Meet Our Dedicated Management Team

The HT Group was founded in 2001 by Mark Turpin and Jim Gilliam. The pair have a long history of trust — going back to the second grade playground, where they first met. Mark and Jim have worked together to assemble a motivated, best-in-class team dedicated to matching the right candidates to the right clients.

Mark Turpin

Partner and Chief Executive Officer

Though he now has over 20 years of experience as a recruiter, Mark Turpin started his career on the receiving end of staffing services: as a temp at Adecco while attending the University of Texas. His work ethic impressed his manager, who promoted him to on-site staffing coordinator, and he quickly rose through the ranks as a recruiter in staffing, technical, and then executive search (which you may recognize as specialties of The HT Group). Mark was the top-ranked executive search recruiter in the country with Adecco for two years running. But, he was concerned that conventional practices at staffing firms diminished a recruiter’s ability to best serve clients. He decided to start his own business, The HT Group, in 2001 to be a different kind of staffing partner.

Mark’s vision for a recruiting firm with high standards of integrity has led to lasting partnerships and status as one of the leading staffing agencies in Texas. The HT Group has been recognized for its success by Forbes, Inc. and Austin Business Journal, which also nominated Mark as one of Austin’s Best CEOs. Mark uses his expertise to guide sales and recruiting operations, ensuring the company combines ethics and a sense of urgency while delivering solutions for clients’ staffing needs. He also holds numerous leadership positions within the community, serving on the board of Dress for Success Austin and the Texas Association of Staffing, and as membership in The Fifty, a group established to support the future of medical care in Central Texas.

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.

David Dole

Director of Operations

The latest native Texan to be added to our management roster, David Dole keeps operations at The HT Group running smoothly thanks to his unique combination of skills: an extensive background in learning and development, a degree in Marketing from the University of Texas, and to top it all off, a brief stint as a recruiter in the retail space. He enjoys working in a field that matches people to challenges, coming to The HT Group after several years at Snelling, where he completely overhauled the onboarding program. He has over 12 professional and industry certifications in leadership and management development, software systems and staffing, and, most importantly, can detail the decorum necessary when hosting the Saudi royal family.

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