Our Team

Expert credentials. Tremendous experience. Valuable tenure.

Leadership

cliff t edwards
Cliff T. Edwards, MBA
President, CEO and Majority Owner
Read Bio
cliff t edwards
Cliff T. Edwards, MBA

President, CEO and Majority Owner

Cliff is the CEO and majority shareholder of Thomas Edwards Group. Prior to starting Thomas Edwards Group, Cliff held various financial roles in banking, accounting and management consulting. He was a Manager in Coopers & Lybrand’s national banking and real estate consulting groups. Before that, he was a commercial real estate lender at a regional savings bank, an accounting manager for a financial institution and a staff auditor in public accounting. He earned a BBA in Accounting from the University of Oklahoma. He also earned an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business. Cliff passed the CPA exam in 1985 but is no longer licensed to practice. Cliff is a Board member of the Dallas Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI).

Under Cliff’s vision and leadership, Thomas Edwards Group made the Inc. 5000 list in 2016, has won “Best Places to Work” awards several times and is regularly included in the Dallas Business Journal’s Book of Lists. The company celebrated its 20th year in business in February 2017.

Sharon Lukich, CPA
Partner and Director, Business Development
Read Bio
Sharon Lukich, CPA

Partner and Director, Business Development

Sharon has been with Thomas, Edwards Group since 2001. In addition to being a Partner with the firm, Sharon also helps direct the firm’s Business Development efforts. For the first 14 years with the firm, she was a Senior Search Consultant in our Executive Search Division. Prior to entering the search industry, she served as Controller for a major division of the Baylor Health Care System. Sharon started her career in the Big 4 with PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Coopers & Lybrand), specializing in both audit and litigation consulting. She earned a BS in Accounting from the University of North Texas and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. She is a multi-year Professional Search award winner for both the Dallas and Texas areas. Sharon serves on the board of the TXCPA and is the 2021-2022 Chair for TXCPA-Dallas.

In addition to her participation in various professional organizations, Sharon is very active in the fight to end autism.

Tom Delanoy, CPA
Partner and Managing Director
Read Bio
Tom Delanoy, CPA

Partner and Managing Director

Tom has more than a dozen years of experience in progressive accounting and finance functions across the manufacturing, hospitality and service industries. He served as Director of Planning and Analysis for the international division of Yum! Brands. Tom also was Controller for Brach’s Confections, and began his career in Big 4 audit with PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Price Waterhouse). He has been with Thomas Edwards Group since 2006, having worked in both the Permanent Search and the Contract Services Divisions. After 3 years with the firm, Tom was promoted into the role of Managing Director. Tom is a proud Aggie. He earned a BBA in Accounting from Texas A&M University and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. He is a multi-year Professional Search award winner for the Contract Services category in Dallas. During Tom’s tenure as Managing Director, Thomas Edwards Group was named to the Inc. 5000 list. He has been a member of Vistage since 2014.

Tom is married and has three children. While his kids were younger he was active in youth sports, including coaching as well as serving in leadership roles. Tom enjoys golf, exercise, and fun vacations with his family.

Debbie Vanicek, CPA
Partner and Director, Permanent Search Division
Read Bio
Debbie Vanicek, CPA

Partner and Director, Permanent Search Division

Debbie has 16 years of corporate and operational accounting experience, including financial reporting, process re-engineering and software implementations. She started her career in Big 4 audit with Ernst & Young (formerly Arthur Young) before moving into industry. Debbie served as Controller for a technology company, and was in a management role with Frito-Lay. She also was Assistant Controller for Weblink Wireless (formerly PageMart Wireless). Debbie has been with Thomas Edwards Group since 2004, having worked in the Contract Services division prior to moving into the Permanent Search Division where she currently serves as Director of that group. She earned her BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. Debbie is a multi-year Professional Search award winner for the Dallas and Texas areas.

