Meet Our Team
Chief Talent Officer
Kara Matthews is a driven, vivacious, loyal, and candid powerhouse recruiter with a decade of experience. Articulate and polished, Kara’s sweet spot is headhunting and cultivating strong business relationships. Kara brings a comprehensive background in international and domestic recruitment with both corporate and agency exposure, and she holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond in Human Resource Management. Kara is a global citizen having lived in Prague, Italy, and Spain as well as travelled extensively across Europe and Southeast Asia. Whether recruiting or not, the running joke is, like Carmen Sandiego, we never know where in the world she is. She’s probably riding a camel in the desert, exploring a castle in Croatia, or elephant trekking in the jungle. Her tenacity and dynamic personality is magnetic, generating tremendous success. Kara believes one can live life fully or live it small. Living fully takes courage. Courage is a choice. The choice is yours!
Anita de Lorme-Barkmeyer
Executive Director of Human Resources
Anita de Lorme-Barkmeyer is a Global Human Resource Executive with extensive corporate and operational experience spanning across the USA and Europe as well as Asia (China, India) and Latin America (Brazil). Anita possesses a unique blend of leadership, emotional intelligence, and analytical skills with extensive multi-cultural expertise. Pragmatic and process oriented, Anita holds a strong reputation for sound judgment, decision making, and securing top talent. Trusted advisor to CEOs and senior team members, Anita’s repertoire includes Global HR Leadership, Training & Development, Confidential and Executive Search, Succession Planning, and Mergers & Acquisitions. Undoubtedly, Anita has extreme confidence in leading all aspects of HRM. Anita graduated with a B.S. in International Business from San Jose State University in California, and she speaks four languages: Dutch, English, French & German (and she’s learning Spanish too!). Her favorite hobby is cooking, and her specialty is Indonesian cuisine. Feeling hungry yet? Whether sampling her cuisine or working alongside her, we promise you won’t be disappointed!
Executive Director of Operations
Shannon Adee embodies the phrase “jack of all trades” to the fullest extent. In fact, we’re surprised her name hasn’t made it into Webster’s dictionary yet. Shannon graduated from the University of Richmond where she focused in Paralegal Studies, yet she emerged as a Google Ads Expert and Operations & Process Improvement guru. She is the owner of Spark Solutions, a digital marketing agency focused on helping small businesses expand their online presence. With 15 years progressive experience in Client Relations, Shannon is the ultimate in building relationships while working with her clients to achieve their optimal business goals. She’s a stickler for streamlining processes and procedures, getting those “TPS Reports” in on time from the team. But… no case of the Mondays here – too busy for an unproductive day. In her “free” time, Shannon is an empowering motivator, hobby legal researcher, and lover of all things dance.
Irina Howard, MBA, CMA, CSCA is a Finance & Accounting professional with a wealth of experience in both smaller private and larger public business environments. With a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and two industry Certifications, Irina is truly a numbers genius with a quick wit and coy modesty. Her knowledge base spans financial analysis, financial modeling, investment evaluations, and various reporting streams. Whether budget planning with our CTO, Kara Matthews, or rallying the troops for invoices and receipts, Irina is a valuable asset here at Purple Squirrel. Among her favorite hobbies are crafting, reading, and sipping good wine. Our resident “nerd,” Irina admits she loves studying and is currently sitting for the CPA exam.
Human Resources Advisor
Renee Hubbard is a successful Human Resources veteran with 20 years of experience developing HR strategy, talent management, coaching and performance management, culture and engagement, and employee relations. Renee holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s with an emphasis in HR. Purple Squirrel is fortunate to have Renee on the team as she maintains outstanding professionalism with high integrity and has an innate passion for serving others. Renee has the proven capability to set strategic direction and balance holding people accountable while treating them with dignity and respect. Obsessed with Pinterest projects, Renee loves crafting, cooking, and baking. She’s made every birthday cake for her two teenage boys, handcrafted to the “theme of the year” and is our resident provider of sweet treats.
