Maxine Martens – CEO
Maxine started her career as a retailer at Maas Brothers in Florida. Maxine’s love affair with brands began when she moved to New York to join Elizabeth Arden as National Sales Merchandising Manager. Maxine’s international career took off when she moved to London as Area Director, Europe and then became Arden’s International Marketing Director. During her time overseas she had the opportunity to live in Rome, Cairo and Paris. After 11 years abroad, Maxine returned to the United States and became President of a direct response company. She has held or managed many of the positions for which she now recruits.
Maxine began her search career at Rene Plessner Associates specializing in entrepreneurial businesses within the beauty and fashion industries. Then Maxine was a Managing Director at Herbert Mines Associates for several years prior to the establishment of Martens & Heads!. Maxine divides her time between the US and Europe working with clients and candidates. This has helped her develop a unique point of view and in-depth knowledge of the talent base in the fashion, retail, cosmetics and luxury industries.
Maxine has a passion for people, partnerships and results and brings this passion to each of her clients. She thinks three dimensionally about strategy, branding and identifying candidates. She appreciates the essence of brands, organizations and individuals and brings these forces together to create alchemy.
Kate Benson – Founding Managing Director
A founding member of Martens & Heads! Kate brings over fifteen years of industry experience and executive search expertise. She focuses on senior-level placements within the lifestyle practice and specializes in general management, sales, marketing, human resources and operations. Her clients include global iconic brands as well as entrepreneurial start ups.
Kate’s retail career began in store line management positions in the home furnishings industry. She was in Human Resources management with Yves Saint Laurent Parfums where she gained valuable insight into the luxury end of fashion and beauty, internally and in the field.
She began cultivating her strategic eye for search at Rene Plessner Associates where she specialized in fashion and beauty. In 1997, Kate joined Herbert Mines Associates as a key member of the fashion and beauty team securing top-level placements for clients in the retail, luxury and consumer industries.
Kate’s dual experience in both industry and executive search gives her a keen understanding of her clients’ needs as well as an unsurpassed knowledge of and access to industry talent.
A native of New York, Kate earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Long Island University, C.W. Post and received her masters degree in Human Resource Management from the New York Institute of Technology. She is active in industry associations that include the Fashion Group International, Cosmetic Executive Women and Society for Human Resource Management.
Jennifer Puckett – Vice President
Jennifer Puckett joined Martens & Heads! at the end of 2007. As a former client of the firm, she knew both the philosophy of the firm and the results of their partnership with clients and candidates.
She began her career at Omni Magazine, but quickly found that marketing and sales were her passion. She worked for Nina Ricci Parfums and Bally of Switzerland in promotions and sales, where she learned to package the total sales experience, from showroom to sales floor to shopping bag.
Most recently, Jennifer was the Managing Director of Diptyque, the French fragrance house. Prior to Diptyque, she was with Wolford America for nine years, holding various positions in wholesale and retail, ultimately running the US Subsidiary.
Jennifer is very entrepreneurial and joined both Diptyque and Wolford America as they established affiliates (subsidiaries) to replace distributors. She has faced the challenges of a new business, ridden the wave of success and guided companies through economic downturns.
Having worked with many European luxury brands, Jennifer brings a unique understanding of the business pressures faced by our clients and candidates. She knows the balance required to run a brand and a business, protecting the first while making the latter a profitable venture.
Jennifer is a native of North Carolina, an avid kickboxer, college basketball fan and lover of art. Her husband is a painter and graphic artists who worked for Jim Henson and Sesame Street. She graduated from Guilford College, in Greensboro, NC, with a BA in Literature.
Theresa Fuchs-Santiago – Search Director
Theresa’s career in the world of luxury, fashion and cosmetics began at a boutique advertising agency in New York with an iconic client base. Soon after, she discovered executive search when she joined Spencer Stuart’s Vienna office in support of a Managing Partner in the consumer, media and banking industries.
Upon Theresa’s return to New York she met Maxine Martens and worked for her at Herbert Mines Associates before becoming one of the founding members of Martens & Heads! in 2004. For 4 years she was the primary contact with the company’s clients and candidates in her role as Director of Search Administration.
As Search Director, Theresa’s main focus is now on servicing Martens & Heads’ broad range of international clients in Europe and Asia. Her Austrian heritage, bilingual English-German skills and 7 years of in-depth search experience in the fashion and luxury field make her a successful and credible partner with her international clients and candidates.
Theresa graduated from the European Business Schools in Vienna, Austria.
Sophia Forde – Director of Search Administration
Sophia discovered her love of luxury cosmetics, skincare and accessories at the young age of 15 in her native Barbados with her first job at the island’s premier store, Cave Shepherd. Sophia was a sales assistant behind the La Prarie and Clarins counters for each summer during high school.
When Sophia won an athletic scholarship to University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) she continued her affair with prestige products by becoming a hair and cosmetics model for the local beauty school.
While on a visit to New York, Sophia was spotted by a designer and approached to walk in his runway show. She travelled to Europe to pursue a career modeling , living in Paris, London, Berlin and Milan for over a year. On her return stateside Sophia worked for an internet start up supporting the PR Director. She also worked in public relations supporting the Head of the Northeast and at luxury linens and textiles company Anichini supporting the Founder & CEO. During the last four years Sophia supported a Partner and consultant in the Luxury Retail group at Egon Zehnder International. Sophia joined Martens & Head! in February.
Sophia is an avid skier, gardener, furniture restorer and cook. She lives in New Jersey with her husband John and two cats, Prince and Clergy.