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Retained Launches New Website to Enhance Executive Search Solutions

Retained Launches New Website to Enhance Executive Search Solutions

By Retained | May 7, 2024

Atlanta, May 7th – Retained, a prominent executive search firm reengineering the executive search process, is thrilled to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website. This “reengineered” website has been meticulously designed to enhance user experience and showcase Retained’s comprehensive search solutions, unique differentiators, and successful case studies.

“Our new website is an excellent representation of our brand and highlights our key differentiators that truly set us apart from other search firms,” said Betsy Robinson, Founder and CEO of Retained.

Key features of the new website include detailed information on Retained’s search solutions, a rich selection of client testimonials, and an overview of its unique approach to reengineering the executive search process. The site also tells a compelling company story and showcases the firm’s prestigious awards.

These elements offer a holistic view of Retained’s expertise, brand, and success in the industry.

“In today’s business environment, leadership and storytelling go hand in hand,” explains Tino Mantella, President & Managing Partner, Retained. “This site brings our purpose to life. Our story reveals our uniqueness and passion for placing exceptional talent who contribute to the advancement of their company.”

Retained is a collective of leaders dedicated to bridging the gap between innovative organizations and exceptional, diverse talent in the technology and nonprofit sectors. As a division of the award-winning Tier4 Group, Retained fosters connections, dismantles barriers, and shapes a future where diversity isn’t just celebrated; it’s a prerequisite for success. This new website is helping Retained bring this missing to life.

About Retained 

Retained is a premier executive search firm specializing in the full-time, fractional, or interim placement of senior technology leaders, C-suite executives in technology and non-profit companies. Retained is a subsidiary of one of the nation’s fastest-growing talent brands, Tier4 Group, and leverages strong industry connections and deep expertise in these sectors to deliver unparalleled solutions. Retained’s unique process employs a human-centric approach complemented by powerful AI tools to identify and place premier talent. This innovative method connects organizations with candidates who not only meet their needs but also enrich their teams with diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives. For more information, visit

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Jonathan Palombo

Standing Out or Standing Together?

By Retained | April 19, 2024

Interviewing is an art. At Retained and Tier4 Group, we strive to fill jobs with exceptional candidates. The interviewee will find ways to draw distinctions between themselves and the pack. They stand out.

Collaborators often stand out because they are team players. They stand out in an interview because they are great team players at work. They readily share information up and down the line. They are less concerned about topping their peers for that coveted promotion because they value helping others be successful. They don’t always have to grab the limelight by putting others down. And, most importantly, they have figured out that working together and sharing information generally means a happier workplace, better results, and more recognition in the long run. Don’t get me wrong, there are times to compete, avoid, compromise, and accommodate (referencing the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument). Yet, a heavy dose of collaboration is almost always present with the best leaders.

Adam Grant, in his new book, Hidden Potential, brings my point on collaboration to life as he relays the true story about “The Golden Thirteen”:

It was January 1944, as the wars in Europe and Asia were at their peak. Naval black combatants were relegated to menial roles aboard ships. That was about to change. Sixteen black men were selected for officer training. They were 20- and 30-year-old men with varied backgrounds, including porters, lawyers, mechanics, and other walks of life. They weren’t selected because they all possessed exceptional traits.

The sixteen men were separated from the white class that was going through the program at the same time. They had their own cohort. And many expected them to fail. The classes weren’t easy as a typical class had a 25% failure rate.

Here is the punchline. Every member of the class of sixteen soared past the requirements. In fact, years later, the group of sixteen learned that their test scores were, collectively, the highest on record for many years. Why the higher scores? There are several reasons. First, many of the white candidates saw themselves as competing with the other candidates for the coveted officer roles. Generally, they were less willing to share. They were in win mode. Why give their fellow candidate information that they worked so hard to garner, so that they could get THEIR spot. The black candidates had a higher purpose. They had something to prove. It wasn’t about beating out the others; it was about getting everyone over the finish line. So, they shared and they shared and they shared. They learned which each person was good at and that person(s) taught the others. It was a leave-no-man-behind approach. In this way, every candidate was given their best chance to be successful.

Thirteen of the sixteen candidates ended up being chosen as officers. They were known as the “Golden Thirteen”. Their success not only helped them but also opened the doors to the multitudes to follow in their footsteps.

Have you known people who keep information to themselves? People who take more credit for success and less for failure? They might always be in competition mode, and not with the outside world but with their supposed teammates.

The Golden Thirteen or, I would go as far to say, the Sweet Sixteen, demonstrated the value of working together without concern for being the best. They had a higher purpose which was to prove that they could do as well or better than anyone, and by doing so, they could set the Navy on a new course of fairness and respect for all.

That’s a lesson for all of us to live by.


Entering the Brave New World of Retained Search

By Retained |

Well, Retained Search isn’t new to the world, but it’s new to me. Some of you reading this may be wondering why the heck I jumped into another new field.  The answer is easy.  I love challenges that test my abilities.

