The Show Must Go On

by Jen Schneider

One of the biggest things I have learned both personally and professionally is that there are times the show must go on. And for those who persevere, you and those around you will be stronger for it.

When I was 18, I auditioned and joined my first band – ‘Knock Off Ned’. Over the years I have continued to play in a few other bands, ending my classic rock career with ‘The Jen N Tonics’ alongside my dad, the drummer, and my now husband, who played guitar.

Playing in a cover band wasn’t always easy. We played in bars all over the Baltimore area and, as you can imagine, shows did not always go as planned. Technical issues and equipment are oftentimes tremendous hurdles, but more than that were the critics who would voice their opinions after each set. It wasn’t easy to continue to perform when someone would stand next to the stage waiting for your next break.

Now for me, wardrobe was important. I loved putting fun outfits together and I remember one show where I dropped my super cute “performance shirt” in the toilet (because the bathroom was my “dressing room”). I couldn’t just go to the owner of the bar and say, “Hey, I don’t have the shirt I want, we need to pack it up and call it a night.” I ended up wearing the tank top I had on even though it was sweaty and covered in dirt from hauling our equipment into the venue. In the end I don’t think anyone noticed.

One of the hardest obstacles to overcome was playing to no audience. My Number One fan was my mother who would always attend our shows, but there were nights where we were playing for just her and the bartender. Playing music for two people for two plus hours is tough. Crowd energy can make or break a show, but we always finished those shows with a smile on our faces (even when we didn’t feel like it).

As we navigate life in the time of COVID, I am reminded of the obstacles we faced when performing. Being a search consultant right now isn’t easy, and I think it is safe to say life during COVID isn’t easy in general. While I know those hiccups I mentioned are small compared to what everyone is facing today it reminds me that even when things don’t go according to plan, we as professionals have to perform. We must perform to support our families, to maintain momentum, and for me, to perform to offer the level of partnership to clients and candidates.

Whether it is navigating your Wi-Fi, homeschooling your kiddos, travel restrictions or missing Friday happy hours – all coupled with  the lingering anxiety and uncertainty surrounding a pandemic- you have to take a step back. As long as you continue to perform you will get the best outcome possible.

Last year ‘The Jen N Tonics’ came out of retirement after six years for a charity event. Even though we practiced for months before the show, we were rusty and made mistakes, but it was one of the best shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. We played for a great cause, Special Olympics Maryland, and I was blessed to perform with my sons (ages two and four at the time), my dad and my husband in front of some of the most important people in our lives.

During these times as we embrace this “new normal” I hope you are able to smile through the difficulties, support one another, sing, dance and continue to perform. Give yourself grace in those moments when you stumble because as long as you take a breath and continue pushing forward, the show will go on.


Meet the Team – Johnny Black, Partner, Practice Director

Meet Johnny Black, one of our Founders and Practice Directors. Johnny has been in the recruiting industry his entire professional career from Intern to now a founder of a firm. Throughout his career he has successfully recruited for a variety of skills to include Real Estate, Banking, Finance, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Procurement, Accounting and even Human Resources. This experience has allowed him to support many companies and individuals.

When it comes to Johnny’s approach to business, he believes it’s always about the people that can help shape your career. “I have been fortunate to surround myself with so many great people early in my career. I believe it fuels my passion for this business. Individuals from my parents, to Coach Koudelka at Lynchburg Men’s Lacrosse, to Ned Walton, to my CSP partners and entire team; they have all helped me get better personally and professionally. I have those individuals to thank and so many more for helping me along the way.”

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey getting there.”

When Johnny isn’t spending time with Chesapeake Search Partners, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Erin, and daughters Parker (5) and Wynn (3). While he appreciates the invite to a best ball golf outing, he’ll be the first one to tell you he’s not an avid golfer. He brings his passion to squash, tennis, and paddle…big racquet sports guy. Oh yeah…and he’s definitely into the Peloton movement.

