Our Professional Team - Star Wards, Inc.
Our Professional Team

Star Wards, Inc. is a unique firm with a unique premise:

  • Our Founding Partner has worked directly for a top-tier investment group across every investment in their growing portfolio
  • We know an investment portfolio’s needs
  • We know the sophisticated candidates who will work well in this demanding environment

Star Wards, Inc., is in a saturated market – recruiting – but we bring knowledge of the investor space, a background in law and technology and an unparalleled history of search success.

Here are some tangible results: One client did some research and discovered an 80-20 rule amongst their executive hires – only 20% of outside hires survived over the long run, while 80% of referral hires kept their positions long-term. After hiring us to fill their executive roles, their executive hires had a 95%+ long-term survival rate. It happened because we began searches with our Concentric Circles™, we presented the candidate information in a way that allowed them time during interviews to really get to know our client, and then we built the relationship ourselves with our candidates to ensure they stayed for the long-term.

Our Professional Team

Founder

Leonard Ward

Founder

Leonard Ward is the Founder of Star Wards, Inc. He has spent over a decade serving top-shelf private equity clients in hundreds of searches spanning five continents. Prior to founding Star Wards, Leonard was recruited into Vista Equity Partners in 2012 as one of the first employees of the newly-created Vista Consulting Group (VCG). During his time with Vista, Leonard established executive recruiting that served the entire portfolio, VCG, and Vista itself. Not only are his placements located throughout Vista’s current and former portfolio, but they continue to take on further assignments within Vista’s ecosystem as they progress through their careers. Prior to Vista, Leonard was a Co-Founder at Bespoke Partners, a search firm in San Diego. Prior to founding Bespoke, Leonard was a Recruiting Consultant at Lancer Group.

Leonard is a veteran of the US Air Force, where he spent six years as a Cryptologic Linguist. He holds a Bachelor’s in Information Systems from BYU-Hawaii, and a JD/MBA from the University of San Diego. Leonard lives in San Diego with his wife, Jessica, and their six children.

 
  • What he wants to be when he grows up: A better cook
  • Favorite place traveled: Israel
  • Top Bucket List travel spot: Antarctica
  • Dogs or cats? Definitely cats.
Ben Riddle - Senior Researcher, Star Wards, Inc.
Senior Researcher

Ben Riddle

Senior Researcher

Ben Riddle is our senior researcher. He manages the research efforts of all of Star Wards’ research consultants. His projects run the gamut from junior to the most senior roles, with all levels of complexity. Prior to Star Wards, Ben served as a life insurance agent, first learning the trade with one of the best-known insurance companies in the country, and then as an early employee with Health IQ where he helped the company establish best practices in its sales efforts.

Before his work in insurance, Ben managed the team of Leads with EDS’ management of the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet in San Diego. He also worked as a financial advisor for seven years and holds Series 7, 24, 63, 65 and 66 licenses. Ben holds a Bachelors Degree in Aviation with an emphasis as a Professional Pilot from Utah Valley University. He is a commercial multi-engine-rated pilot with instrument rating and complex aircraft endorsement. He and his wife, Joie, have raised six beautiful children during their 23 years of marriage.

 
  • What Ben wants to be when he grows up: a philanthropist
  • Favorite place traveled: Cabo
  • Top Bucket List travel spot: Sint Maarten
  • Dogs or cats? He just can’t choose
Shauna Durfee - Research Consultant, Star Wards, Inc.
Research Consultant

Shauna Durfee

Research Consultant

Shauna Durfee is a Research Consultant for Star Wards. She has been working on critical, highly-technical projects for technology clients around the country. Before her work with Star Wards, Shauna had several roles in administrative support. She holds a Bachelor’s in Communications with minors in English and Political Science from Cal State-Fullerton. She and her husband, AJ, raise their four delightful sons.

 
  • What she wants to be when she grows up: --
  • Favorite place traveled: Dublin or Paris
  • Top Bucket List travel spot: Dubai or Fiji
  • Dogs or cats? Definitely dogs.
Alex Hirschi - Recruiting Consultant, Star Wards, Inc.
Recruiting Consultant

Alex Hirschi

Research Consultant

Alex Hirschi has been a Recruiting Consultant for Star Wards’ most technical searches since 2016. Among other things, he has finished two critical placements for Rsam, a top-quadrant IT GRC provider on the East Coast.

Alex is an Electrical Engineering student at San Diego State University.

 
  • What he wants to be when he grows up: Electrical Engineer
  • Favorite place traveled: Yosemite National Park
  • Top Bucket List travel spot: Rome
  • Dogs or cats? Dogs.
Leticia Engert - Front-line Researcher, Star Wards, Inc.
Front-line Researcher

Leticia Engert

Front-line Researcher

Leticia Engert is a front-line researcher for Star Wards projects. She has worked on roles from Director through CEO, for technology clients around the country. She also assists in business development initiatives with top-tier private equity groups nationwide.

Leticia is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Nursing.

 
  • What she wants to be when she grows up: Psychiatric Nurse
  • Favorite place traveled: Thailand
  • Top Bucket List travel spot: No favorite. She wants to go everywhere!
  • Dogs or cats? Almost can’t choose, but dogs tip the balance.
Front-line Researcher

Eric Sprouse

Front-line Researcher

Eric Sprouse is a front-line researcher for Star Wards projects. He has worked on roles from Director through CEO, for technology clients around the country. He also assists in business development initiatives with top-tier private equity groups nationwide.

Eric is currently wrapping up his Bachelor’s in Physics.

 
  • What he wants to be when he grows up: Astronaut
  • Favorite place traveled: Shanghai
  • Top Bucket List travel spot: Samoa or Madagascar
  • Dogs or cats? Dogs