Susan Rylance is leading the new executive search practice at Fahren, a digital-talent company in Minneapolis that helps firms expand or launch digital-marketing initiatives.

Rylance’s hiring as vice president of growth and executive search marks the addition of retained executive search for permanent leadership roles to Fahren’s offerings. The company, founded in 2017, continues placing senior- leadership consultants in project and interim positions in digital marketing, product development and technology, customer experience and analytics.

Rylance, who also oversees Fahren’s business development, has more than two decades of experience in building marketing and digital teams for clients including executive roles at digital staffing agencies such as Digital People and Atterro Human Capital Group.

One reason for joining Fahren, Rylance said, was the opportunity to work with a former client in CEO and co-founder Jim Cuene. Rylance had sourced digital leadership talent for Cuene’s team when he was in a corporate role.

“Susan brings so much talent to our team because she has real-world experience in the positions she works with,” Cuene said in a release. “Not many recruiters can identify and match talent and potential like she does because of this experience. With Susan’s input for permanent placement, we believe the right talent will not only thrive but help transform management teams because of her advice, experience and recommendations.”

Fahren connects senior leaders who have left corporate positions to serve as consultants with organizations that might be considering adding digital tools or initiating a digital transformation program to reach customers, Rylance said. A Fahren management team member works with a consultant on each engagement.

Q: What prompted Fahren to move into permanent executive search?

A: A lot of companies are ready to grow. They had a marketing leader that got them to a specific point, which was fantastic, and now they’re at that next phase of growth. We help bring in an interim marketing leader that will execute upon their existing strategies, and we help them identify what type of leader they need for the long term, putting together what that role might look like. And they’re asking, “Do you do that?” My role is to build out the executive search so that we can help our clients from beginning to end and not just leave them hanging on the executive-search side.

Q: How does Fahren’s management team work with consultants on engagements?

A: When we work on providing an interim leader or work on a project basis we’ve always got an engagement leader running and helping to manage that overall engagement. Our engagement leader works with them and with the client to make sure are we on track meeting their goals. So we put together plans for the client and the talent. We talk about the business initiatives that we set forth and make sure that they’re meeting the business needs.

Q: What’s your message to the market from a business development standpoint?

A: We’re in this gig economy where there is some amazing talent out there where companies that are midsize can leverage these individuals that they may not have seen otherwise. As companies are going through digital transformation and they’re not quite sure how to put that in place, we’re helping them and advising them on that road map and putting the right leaders in place.


Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is