The KSG Team

Kester Search Group approaches every placement as a team. In this way, you are truly partnering with a healthcare executive search firm—not a single person—giving you the advantage of multiple perspectives and insights. Think of us as your recruiting business partner. Let’s build your team so you can build the future.

Our Company Culture

We aim to hire the right people, foster a collaborative and fun team environment, continue our commitment to excellence, learning, and giving back, as well focusing on doing the right thing every time — for our clients, for our employees, and for our candidates.

Lee Kester

CEO & Founder

Lee is the sharp, motivated and inspiring team leader and CEO of KSG. His energy and enthusiasm are admirable and contagious. The wheels are always turning, and he's deeply passionate about improving lives, building great teams, and driving innovation.

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CONTACT

(864) 243-1673
lee@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

In life, you have to take calculated risks, seize the day - Carpe diem! Lee Kester did just that when he left his stable, well-paying job to start his own recruiting company. Lee is passionate about the work he does and the role it plays in the “bigger picture.” Lee truly loves learning about exciting companies and innovative technologies as well as helping both clients and candidates accomplish their professional goals.

Over his career, Lee has won several awards such as President’s Club & Rookie of the year and has previously been responsible for training and mentoring back-to-back award winners at both KSG and his past company. As the founder of KSG, Lee has grown the company from 0 to 30+ healthcare clients ranging from Venture Capital backed start-ups to Mid-Market to Fortune 500 as well as has hired and built his own team to 10+ employees.

Lee also happens to be a passionate fly fisherman, University of Georgia Alumni, avid football fan, golfer, live music enthusiast, world traveler and most importantly, father of three amazing children and husband to a dynamic and incredibly supportive wife.

For a more in-depth look at Lee’s career, please visit his LinkedIn page.

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Michael Butler

Chief Growth Officer

For Michael, every day starts at zero, which means bringing a drive and determination to make a daily impact in all walks of life. While Michael's inability to slow down may drive his family crazy, it is what has propelled him to a long history of success in the recruiting field.

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CONTACT

(864) 373-1563
michael@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

As a child, Michael dreamed of being a stock trader on Wall Street and chose to pursue a degree in Economics from Clemson University. Upon graduation, Michael started his career in banking before stumbling into an opportunity to get into the recruiting industry. He was very intrigued by the blend of sales, psychology, work ethic, and creativity necessary to be successful in recruiting.

Since 2004, Michael has worked with a variety of healthcare companies to help them secure the very best talent available in the market, demonstrating a unique ability to deliver on retained and senior-level searches. Today, Michael serves as Chief Growth Officer for Kester Search Group and as a husband and father to his amazing wife and three kids. When Michael is not acting as an Uber-driver for his children, he is helping KSG fine-tune, lead, and execute on their long-term growth strategies.

For a more in-depth look at Michael's career, please visit his LinkedIn page.

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Tom Kester

Chief Financial Officer

As a kid, Tom dreamed of becoming a brick mason but life had different plans and led him to Harvard, Cornell, Malta and a career in finance.

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CONTACT

(864) 420-4849
tom@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

Tom has served as an advisor to KSG since its inception and in 2014 he officially became the Chief Financial Officer. His 28 years of experience at KPMG qualify him as a financial expert, but it’s his Harvard MBA and Cornell Engineering degrees that bring strategic and practical knowledge to the table and make him an invaluable member of the KSG team.

When Tom is not putting his volumes of expertise to use in one capacity or another, you might find this pragmatic, patient and honest man traveling the world, on top of the slopes or enjoying the company of his family.

For a more in-depth look at Tom’s career, please visit his LinkedIn page.

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Kate Bahnmuller

Director of Client Relations

As Director of Client Relations, Kate partners with hiring managers to create effective recruiting strategies. She enjoys helping innovative healthcare companies scale and take their teams to the next level.

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CONTACT

(864) 417-2172
kate@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

Kate received her degree from Clemson University in Health Science, where she focused on the business side of healthcare. She joined our team in 2016 and has 10+ years of recruiting and sales experience within the industry. No matter the "hat" she is wearing at KSG - client relations, sales, or recruiting - she enjoys building lasting relationships.

Kate is a South Carolina native, based in Washington, DC. When she's not busy with helping our clients, you can find her traveling with family and friends, at the dog park, or brushing up on her tennis skills.

