About Us

We emphasize the word consulting because communication and consultation with our clients occurs at virtually every step in the search process.

Our Story

Shawn Woessner, after beginning his career in corporate America, joined his father’s search firm, Woessner & Associates, in 2005. Together, they developed Woessner & Associates into one of the leading Minneapolis boutique search firms, known for delivering superior talent and best-in-class leaders to its clients. In 2010, they sold the practice to a Top Ten global search firm and established its Minneapolis office.

Thirteen years and another Top Ten global search firm later, Shawn founded Altair Executive Search as he desired to return to his roots. Despite a clientele ranging up to the Fortune 100, his passion is embedded in partnering with small- and mid-market publicly-traded and privately-held organizations, family or private equity-owned businesses, entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organizations as they look to acquire top-quality talent to drive significant enterprise value.

Altair Executive Search was founded on the cornerstones of trust, honesty, integrity and respect, all values we espouse daily. We coalesced the knowledge and expertise of serving global multinationals with the hands-on, personal touch of a boutique firm, while being your trusted advisor and catalyst for hiring the right senior leader.

Two men in business attire meeting at a table with a laptop and paperwork
Three business professionals at a meeting, two women shaking hands

The focus of a traditional search centers on the candidates. At Altair Executive Search, our emphasis is split equally between the candidate and client. Our success is not only based on recruiting hard-to-find talent, but also ensuring that our client’s unique strategy and culture are properly understood and aligned with the successful candidate. We pride ourselves on our personal touch and communication, a byproduct of which has yielded numerous searches over the years when the candidate became the client.

Over his executive search career, Shawn has found that his best client outcomes entailed his direct involvement in all phases of the engagement, from leading the client intake to fully executing the search and negotiating with the successful candidate. The reason? He had intimate knowledge of the client’s business strategy, what the client was looking to do with the hire, who the candidates were and more importantly, how they fit.

At Altair Executive Search, the partners do ALL the work. At a larger firm, the partner is responsible for selling the work and interfacing with the client, while often a junior associate/principal/researcher is tasked with delivering the slate of candidates. Teams are only good as the weakest link, and if the research, sourcing and candidate generation processes are even slightly less than ideal, so will be your candidates. By being thoroughly involved on the front end, Altair Executive Search ensures all your candidates exceed your highest expectations.

Altair definition graphic from a dictionary

Altair is the brightest star in the constellation of Aquila (Eagle) and the twelfth-brightest star in the night sky. It is located at a distance of 16.7 light-years from the Sun.

We chose the name Altair because it is our mission to search for the brightest stars.

Our Mission & Values

The primary thrust of our mission is to conduct retained search consulting engagements for organizations looking to add senior executives to its ranks. We emphasis the word consulting because communication and consultation with our clients occurs at virtually every step in the search process. We are seasoned business professionals and consultants who perform recruiting, versus those who merely recruit. We pride ourselves on our ability to complete engagements in a timely manner and will not accept more search assignments at the sacrifice of timeliness and quality.

Altair Executive Search’s counsel-to-management services are governed by the values we espouse. We are committed to conduct our business with focus on:

• Uncompromised integrity and ethical standards in the relationships we engage in.
• Developing long-term relationships that allow us to be partners with our clients in a consultative and confidential manner.
• Providing unusual resourcefulness and creativity in fulfilling our engagements.
• Bringing closure to our engagements in a quality, cost-effective and timely manner with a focus on candidate diversity.

Shawn Woessner

For over twenty years, Shawn Woessner has been responsible for leading and executing senior level, national search assignments. He has completed numerous Chief Executive Officer and functional head searches across engineering, finance, human resources, information technology, legal, operations, and sales & marketing.

Prior to founding Altair Executive Search, Shawn was a Managing Director in two Top Ten global search firms, working across the Agribusiness, Consumer, Finance, Industrial, and Private Equity practices. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant at Arthur Andersen before holding accounting and finance roles within industry.

Shawn received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame and Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota. Shawn resides in Mendota Heights, Minnesota with his wife, Angela, and their two children, Carter and Lauren.

Keri Wayne

Keri has more than a decade of executive search experience leading C-suite and senior-level recruiting efforts for a variety of executive roles across a multitude of industries. Before becoming an Executive Search Independent Consultant, she led research and recruiting for three top ten global executive search firms with successful executive placements for public, private, and private equity clients, from early-stage startups to multinationals.

Prior to executive search, Keri worked as a recruiting/staffing consultant for Verizon Wireless, a Career Management Consultant for Right Management, and in corporate management positions in sales and operations at Verizon Wireless.

Keri received a Bachelor’s in Communications from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Eastern Michigan University.

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