Debbie is a previous board member and remains very active with the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Ben Pinto, CPA
Partner and Director, Contract Services Division
Read Bio
Ben Pinto, CPA

Partner and Director, Contract Services Division

Ben brings 20+ years of accounting and finance experience working with companies of various sizes and industries including insurance, manufacturing, oil & gas, professional services, real estate and retail. He currently serves as Director of the Contract Services Division for the firm. Prior to joining Thomas Edwards Group, Ben was a Business Development Manager and a Permanent Search Recruiter with a professional services firm for 12 years. He also served as a Regional Manager and VP for a national, privately-held company in the automotive industry. He began his career in Big 4 audit with Ernst & Young and is a Texas CPA and member of the Dallas Chapter of CPAs. A proud Aggie, Ben graduated from Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting.

Ben is married to his college sweetheart and has two grown daughters, two sons-in-law (also all Aggies-whoop!), and is referred to as “Duke” by his grandchildren. He is a longtime member of Watermark Community Church and serves with several not for profit organizations including Water is Basic and The Marcella Project.

Sara Janicula
Partner and Manager, Contract Services Division
Read Bio
Sara Janicula

Partner and Manager, Contract Services Division

Sara is a graduate of the University of Oregon where she earned a BS in Business Administration. She also studied in Alaska, Illinois and Tennessee before becoming an Oregon Duck. Sara graduated Summa Cum Laude and worked full time while attending school. She began her professional career with Thomas Edwards Group after graduation. She started with the Permanent Search Division in 2012 and is currently working in the Contract Services Division.

Sara enjoys the outdoors, the arts, and spending time with her family including her husband and identical twin sister. More than anything, she adores her son, James.

Britton Pavlic, CPA
Managing Director, Fort Worth Office
Read Bio
Britton Pavlic, CPA

Managing Director, Fort Worth Office

Britton has more than 10 years of experience in progressive accounting and finance functions across the distribution, manufacturing and non-profit industries. He began his career in Big 4 audit with Ernst & Young in Fort Worth, and in his prior role he served as VP of Finance and Controller at the United Way of Tarrant County prior to joining Thomas Edwards Group in 2017 as Managing Director of the Fort Worth office. Britton is a proud Horned Frog. He earned a dual BBA in Accounting and Finance from Texas Christian University and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. Britton is an active member of the Fort Worth Chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs, and is a member of Financial Executives International (FEI). He also serves as a Chairman/moderator for the Fort Worth chapter of Financial Executives Networking Group (FENG).

Britton is actively involved in community outreach in Fort Worth, having served his church in a variety of capacities, as well as programs aimed at ending chronic homelessness in Tarrant County.

Lawren Edwards
Manager, Permanent Search Division
Read Bio
Lawren Edwards

Manager, Permanent Search Division

Lawren earned a BBA in Marketing with a minor in Political Science from Baylor University. During her time at Baylor, Lawren was an active member of several political organizations, her sorority – Alpha Chi Omega, and Student Government, serving as a study body officer. Following graduation, Lawren joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2016 as a Search Consultant within the Permanent Search Division.

Lawren currently serves on several boards and task forces and is involved in her church, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Baylor Alumni Network. She enjoys baking, traveling, playing musical instruments, and spending time with her husband, Dominic, and their Labrador retriever, Thatcher.

Gretchen Zimmerman, CPA
Controller
Read Bio
Gretchen Zimmerman, CPA

Controller

Gretchen started her career with Occidental Chemical in Dallas, and then spent eleven years in the publishing industry before moving into the software development side of accounting. During that time, she worked with numerous companies around the country implementing ERP systems and instilling best practices. Gretchen received her BBA in Accounting from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) and is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. Gretchen started with Thomas Edwards Group in 2014 as Controller.

Gretchen enjoys antiquing, jigsaw puzzles, reading and spending time with her husband and three children. When her kids were in school, she was active in National Charity League and Young Men’s Service League where she served on the local Boards as Treasurer.

Team

Christine Baker
Staffing Consultant
Read Bio
Christine Baker

Staffing Consultant

Christine earned a BA degree in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing from the University of North Texas. During her time at UNT, Christine was an active member of several leadership organizations including NorthTexas40 and her sorority, Delta Gamma. After graduation, Christine went to work for Target Corporation as an Executive Team Leader in West Plano. She joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2018 as a Staffing Assistant in the Contract Services Division.

