About Us

Executive Search Team

With leadership backgrounds in both executive search as well as the healthcare and academic industries, the Cejka Search team brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to each executive search engagement. We understand today’s leadership challenges and are committed to preparing our clients for the challenges of tomorrow. Our executives are nationally recognized, published industry thought leaders and subject matter experts who are routinely called upon for national speaking engagements, discussion panels, podcasts and consultations.

Tuker J

Paul Esselman, President, Cejka Search
As President, Paul provides strategic oversight and operational direction for the Cejka Search team. He is intimately involved in nurturing the firm’s many long-term client and talent relationships. Having specialized in the healthcare executive search industry for more than 20 years, Paul is recognized as a thought leader on healthcare talent management issues and leadership trends. Prior to joining Cejka Search, Paul successfully led sales and marketing and other transformative initiatives in the biotechnology industry. Paul earned a B.S. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He is a member of MGMA, ACHE and HFMA.

Tuker J

Joyce E. Tucker, Executive Vice President, Managing Principal
As a seasoned clinical and operational healthcare executive for more than 30 years, Joyce is responsible for senior-level healthcare search services and consultation. Prior to joining Cejka Search, Joyce’s executive recruitment experience included leadership positions with The Chase Group and a leading healthcare executive search firm. Joyce’s healthcare management experience includes serving as Administrator for Hunkeler Eye Institute, LLC/Nova Med, Inc., where she was responsible for a large, physician-led practice with specialty surgery centers nationwide. She served as the Vice President of Patient Care Services for Park Lane Medical Center/Health Midwest, an integrated delivery system with 13 hospitals, a health plan, home health and a hospital-sponsored, multi-specialty medical group with 140 physicians in approximately 35 locations. Joyce holds an M.S. in Health Services Management from Webster University and a B.S.N. from Maryville University of Saint Louis. She is also an active member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Johns A

Alan D. Johns, Executive Vice President, Managing Principal
As Executive Vice President, Managing Principal of Cejka Search, Alan leads the Academic Leadership Practice. With over 25 years of senior leadership experience in higher education at research-intensive universities, including Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Duke University School of Medicine and Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University and Emory University School of Nursing, Alan has first-hand knowledge and experience working with provosts, deans, chairs, chiefs, research scientists and administrators. Alan earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Florida, a Master of Public Administration from University of North Florida. He also completed the Advanced Program for Executive Search Consulting (AESC) at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Madden M

Mark Madden, Executive Vice President, Managing Principal
As Executive Vice President, Managing Principal of Cejka Search, Mark leads executive search services for senior healthcare executive positions. During his more than 25 years in executive recruitment, Mark has achieved consistently excellent results in partnering with organizations, boards and search committees for successful search outcomes. Mark is also a sought-after speaker on various healthcare topics, including current healthcare leadership competencies, skills and trends. He is active on the speaker circuit and quoted in industry publications, including Modern Healthcare, Becker’s Hospital Review and CEO Reviews. He is a member of ACHE, AESC, MGMA and HFMA. Mark earned a B.A. in Business from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Business.

Kapphahn R

Rebecca Kapphahn, Vice President, Search Consultant
Rebecca has an extensive understanding of the healthcare industry and has worked with executive leadership across a wide range of hospitals and health systems, academic institutions, physician group practices and managed care organizations. As Vice President, she isis responsible for management of her client’s search process. Prior to joining Cejka Search in 2006, she built a strong track record in healthcare recruitment operations. Rebecca earned a B.S. in Political Science from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

Burns R

Rachael Burns, Vice President, Search Consultant
As Vice President, Search Consultant, Rachael is responsible for management of the client search process. Prior to joining Cejka Search, she held sales and recruitment leadership roles within industry leading staffing and service firms. During that time, she developed relationships with C-level management and candidates to successfully build executive teams. She has been recognized by key client organizations for her expertise, integrity and commitment. Rachael earned a B.A. in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Regan M

Martha Regan, Vice President, Search Consultant
Martha brings more than 24 years of experience in academic client engagement, business services and project management. Her vast knowledge of targeting new healthcare clients and affiliated academic medicine and health sciences organizations is instrumental in further developing the academic practice into a diverse client base. Prior to joining Cejka Search, Martha served as associate director of academic client engagement for a fellow healthcare executive search firm. She has also held leadership roles at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons’ office of the CFO, as well as CNN. Martha earned her B.F.A. in film and television production from New York University. She received her certification in project management from UCLA Extension.


Todd Wozniak, Vice President, Search Consultant
With nearly a decade of experience in corporate recruiting and placement, Todd has developed a thorough knowledge of the healthcare market. His strong relationships with C-level management and candidates reinforce his ability to quickly and clearly identify client needs. Prior to joining Cejka Search, he was Senior Market Manager for a nationally recognized provider of nurse and allied staffing services. Todd earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

Sonneland J

Jennifer Sonneland, Senior Associate Consultant
Jennifer is an experienced recruiter in the search industry with a proven track record in placing executives and practicing physicians with healthcare clients nationwide. Prior to joining Cejka Search, she held roles of progressive responsibility within a nationally recognized physician recruitment and client services organization. Most recently she served as their Manager of Recruitment Process Outsourcing Operations and Custom Sourcing. Jennifer earned a B.S. in Communications from Boston University.

Perkins emily

Emily Perkins, Senior Associate Consultant
Emily brings deep expertise in talent development to her client searches at Cejka Search. Emily is committed to supporting the needs and goals of clients and candidates through the full cycle of an executive search. She utilizes her strong network of health care professionals and her deep understanding of the health care industry to identify the right leaders for the right positions. Emily earned a B.S. in Liberal Arts from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Amy Jones

Amy Jones, Senior Associate Consultant
Building on a decade of executive recruitment experience, Amy is a seasoned recruitment consultant who brings a deep understanding of the full recruiting process and expertise in candidate identification with a client-centered approach. In addition, Amy possesses a foundational background in marketing and customer relations, with a focus on transparent communication and providing the highest level of customer service to all those involved in the search process.

Van Hecke .H

Heather Van Hecke, Associate Consultant
Heather Van Hecke is a motivated search expert, with experience in staffing and recruitment. Prior to joining Cejka Search, she held progressive roles in business development and recruitment across multiple industries. Heather earned a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Missouri – Saint Louis.


Chris Wilmore, Associate Consultant
Chris Wilmore is an Associate Consultant with Cejka Search. With more than two decades of experience in communications and marketing, he is a strategic thinker and proven relationship-builder. Before joining Cejka Search, Chris managed communications, social media, public relations and marketing for media and broadcast organizations. Chris earned his B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee.

Briggs B

Beth Briggs, Associate Consultant
Beth brings more than 12 years in the executive search industry to her client searches, in addition to foundational experience in sales and marketing. She draws on her expertise in recruiting and her ability to build relationships to support clients and candidates in filling C-level executives, physician leaders, key members of senior management and academic medicine faculty positions. Prior to joining Cejka Search, she focused on physician search, recruiting for a multitude of medical specialties and placed physicians in hospitals, clinics and medical groups across the country. Beth earned a B.S. in Human Environmental Sciences from the University of Missouri – Columbia.