At first I had my doubts, but I’m now a believer in both your service and your process. I wish all of my managers were as efficient at identifying objectives and achieving them quickly as you have. You filled all of our critical needs in much less time than we could ourselves!.

CEO Manufacturing firm Nashville, TN

Meet Our Team

Nashville, TN Headquarters Office


Rick Kloete Principal & Sr. Partner

Ricks’ philosophy is to approach life, executive recruiting, leadership consulting, and helping his clients, with creative thinking, determination, and a rickheadshot1 commitment to service.  Focused on delivering results now, his 25+ years of experience in Management positions and Leadership roles with some of the nation’s major IT/technology and Telecom & communications companies have honed his skills in Team building, Change Management, Sales Leadership, IT Communications Technology, and Coaching.  Rick’s experience includes, acquiring talent to open new markets, managing Regional Sales Teams, and Managing National & regional clients in diverse industries. Rick earned his BS in Finance from The University of New Orleans (formerly LSUNO) with graduate work done in education, psychology, and quantitative methods, and was an adjunct instructor for Belmont University’s Center for Professional Development & Delgado College. He is Director of the Nashville COO Forum, which is a part of the national COO Forum designed to serve COO’s and second in command executives.  As Founding President of Metro Leaders Chapter of Toastmasters International, he achieved a Competent Communicator & Leader, & Speech Contest Winner and has represented this chapter in regional contests. He enjoys playing trumpet, golf, chess and spending time with his family when he’s not pulling for his New Orleans Saints & LSU Tigers.  Additional community involvement includes volunteering for Restore Ministries of the YMCA, the Nashville Rescue Mission, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra NCO Volunteer, and the Nashville & Williamson County Chambers of Commerce.  In 2011 he helped My Friends House set a new record for fund raising for their annual Mardi Gras Ball. Rick served as Sr. Consultant for The Human Capital Group, Inc. for almost 4 years, Chairman of the Board of the Cool Springs Chamber of Commerce, President / Owner & founder of Fearless Advantage:  a sales training, & business consulting firm, National Account Manager, Healthcare & Government , AVAYA, President, Chairman, & VP of Training & development for the Nashville Association of Sales Professionals, Regional Director of Sales, GTE / Verizon, Sales Manager, AT&T / Lucent Technologies,

Thomas Michael “Mike” Vaughn

Sr. Partner & Managing Director Consulting Solutions

mike_vaughn_kloete-groupA native Tennessean, and graduate of University of Tennessee Martin with a BS in Communications & Political Science, Mike grew up in Southeastern Texas near Houston working in the oil field industry while attending community college before moving back to Tennessee.  He is also currently the President & Investment Partner for Kentucky based Hyalynx, Inc. – VBP, Inc.  (private label manufacturer of generic animal drugs and health products for equine and canine) that he launched in 2006, as well as leading the Consulting practice for Kloete Group, Inc.

Mike’s expertise for our clients lies in the key areas of Regulatory issues, International Trade & Investments, Advocacy, Government Relations, Market Entry, and is a serial Entrepreneur as well as a trusted advisor who is a self described “fixer” and astute problem solver. 

The former Executive Director of “The Tennessee Foundation”, Owner of Canyon Equities Inc. and CEO of an international biotech firm Nashai Biotech as well as President of a multimillion dollar consulting firm PacUS LLC

Jenni Kloete

Director of Operations & Recruiting

  jenni_kloete_2 As Director of Recruiting at Kloete Group, Inc., Jenni is responsible for recruitment strategies that identify, qualify and attract exceptional leaders. It is her belief that a company’s employees are its greatest asset and having the right person in the right role is crucial for its success. Prior to helping found Kloete Group, Jenni was an Executive Recruiting Associate at The Human Capital Group where she focused on identifying mid to senior level executives that created value for the client.   In her earlier roles at Hospital Corporation of America and United Airlines, Jenni gained invaluable experience in customer service and public relations. Jenni is a Kentucky native, studied communications at Murray State University and has called Tennessee her home since 1997.  She is a living kidney donor and supporter of the TN Kidney Foundation.

Lauren Vannucci Estill

Executive Recruiter

76567_457970398259_342069_nLauren has over 15 years of Human Resources and Recruiting experience helping organizations source and hire top talent. 

She has worked in the manufacturing, hospitality, software and pharmaceutical industries.  Prior to joining the Kloete Group, Lauren served as the Corporate Recruiter for Marietta Corporation securing professional, managerial and executive level talent for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Memphis locations. 

In addition to her Recruiting and Human Resources experience, Lauren served as Adjunct Faculty at Southwest Tennessee Community College facilitating various Management, Human Resources and Marketing courses. 

Lauren is a native of Memphis, TN, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and MBA from Christian Brothers University.  When she is not finding top talent, Lauren loves spending time with her husband, loving on animals, cooking, travel and her daily exercise routine.


Ashley Roy

Media RelationsAshley_Roy2

As our Media Relations specialist, Ashley provides support for brand building and communication initiatives as well as develops and executes all areas of web design, web development and internet marketing. Ashley has her BS in Graphic Design and is also a professional photographer.


Louisiana Regional Office


Scott Brewer

Research & Recruiting

  Scott has 20+ years experience with the U.S. Marine Corp that included aviation database administration and analysis.  He also has over 5 years experience as a database technology customer service representative serving clients in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Tennessee.   His goal of serving others & demonstrating character in everything he does is a natural fit with the Kloete Group.   His long term background in team building with the Marines is a key strength in discerning where top talent and clients needs align to deliver optimum results.   A native of New Orleans, LA Scott runs our research efforts across the U.S. and leads business development efforts and database mining for passive candidates for our clients open positions.  Scott is an AIRS CIR “Certified Internet Recruiter” and enjoys filling those hard to find positions that are most challenging for our clients.   Scott holds a Bachelors degree in Management from Missouri’s Park University and has also done graduate studies in Adult education.   When Scott is not talent scouting for the Kloete Group, he enjoys golf, painting landscapes, and spending time with his beautiful wife and children.