Christine enjoys kickboxing, reading and playing with her two cats Binx and Bella.

Steve Benenson
Talent Acquisition Manager
Read Bio
Steve Benenson

Talent Acquisition Manager

Steve has over 20 years of experience working for corporate, consulting, and government entities. He earned both a BA and an MA in Economics from Emory University, and also earned an MBA with a Finance concentration from the University of Texas at Austin. Steve began his career with the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta, and then moved into the corporate world in an FP&A position with Sabre. Next, he spent 15 years in consulting roles with companies like KPMG, Deloitte and progressively smaller niche firms. Steve joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2018 as a Search Consultant in the Permanent Search Division and in 2022, he transitioned to a Talent Acquisition Manager to focus on growing the TEG team.

Steve is married and has two boys. He serves on the board Camp John Marc, a camp for kids with chronic medical issues, and recently was the Commodore of the Corinthian Sailing Club on White Rock Lake, where he races his 2 sailboats.

Melanie Bledsoe, CPA
Search Consultant
Read Bio
Melanie Bledsoe, CPA

Search Consultant

Melanie is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where she earned a BS in Accounting, and she is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas. Throughout her career, she has enjoyed various roles in audit and corporate accounting. Melanie served as an Operations Controller for a Fortune 500 distribution company, and later focused on building and running her own business which provided tax and accounting services to small business owners. She enthusiastically joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2021 as a Search Consultant in the Dallas office working in their permanent search division.

Melanie enjoys bowling in her co-ed social bowling league, singing her favorite karaoke songs, improving her tennis skills and attending Latin dance events. On weekends, she volunteers by giving her time at the animal shelter, preparing tax returns for the underserved and making meals for people in need.

Meredith Cowling
Senior Search Consultant
Read Bio
Meredith Cowling

Senior Search Consultant

Meredith is a graduate of Texas Tech University, where she earned a BS in Marketing. During her time as a Red Raider, she was actively involved in Young Life and was a campus recruiter for Kanakuk Kamps. Prior to joining Thomas Edwards Group, Meredith was an Internet Sales Manager for a local dealership in Lubbock, Texas. She joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2018 as a Staffing Assistant in the Fort Worth office, working on both contract and permanent positions.

In her free time Meredith enjoys hiking, fishing, playing with her puppy, Bell, and skiing with her husband. She played tennis competitively during college and still enjoys the sport recreationally.

Storey Edwards
Senior Staffing Consultant
Read Bio
Storey Edwards

Senior Staffing Consultant

Storey graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Communications and Leadership Development from the University of Kentucky. Although she is a native of East Texas, Storey attended the University of Kentucky on a full-ride gymnastics scholarship. While earning her degree, she trained and competed as an SEC Division I athlete on the UK Gymnastics Team where she also served as team captain. Storey joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2016 and is currently a Senior Staffing Consultant in the Contract Services Division. Following graduation, Storey served as an Executive Staff Member at Christian Student Fellowship, a campus ministry at the University of Kentucky.

Storey is an active member of Watermark Community Church where she enjoys serving in the student ministries. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and their daughter.

Nicole Elliott, CPA
Search Consultant
Read Bio
Nicole Elliott, CPA

Search Consultant

Nicole earned her Master of Accountancy and BBA in Accounting from Baylor University. During her time at Baylor, she was an active member in a co-ed professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. She was also a student athlete tutor and involved in intramural sports. Nicole began her career in Big 4 audit with KPMG and is a licensed Texas CPA and member of TXCPA Dallas. She joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2021 as a Search Consultant within the Permanent Search Division.

Nicole is an active member of Watermark Community Church where she serves in the children's ministry. In her free time, she likes to work out, spend time with family and take walks on the Katy Trail. Nicole loves trying new coffee shops and restaurants and always appreciates new recommendations.

