Vertical Elevation is a leading global executive search firm.

FINALLY. . . a world-class boutique solution for identifying workplace talent and developing career potential.

Aligning talent strategy with business strategy

At Vertical Elevation, we believe that planning, execution, and commitment are central to building great organizations and leaders. 

Vertical Elevation – About Us

Vertical Elevation provides the insight, guidance, roadmap and tools necessary to take your organization to the next level and protect against unexpected downturns and financial crises. 

Vertical Elevation utilizes nearly three decades of Talent Management experience, best-in-class process assessment, executable strategy and expertise to help executives create and manage their optimal career path, improve their overall leadership skills, and build effective teams.


Carol Schultz

Carol Schultz

Founder & CEO

Carol Schultz is a talent equity and leadership advisory expert, and Founder and CEO at Vertical Elevation. Recognized for her proficiency in corporate leadership, Carol has spent nearly three decades helping executives gain clarity in their careers, creating a culture of performance for their teams, and making bold leadership moves. A firm believer in supporting executives to become more confident leaders, she has advised countless individuals and companies from Seed stage pre-IPOs to publicly traded companies. 

Over the past 28 years, she honed her industry expertise and formed an intrinsic understanding of successful recruiting processes. For many years the industry standard began with a strong resume. While an individual’s background is an element of recruitment, Carol believes the person behind that resume and their fit to company strategy and culture is the key building stone to company performance.

 Armed with this knowledge, she designed and launched Vertical Elevation, a fresh approach to an industry that truly needed a paradigm shift to a recruiting and hiring process that incorporates the executive management team’s core values and permeates every aspect of the hiring process.

As an advisor to corporations, Carol makes a stand for best practices to attract and retain the best and the brightest. In guiding individuals, she applies straightforward tools in taking their leadership skills and careers to the next level.

Taking corporations and individuals to the top with cutting-edge strategies for building top-performing teams is what gets Carol up in the morning. It is her commitment to making a difference that has clients coming back for more.

A St. Louis native, Carol moved to New Jersey following graduate school and settled there for 16 years. She relocated to Colorado in June 2003. When she’s not running Vertical Elevation she spends her free time skiing, riding her Rocky Mountain Horses, working hard in her garden, and enjoying all the outdoor activities that living in America’s playground offers. She’s a foster mom for Animal Rescue of the Rockies and is the parent of a rescued Australian Shepherd, rescued Australian Cattle Dog mix, and a small herd of rescued cats. Carol holds a BS degree from the University of Montana and an MS degree from the University of Michigan.

Lyn Ciocca McCaleb

Lyn Ciocca McCaleb


Lyn coaches leaders and teams seeking professional and personal development. She is passionate about helping clients to fulfill their objectives by distilling what is most important to them in leadership and in life, learning to live and work according to what really matters and realizing and sustaining their goals. Lyn works with leaders of many diverse organizations – start-ups, corporations, and non-profits — to bring a caring, forthright, and results-oriented approach to coaching. Lyn draws on her extensive business experience and personal development work, as well as her own share of successes and challenges, to help clients navigate and champion their own journeys. 

Lyn trained in coaching at New Ventures West in the Integral Coaching methodology and holds PCC certification with the International Coach Federation. Her approach takes the whole person into account to create the dynamic alchemy of change, development, and deep professional and personal growth. Lyn is certified to offer the 360 assessment, The Leadership Circle Profile, the thinking and behavior profile, Emergenetics, as well as the workshops Immunity to Change, Conscious Conversations, and Creativity in Business. One of her favorite topics is exploring the Inner Critic. As an adjunct to her leadership coaching, from 2015-2017, Lyn also served as a Vistage Chair, leading a peer group of CEOs from companies ranging in size from $5- 50 million.

Prior to becoming a leadership coach, Lyn’s leadership and business background is a blend of marketing and market research ranging from the consumer package goods and natural products industries to a mixed bag of entrepreneurial experiences.  Lyn rose from product manager to Vice President at a Fortune 100 company – Vice President New Products for the development and launch of Advil Cold and Sinus, VP Marketing for Advil (formerly Whitehall Labs, now Pfizer).  Other VP positions included Interim VP Marketing for Maalox (formerly RPR now Novartis) and VP Marketing for Endurox (Pacific Health Labs).   Capitalizing on her marketing and retail knowledge, Lyn consulted with small and large businesses to develop new products and business strategies (e.g. Nature’s Way, Lederle, Emerson Group).  As a qualitative market researcher, Lyn planned and led focus groups with hundreds of consumers on topics ranging from food to education, with companies as diverse as start-ups to Fortune 500s (e.g. Kellogg’s, Danone, Cargill, and BioVittoria).

Lyn has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing from New York University. She is a graduate of the Naropa Authentic Leadership Program and has coached and taught in the program for ten years. She is an ordained minister in the spiritual path, the Diamond Approach.

Following her passions for diving as well as for environmental conservation, the arts and education, Lyn has served on a variety of non-profits boards, including the Coral Reef Alliance, The Dairy Arts Center, Teens for Oceans, PassageWorks and currently 3rd Law Dance/Theater. Lyn recently joined Social Venture Partners in Boulder in which she works with local non-profit leaders, offering peer group and coaching support.  Lyn grew up in Sleepy Hollow, New York, but spent much of her adult life in New York City.  In 2003, she came to live in Boulder, CO, with her husband, Rob McCaleb. She considers her many transitions, including her life in Boulder and career as a leadership coach, all great adventures.

Darlene Craven, CPRW

Darlene Craven, CPRW

Lead Resume Writer

With an English teacher grandmother, who was a published author in her own right, Darlene comes by her talent for telling other people’s stories honestly. Her passion for helping people find their true north is what led her to resume writing and career advising. Crafting a resume that compels the reader to take action takes skill, focus and the ability to ask the right questions. Darlene has spent the last thirteen years honing those skills and guiding hundreds of clients and students to greatness. She’s been writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles for Vertical Elevation’s career clients since 2010. Her portfolio of resumes includes sales, executive management, technology, logistics and operations, engineering and professional curriculum vitae.

In addition to her substantial writing skills, Darlene also has edited numerous self-help books, annual corporate reports and legal documents. In 2019, Darlene added to her legal skill set by obtaining a certificate in paralegal from the Community College of Aurora. She has a BS degree in history from the University of Montana.

When Darlene isn’t writing resumes or articles for a rodeo news magazine, she is throwing kids on sheep and feeding cowboys as a volunteer for a couple of local rodeo committees. Other favorites include hiking, listening to live music, dancing and reading by the pool.