Meet the Team – Donna Garon, Senior HR Consultant

Meet Donna GaronSenior HR Consultant at Chesapeake Search Partners. She brings more than 20 years of HR operations experience to CSP.

Donna’s involvement with SHRM chapter events led her to meet CSP’s HR Practice Director, Jason Nemoy, and ultimately land a role with the team.  “In 2019, Jason reached out with an amazing opportunity for me to support CSP in an HR consultant role that was an ideal fit that aligned perfectly with my strengths,” said Donna. “I collaborated with Jason and the team so well. It was such a rewarding experience. Today, I’m lucky to be supporting CSP’s clients on an ongoing basis, structuring and building the foundations of high-quality HR departments.”

In her role, Donna supports HR teams in facilitating positive change and developing competitive advantages for their companies. “When run properly, HR teams can impact the bottom line – reducing the costs associated with turnover, compliance issues, legal risks, and costly errors. When you think about it, disgruntled employees have the potential to be more productive employees. I stress to my clients that there’s an opportunity to bring it back to the basics. This means getting people compensated fairly, securing and streamlining benefits coverage, and prioritizing excellent internal customer follow-up. All of this helps keep turnover costs down and increases productivity.” 

Donna continues to focus on elevating HR from a purely administrative and processing role, to becoming a business partner that adds value, reduces turnover, increases productivity, and brings in quality hires. “We look for ways to collaborate with leadership teams that do not fully support HR. My challenge is to win them over and encourage them to accept HR as a trusted asset of information and guidance.” 

Donna originally hails from Southington, Connecticut, and has lived up and down the east coast in New York City, Alabama, and Georgia. Today she resides in Maryland with her three sons. She balances her work and personal life by allocating plenty of time for family, volunteering, activism, and providing guidance and support to others. She also enjoys attending live music events, participating in cosplay at the Renaissance Festival, and doing performance art in Washington DC.  


Meet the Team – Kristen Zak, Search Consultant

Meet Kristen Zak, Search Consultant – Accounting and Finance Practice

A native of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, Kristen brings a vast PA-based candidate network to CSP.  She enjoys her multi-functional, ever-evolving role, with no day ever being exactly alike. 

Kristen was drawn to the CSP team’s dedication to their core values and commitment to not only the success of their clients and candidates but their teammates as well. “I enjoy the match-making process, helping to source the best clients for our candidates and vice versa. I also enjoy the educational aspect, teaching both candidates and clients about market trends, and coaching them on the process of building teams, tackling interviews, and guiding them through the offer process.” 

Both professionally and personally Kristen enjoys seeing others succeed and being able to support them throughout that process. “Whether it’s witnessing the joy and happiness my friends or family are experiencing doing something they love or checking in and hearing candidates’ success stories after starting a new job, it’s all very rewarding to me.” 

Looking ahead, Kristen is excited to build more travel into her schedule. A history buff, she has enjoyed visiting Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. The next destination on her list is the United Kingdom to see the Scottish and Welsh castles, the Irish countryside, London, and the Cliffs of Dover.  

A graduate of Penn State University, Kristen currently resides in her hometown of Shrewsbury with plans to move to the Towson area within the year. 

Meet the Team – Jesse Nigrin, Search Consultant

Meet Jesse Nigrin, Search Consultant – Sales, Marketing, and Administrative Practice

One year into launching his career at CSP, Jesse views Baltimore as brimming with opportunity and a great place to build a future. “I was born and raised in the Baltimore area, I graduated from Towson University and I continue to reside here in the region. I have built an extensive network here over the years and I am looking forward to building upon that as I continue to grow my professional relationships with employers and candidates.” 

Jesse enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and his family and friends – most of whom are located in the area. “I joined CSP because I was drawn to the recruiting industry and helping people to achieve their goals. It’s fascinating to connect with candidates from all walks of life and take on the challenge of finding them their next role. I am honored to experience all of this in a company with a family-type atmosphere.” 

When it comes to the ebb and flow of the job and the market, Jesse tries to maintain balance. “I try not to get too high about the good and too low about the bad. I also take time away and focus on what brings me peace outside of work which is travel, outdoors and sports. I once backpacked throughout the state of Utah.” Next on his list is a trip overseas to England, Spain, or Italy. 

Jesse received a B.S. in Sports Management, has refereed and coached many leagues, and enjoys watching a variety of sports including football, basketball, and soccer. 

Meet the Team – Kristin (Sudina) Freitag, Senior Search Consultant

Meet Kristin (Sudina) Freitag, Senior Search Consultant – Real Estate and Financial Services Practice

Recruiting is truly in Kristin’s DNA. Her passion for recruiting began when her father mentored her at his recruiting firm, where she recruited for Accounting. “I have learned that so many people benefit from someone who can simply be there to listen to them, provide information and insight, and share new opportunities. We all need help navigating our careers and it’s nice to support people as they evolve and work through those challenges and various stages of growth.”

Kristin was drawn to CSP after meeting the team and learning about the firm’s core values and the verticals it specializes in. “I love helping people and that passion is clearly shared by everyone on the CSP team. We all respect that each placement is unique, but the key is to be transparent, be patient, trust the process, and in my case, pray.”

Originally from Homeland Mews in Baltimore, Kristin now resides in Northern Baltimore County with her husband, two young daughters, and red lab Gunner. Similar to her passion for helping people in their careers, Kristin takes pride in helping people excel at service-oriented activities and sports, currently coaching indoor soccer for SJS Cockeysville. When she’s not coaching, attending church with her family, or watching sports, Kristin prefers to be anywhere with a beach and warm water.

Meet the Team – Michael Dos Santos, Search Consultant

Meet Michael Do Santos, Search Consultant – Engineering and Operations Practice

Although he’s resided in Bel Air, MD for much of his life, Michael is a loyal New York Yankees and Giants fan. His family is originally from New York, and his extended family is in Portugal – all of who have made sacrifices for Michael to be able to attend college and pursue a career.

Michael joined CSP in 2022 after spending almost two years in the talent acquisition industry focused on lower-level industrial positions. After gaining recruiting experience and developing connections in the industry at another firm, Michael transitioned to CSP where he would have the opportunity to focus on higher-level positions and build closer relationships with clients and candidates. “CSP is truly a special place that keeps its word on its four core values: communication, commitment, consistency, and integrity. My values and CSP’s core values align perfectly and I feel like I am a part of a family,” said Dos Santos.

A driving factor for Michael is that his role gives him the ability to have such a large and positive impact on people’s lives. “I have recognized in this industry that if you treat people with respect, they will never forget you and the service that you provided to them. I have the opportunity to even impact those who don’t land a job by coaching them and helping them understand how they can further develop themselves so that they will have a better chance of landing a job next time. It’s all very rewarding to me.” 

When Michael is not building a talent pool of Manufacturing Engineers, Quality Engineers, Project Engineers, and C-level Construction and Labor roles, he spends time coaching a high school-level baseball team and hiking trails in the region with his friends. He hopes to follow in his parent’s footsteps and plant a foundation for himself in the Baltimore area as he looks to purchase a home soon.