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Headshot of John Bernatovicz Willory founder and president, wearing a blue shirt


Founder and President

John founded Willory in 2010 and named the firm from inspiration from his wife, Emily.  Willory is a portmanteau word inspired by combing the names of their two children, Will and Mallory.  Willory’s name is an acknowledgment that each and every client is unique and needs to be treated with distinct care.  With over 22 years’ experience within the payroll and HR niche, John is uniquely qualified to drive Willory into a leadership position within the HR and payroll staffing and consulting space.

John has focused his working career on understanding the needs of his clients, candidates, and partners. He is not satisfied until he finds what his clients and candidates are looking for. Plus, he thrives to grow, challenge, and develop the Willory team.  John strives on winning and building a successful business that goes above and beyond the expectations of his clients, candidates, staff members, and competitors.  This sets a standard for the firm to provide a high quality of service and building exceptional relationships.

John was an Academic All-American in Golf at Kent State University and has played in three United States Golf Association events.  He began his professional career at ADP, one of the world’s largest payroll and HR outsourcing solutions providers.  During his time at ADP, John’s diligence and dedication to his clients paid off.  He deservedly received seven promotions and qualified for seven President’s Clubs, a premiere award for top performing employees.  Following his successful career at ADP and preceding the establishment of Willory, John joined a boutique search and consulting firm as a partner, where he expanded his expertise into successfully growing a staffing practice.

Married since 1997, John is a life-long Northeast Ohio resident, has two wonderful children, loves to golf, coach football, Cleveland sports teams (he is a die-hard), and runs the Akron Marathon relay race alongside other members of the Willory team.

EMAIL: john@willory.com

A Few Thoughts from John

What are you passionate about?
If there is one word to describe me, it would be passionate.  First of all, I am passionate abot my family - specifically my wife and two children, immediate and extended family, close friends, golf, and winning (those last three are not directly related, but could be... think about it). On the professional side, its building a successful business that exceeds the expectations of my clients and candidates by providing high quality, professional service.  And along the way, building long-term relationships by doing the right thing, every time.

What makes you tick?
Winning, doing things better and more efficiently, helping my clients' businesses, respect, reputation, seizing opportunities, providing for my family.

What does a good day look like for you?
On a weekend, spending time with family and golfing.  During the week, a good day centers on finding my clients and candidates what they are looking for, and have been unable to find on their own. I derive a great deal of satisfaction from making people happy. Matching my client’s specific requirements with a candidate who is passionate about the position and company and creating a mutual connection that will last.