Our Team

Elena Cates

Elena Cates is the President of Cates Consulting, located in Los Angeles. Elena leads the financial and business services practice for Cates Consulting. Clients include MasterCard, Brunswick Group, Joele Frank and PIMCO. Elena conducts searches for several private equity Firms and a leading management consulting firm. Additionally, Elena co-leads Biopharma, focusing in Clinical Development and General & Administrative. Clients include Biogen, Audentes Therapeutics, 89Bio, Retrotope, and AskBio.

Elena began her career as a consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates and was promoted to Director of Research for the Southern California offices. Elena was responsible for creating and implementing the search strategy for recruiting efforts on financial and business services searches in both the US and Europe. In 1991, Elena Co-founded Cates Consulting with Partner and sister, Rachel Galligan. Elena received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has served on the Board of the New York Executive Search Roundtable and was a Co-founder and President of the Southern California Executive Search Roundtable. Elena is the former Treasurer of the National Charity League and has served as a Vice President and on the Board of the Palisades Hills HOA in Pacific Palisades since 2010. Additionally, she served on the provisional Board of Save the Children in Los Angeles.

Rachel Galligan 

Rachel Galligan is a Partner with Cates Consulting. She has over 25 years’ experience in executive search and has successfully completed global and regional searches with a focus in Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Cell & Gene Therapy. Rachel has conducted searches across multiple functions and professional roles, including Research & Development, Operations & Manufacturing, Quality, Administration & General Management, Clinical & Preclinical, Translational, and Commercial. One of the hallmarks of her search practice, as is echoed throughout Cates Consulting, she will work tirelessly on behalf of candidates and clients.

Rachel began her search career with A-L Associates in the firm’s Research Department and was promoted to Director of Research. Her complete understanding of research as a discipline accelerates candidate vetting through the use of enhanced research parameters prior to the search itself. Rachel is known for maintaining long-term relationships with former candidates and converting them into top talent hires in record time. Additionally, Rachel is a member of the Advisory Board of Untapped Potential, a not-for-profit benefit corporation supporting “returnships” for professionals returning to careers after absences for family needs.

Richard McMenamy

Richard McMenamy is a Senior Executive Recruiter with Cates Consulting.  Richard has 10+ years of experience in recruiting.  His career spans both corporate roles as well as search firms across a wide range of industries and clients.  Richard takes a very consultative approach and is extremely adept at understanding the needs of both clients and candidates to ensure a successful match.  He is skilled at leading national and international searches to place top talent in Technology, FinTech, Biopharma, Medical Device, Management Consulting, Venture Capital, and Industrial Manufacturing.

Prior to joining Cates Consulting, Richard was with SS&C Technologies, a global FinTech provider of financial and investment software, and Gerber Technology, an innovative software solutions company. Richard is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor’s degree in History. Passionate about serving within the community, Richard has volunteered at Mercy Housing and Shelter and is active with the local Humane Society.  

Jodi Motycka

Jodi Motycka is an Executive Recruiter with Cates Consulting. Jodi brings with her 10+ years-experience developing strong organizational and communication skills as well as working in the full cycle recruiting process. This includes negotiating, networking, developing and maintaining strong working relationships with both candidates and client companies. She is experienced in recruiting for all levels of searches, from individual contributors to executive levels, with precision and tenacity. 

Prior to joining Cates Consulting, Jodi held positions in Human Resources and Senior Account Management. Jodi received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business, concentrating in HR Management from the University of Connecticut. She also has her Human Resource Certificate from Cornell University. Jodi is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, the Human Resource Association of Central Connecticut, and the Connecticut River Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Samantha Murphy

Samantha Murphy is a Head of Research with Cates Consulting. Samantha has been with the company for over 20 years and is both a pillar and guru for the Research Department. Samantha works with clients to build a tailored research strategy and provides targeted research to support their search needs. She is known for and has a unique ability to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. She is a perfectionist in all aspects of her work. Along with managing research projects, Samantha is also responsible for mentoring and developing a team of talented researchers. 

Samantha obtained her Associate’s Degree in Sciences from Becker Junior College (accomplishing invitation to both Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Beta Gamma). Upon graduation, she began work as a veterinary technician with both small and large veterinary hospitals in the New England area. Samantha is also a member of WGRC, a motorcycle riding club dedicated to sponsoring and assisting with local charities and events.

Debra Christian

Debra is a Manager, Research with Cates Consulting.  Debra joined Cates Consulting in 2005 as a Research Associate. She has taken on increasing responsibility including, managing research team members and spearheading projects. An expert in research and candidate identification, utilizing resources combined with tenacity and dedication. Debra organizes our quarterly core team meetings.

Prior to her position with Cates Consulting, Debra spent 15 years as a Production Manager at several different manufacturing facilities throughout CT. Debra attended Quinebaug Valley Community College. Debra resides in Weeki Wachee, Florida.