Meet Our Dedicated Management Team

Mark Turpin

Partner and Chief Executive Officer

With more than 21 years in the staffing industry, Mark Turpin is CEO at The HT Group based in Austin, Texas. The HT Group delivers staffing and recruiting solutions from two offices in Texas. They operate in four divisions including Staffing, Professional, Technical and Search.

Turpin started his industry career as an onsite temporary staffing coordinator for an international staffing company at Apple Computer in Austin, Texas, and was ultimately recognized as that firm’s top national sales representative for professional placement in 1998 and 1999. As The HT Group CEO, Turpin leads sales and recruiting operations to ensure the company delivers cost-effective, high-value, low-risk solutions for clients’ traditional, professional, technical and retained staffing needs.

Turpin attended the University of Texas and lives in Austin. He has actively participated in many local professional organizations, including Austin Roundtable and the Austin Independent Business Alliance. He serves on the Board of Directors Dress for Success Austin, he is a member of The Fifty, a group established to support a bold vision for the future of medical care in Central Texas, and on the board of the Texas Association of Staffing.

Turpin has overseen sales and recruiting efforts at The HT Group since its inception in 2001. Under his leadership, The HT Group has grown to become one of the leading staffing and recruiting companies in Austin and Beaumont, Texas. During his tenure The HT Group has been listed as a top staffing company in several categories in the Austin Business Journal since 2006, including top temporary staffing firm, top executive search firm and high-tech (technical) recruiting firm. The HT Group was a central Texas Fastest Growing company as reported by the Austin Business Journal in 2012 and 2013. The HT Group was also listed on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. in 2014. Turpin was honored as one of Austin’s best CEOs in 2012.

Jim Gilliam


Jim Gilliam, founding partner and chairman of The HT Group, is a major creative and strategic force behind the company’s growth. Gilliam has an extensive business background as a serial entrepreneur in multiple industries. He works closely with the management team to guide The HT Group’s trajectory, ensuring the company continues to deliver on its vision to provide exceptional value to the business community.

Gilliam graduated from University of Texas and resides in Beaumont. His past associations include board service for the United Way, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Baptist Hospital, the Orange Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County Economic Development Corporation. Gilliam currently serves as head coach for the Southeast Texas Junior Football League.

Claire Reynolds

Managing Director, Staffing Division

After graduating from the University of Texas, a friend connected Claire Reynolds with a recruiting firm in Houston in the unfortunate year of 2001. Despite the complications of a floundering economy, this period shaped Claire as a sales professional who is persistent and willing to put in work to get results (something she also learned during her first sales job in high school: selling men’s ties). After four years, Claire moved to Austin to take on the challenge of a new city, becoming the Regional Sales Manager for Burnett Staffing and meeting Mark through her involvement with AHRMA.

Claire joined The HT Group in 2009, drawn to the dynamic team and entrepreneurial spirit, and soon rose to Managing Director of the Staffing division. A naturally curious person, she enjoys learning about her clients’ widely varied industries. She spends her free time with her family and two children, and stays involved with her community by working with Austin Chamber of Commerce, Dress for Success, and supporting her beloved Texas Longhorns. (Hook ‘em!)

Craig Patterson

Managing Director, Professional Division

Craig Patterson’s career path changed when he was called on by a recruiter and thought, “I want to do what he does” — and in fact, he was hired at that recruiter’s firm shortly after. Formerly an accountant after a degree in the subject from Southwest Texas University, he was drawn to the opportunity to provide assistance during the stressful process of job searching. With over 20 years of experience in recruiting, including 10 years of building his own firm, Patterson was the first Austin hire at the Addison Group, and now joins The HT Group as Managing Director, leading the executive search division. A native Texan, Patterson is married with four children, and his working philosophy is to help everyone, even if he can’t place them.

Jayson Spaits

Managing Director, Technical Division

A native of East Texas, Jayson Spaits comes to The HT Group with 10 years of experience in staffing and developing company culture. His time at the University of North Texas was followed by a series of jobs in sales, until he was introduced to recruiting as an opportunity to have a strong career trajectory. He now enjoys helping others get out of the job-hopping cycle and truly find their path to growth, and his personal philosophy is that staffing is all about giving back and helping people. Jayson has put in time working his way from recruiter to manager at both an established national firm and a startup, and increased revenue at his previous company by 400% over four years. He is married with two children, and spends his free time with his family or on the golf course.

Carolyn Burgess


Our financial authority Carolyn Burgess brings over 30 years of accounting expertise to The HT Group, where she oversees cash management, taxes and ensuring all employees take advantage of our company benefits. It should come as no surprise that Carolyn got into the field because she loves math, and her precise, logical nature led to her graduating Magna Cum Laude from Northeastern University. But what may surprise you is that this Boston native is the proud owner of a 56-acre farm – she fled the harsh winters for literal greener pastures immediately after her kids graduated high school. Carolyn has been married for 38 years with three children, three grandchildren, and multitudes of animals, including several rescues from IMPS of Texas