I am one of the lucky ones (although it’s been said that “luck is when preparation meets opportunity”), because I can say that I have enjoyed every step and every pivot in my career. From running park districts, YMCAs, leading a major health charity to a technology association, and then on to a tech advisory company then a leadership development company, I now find myself in the world of executive search.  Believe it or not, there are more similarities than differences in my career path.  To me, leadership skills plus tenacity can generally enable one to have a purpose-driven impact.  This is not to say that it’s always been a bed of roses.  There have been mistakes along the way, but I can honestly say that I’ve learned more from the blunders than from the wins.

Retained is a division of Tier4 Group, so I’m not starting from scratch.  Tier4 Group is an excellent company that has been built brick by brick over the last ten years under the exceptional leadership of Betsy Robinson.  Leveraging the knowledge of the team while utilizing their cutting-edge technologies definitely gives me a leg up.  I am clearly not standing alone, and past experiences have done more than enough to provide me with a set of usable skills and allow me to build a great database of friends and associates.  MY CIO/CTO, CEO, and CHRO connections will serve me well. And I will need to tap into all of my connections so don’t abandon me now.  Just kidding.  No really, I need you!

Purpose-driven Impact

Finally, I mentioned “purpose-driven impact”. The commonality in all of my leadership roles is the element of helping people.  Extracting gang members from gangs or helping people manage a serious chronic disease, jump off the page as roles with purpose.  The work of Tier4 Group and Retained may seem more like a job than a purpose-driven endeavor. But let me assure you our team BELIEVES that our efforts have a clear purpose. The companies that we support want us to help them find leaders that will not only meet their expectations but exceed them… and successful candidates want jobs that meets their expectations.  For me, when I am successful placing a candidate, I will want that candidate to not think of the common phrase “work/life balance.”  I will want them to consider work as a part of life. It’s not getting paid to enjoy the rest of life, it’s enjoying the work as part of life. So, our goal is to help people and companies unite to make a positive difference to the employee and the company, that ideally has a favorable impact on the world.  Then, OUR company will know that our mission is being attained.

– Tino Mantella, President and Managing Partner of Retained

What’s Your Vision?

By Retained |

A leader assuming the helm is always asked “what’s your vision?” Likewise, a candidate vying for a leadership position will face the same pivotal question.

If I ever write a book, Chapter 1 would be titled “It’s Not My Vision.” Do you find that odd? Here is my point of view: a leader’s vision should rely heavily on matching stakeholder desires and expectations with realistic short term and midterm capabilities of the staff and support teams. This runs contrary to a new leader waxing poetically as to what he or she are going to do on day one. Granted, if they have been in the industry for years, they have a leg up. Maybe they will get lucky and be right, but I subscribe to the phase “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” This quote is attributed all the way back to Roman philosopher Seneca. New leaders: the opportunity stands before you, but how about preparation?

In January, I took on the role of Managing Partner for Retained. Retained’s work, as most of you know, will be to fill leadership openings in the technology and not-for-profit spaces with exceptional candidates. A key piece to my preparation is to conduct 90 meetings in 90 days with stakeholders. I am going full curiosity-mode. My goal is to learn from CHROs, CEOs, CIOs/CTOs, the Tier4 Group staff, and other stakeholders. The questions I am asking are not static. They are based on the interest and experience of each contributor. Ultimately, I am learning about what Retained will need to deliver to stand out from the crowd. The interviews are not only shaping my vision, but also will contribute to the development of goals, KPIs, hiring decisions, and so forth. An additional benefit is we make friends when we ask people’s opinions in a sincere way.

This is not the first time I have done 90 in 90s. It is a process I have followed for years. In fact, I was a huge underdog to get the job of President and CEO of the Chicago YMCA before age 40. The Chicago YMCA was arguably the largest YMCA system in the world. A unique step I took in preparation for my first interview with a high-powered BOD was to fly out to Chicago a week ahead, on my own dime, and start my 90 in 90 process in advance. Frankly, the Board was blown away and I got the job. When I took on the role of President and CEO at TAG, the organization was crying out for an identity and a direction. The 90 in 90 gave me the credibility to move quickly around some big decisions with the BOD’s full support. If I came in on day one and said, “here is my vision and here is what we are going to do,” the BOD would not have had the confidence to allow me to go forward.


I am now entering month two at Retained. More than 20 one-on-one interviews have been conducted. My process is not close to being over, but I am picking up a number of important and consistent messages. Some things I have heard thus far include:

  • Clients at Tier4 Group believe that the 10 years of success they have had creates trust in Retained.
  • Trust in not only the process, but the people leading the search, is critical.
  • Relationships drive decision making when it comes to selecting a search firm for executive search.
  • Having a focus in place of technologists at the C-suite level is a strong differentiator.
  • Being a women owned company and one of less than ten LGBTBE certified is a game changer.
  • Having capabilities and experience around leadership assessments is a plus.
  • Believing in what we do should be the baseline for any great company, but is it?
  • And we have demonstrated a deep belief that our work matters for ten years, so that’s a great thing.

