Ken Schmitt has been recruiting for 26 years. A San Diego native, he grew up in an entrepreneurial household with a father who was a Jack in the Box franchisee for 25 years, and a mother who left the accounting world to become a real estate agent.
Prior to entering the Executive Search industry, Ken spent more than 5 years with Enterprise Rent a Car. Earning 3 promotions and opening 2 offices along the way, Ken worked in San Diego and Orange County, managing teams from 5-15 professionals.
In 1998, he answered an ad in the newspaper for a recruiting job and never looked back. After spending 9 years working for a local boutique firm, a large regional firm and one of the world’s largest Executive Search firms, Heidrick & Struggles, he launched TurningPoint Executive Search in 2007, and now employs 7 professionals in a 100% remote work environment.
In 2023, Ken published “The Practical Optimist: An Entrepreneurial Journey Through Life’s TurningPoints” through Advantage Publishing. He also launched a new podcast of the same name, highlighting everyday people who are making an extraordinary impact on their families, their business, and their community.
TurningPoint has been ranked one of the Top 150 Fastest Growing Private Companies in San Diego, and Ken was acknowledged as one of San Diego’s Most Admired CEOs (SDBJ). The TurningPoint team earned a Top 20 Ranking as a “Best Place for Women to Work” by Databird. Ken and his team at TurningPoint have placed nearly 1,000 of the nation’s leading sales, marketing, operations, Finance, HR, and C-Suite professionals, partnering with national clients across numerous industries such as tech, software, manufacturing, distribution, consumer products, professional and financial services, healthcare, life sciences, and hospitality. The team at TurningPoint takes a high-touch, concierge-style approach to placing first-class talent in a variety of business structures including privately held, venture-backed start-up, private equity owned, early stage and mature, family-owned businesses.
Ken is also the Founder and CEO of the Sales & Marketing Leadership Alliance (SMLA), which he launched in 2011. With members across the country, the SMLA is committed to providing best-in-class speakers, peer-2-peer networking, and professional development to the region’s leaders.
An avid user of social media to identify top talent, build his professional community, and brand his business, Ken maintains one of Southern California’s largest LinkedIn networks and a profile that ranks in the top 1% of all users.
Ken serves as an Executive Board Member of San Diego Sports Innovators (SDSI), and Talentor Global. Ken serves as a Mentor for Junior Achievement, San Diego, spending time each week in a local high school as part of JA’s “Entrepreneurial Company Program’. Ken earned his BSBA in Economics from the University of San Diego and is a former board member of USD’s School of Business Alumni Association.
Ken resides in beautiful Carlsbad, CA, with his wife Juliet, a Marriage and Family Therapist. Together they raised two amazing sons, one an audio engineer and one a facilities manager.