MEET OUR TEAM

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  • WHO WE ARE

  • We would like to introduce you to our all-star team at Specialized Recruiting Group in Edmonton, Canada. This group of dedicated group professionals regularly provides specialized search and contract services, and they have fun while doing it.

    Our consultative approach means a hands-on approach where we know your industry, your business and the employees required to ensure your company’s success. That approach is about relationship building with a focus on your business and staffing needs.

    Just as we know you, we want you to know about us. From backgrounds to skill sets and attributes, interests and fun facts, this is who we are.


  • Jess
    Jessica Culo

    Co-Owner & President

    Entrepreneurialism is something that Jess has grown up with. Starting with her great-great grandfather, who as a German immigrant, came to Canada in the 1930's. He failed miserably at his first few trades related jobs, and found his passion in starting and growing retail operations, throughout the province of Alberta. His entrepreneurial spirit was passed down to Jessica's grandfather and then father who fashioned it into a series of manufacturing facilities and retail stores, including one that specialized in sportswear and outerwear- called Powder Ridge.

    Jess' first job (she thinks was at the age of 8!) was 'sorting hangers' in one of her dad's stores, for the sales people. Those early lessons about hard work, long hours and helping others are still with her today as President and Owner of The Specialized Recruiting Group (Express Employment Professionals).

    Graduating from the U of A with a psychology major and linguistics minor, Jessica felt her calling was to somehow be in business for herself, while still helping others. When her father, in 2004, identified Express Employment Professionals as a business venture that could provide Jessica with just this blend- the opportunity to build a company while helping other businesses and people - she jumped at it.

    Jessica finds inspiration through her mentors, through her connections in the Express network as well as the business groups she belongs to, and the organizations she supports. Beyond that- it's the intangibles, such as spending time with her friends and family- sharing experiences- on the ski hill, outdoors or travelling, that are most important. Jessica enjoys staying active, with hobbies including running, Tennis, and hiking. She has recently started to challenge her patience by picking up golf and yoga.

    A Favourite Quote:

    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." -Jon Kabat-Zinn

     

    Email Jessica Culo

    Branko
    Branko Culo

    Co-Owner, VP Specialized Recruiting Group

    Driven by his passion for sports, family loyalty and entrepreneurial spirit, Branko is a leader with an unorthodox approach. His quiet demeanour belies his take-charge attitude with a focus on results, propels Branko to take on new challenges.

    Learning from his parents, Branko was taught valuable lessons about work ethic, loyalty and teamwork. Particularly from his father who escaped communist Yugoslavia by foot and came to Canada. 

    Branko's first job was delivering flyers in the Edmonton Crestwood neighbourhood for five dollars. Prior to joining Express, he worked his way into a leadership role within the oil & gas industry- where he worked for nearly 15 years. Branko now leads Express' Senior Level Search Division, one that has grown exponentially in recent years.

    Always a team player, Branko uses skills gained while playing high-level organized soccer and hockey to coach and mentor the other search and contract employees who make-up the accounting, finance and administration teams.

    To relax, you will find Branko spending time with family, playing golf in the summer, men's hockey league in the winter and year-round his latest passion- cycling. 

    Branko's inspiration to always improve comes from his father, who early on in life instilled this quality in him and would say: "A wise man learns from other's mistakes. A fool learns from his own". 

    Email Branko Culo

    Sabby
    Sabby Sekhon

    Senior Professional Search Specialist

    Prior to her current role, Sabby was working in the banking sector, honing her skills in preparation for her next career path, one that would allow her to combine her education and passion for helping others.

    In her current role with Express Employment Professionals as an Accounting/Finance Search Specialist, she takes lessons learned from her NAIT Business Degree in HR and a thorough understanding of the financial marketplace to find her clients the right candidate.

    Her co-workers describe Sabby as driven, detail orientated and cares about her impact on others. She is outgoing, kind and considerate- a true team player.

