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 29 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 2003. When she’s not running Vertical Elevation she spends her free time 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 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.

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.