“MatchStar is the most powerful 3-partner search firm on the planet and WAY better than the leading search firms. I highly recommend them! They are also the most competitively priced and offer the most flexibility to early stage companies.”

— Vijay Khanna, Managing Partner, GIV Ventures

Tim Tonella

Chief Executive Officer

Tim is the CEO of Matchstar Venture Search and has been a board member and company advisor since 2006. He has a long history in the venture capital and private equity community and has been involved in the development of several early-stage technology companies. Tim, along with an award-winning Google software developer, founded Priceprotectr.com in 2007.

Price Protector was named by Entrepreneur Magazine/Media as one of the “100 Brilliant Companies of 2011” and acquired in shortly thereafter by a private equity back company.

Previously, Tim was the Western SVP/GM for Merrill Corporation, a billion-dollar privately held technology company. His responsibilities included overseeing all business operations, strategic initiatives, and sales development in the areas of M&A due diligence, electronic content distribution, and document life-cycle management. Tim and his team worked primarily with private equity and venture capital firms, investment banks, and attorneys in the securities, corporate finance, and restructuring areas. Prior to joining Merrill, Tim was a VP, Sales for Bowne Financial, where he led and grew the company’s most profitable business region. Additionally, he had been the GM of a manufacturing and product licensing company, where he doubled revenues and added 2,000 new client accounts in less than two years. Early in his career, Tim held a variety of business development positions with RR Donnelley in their international, telecom, and information services business units, where he personally generated over $700 million in new revenues (in today’s equivalent dollars).

Tim is the former Chairman of the San Francisco Business Forum (a leading Bay Area service provider networking organization), a former member/sponsor of the Life Science Angels, and a current venture partner in the Explorer Group Fund I. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and has an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Tim is a hard core full contact fighting fan and participant, enjoys traveling, personal training, and Christian outreach. He currently lives in the city of San Francisco with his wife and four children.


Carolyne Connor

Founder, President & Chief Matchmaker

Carolyne founded MatchStar. She decided to launch MatchStar, with the intent of creating a risk-free, high service model for fast-growing, venture-backed tech clients. She is known as one of the most “connected” resources in the search industry with ~30,000 first level, direct LinkedIn connections, and a personal network of over 60,000 technology executives and institutional investors. Chances are high that she already knows the person you want to hire, or she is one degree away.

Carolyne is trained in behavioral interviewing and is focused on building successful management teams for pre-IPO fast growth tech companies. She refined a unique process for candidate profiling, recruiting, interviewing, and benchmarking that has increased the ROI for executive placement. She has led hundreds of executive searches working directly with founders, CEOs and investors. With close to a 90% close rate, her focus is on figuring out what her clients really need and then finding them the person that is the best fit with regard to experience and culture. Her passion is building teams and finding that perfect match so her clients can grow exponentially and have successful exits. She serves on the advisory board of several startups and is a Venture Partner with The Explorer Group: www.theexplorergroup.com

Carolyne received a B.A. in Business Administration (New and Small Business) from Georgetown University. She is a serial entrepreneur who put herself through college by starting a property management company that grew to dozens of employees. After winning the Deloitte & Touche “Human Resource Management Award”, Carolyne decided to sell her company in order to focus on helping others build their companies. When not spending time with her husband and four children, Carolyne enjoys trying to walk ten miles a day. One of her hobbies turned into another business that specializes in furnished, short term corporate rentals in San Francisco: www.rent415.com


Heidi Hansen

Co-Founder/Senior Vice President of Operations & Research

Heidi co-founded Matchstar in February 1999. She currently oversees the development and maintenance of MatchStar’s proprietary database and is credited with sourcing over 2,000 new executive candidates into the Matchstar network.

Heidi is also responsible for the operation and management of recruiters and research personnel. These staff members enable MatchStar to “flex up” in high capacity periods and meet the demand requirements of clients with highly tailored industry needs.

Carolyne and Heidi have worked together since 1986, when she originally assisted Carolyne with her property management company. In 1997, Heidi worked with Carolyne to launch the first Job Store, where she was responsible for the account management and development of over 50 new clients in her first year. Heidi recruited, interviewed, trained, and placed candidates in the environmental, banking, media, government contract, non-profit, high tech, and communications industries. This experience led to the development of a new process for recruiting, interviewing, and training teams, which served as the platform for Matchstar’s current placement services. She began her industry career in Human Resources at First Union National Bank and is certified in Targeted Selection © behavioral interview training by Development Dimensions International (DDI).

Heidi earned a B.S. in Business Management with a Finance concentration from Clemson University. She enjoys hiking, bicycling, and refinishing antique furniture and lives with her husband and three children in Maryland.


Adrian Harrison

Director of Research

Adrian joined Matchstar in 2012 to oversee Matchstar’s growing research group. He has a long history as a team lead and manager for companies specializing in multi-channel data applications/tools, including customized database research, call center analysis and metrics, Quality Assurance, and 3rd party vender management.

Adrian supervised the central dispatch office for Airborne Express with a team of 50+ employees serving 14 locations, and oversaw a 40+ technical team for one of Concentrix’s lead U.S. call centers.

Adrian had been an independent consultant to Matchstar since 2008, helping streamline our unique research process and layer additional intelligence to Matchstar’s growing database. Adrian and his team’s focus is on identifying key candidates for target select headhunting, managing Matchstar’s database, and overseeing its large, proprietary referral network. Additionally, he plays a key role in the company’s marketing communications for open job positions, compensation statistics, and industry segment news.

Adrian received a B.S. in Business Management, with a concentration in Marketing, from Clemson University and currently lives in Baltimore, MD with his wife and three children. He is an avid tennis player, and can be found on weekend’s coaching his son’s soccer team.