For a more in-depth look at Kate’s career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Annaliese Stephanus

Director of Recruiting

Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody. This is Annaliese’s mantra and is why she is so extraordinary at what she does. Her dedication, loyalty, and compassion are unparalleled.

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CONTACT

(864) 331-9251
annaliese@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

Annaliese joined Kester Search Group in 2014. She is a top-notch recruiter, account manager, and KSG's internal Director of Recruiting Operations & Training. Not only do her degrees in Business Administration and Hospitality and Tourism Management from the College of Charleston give her an inherent understanding of business and people, but her experience studying abroad in China offered her deeper insight on various types of people and unfamiliar cultures. Annaliese loves meeting new people all across the country, discovering their professional goals, and helping them achieve those goals.

Annaliese’s passion for hiking and traveling led her to Oahu’s beautiful, yet daunting, Stairway to Heaven. The hike consists of approximately 4,000 stairs that took her up a mountain over 2,000 feet. Her experiences have led Annaliese to have an acute understanding that hard work and dedication can lead one to amazing places.

For a more in-depth look at Annaliese’s career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Michael Selvaggio

Director of Business Developement

Since he was a child, Michael has been a curious individual, believing that each conversation presents an opportunity for us to learn more about one another. Which explains why he pursued a career that would be centered around interacting with and helping others.

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CONTACT

(864) 421-5498
michael.selvaggio@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

After graduating from The College of Charleston with a degree in Business Administration, he took a leap of faith and moved to San Diego, CA where he landed his first sales role within the SaaS industry. Quickly rising through the ranks, achieved Senior Sales Manager, which included managing and hiring a team that increased revenue by several million dollars.

The knowledge and skills obtained from this experience aligned perfectly with this role at KSG, leading him to join the team in 2023. With over 10+ years in recruiting and sales, Michael is excited to provide his expertise and insight to the KSG team.

When he’s not working, he enjoys making new memories with his wife and pup, playing golf, or attempting to win yard of the month. He truly loves being outside and being active - simply put, he does not do well sitting around.

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Molly Jones

Director of Marketing

Growing up, Molly always had a wonderful imagination and loved writing and illustrating stories. This passion led her to Clemson University where she majored in English and Communications, learning to use words as a powerful tool to guide people.

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Combining her love for words with creative design and strategic communications, Molly has enjoyed 10+ years in the marketing world, and is excited to provide this support to Kester Search Group as their Director of Marketing. When she isn't busy building campaigns, you can find Molly playing in the park with her two children, or on the tennis court with friends

For a more in-depth look at Molly's career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Megan Jamison

Director of Operations

Megan is known for being a passionate planner but she’s also not afraid of hopping on a plane for a spontaneous trip Japan!

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CONTACT

(864) 477-9726
megan@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

Megan arrived at KSG with 6+ years of operations and sales and marketing experience. She graduated from Lander University with a degree in Business Administration and an emphasis in Healthcare Management.

Megan is excited to be assisting the team in all aspects of support, recruiting, marketing and daily operations. She loves planning, figuring out more efficient processes and maintaining organization that spills over into her personal life! You can always bet her bed is made.

For a more in-depth look at Megan’s career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Mike Norton

Executive Recruiter and Business Development Manager - West

Mike has spent years working with entrepreneurial and Fortune 500 companies to answer one question: How do we hire better salespeople?   Warning: Don't ask him about it unless you're ready for a long, passionate conversation. 

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CONTACT

(480) 582-8109
mike.norton@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

Mike is also a nationally recognized public speaker, having delivered several keynote and breakout session presentations at sales conferences and conventions for many years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics at California State University of Sacramento, and he takes the analytical skills he learned there to all professional and life challenges he encounters. 
 
Mike joined Kester Search Group as an Executive Recruiter & Business Development Manager to assist with Business Development and Recruiting, with a focus on the Western US. When Mike isn’t working, he’s attempting to create the perfect pizza crust to be used in his wood-fired pizza oven that he built in his backyard from scratch using nothing but YouTube videos, ingenuity, and 18-months of hard labor.   

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Lacie Vakos

Sr. Executive Recruiter

A lover of song lyrics who wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up, Lacie’s outgoing, warm, & driven personality ultimately led her to KSG.

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CONTACT

(864) 561-4546
lacie@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

Lacie arrived at KSG in 2015 with over five years of customer service and sales experience. She has a passion for connecting qualified candidates with the job they desire. With an English and Creative Writing degree from the University of Maine, Lacie is able to use her creativity and resourcefulness to make successful connections.