I don’t like the phrase work/life balance because it diminishes our work part of life. People in other countries believe they work to live and think many in the USA live to work. To me, if you love your work and love to make a difference and have a purpose, then work is an integral part of life. It’s not a separate thing. Anyway, I love my work and believe that what we are doing at Tier4 Group and Retained is making a difference.


Tino Mantella

Tier4 Group Announces the Launch of Retained – A Premier Executive Search Firm – With Tino Mantella as President & Managing Partner

By Retained |

Tier4 Group Announces The Launch of Retained – A Premier Executive Search Firm – With Tino Mantella as President & Managing Partner

[ATLANTA, December 19, 2023] – Tier4 Group, an award-winning, woman-owned and diversity certified technical talent acquisition firm founded by Betsy Robinson, is proud to announce the launch of Retained, an innovative executive search firm, led by Tino Mantella, former CEO of Turknett Leadership Group and Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).

Retained’s primary focus will be on placing senior technology leaders, including CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs, in companies across various industries. Additionally, the firm will place top-tier C-suite leaders such as CEOs, COOs, and CFOs with technology-focused service and product companies, as well as identify exceptional candidates for non-profit executive level positions. Operating as a unique brand under the Tier4 Group umbrella, Retained leverages its strong industry connections and deep expertise to deliver unparalleled talent acquisition solutions to organizations seeking exceptional leadership.

With a vision to transform executive search, Retained aims to revolutionize the industry by combining Tier4 Group’s proven track record in talent acquisition with Tino Mantella’s unparalleled expertise in leadership development and organizational growth. This venture represents a significant milestone for both leaders as they combine their resources, experience, and networks to provide fractional and interim talent to clients in addition to a comprehensive suite of talent solutions.

Retained’s mission is to provide strategic, tailored, and client-centric executive search solutions to meet the evolving needs of today’s business landscape, while keeping Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the core of its identity. The firm will recognize the critical role that senior technology leaders play in driving innovation and growth, and it is committed to connecting organizations with the talent necessary to thrive in an increasingly competitive global market.

Tino Mantella will bring a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to excellence to his role at Retained. As the former CEO of Turknett Leadership Group, Tino has a distinguished career in leadership development and executive coaching, making him a valuable asset in identifying and placing top-tier talent in key executive positions.

Betsy Robinson, Founder and CEO of Tier4 Group, expressed her enthusiasm for this exciting announcement. “We are thrilled to hire Tino Mantella as President and Managing Partner of Retained. Together, we will continue to uphold our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion while offering our clients unparalleled expertise and exceptional talent acquisition solutions.”

About Tino Mantella:

Tino Mantella is President and Managing Partner of Retained. Prior to joining Retained, Tino served as President and CEO of Turknett Leadership Group where his focus was on seeing that the Turknett mission of “spreading leadership character around the globe” was carried out to its fullest extent to impact a greater number of people and leaders. Throughout his professional journey, Tino has held leadership positions in both non-profit and for-profit sectors, spanning diverse fields such as human and social services, healthcare, and technology. His strategic leadership resulted in the Technology Association of Georgia and the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago becoming North America’s largest institutions of their kind. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in one of the world’s largest not-for-profit organizations, contributing over $50 million to arthritis research. Tino is widely recognized for his ability to drive meaningful impact in people’s lives, foster team cohesion, and enhance organizational effectiveness. His reputation as a versatile and innovative leader has earned national acclaim in published works.

About Betsy Robinson:

Betsy Robinson is the Founder & CEO of Tier4 Group, a women-owned and diversity-certified technology talent and professional services organization.  She was recognized in 2023 by Inc. Magazine as an inaugural honoree to the 30 Under 30-ish list and named 2023’s LGBTQ+ Businessperson of the Year for the State of Georgia.  Additionally, Betsy is an active volunteer with Women in Technology and current serves on its Board of Directors.

About Retained:

Retained is a premier executive search firm specializing in placing senior technology leaders, C-suite executives in tech companies, and top-notch candidates for not-for-profit CEO positions. Operating as a subsidiary of Tier4 Group, Retained leverages its strong industry connections and deep expertise to deliver unparalleled talent acquisition solutions to organizations seeking exceptional leadership. For more information, visit

About Tier4 Group:

Tier4 Group is a woman-owned and diversity-certified technology talent, professional services, advisory, and information security firm specializing in connecting exceptional talent with top-tier employers seeking to fill technology and execute on critical projects. By combining advanced recruitment automation with a personalized approach, Tier4 strives to identify the best fit for both the customer and the candidate. Tier4 Group has been recognized for five consecutive years (2019-2023) as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list, as well as recognition as a Pacesetter by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for the fourth time in 2023, and also a Best Places to Work in Georgia.  For more information, visit