The strongest group of recruiting firm experts ever assembled.

Karen Schmidt, President

Karen Schmidt is Managing Partner with Next Level Exchange and Kaye/Bassman International, and President of Sanford Rose Associates International. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator at continuing education seminars in the areas of recruiting, sales execution and performance development. Karen also is one of the most sought-after coaches in the industry for search firm owners who have a greater vision of growth, hiring and training. When starting in search in 2001, Karen specialized in the search and recruitment of professionals for clients in the Commercial Construction, Specialty Contractors, and Real Estate Development markets. She pioneered the creation of several comprehensive training programs that apply to all associates at each stage of career progression, from the basic recruiting fundamentals, to effective marketing techniques, to more sophisticated curriculum for long-term development. These programs are now being used by hundreds of recruiting organizations around the globe. Karen was also recognized by the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty,” a list of rising young leaders in the Dallas area. Karen graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with a degree in General Business.

Erin Bent, Director of Training and Development

Erin Bent is the Director of Training and Development for Next Level Hiring and Next Level Exchange. She leads a team of talent acquisition professionals who provide hiring solutions to search firm owners across the globe. Her experienced team can source candidates for entry-level positions up to tenured search professionals.

Erin began her career in search as a recruiter in the Consumer Products industry and served her clients and candidates for well over a decade before transitioning to a leadership role within the organization. Erin’s experience in search created a natural pathway for her to mentor and train her current hiring team and new recruiters entering the industry, in addition to tenured recruiters desirous of elevating their competencies and capabilities. Due to Erin’s depth of experience, current and new hiring team members rely heavily on her insights and guidance as they enter this next phase of their professional careers. Erin brings with her not just her own best practices from running a successful search practice but also the best practices gathered from coaching and consulting recruiters and owners worldwide.

Erin graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Communications. She resides in Plano with her husband Brian and two children, Madison and Griffin.

Michelle Masterson, Managing Partner

Michelle is a Managing Partner with Next Level Exchange and Sanford Rose Associates International. Starting in the search industry in 2012, Michelle’s background in Recruiting, Sales, Public Relations, and Marketing have helped fuel her success and passion for helping search firm owners achieve their goals of growth.  Her passion for cultivating relationships and knowledge of the search industry is part of what makes her such a valued consultant to both Sanford Rose offices and Next Level Exchange clients.  Michelle received her BFA from Stephen F. Austin State University and attended the University of Central Oklahoma for her Masters in Writing.

Anita Barati, Talent Acquisition Director

As a member of the Talent Acquisition team for Next Level Exchange and Sanford Rose Associates International, Anita manages productive partnerships with executive search firm owners by conducting the internal hiring process among the individual organizations. Anita identifies future talent for those owners through an extensive process of sourcing, screening, interviewing, and recruiting candidates. Anita continues to be inspired by the relationships she builds and lives she affects every day, and her goal is to provide superior talent for her clients so they in return deliver superior results for theirs. Anita attended The University of Texas at Dallas and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business and Political Science. Outside of work, Anita enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and their two German Shepherds.

Ashlee Brannam, Talent Acquisition Director

As a member of the Talent Acquisition team for Next Level Exchange and Sanford Rose Associates International, Ashlee cultivates and manages dynamic partnerships with executive search firm owners and their prospective team members to ensure a match that leads to revenue driving results for both. Ashlee identifies future talent for those owners through an extensive process of sourcing, screening, interviewing and recruiting candidates. She focuses on fostering relationships with quality candidates & discovering superstars in an active market to join the teams of our Sanford Rose offices. Ashlee attended UTSA and graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology & Sociology. She has a passion for both personal growth and assisting others in their own professional goals.

Jessica Burnside, Talent Acquisition Director

As a member of the Talent Acquisition Team for Sanford Rose Associates International and Next Level Exchange, Jessica uses her highlighting skills to promote effective communication and close relations with the independent search firm owners to match qualified and well-driven individuals into team members. Jessica identifies future talent by thoroughly sourcing, screening, recruiting and interviewing top talent from various platforms. She focuses on building and maintaining client relationships to better connect individuals to a company they can call home.

Jessica attended Ball State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with minors in Criminal Justice/Criminology and Human Development. Outside of the office, Jessica thrives in engaging in her hobbies such as roller skating, ceramic crafting, and experiencing new thrill activities.

Danielle Craig, Talent Acquisition Director

As a member of the Talent Acquisition team for Next Level Exchange and Sanford Rose Associates International, Danielle manages productive partnerships with executive search firm owners by conducting the internal hiring process among the individual organizations. Danielle identifies future talent for those owners through an extensive process of sourcing, screening, recruiting, and interviewing candidates. She focuses on maintaining relationships with quality candidates & discovering key players in the active market to join the teams of our Sanford Rose offices. Danielle attended University of North Texas & graduated with a Bachelors in Marketing & Sales; her passion is helping search firm owners achieve their goals of growth.

Breanna Lappe, Talent Acquisition Director

As a member of the Talent Acquisition team for Sanford Rose Associates and Next Level Exchange, Breanna utilizes her communication skills to build and maintain relationships with independent executive search firm owners. She delivers top-quality talent by sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates. She has a passion for enriching the quality of life of individuals around her and promoting positivity to anyone she has the pleasure of speaking with. Her goal is to ensure that her client’s expectations are always met by connecting them with the best candidates.

Breanna attended the University of North Texas and graduated with a Bachelors in Consumer Experience Management. Outside of work, she enjoys being active outside, traveling, and reading a good book!

Alice Vrana, Talent Acquisition Director

Alice utilizes her key skills in communication, project management, and organization to drive her relationships with the executive search firm owners of Next Level Exchange and our Sanford Rose Associates network. By sourcing, screening, and directing the process of internal hiring, Alice provides the top talent that the market has to offer. Alice’s motivation comes from the ability to form steady lines of communication and friendship with both owners and candidates, ensuring lucrative, long lasting relationships. Alice attended Texas Tech University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies, and a Minor in Human Resources Development. After graduation, Alice spent time living abroad in Germany. This spurred her passion for travel and meeting new people!