Business Operations Manager
Laura Gilbert brings a unique skillset to the Purple Squirrel team. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Laura holds two Bachelors’ degrees in International Studies and Political Science. Her love for all things “international” originated during a trip abroad in high school, and continued post-college with a move to Indonesia. She’s become a well-respected English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher to adults and students of all levels. Laura has been involved with refugee & immigrant programs that promote literacy and is an advocate for women’s rights. An avid animal lover with a heart for service, Laura donates her time with the local SPCA and animal hospitals. When she’s not keeping Purple Squirrel organized, Laura likes to venture off the beaten path, taking scenic trips by motorbike to discover good hiking spots.
Global Talent Acquisition Strategist
Senzel Shaefer is a seasoned professional with 20+ years of recruitment experience specialized in IT and Accounting & Finance disciplines, in both the commercial and government sector. Most recently, Senzel worked as a Talent Acquisition Consultant to Amazon & Microsoft. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees in Psychology, Political Science, and Religious Studies, her diverse interests lead her and her husband overseas with frequent travel to explore new countries, cultures, and people. Senzel speaks Farsi and Pashto; her international exposure brings a unique perspective to the Purple Squirrel team with an innate ability to locate and connect with candidates across all industries, backgrounds, and cultures. When she’s not hunting purple squirrels, she enjoys politics, particularly supporting legislation that can help propel our country forward.
Sr. Talent Acquisition Strategist
Hillary O’Pry comes to Purple Squirrel as a “professional matchmaker” with a Bachelor’s from Lamar University and 10+ years of experience in recruiting. While her career has immersed her in talent acquisition for accounting, IT, and engineering teams, Hillary’s skillset spans all industries in both corporate and agency capacities. Hillary gets her fun-loving and spicy spirit from her Cajun heritage where she proudly gained a love for boiled crawfish, spicy cuisine, and lively parties. As a wife and mom, Hillary keeps things fun by exploring all things outdoors. From camping to hiking and the beach to the river, our team can always count on a great story from one of her adventures.
Sr. Human Resources Generalist
Christine Long, a master at navigating all things Human Resources, comes to Purple Squirrel with a valuable background providing general HR support, talent management, and administration of employee benefits programs. She holds a Bachelor’s in Communications with concentrations in Public Relations, Business Administration, and Journalism from the University of Tennessee, as well as a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Unemployment Relations from Pennsylvania State University. Born and raised in the Nashville area, Christine is our resident superstar, previously appearing in two country music videos and achieving high rankings as a competitive dancer. Her hard work shines through as she works towards completing her second half marathon! Christine works with our clients to retain and engage their most important asset — their employees.
Strategic Sourcing Specialist
Tanesha Aldaine is an expert when it comes to assessing clients’ human capital needs, subsequently identifying and recruiting talented professionals to fill such vacancies. Tanesha is sharp with a keen eye of observation; highly organized, detail oriented, and a natural sourcing pro. In fact, Tanesha’s earlier career was spent as a Librarian working at the National Archives and the U.S. Tenth Circuit Library conducting searches, cataloguing documents, and creating reports with widespread lists of materials to digitize. A natural digger, Tanesha prefers to stay behind the scenes, but if you’re lucky enough to get scheduled for a consultation with her, she’s a comedic breath of fresh air that will keep you laughing for days! Tanesha attended the University of Maryland where she obtained a Master’s degree in Information and Library Science. When Tanesha isn’t hunting purple squirrels in all the various places they tend to hide, she enjoys yoga, art galleries, reading, and cinema.
Human Resources Assistant
Courtney Arce is an organized, dependable, and high-achieving teammate with three years experience supporting HR departments. Currently, she supports the leadership and talent acquisition team managing complex calendars, creating presentations, sourcing outstanding candidates, and planning company team-building events. A collaborative and friendly people person, Courtney is comfortable with ambiguity and helping out beyond the duties listed in the job description. Courtney holds a Bachelor’s in Finance from the University of Wisconsin yet over time realized her true passion was in Human Resources. She continued her studies and obtained an Associate Professional in Human Resources certification. In the future, she plans to combine her love for HR with her knack for numbers by becoming an HR Compensation Analyst. For fun, Courtney loves to cook, play guitar, and is the best aunt to her 10 nieces and nephews.
To discuss how we can add value to talent management without sacrificing time or breaking the bank, Call or Send a Message Today!