Over the past 25 years, Leanne has cultivated a robust national and global network, assisting companies in curating talent teams that resonate with their unique cultures. From nurturing startups to expanding global enterprises, Leanne’s award-winning skills champion a company’s ethos, ensuring alignment with its vision. Her career spans diverse sectors, including Land and Environmental Engineering, Real Estate Development, Retail, Commercial Insurance, Healthcare, and, most notably, Technology & CyberSecurity.
With 10+ years of experience in Full-cycle Recruiting, HR, and Operational support, Leanne brings a profound passion for driving talent and companies toward success. Recognized for her aptitude in identifying the perfect fit for roles, she bridges employers and candidates, fostering relationships built on trust and mutual growth.
Leanne has a proven track record in identifying and securing top-tier talent, from department roles to C-suite positions. She establishes immediate trust with clients and candidates, positioning herself as a reliable advisor, ensuring efficient communications, and promoting a company’s culture. Leanne is proficient in diagnosing organizational challenges and implementing successful solutions by guiding employees, managers, and executives in process creation, departmental and company growth, and career development.
Leanne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. She moved across the country in the early 2000s and worked across various industries until landing in Colorado in 2005. Outside of work, Leanne enjoys spending time with her family and dogs. An avid hiker, she is also deeply involved in animal rescues, often fostering dogs.
Debra J. Young is Sheer Velocity’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner. Before founding Sheer Velocity, she was Executive Vice President of a top five retained executive search firm. Prior to that, Ms. Young was a Managing Partner of a national boutique retained executive search firm responsible for starting their Denver office where she successfully managed the recruitment and placements of senior-level executives. Her human resources and recruiting career started four years prior while working as a Human Resources Administrator for a Fortune 500 company.
Ms. Young’s areas of practice include lower/middle market private equity, venture capital, family-owned, publicly traded and founder owned businesses where she understands the specific nuances of recruiting into each of them. Within those markets she continues to successfully complete functional assignments for the C-Suite, President and top senior vice-president leadership roles in Finance, Sales, Operations, Human Resources, Marketing, Supply Chain, Logistics, and Transportation.
Ms. Young’s track record confirms she is a trusted partner to her clients. She exhibits the highest level of quality and professional service through a consultative approach, strong work ethic and impressive professional network. Her clients hold her in high regard as a professional businesswoman whose true passion is finding executives unparalleled career opportunities with exemplary companies. To reconfirm her commitment to finding the right talent for her clients, in addition to her keen ability to identify strong cultural fits, she is certified in the Hogan Assessment and performs that work for the firm.
Ms. Young earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts Degrees from the University of Denver, a Paralegal Degree from Carthage College, and Human Resources Management Certification from Villanova University. Additionally, she holds a Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certification and is an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management and Mile High SHRM. She has been an invite only member of the Denver Business Journals Leadership Trust Group since 2020.
Sheer Velocity’s highly regarded brand is due to not only industry expertise, but truly about our ability to make the right fits through our own propriety process of assessing candidates from a 360-degree view.
Rui is the Founding Partner and Managing Partner of Ad Capita, a retained Executive Search firm in Portugal since 2001. With more than 35 years of business experience, Rui has held several executive positions with domestic and multinational organizations in sectors that include Insurance, Professional Services and Management Consulting, before starting his career in executive search.
In his role as an executive recruiter for the past 25 years, he has conducted many engagements for critically important C-level positions across sectors and geographies.
Rui is also a co-founder and currently serves as President of INAC – Global Executive Search, one of the leading recruiting networks in the world, providing talent advisory services in over 30 countries.
Rui completed his legal studies at Lisbon Law University and Executive Business Management in AESE/IESE Business School.
Additionally, Rui is active in the professional community and served on the Board of Directors in a variety of Human Resources and Management organizations at local and international levels. Rui is fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish and proficient with French.
Leanne draws on over 30 years of progressive experience in management, consulting and executive search to deliver impactful human capital solutions across a wide range of industries. She has completed searches at all levels from Brand Manager to CEO for a variety of global organizations including private equity backed startups to Fortune 100 companies.
Most recently, Leanne led Executive Recruitment for Whirlpool Corporation where, together with her team, she conducted searches across multiple functions and geographies at the Senior Manager through SVP level for the company.
