiv, a Fortune #63 Autonomous Vehicle Tier-1 OEM that became its own entity after separating from Delphi, where Waterstone was responsible for the entire Talent Acquisition strategy and execution, hiring over 100 employees to the Aptiv team within 6 months.
Shawn knows these long-term successes are possible only with holistic talent strategy. As an experienced leader on the ground, Shawn moves teams forward by identifying capability gaps and leveraging Waterstone’s services to define processes for cultural fit, customized onboarding, and rigorous organizational development. Shawn helps build the talent systems which sustain our clients’ work, leaving them stronger for years.
Away from work, Shawn enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf courses across the country, and cooking. With highly ambitious Chef intentions, he himself admits his skills might only get him past the 1stround on Chopped.
Amy Dordek, Managing Director
Amy is a serial entrepreneur and has been immersed in the Chicago startup scene for more than 25 years, having helped launch four previous startups. Most recently, she joined GrowthPlay at its inception, prior to its funding by Driehaus Private Equity. She helped in the evaluation and integration of GrowthPlay's acquisitions and subsequently focused on driving revenue, scaling the business and building GrowthPlay’s brand.
Before joining the company, Amy had her own sales consulting firm, which was merged with GrowthPlay. Before that, she had sales and leadership roles with BPI group, global outplacement and HR consulting firm, as well as Capital H Group, a human capital consulting firm.
A lifelong Chicagoan, Amy is on the board of the International Women’s Forum Chicago and served two terms as Board President of Meals on Wheels Chicago. Most recently, Amy and her husband, ABC 7 Chicago’s Steve Dolinsky started a Chicago pizza tour company, Pizza City USA. Amy is passionate about developing and mentoring future women leaders. She started a formal mentoring program to support and connect early-stage female startup founders with veteran women entrepreneurs. Amy and Steve enjoy live music, dining and traveling around the world with their two teenage children, Madeline and Max.
Elizabeth Faddis, managing director
Elizabeth earns our clients’ respect because she speaks their language. Adept at selling talented candidates on emerging companies, building customized outreach tools for clients, or aligning hiring objectives with C-suite business needs, Elizabeth can do it all. She built this fluency over fifteen years of building talent within organizations and the infrastructure to support them, across industries (technology, software, financial services, professional services) and development phases, from early-stage to the Fortune 500.
Having led corporate talent teams and formalized HR processes at CNA, Capital H Group, CVM, Quesocial, and Channel IQ, Elizabeth knows the value of close partnership with both executive leadership and hiring managers. Her strategic perspective when defining talent strategy against business goals, and granular understanding of HR programs (employer branding, performance management, and professional development) delight our clients across leadership levels for the long term.
Elizabeth succeeds with clients because she models sustainable growth for our firm. Drawn by Waterstone’s entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity to shape its future, Elizabeth respects and trusts her colleagues, and thus transmits care and commitment to her clients. Unafraid to learn, Elizabeth seizes opportunities to grow both our client bas and our team through business and professional development initiatives. Elizabeth is serious about helping show the way to junior colleagues, consciously creating training processes which offer experiential shadowing and inclusion on client-facing work to junior staff.
Outside Waterstone, Elizabeth plays the role of amateur referee and Lego negotiator with her two young sons. She doesn’t miss a trip to the Mars Cheese Castle and is an avid fashionista, making the rest of us look like a bunch of slouches. But let’s be honest, most of her waking hours are spent finding quiet spots in the office to focus and avoid gossip about the tastiest flavor of Pringles, who was in jeopardy or Dancing with the Stars, and which superhero has the most enviable powers.
Anastasia Gilbaugh, Director of Operations
Having lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East, and North America, Anastasia’s passion for studying human dynamics and decision-making is lifelong and boundless. This passion, strengthened by years recruiting for distinguished companies in finance, hospitality, and executive recruiting, led her to pursue her MSHR from the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.
With her formal training and broad experience across functions, Anastasia has built a record of success in both Managed Solutions and Internal Operations work she leads for Waterstone. Equally comfortable leading full-cycle recruitment projects, or guiding teams to refine their operations, restructure workflow, or analyze data, Anastasia excels. Our clients value her nimbleness in response to changing conditions and respect her pragmatic focus on solution-oriented action. Her analytical, evidence-based approach lets data speak for itself and allows our clients to make decisions with confidence.
JEFF WILLIAMS, managing director
Jeff shares Waterstone’s nimbleness, know-how and entrepreneurial ethos. He founded his own company and went on to build the IT recruiting team for a decade at one of Chicago’s most respected talent firms. Because he understands the growth mindset of emerging markets nationwide, Jeff helps clients thrive via full-life-cycle and project recruiting, no matter their domain (autonomous vehicles, C-level, information technology) or phase of development.
Crediting his tenure within talent acquisition to equal parts advisory candor and relentless hunger, Jeff’s authentic nature allows him to appraise his clients’ needs, ask questions others may avoid, and convey this insight to decision-makers. His unyielding efforts result in clients reaching their hiring goals.
Away from work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, cooking for friends, playing golf courses across the country, and crafting handmade art in his home woodshop. He is a die-hard Chicago sports fan.
MADDIE BURKE, associate
Maddie recently moved to Chicago from Dayton, Ohio to begin her career in recruiting. She studied Strategic Communications at Miami University where she gained valuable internship experience in the fashion industry. After spending three months living and working in New York City, she quickly learned the importance of building relationships to ensure client satisfaction in a fast paced and luxurious environment which she will be continuing with her career at Waterstone.
