“Today’s business environment is unforgiving for organizations trying to merely stay the course. New technologies are disrupting every industry across the globe. Companies that react quickly will thrive, while those that resist or react slowly to change will find it difficult (if not impossible) to compete.”

That’s the opening of the Position paper Perry-Martel International, an Ottawa, Ontario based executive search firm used in its assignment to find a VP of sales for a company called Lemonade, the SaaS learning experience platform. This is the story of that search featuring John Findlay, the CEO of Lemonade, and a company called Launchfire.

Back in 2005, Launchfire developed one of the world’s first game-based eLearning programs for the Tylenol brand. The program, which integrated game mechanics into Tylenol’s training, was so successful that it led to requests for game-based training for other organizations.

One such client was TD bank. The training program Launchfire developed resulted in a 91% increase in digital product recommendations by frontline staff.

Seeing a huge opportunity in helping financial institutions engage and educate their employees, Launchfire baked its game-based learning recipe into their new, award-winning learning experience platform, Lemonade, helping large and medium-size financial institutions transform their training programs to meet the demands of a younger, more tech-savvy, employee cohort. Launchfire is ready to experience exponential growth…and that’s where their new VP of Sales, Sal Apuzzio comes in.

As a seasoned sales leader, Sal brings an impressive background in sales leadership roles within the Human Capital Management (HCM) and e-learning market. Most recently, Sal served as Sales Advisor for Scrimmage, following his role as VP Sales for Saba Software, In addition to these successes, Sal has held many sales leadership and account management positions with leading technology companies including IBM, Interwoven, Plumtree Software, Informatica, SilkRoad Technology and  Symphony Technology Group.

So back to my opening and the disruption that is impacting every industry and every company. One of the things I said to John in our interview — It’s kinda crazy when you think about it, a Fortune 500 is much better equipped to deal with the fallout of a bad hire than a small company like Lemonade. And yet, very few start-ups and small companies will invest the money — like he did — on a retained executive search firm like Perry-Martel when filling mission-critical roles — like the vp of sales. If your role involves recruiting, finding and hiring the right talent, leading and building your company, I think you’ll find my conversation with John Findlay valuable. Enjoy.


To learn more about Lemonade, visit www.lemonadetraining.com

David Perry and Anita Martel can be reached at www.perrymartel.com

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