Strategic Talent Group

Identify, Attract, and Engage Preeminent Talent

This is our vision. We are creating a competitive advantage for the university through people—strong individual contributors, high-functioning collaborators and teams, and excellent leaders—where their best work is encouraged, enabled, expected, and recognized.

Preeminence Through People

The Strategic Talent Group is University of Florida’s internal search team. By identifying, attracting, and engaging the strongest talent, we contribute to the Gator Good. As an internal consulting group, our passion for UF and our understanding of the culture and values of the UF community enable us to find the very best to meet the particular needs of each recruitment engagement.

Our Services

The Strategic Talent Group partners with UF departments and units to identify, attract, and engage the best talent. We are committed to providing exceptional service by blending our institutional knowledge and insights into UF’s culture with premier recruitment practices. We understand your business needs and will work closely with you to develop a strategic talent search plan. And we strive to advance UF’s employer brand by facilitating positive and productive relationships with all applicants.

Our Team

Melissa Curry

Vice President
University of Florida Human Resources


Audrey Gainey

Director
Talent Acquisition and Onboarding
gaineya1@ufl.edu
(352) 273-1706

John Sun

Associate Director
Talent Acquisition and Onboarding
jsun@ufl.edu
(352) 273-1734

Mackenzie Burkett

Manager
Strategic Talent Group
m.burkett@ufl.edu
(352) 273-1751

Devan Brown

Talent Consultant
Strategic Talent Group
devan.m.b@ufl.edu
(352) 273-1722

Andrew "AJ" Brown

Talent Consultant
Strategic Talent Group
aj.brown@ufl.edu
(352) 273-1713

Active Full-Cycle Executive Searches

Director, Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience

Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor
Office of the Provost
Located in St. Augustine, FL

Dean for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Full Professor
Office of the SVP, UF/IFAS
Located in Gainesville, FL

Recent Strategic Hires

Patrick Keegan, Chief Labor Negotiator

Patrick Keegan, an experienced educational leader, specializes in labor relations and dispute resolution. Before joining UF, he taught high school history and later transitioned to secondary school administration, focusing on curriculum and instruction. Keegan’s career includes serving as a director of human resources and chief negotiator for a school board, eventually becoming Assistant Superintendent. Keegan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Educational Negotiators. He holds a B.A. in History and an M.A. in International Business from UF, along with a Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD) from Florida Gulf Coast University.

Jeff Holeman, Director of Marketing, Warrington College of Business

Jeff Holeman leads marketing at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business, where his focus is strengthening the brand among the college’s 8,000 students and 90,000 alumni, while also building an enrollment pipeline for the college’s portfolio of graduate and undergraduate programs. Jeff has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and branding. He previously led marketing, communications or enrollment at the UC Berkeley, Arizona State University, Keene State College, and the University of Rochester, as well as several healthcare systems.

Nigel Richardson, Senior Director of Advising

Nigel is a dynamic and accomplished higher education professional with a passion for academic advising and student success. With over a decade of experience, He believes that effective advising is pivotal to the success of undergraduate students and that supporting advisors is essential to ensuring that students receive the guidance they need to realize their academic and career aspirations. Nigel eagerly anticipates the opportunity to collaborate with the diverse UF community. He is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive learning environment and he is eager to work alongside advisors, staff, and faculty to ensure that students receive the highest quality of academic guidance.

Dr. Taylor Stokes
Director, Beyond 120 Program

Dr. Taylor Stokes serves as the Director of the Beyond 120 Program for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She has worked in colleges and universities, domestic and international, in areas of leadership development, community engagement, service-learning, career development, entrepreneurial and social impact partnerships. These partnerships have been between businesses and the university, student housing, student success, and student-athlete advising. Most recently Taylor served as the Interim Director of the David & Wanda Brown Center for Leadership & Service at UF.

Romi Gutierrez
Director, University Press of Florida

Gutierrez has served UPF in various roles since 2004, most recently as associate director and director of sales and marketing. In this position she managed all aspects of sales and marketing for a frontlist of 80 new titles per year and a backlist of nearly 2,000 books in print. As a member of the management team, she has played an important part in UPF’s leadership and strategic planning.

Dr. Matthew Gentry
Chair, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

“Life science research is invaluable to our society,” he said. “It’s important to engage with the policymakers and advocate for biomedical science funding — to make sure researchers’ voices are heard by those who make federal funding decisions.”

Media Inquiries

Please Contact University Relations

news@ufl.edu
University Relations – For Media