Carlson Group provides end-to-end leadership solutions, from executive and mid-level search to a comprehensive menu of organizational consulting services.

Established in 1992 by Gregg Carlson, who previously served Fortune 100 companies in senior-level human resources positions, Carlson Group’s founding mission was to provide unsurpassed executive search services to performance-driven companies throughout the Midwest. As clients came to depend on Gregg for consistently excellent search results, they also began to look to Carlson Group for a broader array of leadership services.

To meet clients’ needs while building on its core values of integrity, quality and results, organizational consultant Gary Walljasper joined Carlson Group in 2012 to lead the firm’s leadership and talent services.


Our commitment is to deliver exceptional results.

For more than 25 years, Carlson Group has enjoyed outstanding client retention. We believe our clients depend on Carlson Group because we serve as their full partner, working collaboratively to deliver consistently exceptional results.


Gregg Carlson
Managing Partner

Over the past 25 years, Gregg has provided highly successful executive searches for some of the Midwest’s best-known companies. Prior to launching Carlson Group, Gregg was a human resources executive with Target Corporation and Wells Fargo & Company. He earned his B.A. degree from the University of St. Thomas and his M.A. in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota.

Erin Barfels

With over 20 years of Human Resources experience, Erin has been an instrumental leader in the success of companies for which she has worked and has a deep understanding of executive level skills needed to drive sustainable success within organizations. Her background includes having served as the Chief HR Officer for two insurance organizations. Barfels holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree with an emphasis in human resource management from Iowa State University. She is also a certified professional coach.

Drew Carlson
Senior Consultant

With a strong background in sales management, customer service and marketing/strategic marketing plan development, Drew supports Carlson Group’s research and recruiting efforts. He holds a B.B.A. degree from the University of Iowa.

Joyce Edwards
Senior Consultant

Joyce brings 25+ years of broad executive recruiting experience to Carlson Group. For 15 years she served as the Senior Associate and Research Director for a leading boutique search firm in New York. A native Iowan, Joyce earned a B.A. degree from Augustana University and did graduate work at the University of Minnesota’s program in Industrial Relations.

Jeff Pigott
Senior Consultant

Jeff has over 25 years’ experience building and leading cross-functional teams across multiple industries. He holds a BBA from the University of Iowa and an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. His background aligning talent with strategic and operational insights is central to his candidate research and recruiting efforts.

Lee Skaalrud
Senior Consultant

Bringing over 20 years of behavioral science and talent management and leadership expertise to our team, Lee focuses on connecting talent to great opportunities. He earned a B.S. degree from Minnesota State University and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the Cleantech Open Midwest.


See what our clients say.