Prior to that, Leanne built and ran her own firm, Elk Meadow Partners where she completed searches for a variety of clients across multiple practice areas including CPG, Retail & Hospitality, Apparel & Sporting Goods, Healthcare & Pharma, Manufacturing & Infrastructure, Renewable Energy and more.
Prior to that, she served as Director of Practice Management for the Industrial Practice of Heidrick & Struggles – one of the world’s premier leadership consulting and executive search firms. She and her team supported over 125 recruiters around the world, providing comprehensive recruiting support across various sectors.
In her prior role with H&S, Leanne helped to build the firm’s Global Marketing & Sales Officers practice to become the largest in the world. There she focused on building proactive relationships with top talent and developed ground-breaking thought leadership related to human capital, talent management and leadership dynamics in marketing, sales and innovation. Leanne also helped to place Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Commercial Officers and heads of Sales, R&D and Research at over 30 different organizations globally.
Leanne’s marketing experience comes from top tier companies including Procter & Gamble, Bristol Myers, Reckitt-Benckiser, Ford Motor Company, Intercontinental Hotels and Russell Corporation. More recently, she was a marketing consultant for the Zyman Group, developing marketing strategy and providing implementation guidance to companies in several industries including automotive, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, food and beverage, and retail.
Leanne was also appointed to lead the firm’s overall marketing efforts and served as Director of Brand Management reporting directly to Sergio Zyman, the firm’s founder. There she helped launch the Institute of Brand Science, a unique partnership of industry and academia dedicated to optimizing business performance via brands.
Leanne earned her MBA at Duke University and has a BA in Economics from Middlebury College where she graduated with honors. She is a citizen of the USA, Canada and Switzerland, and is fluent in French. Leanne and her family live in Denver where she enjoys horseback riding, skiing, sailing and gardening. She also serves as a volunteer/leader with many local organizations including the Boy Scouts, Evergreen High School and the Evergreen Chorale.
Jon Gordon is Sheer Velocity’s Managing Partner and co-founder in Denver, Colorado. Before launching Sheer Velocity, he served for five years as Executive Vice President for one of the largest retained executive search firms in the US and is based in Boulder, Colorado.
Before joining one of the nation’s largest international executive search firms, Jon spearheaded several start-up ventures. Over the course of Jon’s career, he has been recruiting top talent and hiring professionals for over 25 years in the C-suite through middle management which brings a broad depth and understanding of the business needs facing his clients. Jon focuses on searches at all levels in Information Technology, Finance, Human Resources, Operations, Sales, and Supply Chain. He has built companies from the ground up that have yielded successful exits for investors and employees alike.
Jon was a Managing Partner for Three Value Logic (3VL), a professional services/sales organization specializing in sales optimization and efficiency. 3VL worked on behalf of its clients representing their products and services, boosting existing sales organization effectiveness, and developing entry-level sales talent through its unique Career Sales Development Program.
Before 3VL, Jon was the Vice President of Corporate Development for PureVision Technology, a Life Sciences and Industrial company that is developing a unique approach to converting lignocellulosic biomass into ethanol and other useful industrial products. Jon was also a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for Worldprints.com, an online eCommerce and data-gathering business, acquired by Excite@home in April of 2000. At Worldprints.com, Jon was responsible for day-to-day operations, ramping from two employees to over 80 before negotiating its successful acquisition.
Earlier in his career, Jon co-founded and served as Senior Vice President of SkyConnect, Inc., a leading provider of digital ad insertion and video-on-demand file servers which is now part of Arris Corporation. Jon has founded and operated several other companies including VR 1, Inc. a multi-player internet gaming company; Global Entertainment Systems, Inc., a developer of image compression technology for the cable television industry with its assets licensed by Scientific Atlanta; and Diversified Video Group, an international videotape fulfillment and distribution company.
Jon graduated with a degree in Environmental Conservation from the University of Colorado and currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and three children. He is currently Past President of the Board of Boulder’s Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA), a nonprofit organization helping families in need with food, housing and other basic necessities since 1918.
David Quigley serves as Sheer Velocity’s Managing Director in our Denver, Colorado office. David brings over 20 years of executive search experience, the majority focused in financial services, as an executive recruiter working on a wide range of roles for his clients. Immediately prior to joining Sheer Velocity, David was a Managing Director with a leading retained executive search firm based in Denver, Colorado. David was also a Managing Director with F.S. von Stade & Associates, a leading Wall Street executive search firm where he was involved with all aspects of the business and personally conducted client and candidate development for investment banking, private equity, hedge funds and asset management clients.