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” Lacie lives by Thomas A. Edison’s quote and strives to help others do the same.

For a more in-depth look at Lacie’s career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Maddie Calloway

Executive Recruiter & Account Manager

Majoring in Psychology from Texas Christian University, Maddie fell in love with learning about how people think and what motivates their behavior.

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CONTACT

(864) 360-0401
maddie@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

After graduating from Wake Forest University School of Business with an MS in Management, Maddie was immediately drawn to a people-centric career. Maddie loves the emphasis on collaboration and integrity at KSG and enjoys drawing on her teammates’ strengths to deliver exceptional results.

In her free time, you can find Maddie spending time with her family, going to the local farmers market, and traveling as much as she possibly can.

For a more in-depth look at Maddie's career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Mckenna Reese

Executive Recruiter

As a Psychology major at Allegheny College, Mckenna knew she wanted to focus her professional life helping others. Her curious nature, passion for creating strong relationships, and tactful problem solving skills led her to a career in recruiting.

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CONTACT

(864) 360-8972
mckenna@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

In her free time you’ll find her trying new restaurants, traveling to new cities, and attending as many spin classes as possible (265 rides and counting)! She loves to get creative in the kitchen, a hobby she owes to her Italian roots. One of her earliest memories was learning how to make homemade pasta with her great-grandmother.

For a more in-depth look at Mckenna’s career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Brooklyn Kelley

Associate Recruiter & Digital Marketing Specialist

Brooklyn is a strong believer in doing things the right way, and having fun. Her inviting spirit, kind heart, and compassion for others is fulfilled by spending time with the right people and making a difference. Brooklyn aspires to live by the quote “you rise by lifting others up“ and is confident that the way you lead well is to serve others. Brooklyn joined Kester Search Group after graduating with a Marketing degree from Clemson University. Brooklyn combines her intellectual business savvy with her creative ambitions to drive business success while maintaining genuine relationships.

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CONTACT

(864) 918-0395
brooklyn@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

One thing about Brooklyn is that her favorite season is summer and loves being outside. She loves to walk on the beach, ride bikes, and run. In fact, Brooklyn completed her first half marathon this past year! Community is an important aspect of her life, and she loves to give back to her local community by volunteering to coach sports camps, and by supporting local businesses. Brooklyn has always been a high achiever and hopes to translate that into the opportunity at KSG. Fun Fact: Brooklyn found her family their forever home in the 5th grade by networking with kids in her class!

For a more in-depth look at Brooklyn's career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Emily Hutmaker

Sr. Support Specialist

It is a rare occasion to see Emily out and about without one or all three of her children (or her new black lab puppy). Emily and her husband, Cody, are Clemson graduates who have settled in her hometown of Greenville after living and loving life in Charleston.

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Emily graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and the College of Charleston with a Masters of Arts in Teaching. She comes with teaching experience as well as her most recent sales support role in orthopedic surgical sales.

Emily is excited to join the Kester Search Group team as an Associate Recruiter and Sales Support Specialist.

For a more in-depth look at Emily's career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Elisabeth Ford

Intern - Marketing & Operations

Born and raised in the Upstate, Elisabeth was raised in a Clemson-bred family and is now a senior at Clemson University pursuing a degree in marketing and a minor in management and nonprofit leadership.

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CONTACT

(864) 764-0342
elisabeth@kestersearch.com

LinkedIn

As someone who grew up active in dance and the arts, Elisabeth has a creative yet analytical eye that translated into choosing marketing as her study of choice. Being a marketing student at Clemson has allowed her to enjoy the collaborative and innovative core of marketing which is what drew her to KSG. After gaining real world experience in marketing at various organizations, Elisabeth is ready and excited to enter the corporate world at KSG.

During her spare time, Elisabeth loves to hang out with her friends and family and loves making trips to the beach.

For a more in-depth look at Elisabeth’s career, please visit her LinkedIn page.

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Join KSG

Would you make a great addition to the KSG Team? We are always on the lookout for business developers, account managers and executive recruiters. If you think you have what it takes, please submit your resume below.

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I am interested in:
(select all that apply)

  • Executive Recruiter
  • Business Development Manager
  • Account Manager

Thank you, but we currently have a full team.

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