Movers and shakers Tony Fornetti

Movers & shakers: Tony Fornetti, SkyWater Search Partners

Tony Fornetti is president and a founding partner at SkyWater Search Partners, a new executive search firm based in Minnetonka led by veterans of the former McKinley Group and McKinley Finance recruiting companies.

SkyWater Search Partners conducts searches in accounting and finance, information technology, sales, marketing, operations and supply chain management, human resources and consumer packaged goods.

“We provide clients a short list of top candidates that precisely match the skills, industry experience and interpersonal abilities our clients desire,” said Fornetti, whose responsibilities include overseeing financial management of the firm.

Fornetti most recently served as a partner and president of McKinley Finance, formed in 2006 as a subsidiary of McKinley Group, a local search firm. The partnerships of those firms amicably split at the end of 2012 to pursue separate ventures.

Joining Fornetti as founding partners at SkyWater Search Partners are Kurt Rakos and Paul Beard.

With the SkyWater partners having previously worked together, the greatest challenge they faced in starting the new firm was choosing a name.

“Our goal was a name that is unique, easy to spell and understand and with ties to Minnesota,” Fornetti said. The SkyWater name, he noted, is based on the Dakota Sioux words “Minne” and “Sota,” which mean “sky-tinted water” and were the origin of the state’s name.

Before joining McKinley Group in 2003, Fornetti worked for nearly seven years as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Q What are your goals at SkyWater?

A To be seen as the best at what we do in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. We would like SkyWater to be seen as both the search firm to find exemplary talent and the firm that talented candidates seek out. When we prove successful in these areas we will have the strength and opportunity to strategically increase our service offerings.

Q Why should a company bring its business to SkyWater?

A We are the best resource in the Twin Cities to find the talent that clients need. Clients getting the right hire and candidates accepting the right new role with an organization are important to the growth of the Minnesota business community and our company.

Q What differentiates SkyWater from competitors?

A The capability of our employees, who are top performers and experts in their specialized disciplines and know the top talent in the Minneapolis-St. Paul marketplace. We feel that it is inexcusable to show more candidates in an effort to merely show progress, and we are relentless in client satisfaction.


TODD NELSON for the Star and Tribune