It Takes Good People to Find Good People

At Francis & Associates, treat every client and candidate with all the personal attention and respect they deserve. It takes the right kind of people, working together to get results.

Our staff is small by design. We aim to keep it that way. It's the best way we know to keep our service personal and our relationships strong.

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Karen Novak Swalwell, President

knovak [@] fa-search [dot] com

Karen joined Francis & Associates full time in 1987 as a consultant. Through the years she has been responsible for the successful completion of numerous assignments across many industries and functional areas. She is well known for her ability to coach and guide corporate and non-profit boards through the successful hiring of CEOs in addition to other senior level assignments. She took over as President of Francis & Associates in 2008.

A lifelong Des Moines, Iowa resident, Karen graduated from the University of Iowa, working part-time for Francis & Associates while in college. Upon graduation, Karen worked for an office supply company before returning to Francis & Associates.

A resident of West Des Moines, Karen is very active in the community having served on many local charitable boards, city and state commissions. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren when not sailing, traveling or cycling.

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Dwaine Francis, Managing Partner

dfrancis [@] fa-search [dot] com

Raised on a farm, Dwaine graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska with an BSME. After interning with John Deere in college, he joined them full time and rose to Manager, Facility Engineering. Dwaine joined a national search firm in 1974. As a managing partner, Dwaine helped grow the firm from two offices with 5 professionals to ten offices with 33 professionals.

In 1983, Francis & Associates opened its doors with Dwaine at the helm.  Since that time Dwaine has completed over 600 senior level assignments for a huge variety of companies.  There has been particular pride in developing clients that liked Francis & Associates and that we working for also.  That includes doing over 75 assignments for an international chemical company included the USA President and most of his key staff. Dwaine has enjoyed building and maintaining the highest level reputation in Des Moines and the Midwest.  Today Dwaine continues to be an active and key member of the Francis & Associates team assisting in targeting, research, and candidate development.

Dwaine is married to Kay.  They live in West Des Moines and have 5 children. 

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Jane Engelhardt, Office Manager

jengelhardt [@] fa-search [dot] com

Jane joined the Francis & Associates’ team in early 2018, assuming responsibility for managing the administrative functions of the office and helping to ensure smooth and accurate operations for the executives and search consultants.  

Jane completed her undergraduate education at The University of Iowa, earning a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering.  She worked for almost three decades in engineering and management capacities at MidAmerican Energy Company.  In addition, Jane has over 15 years of part-time experience handling office management and customer service duties for her family’s small business.

Away from work, Jane enjoys traveling with her husband, visiting their two grown children out-of-state, and walking their small dachshund, Ty.