    Supported by parents who came from India, they taught her that hard work, education and practical thinking will open doors and endless opportunities. Influenced by her dad and brother, Sabby is grounded by family and traditional Punjabi roots.

    During her spare time, Sabby likes to shop, hike, watch the Oilers play (and win!) or pick up a game of soccer.

    Sabby's forward-thinking attitude and positive optimism come from the 5 by 5 rule. "If it is not going to matter in five years, do not spend more than five minutes being upset by it."

    She is a practical thinker, as her dad would so proudly say.

     

    Email Sabby Sekhon

    Elma
    Elma Kevac

    Contract Specialist Accounting/Finance

    Born in Germany to Bosnian parents, Elma has an international sense of flair and passion for traveling, helping others, and the finer things in life. From her first job serving others in the hospitality industry to her current position as the Division Manager Contract Administrative + Accounting, Elma's true calling is working hard for and with others. This is reflected every day in her leadership role and in finding the right contractor for her clients. 

    With a degree in HR from NAIT, she is essential to the growth and success of her client's businesses. Getting to know her client's business first-hand allows Elma to practice her HR, negotiation, and recruiting skills when finding the right candidates for her clients. She prides herself on her enthusiastic personality, genuine curiosity, and empathy for others- traits that truly complement her education and experience and directly relate to her success.

    If you ask any of Elma's colleagues how they would best describe her, they would undoubtedly say her energy, determination, and confidence. She lives this daily, and...her energy, as a result, is contagious!

    Favorite Quote:

    "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world." -Marilyn Monroe


     

    Email Elma Kevac

    Bre
    Bre Simmons

    Division Manager Skilled Trades & Commercial Staffing SE/SW Edmonton

    Growing up in a small town in Ontario, the Dundas native is well-grounded. Key influencers in Bre's life were her parents. They instilled a strong work ethic, compassion for others, and the importance of family.

    Seizing an opportunity to move to Alberta in 2012, Bre now lives in the Edmonton region.

    Before joining the Express team, Bre was part of the many selfless individuals who helped Ft. MacMurray retail businesses get back on their feet after the devastating forest fires. Her leadership qualities were very much evident throught that trying time, and she reflects on it as a time of true personal growth and development. 

    When asked to describe three attributes that best describe her, Bre easily comes up with driven, outgoing, meticulous, and a fourth one, compassionate. This caring and compassion go beyond the office, with a heartfelt need to support animal shelters and canine rescue. Bre has led the way by personally adopted new family members.

    In her pastime, Bre stays strongly virtually connected to family back in Ontario, spending time with dogs and fiancé. Next on her bucket list, touring the east coast of Canada.

    A Favourite Quote: 

    "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, people will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou

     

     

    Email Bre Simmons

    Leah
    Leah Markovich

    Division Manager Skilled Trades & Commercial Staffing NE/NW Edmonton

    Leah's driven, down to earth and outgoing personality is definitely a factor of her upbringing. Growing up in a small town in Alberta, Leah has always had big aspirations in life.

    Her first job was working in a local accounting office and had originally planned to pursue a career in this field. After moving to Edmonton to attend MacEwan University, however, she soon realized after only a few accounting courses that wouldn't be the right career path for her. Leah alternatively graduated with a degree in Business, majoring in supply chain management.

    Leah is always motivated to grow, both in her responsibilities and her role as a leader to her team. Self-satisfaction comes when her team can place qualified candidates into roles that are right for them, with outstanding companies that treat their people well.

    As for what's at the top of her bucket list, Leah wishes to travel to every continent, enlightening her passion for music, meeting people, and delighting in culinary experiences. (She is also an excellent chef herself!)

    Email Leah Markovich

    Cynthia
    Cynthia Moore

    Employment Specialist Commercial Staffing

    As a lifelong Edmontonian, Cynthia has witnessed how much the City and surrounding area has evolved over the years. She has seen the migration in and out of the area from other parts of the country and understands the complexities of finding the right candidate for employers she works with.

