…we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence.
Vincent Lombardi 1913-1970

Who are we?

Founded in 1985, the Paragon Group’s business is simple; to identify, assess, and attract the top quintile of RETAIL PROFESSIONALS into the leadership, merchant, and professional level roles of our clients. Ranging from the Iconic to the Start Up, our clients engage us to gain exposure to critical high performance talent.

These are those rare individuals who bring unique insight, vision, and ability paired with a willingness and comfort level in taking the necessary risks that consistently yields superior performance; no matter the current market or economic condition.

Our philosophy of business is based upon honesty, integrity, trust, service, continuous improvement, tenacity, passion, and performance. This is our ethos and the foundation of our business and lives. It is what we also seek in our clients and candidates.

Each of our Recruiters and Consultants must live this philosophy and is keenly aware that we serve you and must continuously provide superior insight, results, and value to earn your respect and maintain your confidence.

Once you've become frustrated with the caliber of your candidates sourced through traditional methods, contact us to get a better sense of who we are personally and explore how we are able to attract the critical talent that you seek.


"Throughout history, organizations ranging from government to military, business, and education have had special teams.

Typically small, nimble, well-trained operating with relative anonymity outside the traditional structure. The purpose and task is to deal with emergencies, out-of-the-ordinary situations, specialized projects, and sensitive missions that are not easily addressed through conventional means or with average talent.

These special teams are effective as a result of their ability to operate unconventionally, discreetly without the constraints and limitations of institutional thought processes and procedures.

More than likely, you have not experienced the depth of information and insight we are able to provide our clients."

Mather P. Leeds

Our Leadership

Mather P. Leeds Founder/President

Mr. Leeds is the founder and President of the Paragon Group, a search and consulting firm addressing the recruitment and talent needs of the retail industry nationally. He brought a unique methodology to the industry and his firm’s clients that is still a rarity today.

Upon graduating, he joined a NYSE Member firm as broker where he was promoted within 14 months to Regional Manager over the Mid Atlantic states and firm Principal with approximately 40 offices, B2B sales of clearing services, and teaching operations and sales courses to client banks, credit unions, and NASD firms.

From there, Mr. Leeds founded a partnership to develop, acquire, and operate specialty retail addressing the needs and wants of an under-served demographic within the Washington DC and Baltimore markets as well as a small wholesale and manufacturers rep operation serving small retailers nationally.

It is as a merchant that Mr. Leeds found a strong need to develop his recruiting skills. He sought out and received his primary recruiting training from Manhattan based retail recruiting veterans. Capitalizing on his good initial success in recruiting for the retail partnership and a taste and enthusiasm for it, he went a step further, eschewing the traditional recruiting methods taught and practiced since the 1950’s and married much of his financial sales and consulting experience to create a new recruiting paradigm. This proved to be highly successful, building a bond between the recruiter, the clients, and candidates — the Paragon Group was born and began serving the talent search needs of clients nationally in the middle management to senior executive levels.

Mr. Leeds actively works a desk to this day. His style is no-nonsense, doesn’t want to hear the word “can’t”, just "how". He is known for telling clients and candidates the truth; whether they want to hear it or not.

Married with 5 children, he resides in Virginia's Northern Shenandoah Valley. His undergraduate and graduate education is in finance from the George Washington University and Marymount University of Virginia. He is a partner in a residential real estate investment company and serves as an adviser to an industrial instrumentation software company.

Mr. Leeds is also an active volunteer in several non-profit organizations.

Gloria A. Spellane Vice President