Our Story, Our Culture
An Ambitious Vision
Blue Rock Search was formed around a simple but ambitious vision of creating a firm that would, “Change Lives and Organizations One Relationship at a Time.”
In 2015, Chris Rios, Nancy Estep-Critchett, and Ruben Moreno sat down to combine their talents in a small rent-by-the-hour conference room in Sarasota, Florida. Although they were from different backgrounds, these three seasoned business people shared core values and an expertise in executive search. A decade earlier, Chris had enjoyed a successful career as a chef before switching to executive recruiting in the HR space. Nancy had owned several business services companies and was an expert in all aspects of franchising. Ruben had managed HR teams in large corporate environments for globally recognized brands.
Together they had over 50 years of diverse experience, spanning corporate operating standards and efficiencies, shaping corporate culture, and entrepreneurship. More importantly, they shared a vision to create an executive search firm that would change the lives of its employees, clients, and candidates through lasting from that vision, Blue Rock Search was born.
Blue Rock is committed to being a company that clients can rely on to represent their organization professionally in all encounters and within a framework built on trust, mutuality, and commitment:
Trust enabled by operating as a partner that clients can consistently rely on to represent them professionally and act in their best interests. Mutuality is represented through transparent communication and the alignment of Blue Rock and client objectives. Commitments are made to serve clients through the entirety of the process, establishing strong, lasting relationships.
In 2018, the partners made the decision to join Sanford Rose Associates (SRA), ranked as the “10th Largest U.S. Search Firm,” by Executive Search Review. As a member of the SRA network, Blue Rock Search is part of a global consortium of 200+ search firms from which they can access resources, professional search experts, and a network of consultative support for their clients.
In 2019, Blue Rock’s HR practice acquired and fully integrated the ReCreation Partners in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2020, Blue Rock was named to the Hunt Scanlon HR/Diversity Recruiting Power 65 and in 2021, after having successfully completed a one-year certification process, Blue Rock was awarded its MBE Certification.
Over the years, Blue Rock Search has enjoyed continuous growth beyond the three-person team that opened its doors. Blue Rock has offices in Sarasota, Florida, Knoxville, Tennessee, and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as team members working virtually around the country.
In June 2022, Chris Rios, Founding Partner, and CX Practice Leader passed away. As the partner who led the company’s efforts to craft a superior customer experience for both clients and candidates, Chris leaves behind a legacy built on values he helped shape.
As a trusted partner, Blue Rock Search is committed to being a company that clients can rely upon to represent their organization professionally in all encounters and within a framework built on trust, mutuality and commitment.
Trust, by acting as a partner that clients could consistently rely on to represent them professionally and always operate in their best interests. Mutuality, by operating with transparency and aligning Blue Rock’s goals to support our partner’s goals and best intentions. Commitment and a dedication to serving our clients in the pursuit of their cultural and business objectives while building strong, lasting relationships.
Once the decision to form Blue Rock Search was made, we made a second major decision and joined Sanford Rose Associates (SRA), ranked as the “10th Largest U.S. Search Firm,” by Executive Search Review. As a member of the SRA network, we have access to systems, professional search experts, and a network of consultative support, allowing us to deliver the caliber of talent our clients require and deserve.
Over the years, Blue Rock Search has grown enormously from the three-person team that opened our doors. We are MBE Certified and focused on executive recruiting in four practice areas: Human Resources, Franchise, Customer Experience, and Higher Education. We currently have offices in Sarasota, Florida, and Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as recruiters working virtually around the country, providing recruiting and staffing services for clients of all sizes in the United States and globally.
No matter where they are located, Blue Rock team members are dedicated to our values of trust, mutuality, commitment, and Relationships Built to Last.