Since our inception in 1989, Deffet Group has consistently sought out superior leadership talent for health and human services organizations nationwide. Located outside Columbus, Ohio, today we are a single source for executive search, interim management, and succession planning services to a wide range of clients with diverse needs. Our dedication to excellence, perseverance, and diversity allows us to meet client needs with unsurpassed integrity and results.

Dan Deffet
Dan Deffet
Founder & CEO


Dan is the founder and CEO of Deffet Group. Since starting the firm in 1989 with a focus on advising health and human services providers, he has provided keen strategic insight on a national level across all areas of the aging services continuum. Dan has extensive experience regarding human capital management, performance excellence, and organizational development. He epitomizes the firm’s focus on quality and client service and manages the process by thoroughly examining an organization’s culture, priorities, and overall leadership needs. He is known by aging services trustees and senior executives throughout the country for his knowledge of the industry, personable style and candid, thoughtful counsel. Prior to establishing Deffet Group, Dan was associated with another executive search firm in Dublin, Ohio where he had sole responsibility for client development and recruiting in health care, real estate, construction, and financial services. During his tenure with this firm, he successfully developed from inception the health care recruiting practice and achieved a top ranking.

Earlier associations included progressively responsible positions in development and management. Among these were Vice President of Development involving upscale lifecare, skilled nursing health care centers and multi-sports facilities and included the coordination of disciplines necessary to accomplish corporate goals. Other positions in real estate have entailed commercial property management and construction. Dan holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Franklin University, located in Columbus, Ohio.



Elizabeth Feltner
Elizabeth Feltner
Chief Operating Officer


As Chief Operating Officer, Elizabeth works closely with board members, retiring and incumbent CEOs, and senior leadership teams as an advisor on issues related to board governance, succession planning, executive search solutions, designing employee contracts and compensation plans, and CEO onboarding. Drawing on over 16 years' expertise conveying effective communication strategies and as an accomplished public speaker, she excels at building relationships with clients and generating candidate interest in executive opportunities nationwide.

Prior to joining Deffet Group in 2011, Elizabeth spent ten years as a university instructor in English and Communications and served as a consultant to local healthcare organizations. Other related prior experience includes five years in human resources and career counseling. Elizabeth holds an ABD (PhD candidate) in English and Communications and a Master's degree in English Literature from Kent State University, located in Kent, Ohio, and a Bachelor's degree in Humanities and Fine Arts from Hiram College, located in Hiram, Ohio.




“I can unequivocally and without hesitation extol the virtues of the Deffet Group in providing the resources and guidance we needed to find a perfect fit for CEO of our organization. There are many factors that impressed us about working with this team of professionals, chief among them being the fact that I, and the Search Committee, always felt like we were the only organization they were working with. They were always timely in responding and that makes a huge difference during the search process. They were able to provide us with 20 viable candidates, and from that list we narrowed it down to five for in person interviews. Any one of those five could have been a good fit, but one bubbled to the top. And that candidate has far surpassed our expectations. He not only has been a perfect fit for the organization, but has become very actively involved in the community. I can say with complete confidence that without the excellent support and assistance from the Deffet Group, we would not have found the perfect person for the job. I would not hesitate to use them again, nor would I look elsewhere if another opportunity came up in the future.”

Dennis Miller, Search Committee Chair
Brethren Care Village, Ashland, OH


Why choose Deffet Group?

The aging services sector has become increasingly complex and competitive, and with approximately 50% of C-level executives approaching retirement age in the next 3-5 years, so has identifying and attracting exceptional executive talent. Now more than ever, Deffet Group’s expertise and knowledge of the marketplace is a powerful advantage to our clients. Located near Columbus, Ohio, for over 25 years we have helped health and human services providers nationwide identify and retain leaders with the best mix of skills, experience, vision and character to fulfill their missions. We view ourselves as executive search professionals with healthcare expertise and we value the collaborative relationships that we establish with our clients.

There are no shortcuts to a successful search. This we understand. That is why we are diligent about all phases of the search process, from initial consultation through executive onboarding. When you work with our firm, you are retaining our intuition, skills, values, and integrity. Our comprehensive, value added insight to the search process culminates in what our clients have repeatedly told us they feel is a better made leadership decision.

As executive search consultants, we view our role as an extension of our client organizations. Your goals - like providing high-quality, cost-conscious services to your constituents, established yourselves as the preferred provider in your area, and retaining quality leadership to fulfill your mission - require commitment to a core of ethical principles, highly specialized knowledge and broad experience. High-quality organizations like yours have relied on Deffet Group for over 25 years to successfully identify and recruit leaders that share this unique vision, because we invest the time to fully understand your definition of great leadership.

Reasons Why Our Clients Choose Us

Customized Search Process

Like people, no two executive searches are the same. We recognize that each of our clients is unique, with varying levels of expertise and need for assistance. Therefore, at Deffet Group, our first step is to carefully assess how we can best support your organization in the search process.


We maintain our high level of integrity and credibility by staying focused on our core expertise—partnering exclusively with health and human services providers. Our philosophy includes the understanding that an organization’s mission, culture, and value system is reflected in its ability to identify and retain outstanding leadership.


We are committed to advancing diversity in all forms—diverse candidate slates and partnering with multi-cultural organizations. We recognize the positive effect diversity can have on developing a collaborative, dynamic environment. We consistently seek out ways to enhance our process for successful diverse recruitment.

Personal Attention

Throughout each step of the process, our commitment is to provide you with the personal attention you deserve in order to see your vision become a reality. We take the time to fully understand both your organization and the unique challenges you face. Your success is our success.

Sharp Focus

We offer an outstanding level of expertise in these areas that other firms simply cannot match. Our 25+ years of experience further enables us to provide you with a superior level of counsel and support throughout the entire executive search process.

Candidate Outreach

We ascribe to the “no stone unturned” philosophy—perseverance and thoroughness are two of our hallmark qualities—and we are able to saturate a market in a way that surfaces those candidates not on other firms’ radar screens.

Committment to Results

At Deffet Group, one of our core qualities is perseverance. We remain committed to maximizing an opportunity on behalf of a client. Our skill level and commitment to an aggressive pursuit of your vision for leadership pays off in client satisfaction.

Nationwide Reach

Active among professional associations nationally and within state chapters, we are well known throughout the country among professionals within our areas of focus.

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