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Meet Our Team of Experts

CEO & Co-Founder

Dena Taylor

Dena is the CEO and Founder of Talent Elevation Partners. She has over 30 years’ experience in financial services recruiting and 20 years’ experience in recruiting management. Before starting her own company in February 2000, she worked for Prudential and AXA Advisors. After 13 years with her own firm, she re-joined Prudential as Director of Recruiting and Diversity before being promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition for Financial Advisors. As VP, Dena had 41 direct reports. She successfully headed dozens of initiatives focused on recruiting through social media, purposeful recruiting strategies, and diversity-centered recruiting. In January 2022, she founded Talent Elevation Partners to address an unmet need in the Financial Services and Veterinary Recruiting industries. Dena cultivates an efficacious team with a candor, humor, and grace that sets her apart from other leaders in the field. When Dena is not working, she enjoys knitting and spending time with her family.


Sean Denny

Sean is President and Co-owner of Talent Elevation Partners. He has worked in the financial industry as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Consultant since 1989. In addition to being a CFP, Sean is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA). He has wide ranging expertise in money management and business acquisition. He has worked with both private sector businesses and government organizations. He is passionate about helping clients with big goals transition from where they are today to where they want to go. For the last 25 years, he has provided strategic advising and planning for businesses at all stages of development, guiding them from start-up to success. He brings his wealth of knowledge and experience in the financial industry to Talent Elevation Partners as co-owner. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, exploring new places, spending time with family, and golfing.

Vice President of Recruitment

Kim Zakrzewski

Kim has 30 years’ experience in the financial industry. Her expertise is in recruiting and sourcing for niche roles, coaching, and advising practice development. Her main responsibility as the National Recruiting Director at Talent Elevation Partners is to work with hiring managers and leaders to develop world class recruiting methods and identify top talent for our clients. She leads our National Recruiting Team to implement strategies that attract high caliber professionals. Kim works closely with the recruiting team to scale sourcing strategies to fit each client’s unique recruitment goals. She is an avid dog lover and supporter of female led businesses.

National Business Director

Adrienne Hardin

Adrienne is an entrepreneur and small business enthusiast at heart. She brings 26 years’ experience in business development, strategic marketing/placement, and event planning to her role as National Director of Business Development at Talent Elevation Partners. Her experience includes serving a host of local businesses and National Brands. Adrienne enjoys the process of recruiting a new hire to expand a growing company as well as developing an exit strategy for the owner who is ready to sell! When she is not at work, she enjoys traveling, shopping, and spending time with her family. Adrienne also plays an active role as a patron in the small business community where she lives in Tennessee.

National Recruiting Director

Jen Guffey

Jen comes to our team with over 15 years in the industry and expertise in recruiting, coaching, and advisor practice development.

National Recruiting Director

Christie Carson

Christie brings 18 years of experience in the insurance and financial industry, specifically human resource operations, advisor development, and expertise in recruiting to her role as National Recruiting Director. She is a true talent-spotter and enjoys networking with individuals to create opportunities for her clients

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time at her family’s cabin on the Missouri river, boating, hosting parties, and spending time with her family. Christie also plays an active role as an autism advocate in her state of Nebraska.

Marketing Coordinator

Sara Erwin

Sara graduated from NC State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with a Veterinary Bioscience Concentration. During her undergraduate studies, Sara worked as a veterinary assistant at a companion animal clinic. Following graduation she worked as a veterinary assistant at an ambulatory equine primary care clinic, where she got her unofficial start in marketing and web design managing the clinic website. Sara is proud to bring this knowledge of the veterinary industry to her work at Talent Elevation Partners. While not working for TE Partners, Sara is a Cell Biology PhD student at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. In her free time she enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with her fiancé, Daniel, and their two cats, Stella and Newton.

Social Media Manager

Madison Taylor

She has 2 years of media experience.

Director of First Impressions & Mascot


As a valued employee he comes to work every day to check on his team. In his off time enjoys long walks and cookies.