Tracey Harris
Search Consultant
Read Bio
Tracey Harris

Search Consultant

Tracey earned a BBA in Marketing from the University of New Mexico. During her time at UNM, Tracey was an active member of several organizations including the UNM Dance Team. Prior to joining Thomas Edwards Group, Tracey worked at Target Corporation as an Executive Team Leader in 6 different roles ranging from Operations to opening a new store in Dallas. Tracey joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2019 as a Search Consultant within the Executive Search Division.

Tracey enjoys working out, spending time with her husband and two dogs, Riley and Bentley, and trying new coffee shops.

Elise Hunt
Search Consultant
Read Bio
Elise Hunt

Search Consultant

Elise graduated from Texas Christian University with a BBA in Entrepreneurial Management and a minor in Finance. During her time as a Horned Frog, Elise competed all over the country for TCU’s Eventing team, was an active member of the Women’s Business Network, and interned with Mercedes-Benz in their Financial Services Group. Elise began her professional career with Thomas Edwards Group in 2019 as a Search Consultant working in their Permanent Search Division.

In her free time Elise enjoys riding her horse, traveling, and cheering on the Dallas Stars.

Sarah Jacob
Manager, Business Development
Read Bio
Sarah Jacob

Manager, Business Development

Sarah has over twenty years of experience working in Big 4 Accounting. She earned both a BA and an MA in Accounting from Texas A&M University and is a former CPA. Sarah began her career as an Auditor at Arthur Andersen in Dallas, and then moved into a Talent Acquisition role with KPMG, LLP. She spent 16 years in various Talent Acquisition roles there, including responsibility for the Southwest Area of the country and as an active member on the Leadership Team. Sarah joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2019 as a Search Consultant in the Permanent Search Division and is now on the Business Development Team.

Sarah is married with two kids and she spends most of her free time cheering them on in volleyball, baseball and football. She loves traveling, cooking and reading.

Keva Johannes
Staffing Assistant
Read Bio
Keva Johannes

Staffing Assistant

Keva is a graduate of Texas Woman's University where she earned a BBA in Marketing. She also went on to earn her certificate in Graphic Design from Southern Methodist University. Keva brings over 10 years of experience in sales, marketing and project management in various industries including owning and managing her own creative studio which specialized in photography and graphic design services. She joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2022 as a Staffing Assistant in the Ft. Worth Office working in the Contract Services Division.

In her spare time Keva enjoys watching great films, relaxing with a good book, traveling, and spending time with her family and 2 dogs, Lumos and London.

Natalie Kinvig
Senior Search Consultant
Read Bio
Natalie Kinvig

Senior Search Consultant

Natalie is a University of Texas at Austin graduate who brings 7+ years of recruiting experience to Thomas Edwards Group. During her time at UT, she was a member of the honors fraternity Phi Sigma Pi and was heavily involved in community outreach. Upon graduating, she moved to Dallas and began her career in recruiting. Natalie joined TEG in 2020 as a Senior Search Consultant.

Natalie lives in Old East Dallas with her husband and their rescue animals: three dogs and a Sphynx cat. She enjoys cooking, traveling, home renovation, and gardening. Natalie is also an active participant in historic preservation initiatives and serves as Social Director for her neighborhood.

Brielle Knudtson
Staffing Assistant
Read Bio
Brielle Knudtson

Staffing Assistant

Brielle graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Tech University, where she earned her BBA in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources. During her time at Texas Tech, Brielle was an active member of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, where she served on many committees and leadership roles. Brielle also worked two jobs full time while attending school. Following graduation, Brielle joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2021 as a Staffing Assistant for the Contract Services Division.

In her free time Brielle enjoys spending time with her family, drinking coffee, and traveling.

Emily Lan, CPA
Candidate Recruiter
Read Bio
Emily Lan, CPA

Candidate Recruiter

Emily earned a BBA in Accounting from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and she began her career in the Big 4 with KPMG, focusing on financial services clients. Before joining TEG, she served as the Assistant Controller of Quintana Minerals Corp, an equity investment entity that concentrated in the energy space. Since making a career change, Emily has obtained additional training and certification in the Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram assessments, and she volunteers as a career coach for nonprofit organizations that serve women in the workplace and at-risk youth. In 2020, she also completed a M.A. in Creative Writing at Wilkes University.

