Thomas Brooke

Partner Bios

John W. Birch

Senior Partner

John manages the majority of the firm’s Private Equity and investment relationships and has been part of Thomas Brooke since the inception of the firm in 1993, with a strong emphasis on effectiveness and ongoing process improvement. Prior, John was Managing Partner with Tully and Hobart in Chicago, where he was responsible for all facets of client work and relationship development as well as managing an office of 5 recruiters; he has also held the roles of Group Vice President with Roth Young, and Search Director for Robert Half International Chicago. John holds a BS in Management with a dual concentration in Manufacturing Management/Information Systems from Northern Illinois University. Outside work, John enjoys bicycling, snowshoeing, growing heirloom fruit and vegetables, and working on his World Classic stamp collection.


Nicola James

Managing Partner

Nicola founded the firm with John Birch in 1993 and manages the majority of the Firm’s client relationships and search projects. Nicola has spearheaded the development of the firm’s emphasis in the paint, coatings, polymers and plastics space leveraging her Cambridge University Chemistry & Materials Science education. Her scientific and analytical training has also been applied in developing the firm’s processes to deliver effective and reliable solutions to both sourcing and hiring challenges. Before her recruiting career, Nicola was an artist, cartoonist and winemaker in England, and maintains an ongoing interest in art photography, as well as many outdoor activities.


"Great partner on several international searches."David Wolf, Former VP International Sales, Carboline

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