Our Team

We help our clients achieve measurable results through elevating team performance, applying behavioral analytics, benchmarking talent and developing leaders.


We are all certified in the Predictive Index and are part of a global community of management consultants who specialize in helping companies reach their goals. Our team is battle-tested from executive level career tenure in a variety of industries – so we’ve lived it and we get it.

Melanie Shaffer



Melanie Shaffer is an expert in diagnosing talent related pain points that keep organizations from achieving their highest potential and designing solutions to impact results. She marries data with proven methodologies to provide leaders clarity on how to work with their employees in creating high performance teams. Melanie has served hundreds of clients over the span of her career in talent management, business ownership and executive recruiting.


She consistently ranked in the top 5% of recruiters in a $1 billion, publicly held recruiting firm before moving to a Managing Partner role in the CFO Suite where she was a two-time winner for the SMU Cox Dallas 100 fastest growing companies award. In 2018, she founded TalentSuite, LLC, with a mission to build stronger, more productive workplaces and people by teaching companies how to align their people strategy with their business strategy.


Melanie is in theDallas Business Journal Leadership Trust, an elite group of CEOs that contribute thought leadership. She is an engaging speaker and facilitator that focuses on interactive sessions with tangible strategies to deploy.


Melanie is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma and is a Talent Optimization Certified Consultant, a Predictive Index Certified Partner and a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach.

Brett Lawson



Brett is the Chief Operating Officer for Talent Suite and the founder and Chief Executive Officer of The CFO Suite. Previously, Brett was a founding partner of The Controller Group (“TCG”).


Under Brett’s strategic and operational leadership, TCG and The CFO Suite have each been honored as two-time winners in the Dallas 100TM. TCG successfully merged with Tatum, LLC in 2006 where Brett played an integral role in developing a national presence for the consulting practice.


Brett began his career with Ernst & Young gaining a broad range of experience within the Entrepreneurial Services Assurance practice in the UK and Dallas office. During this time, he was also a member of the National Training Team responsible for the creation and instruction of many E&Y education programs.


Brett graduated from the University of Warwick in the UK and is a Chartered Accountant. He currently serves on the advisory board for Civitas Capital Management, LLC, a specialty financial services and investment management company and is an active angel investor in many Texas based startups. He is also active in various philanthropic organizations including the North Texas Food Bank.

Kelly Rao



In addition to her recruiting and talent management experience, Kelly brings over 20 years of extensive marketing, strategy and business development experience, having been a marketing executive previously with The Container Store. During her tenure there, she worked as part of the leadership team building the company from early stage to the iconic brand it is today.


Kelly naturally employs a customer success approach to business and has a keen ability to think like the consumer. She has a built a career in uncovering what motivates and drives people and embodies Talent Suite’s mission of building stronger more productive workplaces.


Kelly is a valued business partner to our clients helping them engage, develop and retain top talent to gain competitive advantage and fuel company growth. Her unique blend of experience allows her to work with Executives through many lenses, adapting to the needs of each client individually.


Kelly is a graduate of Wellesley College, and is a Talent Optimization Certified Consultant and a Predictive Index Certified Partner.

Summer Pailet



Summer Pailet has a genuine passion for people and connection, a self-professed Soulpreneur, someone who chooses to rise up and work their light in a soul-driven career or business and in 2019 Summer founded the SoulPreneurs Consortium. Valuing the potential in everyone, her innate skills of relationship-building and insightful communication consistently retains loyal clients year after year. She has a background in psychology and fashion merchandising from the University of Texas-Austin, understanding success is from the inside out and outside in, a holistic approach. Summer is considered a thought leader to all of the organizations and their people that she touches.


Summer’s has a wealth of experience in professional presence, branding, strengths building, and effective communication in many industries that include, Healthcare & Pharma, Technology, Architecture, Financial Services, Shipping & Transportation, Hospitality, Auto, Cosmetics, Apparel & Footwear, Construction and other Retail Consumer Goods. She facilitates and coaches with contagious enthusiasm and energy. Her commitment to supporting the personal and professional growth of others is with boundless energy.


Summer is a recipient of the Teacher’s Excellence Award from SMU BLC Cox School ofBusiness for her Personal Brand Impact program in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019.


Bringing social awareness and impact to her community and beyond is a ‘must’, serving as aBoard Member to a non-profit organization supporting Israel as well as, a member of IsraelBonds Dallas Women’s Leadership Council.

Sandra Knight




Sandi Knight is an Executive Consultant at Talent Suite. Sandi’s true passion is to inspire and impact others. As an executive coach, mentor and trusted advisor, Sandi helps executives improve their career strategy, leadership, and executive presence. She has extensive experience in Human Resources across multiple industries including Retail, Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology and Healthcare. Sandi has worked with corporate offices, field offices, and multi-state locations.


She is passionate about helping organizations create a culture of great employee experiences for them and their family. Equally important to Sandi is incorporating coaching and mentoring to build communication and trust between leaders and their teams.


Sandi received her B.S. in Sociology and her M.S. Ed Psychology from Cal State and her Executive Coaching Certification (ACC) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is certified with HRCI and has her SPHR.


Sandi also enjoys serving as a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, Dallas Human Resource Management Association, Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Women’s Roundtable and is on the board of the International Coach Federation – North Texas Chapter.

Katrina VanCleve




Katrina VanCleve is an experienced operations and administrative professional, bringing years of skill and history from supporting C-level teams. Driven by a passion to serve others, she takes pride in providing her team with the best operations and administrative expertise, and ensuring clients have the most positive experiences.


Her proven success in increasing productivity, innovating processes and implementing systems has helped teams grow and achieve goals year over year. She has supported teams in the medical, marketing, IT, legal, finance and management consulting industries. Katrina’s passion is to help other professionals build remote work careers such as hers, and she has served as a resource to dozens of professionals seeking support in the virtual work industry.


Katrina is a graduate of Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a minor in Philosophy.

The head, the heart and the briefcase.

It’s important to remember that the whole person shows up at work.

“Our team is battle‑tested from executive level career tenure in a variety of industries – so we’ve lived it and we get it.”

Learn. Use. Repeat.