She lives in Lake Highlands with her husband, daughter and pup.

Shika Lewis
Senior Search Consultant
Read Bio
Shika Lewis

Senior Search Consultant

Shika has 8 years of experience in IT recruiting spanning across various projects and functional areas including ERP systems, EMR systems, BI & data warehouse tools, as well as software applications. She grew up in Michigan and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Baker College of Muskegon. During this time, she served on the board of a student led group that helped secure accreditation status for multiple Social Science degree plans, allowing graduates to immediately pursue accreditations upon graduation. Shika joined Thomas Edwards Group as a Senior Search Consultant in 2021.

Shika has a passion for dance and traveling. During her free time, she seeks ways to bring others the same joy dancing has given to her by teaching adult dance lessons, both domestically and abroad.

Samir Makhani
Search Consultant
Read Bio
Samir Makhani

Search Consultant

Samir is a graduate of the University of North Texas where he earned a bachelor’s degree in both Political Science and Marketing. Prior to joining Thomas Edwards Group, Samir was a Treasury Coordinator with Raising Canes for 2 years. He joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2021 as a Search Consultant in the Dallas office working in their Permanent Search Division.

Samir enjoys watching movies, going to concerts, and spending time with his family and his dog, Loki.

Marin Mills
Search Consultant
Read Bio
Marin Mills

Search Consultant

Marin earned a BS in Marketing from the University of Kansas. During her time as a Jayhawk, she was very involved in her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, serving as the Alumni Chair. In that role, she solicited alumni donations to both the University and Alpha Chi Omega. Marin’s professional background is in both sales and recruiting, and she spent the summer of 2019 working as a sales consultant in the healthcare space. Upon graduation, Marin began working as a recruiter in the healthcare industry, and in 2021 she joined Thomas Edwards Group as a Search Consultant for the Permanent Search Division in Dallas.

In her free time, Marin enjoys playing basketball and spending time with her family. Marin played basketball competitively through high school and was nominated for the 2016 McDonald’s High School All-American Game. She enjoys supporting Kansas Jayhawks basketball, and is actively involved in the KU Dallas Alumni Group.

Susan Reddington
Office Manager
Read Bio
Susan Reddington

Office Manager

Susan has over 20 years of experience as an Accounting Assistant and has been with Thomas Edwards Group since 2001. Her responsibilities include completing weekly payroll for the Contract Services Division, accounts payable and receivable, and many other office management duties. Prior to joining the firm, Sue also worked in the healthcare and media industries.

Julie Robinson
Senior Search Consultant
Read Bio
Julie Robinson

Senior Search Consultant

Julie is an experienced talent acquisition and recruiting professional with more than 15 years working in both permanent search and corporate environments. She began her career in advertising sales and later joined Robert Half International where she managed permanent search for the accounting and finance division for nearly ten years. Julie later transitioned into a corporate environment where she focused on developing and executing talent acquisition strategy. She joined Thomas Edwards Group’s Permanent Search Division in 2017. Julie graduated with a BS in Hotel Restaurant Management from the University of North Texas and lives in Plano.

Ranee Samaniego
Staffing Consultant
Read Bio
Ranee Samaniego

Staffing Consultant

Ranee earned a Licensed Bachelor of Social Work from Texas Christian University and a Master of Science in Management from Southern Methodist University. While at SMU, Ranee served as the Graduate Assistant for Career Development at SMU's Career Center. Following completion of her master's program, she worked as an HR Manager and Hiring Specialist for an international education company in the Northeast where she interviewed and onboarded hundreds of new employees for the organization. Ranee joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2021 as a Staffing Assistant for the Contract Services Division.

In her free time, Ranee enjoys watercolor painting, hiking, reading, and spending quality time with her family.

