For Clients &
Candidates

For us, “culture” isn’t a buzzword: it’s the compass that inspires
and directs everything we do as recruiters.

Bound by common values, we enjoy a camaraderie that’s realized in steadfast support of our colleagues, shared resources and ideas. We care about each other’s well-being and success. You’ll find genuine kinship here.

These bonds give us strength as individuals. Free to work on our own terms, we are completely empowered and accountable as leaders of both our personal practices and the agency as a whole. The results? You win because liberated recruiters give the most personal and passionate service in the market. We win by making a life, not just a living.

This is what it means to be in our tribe. We’re in business for ourselves – but never by ourselves, and that’s where the magic begins for the people who make it all happen. You.

Chad Kreller

Managing Director

Division: The Agency | Practice: Industrial
Phone: 050-1749-8803


ASK ME ABOUT:

My three actress/model daughters with friends in Hollywood, about driving for two hours down a Mexican highway at the age of ten to get my father to hospital, or about being the only white guy at my Hawaiian high school where, as a freshman, I escaped bullying by joining the football team.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

If Chad looks like he just stepped off a movie set, it’s because he maybe just did. The father of three gorgeous daughters already making waves in Tinseltown, he got into recruiting to provide them with a better life than a teacher’s salary could provide. Our Fresno, California native attended Waianae High School in Honolulu, and went on to study Ainu culture and the Japanese language at San Diego State University. After graduating, he knew it was time to experience firsthand the country he’d only read about. Within a remarkably short time Chad was a senior director, managing large teams at some of the nation’s biggest firms, but when Robin approached him about coming on as Managing Director of The Agency, it felt like destiny on both sides, and the two began building the tribe. Chad brings to us exceptional market wisdom and analytical skills that, combined, give him the power to conceive and manifest positive solutions.

Comparing us to his former employers, he says it’s “one hundred percent different in all ways. Here we have full autonomy. The purity and honesty of The Agency’s business model – you can’t get that anywhere else in the recruitment market.” When not helping to expand our firm’s national footprint or getting footloose with his superstar offspring, Chad enjoys higher consciousness training, studying esoteric philosophy and the occult, being out in nature, and doing crossword puzzles. And if you’re in the mood to rock out to some death metal, look no further than his band Tristaint, for which Chad serves as – what else? – the front man!

Chad Kreller

Managing Director
The Agency |  Industrial

Steve Olsen

Managing Director

Division: Zensho | Practice: Legal
Phone: 050-1749-8802


ASK ME ABOUT:

Navigating logjams and fly fishing the upper Chilikadrotna River for Alaskan King Salmon, riding currents with sharks above Blue Corner while suspended from a reef hook in Palau, and winning PRINT Magazine’s RDA award for self-publishing and photographing a book of calligraphy and martial arts — Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

Steve recruits for in-house legal positions in Japan. He feels recruiting for the legal industry requires long-term commitment and finds great satisfaction matching the right candidate with the right position. Promoting client companies and careers – that’s what it’s all about.

Steve began recruiting in Tokyo in 1999 and co-founded Zensho in 2003 to offer a more personalized and specialized service.

Steve Olsen

Managing Director
Zensho |  Legal

Noa Aziz

Managing Director

Division: Zentern | Practice: Internships
Phone: 050-1749-7013


ASK ME ABOUT:

The Crab Nebula, getting the top score on my high school’s oral book exam by utterly trashing the book, or the Arizona sheriff who pulled me over for speeding, didn't give me a ticket, and then took a selfie with me.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

Noa has a secret love of skyscraper views and astronomy, which should be enough to convince you that life at ground level was never an option for Noa. A native of Holland’s The Hague, the director of Japan’s coolest internship firm has an inside-out understanding of both client and partner needs, having been first an intern and then an internship company executive. She provides insights to all our brilliant young adventurers from overseas, while at the same time helping Japan-based companies globalize by getting such foreign talent on board.

Noa taking the helm at Zentern has been a game-changer all around. For her it has meant doing away with management-imposed stress and joining a family: for us, taking a quantum leap in our staffing powers and welcoming a sister to the tribe. “I’ve never worked in an environment where everyone has so much respect for each other,” she says, “where you can work with such freedom and still make a profit. It’s a whole new concept of teamwork and professional development.” Hunger (for both business and breakfast) gets Noa out of bed every day, but Mom is her role model and supports her every decision. So do we – especially the one that has her now reaching new heights from the ZAKK offices.