Published by John Geraghty

As I was driving my family to Ocean City on a recent trip the dreaded “are we there yet?” was asked by my 7-year-old son. I encouraged him to just sit back, enjoy the ride and the time we get to spend together as a family (not that we need any more time together during COVID). I reasoned that he should enjoy the moment, live in the present and, at the end of the day, we will never truly be “there,” that there is always something that is next. He looked at me and said “ok,” clearly not understanding what I was talking about but bored with the conversation and my existential rant.

This innocent exchange stuck with me and made me think further about how that simple question has so much meaning to the existence and viability of our businesses. We all struggle with our own COVID business challenges. The “are we there yet?” question always seems to pop up in one way or another:

Do we have enough resources for our employees?
Do we have enough money to cover our obligations?
Do we have enough work in our pipeline?

The list goes on.

This journey of running a successful and meaningful business is no small task. And, it’s not a destination. We won’t just get there one day. Rather, it’s an evolution, hopefully toward greatness, and a continual search for improvement and growth as individuals, team members, employees, and trusted business partners. This has given me newfound motivation to keep fighting and pushing for more.

Another challenge to open my eyes is remote work. As strange as it sounds, being apart from my team has made me realize how much more important our relationships – with everyone – truly are. Rather than focusing my energy and efforts on when we can get back to the office, when things will return to normal, or when we can we all go to happy hour, I was missing the fact that I still had 10 amazing individuals with whom I get to work with daily. The simple and limited interactions we have have made me miss them even more. What used to be mundane office tasks now seem like the greatest thing ever. The journey of being with others who share a common goal and passion for our business is what excites me. Sure, getting deals done is why we work, but the process and day to day interactions — water cooler talk about the Orioles, strategizing about a difficult situation, even eating lunch around a table – are what matter, make us a team and give us purpose. It is true that you can learn something new every day and by living in the moment, and fully appreciating this fact makes me a better person, colleague, business partner, and leader.

Lastly, I’ve learned that technology and accessibility is more important than ever. These new advancements of tracking our activities give us a sense of being together again and we know what everyone is doing. Zoom and MS Teams are a great way for us to stay in touch with each other. In January I remember questioning why video calls were better than regular phone calls. Now, I get it. Seeing others – facial expressions and body language – provides invaluable insight into how others are receiving our message. All of these things make me appreciate being in the moment and feeling like we are together. I used to say I couldn’t wait until this pandemic was over, dreading another Zoom call. Now, while I still do want to see people in person, hopping on a Zoom or Teams meeting still lets us feel connected. Now I try to enjoy and get the most out of these daily interactions.

We all have our moments of frustration and keeping things in perspective is not something you can do all the time. Personally, I need to slow down, stop focusing on what’s next, and live in the moment to the best of my ability. The only true answer to “are we there yet?” is that we never will be there. Rather we are here and should consider ourselves lucky to be here and to live each moment.

About John Geraghty

As a Founding Partner of Chesapeake Search Partners, John Geraghty has spent over 12 years in the Recruiting industry in Baltimore. After 5 + years of Accounting & Finance search, John, Rick Fribush, and Johnny Black started Chesapeake Search Partners to deliver a better experience for our clients and candidates as well and provide a positive team-oriented atmosphere for their Recruiting team. John now leads Recruiting Operations for CSP and helps support all 4 practices but primarily Accounting & Finance Direct Hire, Retained, and Contract roles.  Feel free to contact the Accounting & Finance Practice team or any of CSP’s Search Consultants at

It’s Tough to Say “No”

by Jason Nemoy

For those that are in transition, take all potential offers into consideration… that certainly includes the compensation package, but sometimes more importantly the experience. Was the interview process 3 interviews in one day, and an offer that evening? Do you know your potential future boss well enough to feel good about the long-term? It’s tough, especially when you’re in transition, to say “no”… but take the time to reflect. Reach out to your colleagues for thoughts and opinions. Don’t go into your decision alone. Be creative.

The ‘Thank You’ Note…Make It Happen

by Jason Nemoy

For those that are in transition, your ability to provide a lasting and favorable impression with folks in your network is key. And the ‘Thank You’ note can certainly support those efforts. A hand-written message (yes…. snail mail) is one of the most effective ways to express appreciation, but an email or call is great too. Try to develop a habit of thanking those who are helping you find your next home. Build and maintain your network. Be creative.