Our Team

We Believe That All Great Companies
Start With Great People.

A woman-owned and operated business that is more than just recruiters –

we are all experienced professionals who have worked in leadership positions and know what it takes to find the right top talent.

As part of our ongoing business strategy, we have intentionally limited our headcount

which allows us to be nimble, responsive, and able to quickly pivot in the face of change.

Suzanne Hanifin

Suzanne is the founder and President of Acumen Executive Search. She earned her BS in History and Marketing at Southern Oregon University before going on and earning her MBA at the University of Portland.

In an industry that can have a reputation for being transactional and profit-driven, Suzanne brings a great deal of heart, insight, a spirit of giving back, and an insistence on doing the right thing for both our clients and our candidates. She lets people know that they are deeply cared for, seen, and are in good hands when they go through our process. She listens deeply and has not only the success stories but also the road rash to understand the “answer at the back of the book. Candidates and clients walk away from creative negotiations feeling “seen” and satisfied with the “win/win.”

Suzanne is a strong advocate for professional women across industries. She often states that nothing energizes her more than “interacting with and supporting smart, strong, innovative, and caring women.”

Suzanne is a co-founder of Leaders and Executives Across Professions (LEAP) – an innovative mentorship organization for professional women that was fashioned after a “men’s locker room” as women generally lack a similar forum in which to meet, mentor, support, and network with other women / hiring managers / and other decision makers.

Suzanne is co-president of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) as well as a Board Member. She is a member of Vistage, ProAdvisors, and a Board Member of the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC).

Tanis Morris

Tanis Morris is delighted to join Acumen Executive Search as Director of Business Development. She resonates with Acumen’s mission of providing high-quality, mission-driven executive search services. She is proud to participate in the process of bringing transformative and impactful leaders to client organizations, to work for a certified Woman Owned Business with a laudable history of placing women and people from underrepresented populations in executive positions, and to collaborate with the dynamic and dedicated Acumen team.

Tanis began her career in corporate sales but quickly transitioned to working with startups. Her early experiences with bringing a product to market, consulting with clients to understand and deliver value, and creating sustainable revenue streams, informed and continues to shape her passion for business development, but her strongest motivation is connecting with and developing strong relationships with clients and contacts.

A true believer in the power of the written word, Tanis has worked as a copy editor and writer for many years. She has written for newspapers, magazines, and websites and served as a contract and on-staff grant writer over the past decade and a half. She also owned a business sourcing and selling sustainably raised meat, and served as a marketing and business development consultant to a wide variety of clients while she was home with her children.

Tanis is an active volunteer who has dedicated time and effort to various causes close to her heart for nearly 20 years. She has served as an elected public official and school board member since 2012, overseeing the successful search for her district’s new superintendent in 2022. She has been an engaged non-profit board member for the last eight years, leading a wide variety of fundraising efforts and opportunities for community involvement. She is a mission-driven leader who believes in working backward from the goal and in the power of a detailed plan. She looks forward to meeting new clients and connecting with leaders and friends in the Portland business community.

Molly Norton

Molly has over 25 years of experience in executive search, global HR, performance management, resume and career strategy, and leadership development in top-tier global management consulting and has worked across the spectrum of industries from global, Fortune 20 high-tech companies to public sector/government institutions, to healthcare to financial institutions, to non-profits and B-Corps, to small, family-owned entrepreneurial companies that call the Pacific Northwest home.

As Acumen’s Senior Director of Talent, Molly has an exceptional ability to find the right candidate for our clients, often digging deep within trusted networks globally to locate the elusive “unicorn.”

Molly has been influential in developing Acumen and shaping practices in areas such as panel interview development and facilitation, onboarding, and placement. Her most recent project has been to develop a library of DEI resources for Acumen clients covering training, position description development, and team building. Her dedication to the growth of Acumen speaks to her continued desire to be part of a team that strives for excellence while remaining true to her professional values that align with her passion for providing authentic support and care for those around her.

Molly co-founded a diverse, BIPOC, grassroots women’s group, Lake Oswego Stronger Together, an anti-racism organization dedicated to amplifying and elevating the voices of women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ in the region. She has volunteered with Respond to Racism; LO for Love, a 501c3 on a mission to transform Lake Oswego into an inclusive community and celebrate the diversity of all people; Portland Rescue Mission; Susan G. Komen Foundation; Dress for Success; Blanchet House & Farm; and is a member of Partners in Diversity.

Kate Kanapeaux

Kate joins Acumen with 20 years of executive experience, leading teams in revenue development, community engagement, and market expansion. Kate supports clients in diverse and complicated industries, such as cybersecurity, manufacturing, not-for-profits, government contracting, communications and IT.

Kate is passionate about finding the right people to thrive in executive and unique roles. She understands the value of building and articulating an organization’s culture, developing consensus among teams, and having the right people in the right roles. Leveraging the common success model from her work with professional associations, she encourages organizations to look at their recruiting and retention from a place of employee engagement and continuous improvement.

Christine Gunter

Christine (Chris) Gunter joined Acumen in 2017 as Operations Manager. With her solid people skills and desire to create order, she has excelled at handling the Acumen team’s operational needs.

Chris, a native Oregonian, received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Western Oregon University. Starting her career at Intel, she ultimately decided to take a break from the corporate world after the birth of her daughter. After a couple years and another daughter, she decided to get back into the workforce and became the owner/operator of an emerging retail store. After a successful exit, Chris went to work as a manager for a retail chain. After 16+ years in the retail space as an expert in customer service, supply chain, logistics, merchandising, and management, a life change prompted her to take her career in another direction, which led her to Acumen.

She currently lives in Beaverton, OR with one of her daughters. She enjoys reading, dining, and wine tasting.

Michelle Satter

Michelle is passionate about relationships and the discovery process to fill roles with amazing leaders across distribution, manufacturing, government, and healthcare organizations. She has a network of connections and is able to identify top-level executives who may not be actively seeking new opportunities. She has a thorough understanding of the market and provides guidance on current trends and conditions.

She has a background in marketing, product management, business ownership, and most importantly, people. As Director of Talent, Michelle will work closely with candidates, establishing trust and rapport while selling the position and the company, highlighting the benefits of the opportunity, and building a strong case for why the candidate should consider the position. She excels at discerning the nuances of a role, ensuring that candidates align with the goals and values of the company.

Michelle makes it a priority to keep candidates engaged and updated on the recruitment process and respond to any questions or concerns. Communication with candidates is very important to Michelle and many have expressed surprise and delight at her follow-up, whether it be good or bad news. She maintains confidentiality and discretion regarding sensitive client or candidate information.

Michelle founded and leads the Fellowship of Executive Women, an executive women’s networking group. She is also a member of Oregon Business & Industry and is an active volunteer for Future Business Leaders of America, NW Cancer Resource Fund, and Raleigh Hills Assisted Living.

We Listen​. We Care.​ We Deliver​.

It is not every day we celebrate a company turning 15 and we have met some incredible people along the way.

Acumen has experienced some interesting changes including a global pandemic and we have grown stronger because of them. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize our team for creating one of the Largest Executive Search firms in the Pacific Northwest and an industry leader. Thank you to our clients for trusting us to find the missing piece in your organization and thank you to our candidates for letting us introduce you to the next step in your career journey. Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us – our family and friends. Without all of you, we would not be the trusted firm we are today. We look forward to our next milestone and the years to come.