Meet our people.
Shauna Swerland, CEO, is one of the lucky ones. Having been in the Search Industry for almost 20 years, she feels blessed to have found her career path early and still feels the same passion as the day she started. She loves what she does—and it shows.
After playing Division I Pac 10 women’s tennis at the University of Washington, Shauna has spent the past two decades in San Francisco and New York connecting the right people with the right people. She has opened eight offices, hired, trained and managed over 100 recruiters, and built relationships with outstanding candidates and clients.
As a recruiter, her expertise lies in understanding the unique staffing needs of her clients across various industries including Technology, Financial Services, Consulting, Fashion, Advertising, Publishing, Real Estate and Entertainment. She has placed candidates into many types of roles ranging from Executive Assistant, Business Analyst, Marketing Strategist, to Director of Human Resources.
In addition to her time at the office, Shauna actively helps fundraise for The Leukemia Society, The American Cancer Society, and The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Shauna’s Fuel: Outside of juggling all aspects of Fuel Talent, Shauna can be found traveling, hitting the tennis courts, and hanging with her husband David and their three young kids. Though San Francisco and New York will always hold a special place in her heart, as a born and bred Seattleite, Shauna is excited to be back home.
Mindy Blakeslee, Recruiter, loves Seattle. Having lived here all her life, the city feels like her own backyard. With over 15 years of business experience and a lifetime of Pacific Northwest connections, Mindy uses a creative, collaborative approach to get you what you need—whether it’s a stellar employee or the perfect new position for your career goals.
Mindy is, in a word, competitive. Whether it’s on the tennis court, where she spent her years at UW on a Division 1 athletic scholarship, or in the world of recruitment, where she makes it her mission to find the best talent possible for each of her clients. Her ability to work carefully with individual clients and insistence on matching employees only when it’s just right means she won’t give up until she finds the needle in the haystack.
Mindy’s Fuel: Outside of finding candidates their perfect career move, Mindy can still be found on the tennis court, playing competitively in USTA matches. She recently retired from coaching high school tennis where she led the Mercer Island High School girls varsity team to 6 consecutive 3A state titles. She’s a devoted and engaged mother and alongside her husband Chris, can always be found on the sidelines cheering on her two daughters.
Shauna Conlon (aka Conlon) is a Senior Recruiter at Fuel Talent based in Seattle. She has been in the search industry for nearly ten years and runs the Admin/Support Practice at Fuel.
Conlon’s focus is on placing Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants, Chief of Staff, Office Managers, Front Desk Coordinators, HR professionals as well as Household Manager/Estate Managers. Conlon takes a consultative approach and works closely with clients and candidates to ensure both are happy long term.
Conlon’s roots have always been in Washington. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications.
Conlon’s Fuel: Conlon’s fuel is her family. When she is not working, you can find her spending time with her husband and daughter. Conlon is also fueled by knowing she has helped candidates find a job they love and that she has made life easier for her clients!
Derek Stephens brings over 13 years of successful business development and high-level relationship management to the Fuel Talent team. His collaborative and solutions-based approach to identifying and satisfying the needs of his clients has resulted in strong, flourishing relationships with strategic leaders, key influencers and managers across a variety of industries.
Prior to joining Fuel Talent in 2015, Derek served as President of Global Business at Precision Global Consulting (thePGCgroup), which provided workforce management and HR compliance solutions to companies both abroad and domestic. During Derek's time as the company's key strategic leader, thePGCgroup further emerged as a global innovator in strategic workforce management and staffing payroll solutions, experiencing unprecedented global growth and client retention. Prior to that, Derek spent several years in strategy development and client acquisitions for startup technology companies in the Northwest.
Derek resides in the Seattle area with his wife, Eden, and their three children.
Derek’s Fuel: Outside of his work at Fuel, Derek loves going out with his wife, watching his girls dance, and cooking. He’s also a music writer and producer, football geek and book worm.
Albert Squiers leverages his years of international IT recruiting experience across Seattle, New York City and AsiaPac to deliver unmatched talent in an ever-competitive market. He does so by consistently building personal relationships with Seattle’s elite technology professionals while understanding the technical & cultural environment of his clients creating a perfect synergy.
Currently at Fuel Talent, Albert founded and leads the technology practice helping Seattle’s fastest growing companies attract the markets premier technology talent. Previously, he managed the recruiting division of a local technology staffing firm serving both enterprise and mid-market companies. Before that, he led the recruiting department of The PGC Group, which focused on technology consulting and contractor management. There he built a recruiting team serving high profile clients in New York City. One of his major achievements was setting up an offshore development and business process center in Mumbai, India.
Albert’s Fuel: Besides recruiting techs finest engineers, Albert’s passions lie around personal growth, mountaineering and a ping pong. Albert lives in Issaquah with his wife and three daughters.
