We planted the idea that talent was the key to making any organization flourish.

Growing Talent was founded in order to provide the absolute pinnacle of direct hire, executive search, and temporary talent solutions in the cannabis industry.

Our Executive team has more than 50 years of cumulative experience in identifying hard-to-find talent and managing end-to-end recruiting processes. We are ready to help your growing organization identify, attract, and hire top-tier talent to drive your business forward.

Whether you are an Agriculture Technology Manufacturer, Specialized Consulting Firm, or Industrial Hemp Manufacturer/Retailer, we focus on staffing and recruiting for highly specialized professionals that can help your organization become a key player in this growing industry.

Our Founder

Rona Borre

Since joining the human capital industry nearly 25 years ago, Rona has become a nationally recognized leader in the talent space. She specializes in working closely within emerging and high-growth markets alongside both startup organizations and well-established enterprises to create end-to-end recruiting strategies that identify teams and leaders who drive innovation. As a long-standing leader in Chicago, Rona is actively involved with the Economic Club of Chicago, the Young Presidents Organization, and The Chicago Network. She has also been featured in Crain’s Chicago, CNBC, CNN, CBS 2 Chicago, and USA Today as an expert in talent markets and supporting new industry verticals.

She was recently honored as the Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine and was named an Influential Woman in Business by The Business Ledger.

Rona founded Growing Talent to bring her decades of experience driving innovation through talent strategies to the ever-evolving cannabis industry.

Our Team

Kurt Kaufmann

Director, Strategic Accounts

Kurt brings with him a wealth of firsthand knowledge and experience from directly within the Cannabis industry. He joins Growing Talent after a successful career with Green Thumb Industries, and Kurt’s broad set of experiences include managing tens of millions of dollars in wholesale sales, developing a compliant system for the transition from a medical-only market to one of the most robust adult-use programs in the country, conceptualizing and launching a first-of-its-kind, nationally-recognized career immersion program focused on advancing opportunities for social equity candidates, leading the formation of multiple departments including a data-driven customer service program, and spearheading GTI’s effort on corporate product and cannabis training.

Kurt began his career with one of the largest CPG companies in the world and shifted his focus to building brands within emerging markets. Kurt found his home marrying a love for cannabis with successes in helping build scalable teams and brands.  His experience as a primary caregiver for family members battling both cancer and epilepsy, informs his compassionate approach to the responsible and equitable scaling of the cannabis industry.

Kurt is working to develop best-in-class training, coaching, and staffing solutions for our emerging industry, based on real-world experiences and firsthand knowledge.

As an active member of Chicago’s robust cannabis culture, do not hesitate to say hello if you see him out at Illinois Women in Cannabis functions or other social events!

Lisamarie Gayle

Head of Human Resources Practice

Lisamarie Gayle brings more than 15 years of experience in Human Resources.  Throughout her career she has played a critical role for multiple Fortune 500 organizations by providing Human Resources services ranging from talent management, payroll processing, HRIS administration, workers’ compensation, training & development, records management, HR Policy development, compliance, and auditing.

Lisamarie firmly believes that each customer requires a customized solution in order to meet their unique business needs.  She works side-by-side with key executives, direct managers, and employees to create Human Resources policies that drive measurable business results and positively impact each employee.

She has dedicated more than a decade to building and bridging relationships with each client that she has worked with as well as their employees.  She brings extensive Human Resources expertise to each project she supports and has partnered with organizations ranging from start-up to Fortune 500.

Our Team

Sina Daneshvaran

As the Chief of Staff at Growing Talent, Sina brings over five years of consultative selling expertise in SaaS, market research, e-commerce, and CPG sectors, as well as three years of experience in the Cannabis industry.

With a keen eye for evaluating data and industry trends, Sina uncovers opportunities and develops solutions based on his clients’ business goals, forging long-lasting bonds and retention.

He began his career in the Cannabis industry with Brightfield Group, providing cutting-edge consumer data to brands, and used the lessons he learned from working with industry leaders to expand teams and scale operations in the Cannabis market with his role at Growing Talent.

Andrew Young

Our Manager of Delivery and Internal Operations, Andrew, boasts over five years of experience in talent acquisition across a diverse range of industries, including Technology, Accounting, Finance, Sales, Marketing, and more.

Throughout his career, he has established a reputation for collaborating closely with hiring managers to identify high-performing professionals who not only meet but exceed expectations and fit seamlessly within the company’s culture. 

Andrew’s commitment to his craft extends beyond sourcing top talent, as he also prioritizes guiding and preparing candidates for their roles, ensuring they are set up for success. 

As a valued member of our Growing Talent Recruitment Team, Andrew’s expertise and leadership qualities play a pivotal role in driving our organization’s growth and success.

Jerry Garcia

With over a decade of experience in the recruitment industry, Jerry has established himself as a highly skilled and versatile professional. His journey began in the tech startup space, where he honed his craft by successfully recruiting 12-15 individuals each week across various departments. Subsequently, Jerry transitioned to Green Thumb Industries, where he devoted his talents to the emerging cannabis employment sector, further expanding his skill set and industry expertise.

Jerry’s recruitment experience extends beyond his niche specialization, as he also boasts a deep understanding of sales, marketing, accounting, and human resources recruitment. Additionally, Jerry has taken on a mentorship role, providing valuable coaching and interview advice to young minority graduates seeking to break into the industry. Jerry’s multi-faceted background and passion for cultivating talent have made him a vital member of our team at Growing Talent.

Cydney Webb

Cydney’s extensive background in Human Resources and talent acquisition has made her a valuable asset to the Growing Talent team. With over three years of experience in sourcing and development at talent agencies and a Master of Arts in Communication and Business Leadership, Cydney has a keen eye for identifying top talent and connecting them with the right opportunities that align with their career goals.

Her passion for positively impacting the professional careers of individuals while furthering the success of companies shines through in her work. Cydney’s dedication to building strong relationships with both candidates and clients has helped her to become an expert in understanding the unique needs of each party and ensuring that the right match is made. With Cydney on board, Growing Talent is well-equipped to provide exceptional talent acquisition services to clients across a variety of industries.

Lisamarie Gayle

Lisamarie brings a wealth of experience to her role as Head of Human Resources at Instant Alliance, with over a decade of expertise in HR and payroll. Her proficiency in talent management, payroll administration, training and development, HR policy development, compliance, and auditing is unparalleled.

As a dedicated HR professional, Lisamarie is committed to delivering the best solutions to Growing Talent’s clients and consultants. She collaborates closely with key executives and teams to streamline internal operations and ensure seamless onboarding for all employees.

Lisamarie values the importance of building strong relationships with each candidate, from onboarding to ongoing follow-up. She goes above and beyond to ensure that every employee feels valued and appreciated as a member of the Growing Talent family. 

Growing Talent is proud to promote diversity and social equity within the cannabis industry and beyond. We are extremely excited to share that we are officially certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through WBENC.

As a professional services organization, we believe that it is critical to help our clients promote diversity through their hires and their strategic partnerships.

There’s no one that knows your business better than you, and there’s no one that knows talent better than us.

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