When Maddie isn’t in the office, you will most likely find her exploring the city to find the best restaurants and happy hours with friends or FaceTiming her two puppies, Oscar and Felix (and family), so they never forget who their favorite human is.
Lindsay Chow, senior Associate
Lindsay brings an undying sense of curiosity and a solutions oriented mindset to recruiting at Waterstone. Born in Long Island, New York, raised in Hong Kong, China and rooted in Chicago, Lindsay has worked in two client service based industries of film entertainment and small business consulting. She focuses on building relationships with her clients in order to truly understand their areas of opportunity and needs. In striving to find the most suitable solution for the client, she addresses every client with curiosity and a listening ear.
When not in the office, you can find Lindsay exploring the city of Chicago, a place she has called home for the past five years. Whether it be a new restaurant, cafe or park, Lindsay is always eager to find the hidden gems of the city.
Ericka Hamm, associate
Ericka’s ability to evaluate, assess, and implement solutions comes as an asset to Waterstone. She received her bachelor of science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where she also worked in research and evaluation throughout her four years. During this time she worked for a leading researcher in bullying, and later as an evaluation assistant for an educational evaluation company. Ericka took her passion for community improvement outside of work and school, and into her volunteer work as well. Her initiative led to the implementation of a professional development program for all staff at the UIUC health center.
In her free time, Ericka loves to travel and experience new cultures. Beyond international destinations, she finds excitement in the buzz of city life within Chicago. At home she loves creating treats for her friends and family, so much so, that she named her Bichon Frise-Shih Tzu mix puppies Cookie and Muffin.
Erin Wren, Senior Associate
Erin brings a sense of inquisitiveness and tenacity along with an operational mindset to recruiting at Waterstone. Erin grew up in Plainfield, IL but always knew she wanted to live in the city. She started her career in marketing for a litigation consulting company and then transitioned into recruiting. Her experience in both fields has led her to develop the foundation of building positive relationships with her clients, candidates and colleagues. She earned her bachelors from Minnesota State University in Marketing while she played soccer for the Mavericks.
When Erin isn’t in the office you’ll most likely find her at Flywheel, playing soccer or studying as she is working on earning an MBA from North Park University. She also loves to explore the city and check out happy hours and new restaurants.
Alison primavera, researcher
Returning for a second summer at Waterstone, ready to remove more staples and open more pistachio shells for the team than last year. Alison is new to the recruiting game, but eager to learn and apply her own moves.
Alison is attending IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis, she loves any chance to explain the long-winded name), finishing up degrees in Communications, Public Relations, and Event Management and enjoying almost every minute of it.
Outside of balancing a school-work life, she enjoys exploring new places with her camera and an empty stomach. It’s easy to find her around town at sporting events, street festivals, parks, or anywhere with live music.
Whether it’s for class assignments or personal experiences, Alison always keeps an eye out for new opportunities to volunteer, shadow, and get involved with different communities.
Lori De Carlo, Associate
Lori brings a strong sense of enthusiasm and love for client-focused work to recruiting at Waterstone. She recognizes the uniqueness and importance of each candidate, aims to meet their diverse needs and forms long lasting relationships. Lori has cultivated her amiable style over two decades through fundraising, sales, project management and client services in New York and Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in English from The Ohio State University.
Outside of work, Lori enjoys spending time with her teen daughters at their dance, theater and sporting events, biking the lake and attending art and music festivals with friends. She is involved in several charities and believes in giving back to the communities in which she lives and works.
Olivia Brown, Associate
After graduating from Furman University in Greenville, SC, Olivia began her work experience at a startup in Austin, TX. After a year and a half in inside sales she found her passion for recruiting and pivoted into the recruiting department. Olivia brings an eager, client focused mindset to Waterstone. She is determined on finding the best solution for the client while always providing a quality candidate experience.
When Olivia isn’t in the office you can find her exploring Chicago restaurants or hanging out on the River Walk.
Evan Sherman-Hayes, Associate
Early 2018, Evan moved to Chicago to pursue his dream of living in the big city. With him, he brings a relationship-focused approach and a passion for working with people. Evan graduated from Bradley University in Peoria, IL with a degree in Human Resources Management. While attending Bradley, he completed several internships that put his sales ability and marketing knowledge to the test. These skills combined with his strategic HR knowledge make him a strong addition to the Waterstone team.
Outside of work, Evan loves exploring the streets of Chicago by bike or on foot, stopping at every restaurant and coffee shop along the way. Evan enjoys watching hockey and soccer and loves going to Blackhawks games whenever he gets the chance. Evan's perfect day would be hanging out at the beach with his friends, enjoying a cold drink, and his dog, Bart.
Taylor Tenca, Associate
Born and raised in the Chicagoland area, Taylor attended Carthage College and graduated with a degree in Marketing and minor in Public Relations. After starting her career in sales and building long-lasting relationships with her clients, Taylor decided to move into the world of recruiting. She brings competitive drive to the team at Waterstone, forged by years participating in track and field at the collegiate level.
Outside of work Taylor enjoys being on the go. She values living a healthy life-style, traveling to new cities, and enjoys a cup of green tea daily. Growing up with Italian cooking, her favorite food is Gnocchi.