Noa Aziz

Managing Director
Zentern |  Internships

Richard Morgan

Senior Director

Division: The Agency | Practice: Healthcare
Phone: 050-1749-8809


ASK ME ABOUT:

My wife being arrested for murder (wrongly, as it turned out) in the UK, my somewhat masochistic passion for renovating old Japanese houses, or how I once rocked the bass guitar on stage... in a dress.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

Rich’s not-so-secret second love (after his wife) is the bass guitar. Indeed, it’s music that gets him up in the morning, through the day, and to bed at night. Any schooled player in the rock world will attest to the fact that the bass is the easiest instrument to pick up and yet the hardest to perfect. Rich will be the first to admit he needs to work on his chops – and that’s exactly what he does every day, not just through his amplifier, but in all areas of life, including his work as one of Japan’s top pharma recruiters. Rich made the bold jump to The Agency, in his words, “to have more flexibility in my working style and offer more meaningful service to clients and candidates.” The biggest difference our Englishman has felt since coming on at TA? “I am completely in charge of my own life and business,” he says. Rich recently bought a lodge in Nagano, which he and his wife are renovating – a passion project that wouldn’t have been possible while he was at Company B. Sounds suspiciously like freedom, doesn’t it?

Richard Morgan

Senior Director
The Agency |  Healthcare

Michael Pearce

Senior Director

Division: Zensho | Practice: Legal
Phone: 050-1749-8801


ASK ME ABOUT:

Giving up everything to move to Japan and apprentice with the last living ninja Grandmaster, my (so far) elusive goal of brewing the perfect craft beer, and reaching the Okuden level of Nihon Buyou (Japanese traditional dance).

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

A California native, Michael moved to Japan in 1991 to pursue his passion of martial arts and Japanese cultural studies. Since coming to Japan, he has studied intensively with the top teachers in his chosen arts. He has obtained rank and teaching degrees in the martial arts as well as in Nihon Buyou (traditional Japanese dance) and bonsai cultivation. His studies have given him an intimate perspective and appreciation for Asian culture and heritage.

Michael has learned that all things worthwhile take time, and that patience and commitment are essential ingredients for building long term relationships in any area of life. This attitude has served him well as a legal specialist recruiter. He strives to provide the highest quality of service in his work and loves providing creative advice and solutions to clients that help them achieve their professional objectives.

Before joining Zensho, Michael was a consultant in the biotech industry and had the pleasure of working with some of the leading pioneers in the field. In addition to his consulting engagements he founded several companies, including a movie production company based in Los Angeles which he is still active in. He truly believes that “the work is the reward.” This is what drives him to perform each and every day. He enjoys surfing, paramotoring, reading, philosophy, and time with his family.

Michael Pearce

Senior Director
Zensho |  Legal

Kaoru Fujii

Senior Director

Division: The Agency | Practice: Consumer
Phone: 050-1744-8123


ASK ME ABOUT:

Talking to myself at high volume, being interviewed by President Woman magazine, and scoring three tries at an international rugby match in the UK.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

When The Agency someday launches its own brand of champagne, we'll surely call it ``Kaoru.`` After five years as a fashion designer and three as a talent agency manager, Kaoru realized her true calling was in human resources and began working as a recruiter - or ``headhunter,`` as she is quick to clarify - in that field. Today, with 11 years experience under her designer belt, she is one of the top B2C billers in the country, focusing on the brand industry. At the same time, she consults as a communication training specialist for foreign candidates, preparing them for effective self-presentation in the Japanese business world. Such a multi-career dynamo as Kaoru needed the freedom of a deep blue ocean, and The Agency only works with big fish, so we did what any self-respecting deep blue ocean and big fish would do and made it official. Our Okayama native came to us by way of Sydney, Brisbane and Osaka (doing scuba and yoga in fifteen countries along the way), and while travel remains one of her passions, Kaoru now calls Tokyo home. Her onboarding has everyone here in a celebratory mood, so let's raise a glass to our newest superstar. The Zensho Agency profile page just got a little classier.

Kaoru Fujii

Senior Director
The Agency |  Consumer

Chris Rivas

Senior Director

Division: The Agency | Practice: Technology
Phone: 050-1744-8131


ASK ME ABOUT:

Writing, directing, producing and shooting an indie gangster movie in Tokyo, where to get the perfect hamburg steak, or how I acquired the nickname “The Duke.”

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

We are proud to announce that tech wizard Chris Rivas is now officially on board as a Senior Director with The Agency. The Southern California native got his start in recruiting when he was solicited by a firm that was trying to place him in a sales role (they must have sensed the world class potential that today makes him one of the top billers in his field), and eventually moved his business to Tokyo. From there, it was surely just a matter of time before we found each other: indeed, our commitment to top-drawer quality and Chris’s desire for more freedom makes this a perfect fit. Of coming on at The Agency, he says he finds it inspiring to work in an environment where he can focus completely on adding value to his clients. “The Agency does everything it can to help us achieve success,” he adds, “but it is also about personal growth and well-being.” Chris balances vocational intensity with a passion for his myriad pursuits. When not moving tech-tonic plates, he may be found spending quality time with his family, sampling good wine and cigars, exploring the city to a Beatles soundtrack, or shooting footage with one of his rare Super 8 cameras. Oh, and he’s also a diehard LA Dodgers fan, which seems appropriate for one who consistently knocks home run deals out of the park. Welcome to the tribe, Chris!

