About TLG

Trusted by over 200 leading Chicago-area businesses.

The Larko Group was founded in 1993 by Russ Larko, a Certified Personnel Consultant with over two decades of experience in the staffing industry. We enjoy a well-earned reputation for timely and accurate placement, unparalleled customer service, and outstanding candidates.

A fair and honest recruiter.

The Larko Group’s exacting screening process guarantees that we only place qualified candidates. Our reputation as an exceptional agency attracts the most talented and hard-working individuals. Many of our temporary employees stay with us for years, because they appreciate our excellent benefits and training opportunities. The goodwill we create with our candidates is something that benefits your organization!

Team Bios

Russ Larko


Russ earned a BS in Marketing and Management from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and has been working in the Recruiting and Staffing industry over 20 years. He spent several years at a large Chicago area employment firm, and rose from top sales consultant to Director of Operations at their loop headquarter office. He founded The Larko Group in 1993, and remains actively involved in the day-to-day operations.  Russ is a huge Chicago Bulls fan and an avid golfer, racquetball player and paddle tennis player.

Andrea Newman

Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Andrea graduated from the University of Iowa in 2004 and worked in sales at CareerBuilder for three years until she decided to seek out new opportunities. After approaching The Larko Group for help with her search, Andrea was offered an internal position supporting the President, Russ Larko and eventually also managing the office. TLG has been a blessing for her as she has grown up and started her own family, by keeping her busy and challenged with many diverse projects and responsibilities. In her spare time, she loves being with her husband and two little girls, going to Bears and Blackhawks games, traveling to Europe or any place with a good beach, and still trying to be “hip” by checking out the hottest new bars and restaurants when she gets a night away.

Annette Hickman

Senior Recruiting Consultant

Annette was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York; relocated to Chicago due to her husband’s job transfer to Chicago 23 years ago. She attended Pace University where she studied Marketing. Annette’s background began in Human Resources as she worked for a Fortune 500 firm in a variety of generalist roles. She also spent some time working in a Political office supporting the operation for the Speaker of New York City Assembly. Annette started in staffing after her first year in Chicago; the original recruiter who placed her at her first position started her own firm and asked Annette to work with her. She has been in the staffing business ever since September 1991. During 2000 through December 2004 she operated her own staffing firm experienced two recessions and decided it would be best to join a more established and reputable firm. Annette had known Russ for many years and joined the team in 2005. Annette resides in Wilmette with her husband and is extremely busy in Philanthropy. She has been completely dedicated to The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation for 15 years where she held office as President, Auction and Benefit Chair. She also very much enjoys cooking, gardening, entertaining friends, family and travelling.

Laura Cohen

Manager, Staffing Services

Laura comes to TLG with over 20 years in the staffing industry. She started her career at a large employment agency  specializing in temporary and permanent placement for Fortune 100 companies. She then moved on to a boutique staffing firm in Chicago for an additional 14 years. Laura has  a strong background in management, Client development, and talent acquisition for even the most challenging client. Since 2008 Laura has also owned and operated Decorating Done Right which specializes in upholstery, paint, floral, holiday and design. She  was raised and currently  lives in Glenview where her passion is raising her 3 kids and cheering them on for their football, baseball, ice skating and poms competitions.

Colleen Crowell

Senior Recruiting Consultant

Born and raised in a northern suburb of Chicago, Colleen decided a much warmer climate for a few years was in order so she attended Arizona State University and graduated in 2006 with a BA in Human Communications and minor in Sociology. After graduation she came back home to Chicago where she worked in retail for a few years hoping to gain experience to work in their corporate office instead of the store, but that was cut short upon being laid off during the recession. Although frustrating at the time, this caused Colleen to reach out to The Larko Group for temp work while looking for full time jobs. After one temp assignment, Russ Larko called her back into the office to interview for an internal role as a Recruiting Consultant and she was extremely happy to start her career at TLG in July 2011. She feels very lucky to be a part of such a great team! When she is not working, Colleen enjoys trying the newest brunch places in the city and of course cheering on her favorite Chicago Blackhawks!!

Erika Clifford

Recruiting Assistant, Temporary Services

Born and raised in Michigan, Erika moved to her dream city, Chicago, upon graduating The Art Institute of Michigan to pursue her passion for fashion at Nordstrom. After five years of helping people in the retail world, Erika wanted to seek new opportunities and find new ways to significantly make a difference in a person’s life. Erika was referred to The Larko Group for assistance in finding a new job venture. After meeting the TLG family and falling in love with the organization and its values, she was offered an opportunity to join TLG! Erika has been with TLG since June as the Recruiting Assistant in the Temporary Division. In her free time, she enjoys being on the lake, cooking, going to sporting events and meeting new people throughout this wonderful city she’s proud to call home.

Megan Freeman

Senior Recruiting Consultant

Megan is a native of the North Shore of Chicago, but she received her degree in English from Indiana University in Bloomington. As a graduation gift, she visited New York City for the first time and two months later, was living in Manhattan and working as an Executive Assistant to a CEO of a consulting firm, so she knows firsthand the type of work TLG candidates do! Despite the excitement of the Big Apple, Megan ultimately missed her family and friends back in the Midwest, where she discovered her love for the staffing and recruiting industry. Megan feels extremely proud to call The Larko Group her home and is committed to providing the best possible service to both candidates and clients. In her free time, she enjoys working out, discovering new venues in the city with friends, reading the classics, and the occasional Netflix marathon.

Sarah Dejanovich

Administrative Staffing Coordinator

Sarah was born and raised in a small town on the south east side of Chicago and attended Loyola University. During her time at Loyola, she decided to get out of Chicago by participating in a 6 month study abroad program in Cork, Ireland! Upon returning, Sarah secured a recruiting internship and was then referred to The Larko Group for assistance with finding a permanent position. Upon meeting with a recruiter at TLG and subsequently with Russ Larko and the team, she was offered an opportunity to join the TLG family! Sarah has been with TLG since February 2014 as the Recruiting Assistant and is happy to learn from the best consultants in the business! When she’s not at work, you can find her pursuing her passion for education, sitting on the School Board of St. Florian Grammar School and holding the title of Vice President on the Save St. Florian School Committee!

Bridget Pearson

Recruiting Coordinator

Bridget graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2009 with a degree in Journalism and minor in Community Health. When Bridget decided to explore new career opportunities, she turned to The Larko Group for their trusted assistance. She immediately found the TLG team to be incredibly knowledgeable and resourceful in their guidance and was drawn to the fast-paced nature of the industry. Bridget was asked to interview for an internal position and started working for TLG in March 2016. She has found that her love of working with people has made this an excellent fit and she feels so lucky to be a part of the team. Bridget grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and her (very large!) family, running, traveling and exploring new places in the city.

Lindsay Small

Career Consultant

Lindsay graduated from Ohio University in 2009 with an undergraduate degree in Special Education and a M.S in Curriculum and Instruction.  After 8 years of working with children, she wanted to continue her passion for working with people, utilizing her strong behavioral skills in helping people to identify goals and achieve personal milestones through helping them find perfect job/career path.  After recruiting in the IT industry, Lindsay had her eyes set on The Larko Group after previously interviewing with Russ Larko.  She was drawn to the genuine nature of the staff/team, and most importantly the integrity of the company from the top down, and persistently continued conversations with Russ Larko until being hired in March of 2017!  In her free time she enjoys spending quality time with friends, family, and most importantly her dog, Sam.