Sharon Samuel
Staffing Assistant
Read Bio
Sharon Samuel

Staffing Assistant

Sharon has ten years of experience as a tax accountant, specializing in partnership, corporation, international income tax and indirect tax in the restaurant and retail industries. She attended the University of South Florida, where she earned her BS in Finance. She began her career in the Big 4 with PwC as a tax associate in their Tampa Bay office. Sharon joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2021 as a Staffing Assistant in the Contract Services Divsion.

Sharon enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, as well as her parents, brother and family, and in-laws, who all live within the Dallas metroplex. She is also an active member of her church, where she helps out with the audio and visual equipment. In her free time, she likes to draw and paint watercolor florals, practice hand-lettering positive quotes and is a member of Etsy Dallas.

Lindsey Segler
Search Consultant
Read Bio
Lindsey Segler

Search Consultant

Lindsey has over 7 years of corporate finance experience working with companies of various sizes and industries including oil & gas, cyber security, manufacturing and entertainment. Prior to joining the Permanent Search Division of Thomas Edwards Group in 2020, she served as a Senior FP&A analyst with a Fortune 500 corporation in Los Angeles. Lindsey grew up in Plano, TX and is a graduate of the University of Tulsa where she graduated Cum Laude and earned a BSBA in Finance. During her time at Tulsa, Lindsey was an active member of several organizations and honor societies, was selected to serve on the Student Investment Fund, held multiple leadership positions with her sorority, Delta Gamma, and was a member of the D1 Women’s soccer team. Additionally, Lindsey studied abroad in Barcelona for a semester and traveled extensively through Europe.

Lindsey has a passion for all things health and fitness. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling with her husband, trying new fitness classes, and training for marathons.

Elaine Small, CPA
Senior Search Consultant
Read Bio
Elaine Small, CPA

Senior Search Consultant

Elaine has many years of experience in corporate and property accounting, as well as financial planning and reporting in the oil and gas industry, and is a licensed CPA and CMA. She attended Texas A & M University where she earned her BBA in Accounting, while working to pay 100% of her college expenses. Elaine enthusiastically joined Thomas Edwards Group in 2017 as a Search Consultant in the Permanent Search Division.

Elaine enjoys yoga, traveling, spending time with her family and her involvement with Down syndrome individuals.

Katherine Watson
Search Consultant
Read Bio
Katherine Watson

Search Consultant

Katherine (Kat) Watson has an MBA and Master of Arts Administration from SMU and an undergraduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas. After graduating from UCA, she worked for an NGO in Rwanda focusing on economic development post genocide and then worked in legislation for the Texas House of Representatives in Austin. Next, Kat was accepted into the concurrent MA/MBA program at SMU while continuing her work for nonprofits and small businesses, serving as the Executive Director for a Dallas based nonprofit. More recently, Kat worked in finance, accounting, and business development for a CFO services firm and as a corporate recruiter for a multi-national management consulting firm.

Kat is the proud mom of a spunky little girl, and started a small business aimed at promoting health, fitness, and community for new moms. She loves spending time with her daughter and dog, SEC football (go Hogs), yoga, hiking, and anything related to getting outdoors, fitness, and being active.

Monica Westerfield
Candidate Recruiter
Read Bio
Monica Westerfield

Candidate Recruiter

Monica earned both an MBA and a BS in Accounting from Oklahoma State University and began her career in banking with a focus on internal audit. Prior to joining Thomas, Edwards Group in 2010, she transitioned from audit into recruiting as a Staffing Manager in both agency and corporate roles. Monica has additional experience in on-site staffing for a high-profile client and out-placement assistance with a global career services organization. She specializes in finding talent in the areas of Accounting, Finance, and Human Resources, provides training to new employees, and coordinates various recognition and celebration activities for the firm.

Monica is an active volunteer in her sons’ school and sports organizations in Frisco. She has also chaired and/or served on several committees at Grace Avenue UMC including finance, human resources and greeting. Monica is a member of the Richardson-Plano alumnae chapter of Pi Beta Phi and is a past chairman for the recruitment and hospitality committees.