Who We Are

BH and Associates is a boutique, retained, national executive search firm headquartered in San Diego with a national reach.

Our competencies include:

  • Identification of leadership and competency gaps
  • Development and implementation of succession programs
  • Executive search assignments
  • Consultation regarding direction, timing, and execution of hiring needs
  • Board development and search work

For over a decade we have conducted searches for the biopharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic, agricultural, healthcare, research institutes, non-profit and technology industries. We are independent and smaller by design and measure our success by the quality of the hire, our ability to match cultural fit, the speed of the search completion, and ultimately, the contributions of the hired individual.

Our doors opened out of an immediate need for superior service, accountability and consultative advice. Since then, we have streamlined a comprehensive search strategy, built a superior research team that enables us to work with our clients on an individual level and reach candidates on a grand scale.  Our cultural assessment questionnaire is a unique search component which we take seriously and to which we give time and attention.


Bente Hansen, Ph.D.

Core Values

Our mission is to recruit exceptional talent who will make an immediate, positive impact on the organization.

Expect your search partner to provide feedback about your company from potential candidates.

Bente Hansen, Ph.D.

After earning a doctorate in Physiology from the University of Northern Colorado, Bente had a successful career in healthcare and life sciences before transitioning to the retained executive search industry.

As Executive Director of the Executive Health Center at Scripps Memorial Hospital, where she led operations and business expansion when this platform was new, she contributed to the stress management program of the Center. She moved to EVP of Marketing and Product Development and board member of HMG, a public cardiovascular company, VP of Business Development for Hygeia Pharmaceuticals, an early stage oncology company and co-founder of Medical Impact, a medical information company.

For the past 20 years she has worked to bring executive leadership to life science companies as Vice President and Managing Director of DHR International, headquartered in Chicago, and West Coast Vice President and Managing Director for Gilbert Tweed based in New York. She started her company, Bente Hansen & Associates, to offer retained search services with more accountability, personal service with a sense of urgency, diversity and professionalism. 

Bente’s involvement has extended to numerous industry committees: The Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, Corporate Directors Forum, CONNECT, BIOCOM, CALBIO and BIO. Bente is a member of WBL (Women Business Leaders) and Women in Bio. She is a frequent speaker on career development and compensation practices, a TWIN Honoree from the YWCA and recognized by UCSD for contribution to the Cancer Center. Her chapter on science recruitment was published in Alternative Careers in Science, in its second edition, and she has contributed to NextWave, an Internet career site for Science Magazine. She is the past Chairperson of the San Diego Chapter of the American Lung Association and the founding Chair of the Bioscience Affinity Group of Athena.

Dr. Hansen has had a lifelong interest in the correlation between stress and disease and is a member of the Board of Directors of Sentia Medical Sciences.

Mary G. Colacicco, Ph.D.

Mary Colacicco earned her Ph.D. from Purdue University and comes with 25+ years of operational experience as President of Travelers Aid. She had responsibility for board recruitment, day-to-day operations, fiscal planning, business collaborations, fund-raising and being the spokesperson for the organization. Mary has applied her leadership skills to the executive search industry and manages day to day operations for Bente Hansen & Associates. Not only does she bring years of experience working with Boards of Directors, she also served as an advisor/consultant to several national organizations as they restructured for increased profitability. Part of her responsibilities included evaluating the current CEO and assisting with filling vacant CEO positions.

Dr. Colacicco has led CEO searches for non-for-profit organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association – San Diego/Imperial Chapter, Equinox, the San Diego Council on Literacy, Travelers Aid Society, the Travelers Aid International and the American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties. Her corporate involvements locally have included board participation on Nonprofit Management Solutions, the San Diego Council on Literacy, San Diego-Imperial County Girl Scout Council and membership in the San Diego Rotary Club and LEAD San Diego.

Mary was Chair of the San Diego County Regional Task Force on the Homeless for ten years where she was responsible for developing and implementing programs for the homeless, battered women and those in poverty. Her local and national awards include: The John V. Naish Award of Honor for Distinguished Volunteer service (United Way); the Ben Polak Award of Excellence for Outstanding Professional Leadership (United Way); Certificate of Appreciation (UCSD Cancer Center Foundation).