History of TriStaff

Our founders; Gary van Eik and Rich Papike started working for a Dunhill franchise the same day in downtown San Diego on August 23rd, 1971.  At the time the company was comprised of a small number of executive recruiters with various niche specialties ranging from placing local sales and sales managers, IT, Oil and Gas, among others.  In 1973 Gary and Rich bought the franchise from the previous owner and their 40+ year partnership was established.

In 1980 Dunhill of San Diego opened our first Temporary placement division and added a second office in 1991.  These offices place temporary employees into; Clerical, Administrative, Light Industrial, Customer Service positions regionally among other key office support roles.

In 1990 Gary and Rich left the Dunhill umbrella and rebranded as System1…

In 1992 System1 opened our first IT Consulting placement division and soon realized that a name that better characterized the breadth of searches they executed was necessary and the TriStaff Group of Companies was born.

A second TriStaff IT Consulting office was opened in Orange County in 1995 and began a more regional presence in the IT space in Southern California.  That office was later relocated to Temecula and is now located in Fallbrook.  This office has evolved to include a premier National Construction Executive search group.

Today TriStaff operates in 3 offices with many long term employees and the group consists of; Executive Search, Temporary Placement, and Consultants.

Gary and Rich remain at the helm and continue to actively practice in the Executive Search division.


Meet our founders

Gary van Eik, CEO

Gary is the cofounder and CEO of TriStaff. He has over 40 years’ experience in staffing and has helped grow the company into one of the oldest, privately owned staffing firms in the country. With divisions in executive search, temporary staffing, contract staffing and consulting, TriStaff can respond to any need in the talent market. Our specialties are general staffing, finance/accounting, IT, engineering, energy, social media, real estate, and other niches.

Gary graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in marketing. Five of his family members work with him in the business.

Rich Papike, President

Rich is the cofounder and president of TriStaff Group. Since 1971, he has helped to lead one of the most successful staffing and executive search companies in the country. In addition to contract staffing in general temps, IT staffing, and engineering, TriStaff also does executive search in a number of specific niches including media, construction, and software engineering.

Rich was born and raised in San Diego and obtained his BS in marketing from the University of California in 1968. He has placed media executives since 1982.