Meet Our Team
Nashville, TN Headquarters Office
Rick Kloete Principal & Sr. PartnerRicks’ philosophy is to approach life, executive recruiting, leadership consulting, and helping his clients, with creative thinking, determination, and a 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
A 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
Director of Operations & RecruitingAs 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
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.
Louisiana Regional Office