    Cynthia honed her customer service skills first in retail, however her original career plan was to become a zoologist. After she enrolled at MacEwan to take her University in Bachelor of Commerce, she changed her mind. Then, when she was approached by her now colleague, Bre Simmons, to join the ever changing employment industry- she knew that was a fit for her.

    Her current role consists of interviewing and retaining top talent and building a pipeline of qualified individuals.  Cynthia works closely with candidates looking for placement in positions that meet their needs in addition to those of the client, and she is motivated by learning and experiences that have a positive impact on other's lives.

    Cynthia's mom is a big influence in her life, particularly because of what she has accomplished in achieving executive positions in the healthcare field. She was taught growing up that living life to the fullest is important, both personally and professionally. To demonstrate this, she shares an inspiring quote by Oscar Wilde: "To live is the rarest thing in the world - most people just exist."

     

    Email Cynthia Moore

    Dixie
    Dixie Escalante

    Office Coordinator

    Dixie's journey started when she and her mother left their home in El Salvador, headed to Edmonton, Canada.  After completing high school in Edmonton, Dixie attended a local beauty college before realizing that her calling was to help others fulfill their journeys.

    After being presented with the opportunity to join Express Employment Professionals in an office administration capacity, Dixie has not looked back.  

    At work, Dixie is a team player. Collaboration and a consultative approach are key to exceeding the client's expectations and finding the right fit for the associates she works with. When challenges arise, the team comes together. For Dixie, rewards come when she can help others achieve their personal goals- and she does that every day. 

    When Dixie takes time for herself, she spends time with her favourite little companion, a Yorkie/Chihuahua cross, watching movies and getting lost in a good book.

    "Take every chance, drop every fear" is a quote Dixie lives by. Seeing firsthand the road her mom took to give her family a better life.  She also looks forward to returning to El Salvador for a visit someday soon, where the journey started.

     

    Email Dixie Escalante

    Melissa
    Melissa VanWart

    Client Development Manager SE/SW Edmonton

    Melissa's career journey started after graduating from University in New Brunswick, with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology. At that time she decided to explore career opportunities out west.

    Landing in Edmonton and securing a position with Express Employment Professionals as Client Development Manager, Melissa has been with Express since 2014. While collaborating with her sales team and her recruitment team, she has a goal of crafting relationships within the community, telling the Express story, adding value for her clients and finding ways to grow existing business.

    A quote that she strives to live by: "You will always grow through - what you go through". Two key influencers that have always supported Melissa's growth (both personally and professionally) are her parents. They both instilled a very strong work ethic in her, and she is grateful for that. She also is a fan of author/educator Barbara Bruno- and often references her book, "High-Tech High Touch Recruiting".

    Melissa is focused on staying positive and healthy - and outside of the office, spends a lot of time with her cycle bar community- pre and post their regular cycle sessions!

       

    Email Melissa VanWart

    Braden
    Braden Greenlaw

    Business Development Manager NE/NW Edmonton

    For Braden, life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

    Having travelled to over 45 countries and 120 cities, Braden is a globe trotter. What he finds most rewarding from his travels has been meeting new people and learning about their culture and lifestyle. Combining this 'real world' education with his formal education (obtained at MacEwan University) and his work experience (hospitality and B2B sales) has been the key to Braden's success.

    This is not to discount the incredible influence Braden's parents have had on him either. His father, a successful business person, & his mother, an outstanding teacher have always and continue to mentor him.

    When asked to provide three attributes that best describe his character, Braden's response was being very social, seeking new adventures and having the confidence to take on most challenges. Braden uses these talents and approaches his career by building meaningful relationships, both trusted and valued. 

    Last but not least, Braden's wife, Katie, also plays a very influential role in his life. They share many of the same pastimes, from finding adventure hiking and biking in Alberta Rocky Mountains' to global travel. They plan to visit Ecuador to visit family and friends as soon as they can.

     

     

    Email Braden Greenlaw

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