"We are fortunate that we get to help people for a living, to bring parties together to create big effects, and to assist those that have worked long and hard to achieve their dreams."- Chris Thurmond

Our Professional Consultants

Chris Thurmond
Chief Executive Officer / President

Entering into a career in executive search after graduating from college in 1996, Chris learned very quickly just how critical the role of an executive recruiter is to the success of most large companies today.Starting his career with one of the largest specialty recruiting companies in the country gave Chris the foundation and professional pride that would help to lead him and his future companies to the upper echelon of the specialty search arena.

Four years later, Chris founded Thurmond & Associates, a search firm specializing in the domestic, commercial construction market.In 2005, Chris co-founded Top Tier Services, LLC, with the help of one of his former co-workers from Kimmel & Associates.Top Tier Services expanded very quickly and grew to encompass two specializations with the addition of the financial services division.

In 2009, Thurmond & Company, Inc was born after the partnership dissolved. With sixteen years in the executive search industry, Chris stands above the crowd with the experience, knowledge, and pedigree that very few search professionals possess.


Financial Division

Chris Thurmond
Chief Executive Officer / President

Entering into a career in executive search after graduating from college in 1996, Chris learned very quickly just how critical the role of an executive recruiter is to the success of most large companies today. Starting his career with one of the largest specialty recruiting companies in the country gave Chris the foundation and professional pride that would help to lead him and his future companies to the upper echelon of the specialty search arena.

Four years later, Chris founded Thurmond & Associates, a search firm specializing in the domestic, commercial construction market.In 2005, Chris co-founded Top Tier Services, LLC, with the help of one of his former co-workers from Kimmel & Associates.Top Tier Services expanded very quickly and grew to encompass two specializations with the addition of the financial services division.

In 2009, Thurmond & Company, Inc was born after the partnership dissolved. With sixteen years in the executive search industry, Chris stands above the crowd with the experience, knowledge, and pedigree that very few search professionals possess.


Construction Division

David Fite
Executive Vice President, Eastern Region Manager & Partner

Dave’s primary responsibility is to direct and manage all aspects of the Construction Division at Thurmond & Company, Inc. His main priority is to ensure that only the top talent in the construction industry is presented to our nationwide list of existing clients as well as future clients. He brings with him over 25 years of experience in Marketing, Sales and Client Services. He has spent the last 5 years in the Construction Executive Search industry, where he began his career at Top Tier Services with Chris Thurmond in 2005.

Kyle Hovermale
Executive Vice President

Kyle joined Thurmond & Company, Inc after working as an Environmental Consultant for six years in the Asheville area. Kyle’s experience managing multi-million dollar stream restoration projects gave him a unique and in-depth knowledge of the construction industry’s multifaceted nature. As a consultant, Kyle gained invaluable experience as a mediator between client and contractor, a skill set necessary in being a successful recruiter. Kyle graduated for the University of Montana – Missoula with a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Conservation.

Anthony Catania
Vice President

Anthony owned and operated two retail music stores including two music schools and recording studio for 15 years. He also owned and operated a fine dining restaurant for seven years. While looking for a new career challenge that would incorporate his skills as an educator, business owner and sales professional Anthony found Thurmond & Company a perfect fit. At Thurmond, he can help executives improve their professional and personal lives by bringing exceptional career opportunities to them with the support they need to make a smooth transition.

Anthony has a Masters Degree in music composition for California Institute of the Arts. He moved to Asheville with his wife, 2 year old and has a baby on the way, to be closer to family.

Barry Blalock
Senior Account Executive

Barry operated manufacturing, sales, and real estate development businesses prior to coming to Thurmond & Company, Inc. His most recent project was a 1200 acre second home project that included the permitting and construction of a 120 acre lake. Responsibilities for concept and design through construction, in addition to sales and finance give him the background required to understand the needs of both the client and the candidate. Barry has a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Georgia.

Steven Whitten
Senior Account Executive

Steven brings 15 years of experience in management, sales, and customer service to Thurmond & Company, Inc and he feels that this experience provides him with the tools that he needs to become successful as a recruiter. Steven enjoys talking to people and helping them with their career goals. Steven is married with two sons and one daughter, he enjoys coaching his daughter in travel basketball and he love sports.

