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 & Managing Partner


Dan is the Founder and Managing Partner 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 Executive Officer


As Chief Executive 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 21 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 would highly recommend Deffet Group when searching for professional executives. Looking back over my career of hiring people, I have never experienced working with a firm that was so professional, so well coordinated, even fun, and so rewarding. Our CEO is doing an excellent job and is well liked by the board, staff, residents, “everyone” and has adapted perfectly. I know Niagara Lutheran Health System will do very well in the future under his direction. We are most thankful for Deffet Group and the professional help they provided in attracting a strong candidate pool and guiding us throughout the CEO search process.”

Larry Fenske, Vice Chair of NLHS and Member of the Search Team
Niagara Lutheran Health System, Buffalo, NY


Why choose Deffet Group?

The aging services sector has grown in complexity, with approximately 50% of C-level executives approaching retirement age in the next half-decade. However, Deffet Group’s institutional knowledge of the sector and expertise provides a powerful advantage to its clients. We have helped aging services providers identify and retain leaders with best mix of skills, experience, vision and character to fulfill their missions. As executive search professionals with healthcare expertise, we value and cultivate many collaborative relationships with our clients.

We understand there are no shortcuts to a successful search. Our diligence during all phases of the search process – from initial consultation to executive onboarding – will give you peace of mind as you work with us. When you work with us, you are retaining our intuition, skills, values and integrity. Over the years, our clients have praised our value-added insight during this process, citing better leadership and hiring decisions, thanks to Deffet Group.

As executive search consultants, we view our role as an extension of our client organizations. Your aims – such as providing high-quality, cost-effective services to your constituents or retaining quality leadership – require commitment to ethics, specialized knowledge and a broad base of experience. High-level organizations, such as yours, have relied on Deffet Group for more than 30 years to successfully identify and recruit leaders that share this vision. We invest the time to truly understand your definition of great leadership and work with you to make it happen!

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 30+ 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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