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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Kathleen Quinn Votaw

Founder & CEO


Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 2003

Industry: Recruitment

The most important discussion of Kathleen Quinn Votaw’s career took place over a burger and beer with her husband. It was May of 2003, and she had just lost her job.

“I was fired from my corporate role and had no fallback plan,” she said. “Trust me, the safe decision was to find another job. My husband took me out for a burger and a beer and told me that he believed in me and we would be just fine. The most important risk I took was believing in myself that I could, then I did because Andy believed in me!”

Today, Quinn Votaw is founder and CEO of TalenTrust, a strategic recruitment and human capital consulting firm that partners with companies nationwide. “We offer a professional services approach and proven process that provide clients with exceptional talent and solutions to address immediate needs and accelerate long-term growth,” the company said.

Quinn Votaw got her first job at Kelly Services in Hartford, Connecticut, to help pay for college. After graduation, she was moved to the company’s Farmington office and remains in the recruitment industry to this day. Quinn Votaw worked for a number of small and large companies, including managing East and West Coast branches of multibillion dollar corporations.

“Through it all, I have absolutely loved helping companies achieve their growth objectives by getting the right people on board and in the right roles,” Quinn Votaw said.

She eventually founded Denver Executive Search, which evolved into TalenTrust in 2003. She and her company persevered through the Great Recession. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Quinn Votaw baked and delivered cookies to employees to sustain morale. She has published two books, “Solve the People Puzzle” and “Dare to Care in the Workplace.” Quinn Votaw founded TalenTrust’s sister company, KQV Speaks, in 2018. That company has generated more than 62 speaking opportunities in 2022, which have in turn generated significant leads for TalenTrust.

“I’m proud to say we not only kept the entirety of our staff employed in 2020, but we also were able to bounce back financially the following year and continued to grow our team,” Quinn Votaw said. “I attribute this to my ‘put people first’ business mindset, which inspired both of my books, speaking workshops and me as a leader.”

Under Quinn Votaw’s leadership, TalenTrust has received a number of awards, including Denver Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private Companies; ColoradoBiz magazine’s Top 100 Women-Owned Companies (2018–2022); and ColoradoBiz magazine’s Top 200 Private Companies (2021 and 2022).

Quinn Votaw received the Association for Women in Communications’ Women of Achievement Award; Association for Corporate Growth’s Meritorious Service Award for Extraordinary Service and Achievement; and Vistage’s Top Performer Award (2021). She was a Denver Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business finalist (2019) and was honored by Enterprising Women magazine as one of 2020’s Enterprising Women of the Year.

Presented by:

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I love to sing. Until age 22, I was a prolific amateur singer and a National All State singer in high school. At age 12, I sang “Song Bird” a cappella for the first time, to an audience of 100. I usually start off our staff meetings with an appropriate song and I often warm up my audiences with a song. Singing is fun, unique, and engaging. It adds joy and delight to what would normally be business as usual (something I try to avoid). The combination of song and valuable subject matter expertise helps me connect and provide value to audiences of every size.


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