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A Tale of Two Co-Founders

By Cassie Scarano, CEO

Nearly eight years since we co-founded the organization, my friend and colleague James Weinberg will be stepping down as CEO and I will have the honor of assuming the role of CEO to lead Commongood Careers into the next chapter of our growth. During his tenure, James oversaw Commongood Careers’ evolution from start-up to the nation’s most experienced search firm working specifically with nonprofit organizations and has led numerous sector-wide initiatives to advance strategic human capital issues more broadly. You can read more about James’ accomplishments and the early days of Commongood Careers in the following blog post.

It seems like only yesterday that James and I conceived of our partnership over a few dinners in our favorite restaurants in Cambridge. Since then, what an amazing journey we have been on here at Commongood Careers! 

I remember one of the first conversations I had with James about working together. I told him, “My strongest orientation is towards quality. I need your assurance that quality will always be something we focus on.”

To which he replied, “Absolutely, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  And at the same time, my orientation is towards growth. I need you to be ok that I’m always going to be pushing us to have more impact.”

Through many conversations like these, we realized that our personal values and work styles were beautifully complimentary and a successful partnership was launched.

The first months of Commongood Careers were surreal.  From absorbing every business book we could read to conducting a market research study with New Profit Inc. on the recruitment needs of their portfolio organizations, we were off to a running start. From there, we sold our first search engagements to Jumpstart, Year Up, and BELL and working out of our clients’ offices made for the best on-the-ground training we could ask for.

As Commongood Careers grew, we could not have asked for a better leader in James Weinberg.  Over the past 8 years, we have built a team that has placed over 600 amazing job seekers in positions with over 200 leading edge organizations in 30 states.  James has consistently pushed us to think big and take on new challenges while being true to who we are and what we do best. 

James’ positive influence goes well beyond the walls of Commongood Careers. He has been a leading voice on talent issues throughout the sector. Over the years, not a week went by that James didn’t say “How can we do this better?  How can we have more impact?  What have we learned and how can we share it?”

An example of James’ dedication to pushing the sector was the conception of Uncommon Conversations, a multi-city event that gathered nonprofit leaders to have honest and provocative conversations about talent-related issues. The response was powerful and the events resulted in two highly regarded reports for the sector.  Through James’ leadership along these lines, Commongood Careers has advanced its vision that nonprofits are able to secure the talent they need to maximize their potential for social impact.

Those of you who know James have the pleasure of knowing an exceptionally smart, warm and engaging man with huge commitment, amazing passion, enough drive to keep Jet Blue in business, and the tenacity to continually challenge the nonprofit sector to think differently and go beyond when it comes to human capital management issues.

I am so pleased to call James my friend and colleague and know that whatever venture he turns his mind to next will be vastly improved because of his dedication and innovation.  Thank you, James, for creating Commongood Careers and being the co-pilot on the most exciting ride of my professional life!

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