Recently, David was also a Senior Search Consultant with Hire Education, a firm focused in the growing vertical of education technology and education services. David focused on placements in sales, sales leadership, marketing, business development, product development, program management and senior technology leadership positions filling critical roles for his clients.
David was also a Co-Founder of OneWire, a New York based technology company in the Talent Acquisition/Management space focused on financial services and finance. This SaaS based application allows employers and candidates to manage the recruiting process more effectively and efficiently.
David started his career at Marsh, the international insurance brokerage division of MMC. As a Vice President, David was a team leader in the Risk Management Casualty Division and worked closely with corporate clients to manage their liability risks. His clients spanned all industry verticals and included the portfolio companies and target companies of many private equity groups and investment banking M&A teams.
David is a graduate of Lake Forest College with a BA in History. He currently lives in Littleton, Colorado with his wife and two children, where he enjoys cycling, playing golf and enjoying the great outdoors.
Todd Cowles is the Managing Director for the Seattle office of Sheer Velocity. Before joining Sheer Velocity as a retained executive search consultant, Todd brings years of experience in sales leadership, recruiting and independent partner channel development to our organization. Beyond his “day jobs” across the years, he also has a unique background in non-profit volunteer, event and board work.
The bulk of Todd’s career has been spent building businesses within the building automation and energy management industries, both in the United States and abroad. From Fortune 100 companies including Siemens and Honeywell to a couple of start-ups, Todd will tell you he has been very fortunate to have had experience ranging from formal training and very structured business practices to dealing with the blank slate of very raw businesses coming out of the ground. Recruiting key employees for his organization and their channel partners has been a key driver to profitable growth across the years.
Todd is a strong believer in matching individuals to companies and roles based on motivation, culture and potential to succeed. There can certainly be technical skills and specific experience as minimums, but the match needs to be made on the things that cannot be taught. Todd has felt both the pain and the satisfaction of a hire that misses the mark versus one that perfectly matches the person to the opportunity. He understands how costly the misses can be and how everyone wins when things are done right.
Todd has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. He lives in the greater Seattle area with his two sons. Any spare time is spent outdoors, biking, hiking, skiing and kayaking. Volunteering and community service is an energizing part of Todd’s life as he works with several local charities, plus he is the director of his own small non-profit to support a large mountain biking event each January in Seattle.
Bobbi joins Sheer Velocity with over 15 years of experience as an executive recruiter in Denver across a multitude of industries. Bobbi has more recently focused her recruiting acumen within the private equity portfolio sector where she identifies the needs of her clients and pairing that with candidates that can deliver. She pulls on her diverse background in business as an entrepreneur to investment banking where she was tasked with developing functional and saleable management teams for companies seeking to raise capital.
Bobbi started her career in the Biological Sciences performing Diabetes research where she published four scientific articles. Drawn to business, she returned to the University of Colorado to pursue an MBA in Business. During that time, she developed a business plan which drew the attention of equity backers resulting in the launch of Black Widow Brewing Company that was eventually acquired by a larger regional group six years later.
Bobbi then joined the IIB where she became their top recruiter of consultants. From here she served as VP of the Riderwood Group, an Investment Banking firm out of Maryland working with management teams in many industries preparing the company for a major capital raise. Upon leaving, she continued her career doing what she loved, recruiting executives.
Bobbi resides in Longmont, CO with her husband. Their 4 children are grown but now have 4 mastiff dogs, and usually 1-2 foster dogs. They devote their passion and time into rescuing giant breed dogs.
Angie has more than 15 years of Human Resources recruiting experience. In her role, she specializes in the national placement of top caliber Human Resources talent at senior executive levels from Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO), Chief Talent Officers(CTO), Vice Presidents and Directors. Her focus includes several functions including Organizational Development, Total Rewards, Talent Acquisition, Labor Relations, Talent Management, Strategic HR Analytics and HR Systems positions. Angie challenges her clients and candidates in the same way she challenges herself by “daring them to be great”. This simple, but reflective, philosophy has helped her lead and consult with her clients and candidates to make life- and business-altering decisions that positively affect careers and corporations for years to come. Through her unwavering integrity and transparent approach, she regularly creates exceptional partnerships. Angie’s tenacity complimented by her expert knowledge of Human Resources, consistently delivers pragmatic and strategic long-term placements for her candidates and clients in start-up, growth, mid-size and Fortune 500 environments.