Chris Rivas

Senior Director
The Agency |  Technology

Patrick McDonnell

Director

Division: The Agency | Practice: Healthcare
Phone: 050-1749-8810


ASK ME ABOUT:

Life in army greens on Western Samoa, how a greasy cheeseburger helped me make my greatest placement ever, or the time I got turf-slammed by a Secret Service agent, only to be helped up by a very apologetic Jimmy Carter.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

New York-born and St. Louis-raised, Pat is a an honorably discharged veteran who served for years as a 12B combat engineer, or Sapper – one of the six elite army groups that gets a shoulder rocker patch. These are the guys who go into combat zones first and make the way clear for everybody else. Pat’s military experience with putting others’ welfare first became a way of life for him, carrying over into the recruiting world where co-workers began calling him Sugar Bear. Because Sugar Bear shares, and Pat believes in sharing information so everyone can benefit. Sound like any recruiters you know? Didn’t think so. And that’s exactly why he’s a perfect fit here at The Agency. And unlike some of his former colleagues, we don’t take his generosity for granted: we reciprocate it.

Adventure brought Pat to Japan, and his love of family and recruiting keeps him here. While working on deals (which includes assisting others in the TA tribe with theirs), he also works on improving life for himself and all of the McDonnells. Pat came on at TA for the freedom and better quality people: well, better got even better with him on board.

Patrick McDonnell

Director
The Agency |  Healthcare

Laurens Schaberg

Director

Division: The Agency | Practice: Consumer
Phone: 050-1749-7012


ASK ME ABOUT:

Creating sustainable ways of living for future generations, commandeering oil tankers, or how I once wrote a musical about life in my home town.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

You’d need a flamethrower to light up a room any faster than Laurens. Equal parts recruiter, humanitarian and benevolent gadfly, our own Flying Dutchman has a lust for life that requires no caffeine. Indeed, just spend a few minutes around him and you’ll start to believe in human beings as rocket fuel. Recruitment for him is all about creating win-win-win situations: “If an introduction is beneficial for my clients and candidates, I create an environment of positive synergy,`` says the Rotterdam native. ``That's what drives me in this business every day.” Becoming a principal at The Agency means joining what he calls a unique team of highly skilled consultants who operate independently while keeping a strong sense of unity and collaboration. No wonder this born communicator feels right at home with us. When not blowing up our consumer division, Laurens will be leveraging his many passions – Thai kickboxing, scuba diving, motorbiking and cleaning up forest trash – to motivate young people to empower themselves and make this a better planet.

Laurens Schaberg

Director
The Agency |  Consumer

Teppei Tanino

Director

Division: Zensho | Practice: Legal
Phone: 050-1749-8807


ASK ME ABOUT:

How rock stole my soul from Kendo, how Hollywood superstar Kevin Spacey almost saw me perform (twice), and my Anglophile penchant for painting in a park with my socks off.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

Teppei got his start in legal when a Tokyo-based recruiter friend suggested he consider executive search as a career. After several years at another firm, he decided to come on at Zensho for the superior work environment. “I like to focus on business instead of politics,” says the Hiroshima native. “Robin and the other crew members really respect each other. I couldn't think of moving except to Zensho.” Teppei is one of those rare left and right brain guys, both practical and artistic, just as happy navigating the complexities of a deal as he is painting or writing songs on his guitar. He credits the time he spent living among musicians in the parks and pubs of London with changing forever the way he approaches people: the trust his colleagues, clients and candidates put in him tells us it was for the better, too. Teppei brings new life and energy to the tribe, as well as a native business sensibility – invaluable in our competitive industry.

Teppei Tanino

Director
Zensho |  Legal

Brad Corbet

Director

Division: The Agency | Practice: Human Resources
Phone: 050-1749-8806


ASK ME ABOUT:

Rustling up grub for 1,500 hungry sailors on a battleship in the middle of nowhere, driving the coolest route around the Grand Canyon out of Vegas, or how I once matched the iron handshakes of Norman Schwarzkopf and his bodyguard.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

A lot of folks know St. Louis for its toasted ravioli, gooey-butter cake and pizza, but for us here at Zensho Agency, the best thing the city has ever cooked up is Brad Corbet. Through the Gateway Arch, he headed west and didn’t stop till he reached The Rising Sun where he finished his navy years aboard the USS Blue Ridge (flagship of the 7th fleet) and other sea monsters. Stepping away from the service, he was soon working as an executive search consultant at one of Tokyo’s major firms. But even a guy renowned for his easygoing nature can take only so much grief, and this month Brad came on board at The Agency, a move he knows is the blue ocean cure to all his red ocean woes over at that other place. “It makes sense,” he says. “After knowing what doesn't work, it’s enlightening to find something that does.”