Dave Stran comes to us by way of many places - Chicago, Tuscaloosa, Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle. Originally from the Midwest, Dave started his recruiting career after graduating from the University of Puget Sound. He quickly took a liking to the business and has been on the finance and accounting recruiting side now for over fifteen years.
Dave has served a myriad of businesses in his career, from “Fortune 50” to start-ups, across a variety of industries and multiple locations. He has placed professionals from the senior staff level up to manager, VP and c-suite over that span, in addition to providing clients with interim and project professionals.
Dave’s Fuel: Outside of the office, Dave is a follower of English Football (Arsenal), hockey (Chicago Blackhawks) and baseball (Chicago Cubs). He enjoys running and swimming, spending time with his wife and two dogs and trying his hand at various home improvement projects.
Alex Putman partners with Fuel Talent’s clients to facilitate a seamless and stress-free interview process for both candidates and clients. As an account manager, Alex feels blessed to have the incredible opportunity to partner with some of the most innovative and successful companies in the Seattle area. She is passionate about helping people find creative solutions and drive success by building strong, talented and diverse teams.
Alex found her passion for business through working with companies who value integrity and innovation. As a Washington native, Alex has been given a front row seat to the never-ending growth of the Seattle tech scene. In this always changing market, she is driven by the challenge of staying up to date on the latest trends in Seattle, specifically how and why start-ups are thriving, what increases productivity and the driving factors of success in the workplace.
Alex enjoys meeting new people, making connections and being a resource for others. She can be found attending various events in the Seattle area.
Alex’s Fuel: Alex is fueled by having conversations with passionate, brilliant and creative people. She enjoys being a people connector and strategic thinker. Her greatest joy is serving others. As a natural extrovert, her energy comes from being with people – specifically her family and friends. Having been a Seattleite for almost 10 years now, Alex is also fueled by coffee, hiking, working out and cheering on our Seattle sports teams.
Alleigh Fralick considers herself a jack of all trades. Midwest born and raised, she moved West from Wisconsin to begin working for a startup, Reviews.com. She spent three years learning all parts of the business and wearing many hats. She started her career off in Outreach Marketing and quickly transformed into a role encompassing everything people-related: Office Management, Human Resources, Event Planning, and Executive Assistant.
Alleigh’s consistent theme in her career, and her life, is her passion for helping people and bettering their overall experience. She loves that she has been able to continue her career jumping in and helping in any way she can as the Executive Assistant to Fuel’s CEO, Shauna. Prior to working at Reviews.com, she worked with Make-A-Wish in Wisconsin and continues to be heavily involved with the organization today in the Seattle area.
Alleigh’s Fuel: Alleigh is an avid tennis player, having played since the age of five and at Wisconsin on the traveling Club team. Since moving to Seattle, she loves spending time outdoors, skiing, hiking and being on the water whenever possible. You can also find her crafting, traveling or meeting new people in her free time!
Byron Conforti brings over 10 years of recruiting and relationship building experience to the Fuel Talent team. After graduating from the University of Puget Sound, he started a career recruiting in a variety of industries for the South Sound’s top employers. Byron’s passion for people has made recruiting a natural fit. What inspires him most is being a part of the data gathering process for each unique job search journey.
While an undergraduate at the University of Puget Sound, Byron was Captain of the Northwest Conference title-winning Men’s Soccer team. He was also the Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator for ten seasons.
Byron’s Fuel: Byron has been playing soccer since he was six years old. Coaching and recruiting for UPS allowed him to leverage his professional skill set with his passion for soccer. Of course, being an avid soccer player has led him to be a huge Sounders fan, so do not be surprised if you see him at a match! Now he no longer coaches but attempts to play as much as possible with the WAC Soccer team.
Jessica Woodson transplanted to Seattle from Chicago in 2016 to pursue a career within Seattle's thriving tech scene. Jessica has loved continuing her career as a tech recruiter for Fuel Talent, specializing in startups and mid-market companies. She excels in reading between the lines to figure out the needs of her clients and candidates. Her care and intuition allow her to match the right people to the right opportunity.
Jessica has partnered with large strategic accounts, as well as small to mid-market accounts, recruiting for both direct hire and contract positions. Her versatility, drive, and ability to take ownership of any project leaves a lasting impression. She prides herself in building strong relationships and being a good listener. Jessica's enthusiasm and "can do attitude" ensure she can overcome any challenge that comes her way.
Jessica's Fuel: Aside from her career, Jessica enjoys exploring all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. She loves spending time outdoors, hiking and being on the water, but also enjoys attending local sports events and trying new restaurants. Most of all, Jessica enjoys meeting new people and making connections wherever she goes.