The High Country Executive Search Team
Monte Merz – President & Founder
Monte founded High Country Executive Search in 2002. After spending eight years working within large national firms in a variety of roles from desk recruiter to Regional Vice President, Monte’s experiences revealed to him not only what clients, candidates, and search professionals wanted in “best practices” but also what they didn’t want in what seemed to be the industry’s “worst practices.” High Country Executive Search has been his effort to refine a low volume, high quality approach to bringing exceptional talent and committed companies together.
Originally from Nebraska, Monte moved to Colorado and began his recruiting career in 1994. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa in 1991 where he earned All-American and Academic All-American honors as a collegiate wrestler before moving on to The University of Iowa and earning his MBA in 1993. Interests include mountain biking, distance running, snowboarding, reading and spending time outdoors with his wife Jenna, daughter Sadie and son Wyatt.
303.282.5209 – Office
Shawn Hamele – Partner
Shawn joined High Country Executive Search in 2008 having come from Korn/Ferry International as a Global Vice President Training, Futurestep. Prior to Korn/Ferry, he was with Ajilon Professional Staffing for 10 years. Shawn had 45 recruiters reporting to him in 26 branches and was also part of the national training team.
His focus is retained and high level contingency searches in finance, HR and administrative. Personally, as a recruiter he has placed over 550 candidates primarily in Denver and Minneapolis metro areas. Shawn graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Economics in 1998.
Jim Dahl – Executive Recruiter
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Jim relocated to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder where he received a BSBA in Accounting. After graduation, Jim spent 3 busy seasons as an Auditor with Deloitte and Touche working on a variety of clients within the Oil & Gas, Manufacturing and Financial Services industries.
Having enjoyed the experience of on-campus recruiting while at Deloitte, Jim was drawn to the recruiting industry as an opportunity to capitalize on his strengths in building relationships and identifying talent. The melding of his experiences in Public Accounting and Direct Source recruiting provide Jim a unique perspective allowing him a particularly consultative approach to offering recruiting and placement solutions for his candidates and clients.
This is Jim’s eleventh year of professional search within the Denver market and he remains as energetic as day one in helping his candidates achieve and fulfill their career objectives. He enjoys music, film and can be regularly found at all of the CU home football games.
Jerod Smith – Executive Recruiter
Jerod joined High Country Executive Search in 2012 having come from Robert Half International after 3 years as a Sr. Recruiting Manager of Permanent Placement in their technology department. In Jerod’s first year recruiting he was recognized as the number 3 producer for all permanent placement employees internationally as a rookie. Prior to Robert Half International, Jerod wholesaled Mutual Funds for Transamerica Capital Inc. and John Hancock Financial Services for 7 years in both the Northwest and Northeast territories.
Jerod graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in Psychology in 2002 and was also a member of their Division I football team.
Nathan Zimmerman – Executive Recruiter
With six years of successful sales and marketing experience within Major League Soccer, aviation, and advertising, Nate joined High Country in the Summer of 13’. Looking for a long-term career utilizing his skill set of sales, marketing, and communication, Nate has hurled himself into his career in recruiting with passion and energy. His unique style not only fits High Country’s boutique mentality of high quality, low volume recruiting, but also provides his candidates and clients with an unparalleled degree of service.
Nathan received a double major in Economics and English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007. Nathan and his wife Candace enjoy hiking and hosting friends in their backyard where they often grill out. Candace and Nathan are the proud owner of a middle-aged Pomeranian named Apollo who is always the center of attention when out and about.
Sean Gilmore – Executive Recruiter
After over 10 years in Southern California, Sean was eager to return to the mountains. Wanting to land with a firm that fit his passion for recruiting, Sean found the high quality, low volume approach of High Country to be a perfect fit. A native of Colorado Springs, Sean joined the High Country team in early 2015 after a successful start to his career with an accounting and finance recruiting search firm in Los Angeles, CA.
Sean is an alumni of California State University, Northridge where he majored in Political Science. In his spare time, Sean plays and coaches ice hockey, as well as enjoys skiing, golf and exploring the great state of Colorado.
Nick Sadler – Recruiter
After 10+ years of experience in Account Management, Nick uses his passion for people and talent in building relationships in his Executive Recruiting career. With just a short period of time in recruiting, Nick has found his calling. He loves to fit the best candidate with the right client and to extend his relationship with both well after the placement is final.
Nick is originally from Wyoming but graduated from Colorado State University in 2003. He spent eight years in Fort Worth, TX, but after marrying, he and his family moved to Denver. Nick enjoys everything about Colorado, from the Denver Broncos to the Rocky Mountains and is excited to call Denver his forever home.