Avenica knows entry-level hiring

Founded in 1998, Avenica has unmatched knowledge of the entry-level professional job market. We are the only national firm that focuses exclusively on helping companies recruit and hire college graduates for entry-level professional positions. With seven regional offices and relationships with more than 900 colleges across the country, Avenica has helped hiring companies fill positions throughout the U.S.

Making the Entry-level Hiring Market More Efficient
Based on extensive research in the entry-level job market, we know that entry-level hiring is typically highly inefficient and fraught with high turnover – and that’s an expensive problem for companies. Most companies find on-campus college grad recruiting costly and difficult. Further, attracting quality candidates through referrals, job postings and other methods is often unreliable.

At the same time, recent college grads typically don’t know where they fit in the workforce – in fact, about two-thirds of grads who apply through Avenica say they don’t know where their degrees and skills should be applied.

We solve this challenge by acting as a career matchmaker, bringing together great employers with top-notch candidates for entry-level positions. Using a behavioral science-based skill-matching technique, we offer an extremely successful model for pairing job seekers and employers. When our highly popular Evaluation-To-Hire model is used as designed, more than 85 percent of candidates are hired after the trial period, and in follow-up client studies, more than 90 percent of those are still with the company two years after placement.

Executive Leadership

Brian Weed
Avenica CEO Brian Weed is an experienced business leader with more than 30 years of experience helping companies of all sizes boost revenue and improve processes as well as outcomes, particularly in the higher education market. Prior to Avenica, Brian served as CEO of Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, an upscale chain of beauty schools. During his time at Tricoci University, the fast-growing company was among the industry leaders in successfully placing its graduates with leading salons and spas. Brian has also held senior leadership roles with Avendra, a leading supply chain services company serving hospitality companies, and Hyatt Hotels Corporation. In addition, he was a Partner at the Boston Consulting Group. Brian is an active philanthropist with a passion for improving outcomes for students from under-resourced urban neighborhoods. He is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

Kara Westrich
Kara Westrich joined Avenica in 2004. Her responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer involve managing sales and operations nationwide, overseeing 7 offices.

Kara came to Avenica with a background in the insurance and non-profit sectors and experience in sales and training. She was the key account manager responsible for developing the St. Louis office and subsequently opening and developing other locations in the Western Region. Kara is the primary contact in many of Avenica’s largest, national accounts and instrumental in the development of new national accounts. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Southeast Missouri State University and MBA from the University of Missouri.

Jacqueline Wolfson
Jacqueline Wolfson has been with Avenica since 2006 having started with the company upon earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

She has been a key account manager in building the Philadelphia office since 2007 and opening the New Jersey office in 2012. She now serves as the Vice President of the Eastern Region, working to continue to expand Avenica’s East Coast operations and overseeing the regional offices in Atlanta and Philadelphia.


Jaclyn Schlaikjer
As the Senior Vice President of Corporate Support for Avenica, Jackie has a wide variety of responsibilities. She plays a central role in the company by coordinating support functions critical to Avenica’s success. These include information technology, internal systems, real estate, facilities, marketing, logistics, on-boarding and many other functions.

Jackie joined Avenica in 2005 as a recent college graduate and has proven to be a great example of Avenica’s expertise in matching a career path with transferable skills. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.

Jared Phillips
VICE PRESIDENT – SALES & Business Development
Jared Phillips joined Avenica in August of 2017. Jared comes to Avenica after a successful tenure as a Property and Casualty Insurance Producer with the brokerage, Cottingham & Butler. Prior to being a producer at C&B, Jared led the Business Development Team (BDT) at HUB International. The BDT had two primary objectives: Generate new opportunities via cold development (calls, emails), as well as training recent graduates to become quota exceeding producers for the company after completing a 2 year training program.

Jared is head of sales at Avenica. His focus is on strategy, including hiring, training, and developing the internal sales team, in addition to generating new partnerships across North America. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Board of Directors

  • Brian Weed-CEO, Avenica
  • Ryan Craig-Managing Director, University Ventures
  • Aanand Radia-Managing Director, University Ventures
  • Bob LaBombard-Former CEO, Avenica
  • Bryan Power, Nextdoor