Sandra Gross
Senior Account Executive

While looking for a new career challenge that would incorporate her professional skills Sandra found Thurmond & Company, Inc a perfect fit. Sandra gained invaluable experience as a business owner & operator.
Sandra likes rock climbing, hiking, doing artwork and is currently writing a book. She participates as a volunteer in prisons and other facilities showing the Peace Education Program to inmates and other participants.

Tommy Kim
Account Executive

Tommy enjoys dealing with people directly and on a personal level, Thurmond and Company, Inc allows him to do just that. In addition to helping others find amazing professional opportunities they did not know existed, he enjoys hiking, strength training, and meeting new people of all interests and backgrounds. He moonlights as a bartender and is training for his first half-marathon, and in his free time he enjoys watching Carolina basketball. Tommy graduated from University of North Carolina with a degree in Advertising.

John Dean
Account Executive

John’s diverse professional background and his genuine interest in helping others are the tools which he draws on as a recruiter. John grew up working in the construction trades, graduated from the UNC College of Architecture, and practiced Architecture for eight years. Coupling these experiences with his genuine interest in helping others, John seeks to assist both clients and candidates in their effort to achieve their goals and to maximize their potential.

In order to round out his life, John is a proud father and husband; he enjoys spending as much time on the water with his family as much possible. He is an avid kayaker, stand-up paddle boarder, and is a commercial maritime Captain. Additional hobbies include painting, furniture making, and cooking.

Zac Relyea
Account Executive

Zac spent seven years as a manager of big box retail stores and health clubs. He feels his time as a hiring manager and Human Resources Generalist positions him to quickly identify talent and match that talent with positions that will lead to personal and professional growth for candidates. He also understands the time and financial investments organizations make for talent and seeks to make matches that result in long term growth for both the individual and organization. Zac is always challenging himself and sees executive search as the perfect balance of helping people develop their own careers while challenging his own professional skill set.

Keith Staton
Account Executive

Keith brings over 20 years business experience in accounts and customer service management. He finds great satisfaction in assisting candidates with finding their new career and contributing to the success of others. Keith is very interested in learning all he can about his candidates and their projects.

Keith is a native of the Asheville/Hendersonville area and grew up helping his father with the family apple business. He was graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.S. Degree in Computer Science. Keith and his wife Amy have two daughters who are in college.

Griffin Riffe
Account Executive

Griffin is a lifelong resident of Asheville, NC and spent the first 3 years of his professional career in automotive sales, but began seeking change after the birth of his daughter, Amelia. He searched for a career that would allow him to better the lives of others and help people move forward in life, when a friend mentioned Thurmond & Company, Inc. Griffin’s conversational ability, qualification skills, and genuine interest in people make him a valuable asset to the recruiting team. Griffin believes that listening, developing strong, lasting relationships, and working tirelessly for his candidates and clients are the keys to long-lasting success in the world of executive search.

Laura Gift
Account Executive

Laura joins Thurmond & Company, Inc., with a management and human resources background in the hospitality and healthcare industries. She has always loved her responsibilities for hiring, training and coaching team members, and watching these colleagues grow into their careers. In this same vein, Laura now finds it immensely satisfying to focus here on bringing exceptional professionals into dream jobs with top employers.

After twenty years in New York City, Laura recently relocated to Asheville, NC, and is thrilled to be back close to the mountains. She spends much of her free time cooking, hiking and reading. Laura also loves travel, and has so far vacationed in twenty of our beautiful National Parks and visited forty-four of our fifty States.

Annalisa Littleton
Account Executive

Annalisa has a background in volunteer recruitment and customer service management. She enjoys helping people achieve to their fullest potential. While she was looking for a new opportunity, she found Thurmond & Company, and it fit. She is a native of Western North Carolina and has a BA from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a MSc. in International Relations from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the mountains, reading, and cooking. She also volunteers as an English tutor helping adults gain the skills to pass the high school equivalency exam.

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