Family, friends and colleagues alike admire him for his reliability, empathy and positive vibes (perhaps not so much for his outrageous rocking out to 80s hits). What to call someone who views setbacks as learning opportunities rather than failures? A winner, which is just one of the many reasons why Brad is perfect for The Agency culture. He is our first functional specialist, focusing on HR roles across all industry sectors – a hat this aspiring gourmet wears as comfortably as he does a chef’s toque. Welcome to the tribe, brother! We look forward to watching you fry the competition for years to come.

Brad Corbet

Director
The Agency |  Human Resources

Christian Nagle

Communications Wizard

Phone: 050-1749-8804


ASK ME ABOUT:

How a 15-line poem got me to Japan, singing in the preview of a West End musical for HRH Princess Margaret, and being charged by an angry rhinoceros in the Kenyan bush.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

Having grown up in Rome and London, Christian has always felt more comfortable as an ex-pat than living in his hometown Alexandria, Virginia. He got his start in the arts at an early age, making his professional music debut in the West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, and went on to perform regularly at The Royal Albert Hall. After his family moved back to the US, he co-founded the critically acclaimed rock band Clockhammer, releasing CDs and touring internationally. Still, unlike most kids, he loved school, and kept drifting back to university until eventually someone gave him a PhD. At the same time, he was writing and producing for the stage, and publishing work in magazines like Esquire, The Paris Review and Raritan. He got his start in advertising and marketing as a copywriter at a tiny boutique firm with Fortune 500 clients, where he learned that craft could actually make him some money. He had retired from music when a Japanese singer he met in Texas convinced him to give it one more swing in Tokyo, and although the band soon broke up, eighteen years later he’s still here. He began working between the US and Japan as a marketing consultant in 2011, but it wasn’t until two years ago that he found his true business calling. He and Robin have worked together in various marketing ventures over the years, but when Robin told him about Zensho Agency, he knew it was something special. “Helping Robin develop his brand has been the most rewarding creative experience of my business life,” he says. “I’ve never been involved in a branding project that required zero spin. This company is a work of genius.” When not writing and concepting for the agency, Christian likes to cook, translate early modernist Japanese literature, and run out of town to unwind at a Yamanashi onsen.

Christian Nagle

Communications Wizard
Zensho Agency

Robin Doenicke

President & Chief Evangelist

Phone: 050-1749-8808


ASK ME ABOUT:

Crawling on my hands and knees to the 6,476m summit of Mera Peak in the Himalayas, drinking Ayahuasca with Shamans deep in the Amazon jungle, and my daily early morning martial arts practice of standing still for an hour.

AND FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

Robin is an entrepreneur and martial arts expert from Sydney, Australia. A vocal prodigy, he was invited to study at the prestigious Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He declined in favor of business, working for four years as an account manager at advertising giant DDB.

In 1996, he moved to Japan to apprentice with Bujinkan Ninjutsu grandmaster, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, ultimately earning a top-rank 15th-dan black belt. Honored by Hatsumi-sensei with the martial name Tou Ryu (“Luminous Dragon”), he is today himself a popular teacher worldwide. Believing the martial path to be a journey without end, he continues to immerse himself in new disciplines to expand and complement his knowledge. In addition to the Bujinkan arts he's also a dedicated student of Yiquan and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

In 2003, after three years at one of Japan’s executive search giants, he co-founded his own firm, Zensho Agency Inc. Zensho now leads its sector, voted Japan’s Legal Recruitment Company of the Year at the Recruitment International Asia Awards every year since they began in 2014. In the past year, his commitment to personal growth and empowerment led him to launch several new initiatives, including The Agency – a 'blue ocean', paradigm shifting, agent-centric recruitment brokerage that is shaking up the market.

Robin was named one of “30 People to Watch in the Business of Law in Asia in 2017” by Asia Law Portal, and featured in the critically acclaimed business documentary, The Movement, released to a global audience in April, 2018.

When not turning the recruitment industry on its head, he can be found braving the toughest Himalayan treks or exploring the wonders of Ayahuasca in the Peruvian Amazon. He is a devoted husband and father to the three loves of his life, wife Yuki, daughter Emma, and son Joe, with whom he lives in Shinagawa.

Robin's motto is: “Let life flow.”

Robin Doenicke

President & Chief Evangelist
Zensho Agency