Prior to joining Sheer Velocity, Angie was a Senior Partner for Lucas Groups Human Resources vertical, specialized in HR search where she was the #1 Recruiter nationally for her division. She began her career in executive search as a National Recruiter for Randstad HR, the second largest HR services provider in the World, when she segued from Corporate Human Resources as an HR Manager/Recruiter in the Technology & Security spaces. Throughout her recruiting career, she’s managed the careers of some of the top HR talent in the nation. Angie has made it her mission to continue to create exceptional relationships with game-changing talent in the Human Resources space.
Angie’s interest and passion for HR began early on as she holds a BS in Management and Human Resources from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her zest for life is apparent in her personal life as well as she enjoys reading, Broadway theater, travel and scuba diving. Angie lives in a downtown neighborhood of Chicago, with her husband and two small children; big sister Piper and little man Brax. Though she has lived in Chicago for over 15+ years she has never fallen off the Green Bay Packer wagon.
Kirsten Parus joins Sheer Velocity as our Vice President of Strategic Accounts following her tenure as an Executive Search Recruiter in Denver working globally for a top five retained executive search firm. Kirsten’s executive placements have focused within the Energy, Mining, Construction, Industrial and Financial Services sectors. She has contributed to searches for Walt Disney Imagineering, Kiewit Energy, Kiewit Mining, Husky Energy, Meridian Infrastructure, Fairmount Minerals, and Focus Corporation as well as Hamon Deltak, Real Goods Solar, Holland Partners, Capital Safety, and MakuCell.
Prior to her tenure within the executive search industry, Kirsten worked in banking and financial services for ten years with institutions such as Mutual of New York, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase. Across her career, she has enjoyed tremendous success building relationships at every level, from middle management to the C-suite.
Kirsten holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Minnesota. She is also a Dale Carnegie Sales Course graduate, and was recognized by her instructors for “Best Sales Reports” and “Best Continuous Performance.” Additionally, Kirsten received the highest Dale Carnegie honors and was voted “Sales Talk Champion” by her fellow students. Thanks to her exemplary performance, Kirsten was recruited as a Group leader for future Dale Carnegie classes.
Kirsten resides in Littleton, Colorado with her husband and three daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family, running, skiing and playing golf.
Michael Burroughs serves as the Practice Leader of Sheer Velocity’s Executive Integration onboarding offering.
Michael brings over 15 years of executive recruiting experience to Sheer Velocity, including ten years spent as Managing Director of the St. Louis office of a “top five” global retained executive search firm. He has recruited well over one hundred executives to posts ranging from director to public company CEO, in a variety of industries across the US, Asia and Europe. Michael focuses his search work in the areas of general Industrial, Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Aerospace & Defense, and Nonprofits.
Prior to entering the retained search business, Michael was the top organization development executive for divisions of three Fortune 500 companies: McDonnell Douglas, American Express and Aramark. He also held executive positions in operations, business development, program management and sales, and his experience extends to smaller companies as well. He was the COO of a healthcare contract services start up, and has owned an organization development consulting practice, Segue Consulting Group, LLC, since 1998.
Michael is a globally recognized thought leader in the emerging field of Executive Integration. His groundbreaking book, Before Onboarding: How to Integrate New Leaders for Quick and Sustained Results, holds a “five star” rating on Amazon. He is a prolific writer in the subject areas of executive recruiting and integration, leadership, and career transitions. He is a “Diamond Level” author at EzineArticles.com (a distinction achieved by less than one percent of their contributing writers), and his blog, Leading Edge Memos, is read in over 60 countries. Michael is a sought after keynote speaker, conference breakout session leader and panel member.
Prior to entering the private sector in 1984, Michael spent 12 years on active duty as a US Army officer. He later accepted a commission in the Army Reserve where he served for an additional 17 years, retiring at the rank of Colonel.
Michael earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English at Middle Tennessee State University and a Master’s Degree in public administration from Clark University.