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about LTA

Leadership Talent Advisors was founded to help organizations solve their most difficult leadership talent challenges by providing executive search, assessment, coaching, and other advisory services tailored to their specific needs.

guiding principles

  • The Client comes First

  • Fair and Honest in all Dealings

  • Always Authentic

  • Humble in Attitude | Courageous in Action

  • Focused on Solutions

  • Build lasting Relationships by Exceeding Expectations

Trent Merchant
Founder and President

Prior to founding Leadership Talent Advisors, Trent Merchant was an executive for 8 years with a $5B distribution company owned by private equity firms. Initially he established and led the company's first Talent function for 3 years, during the company's most significant period of growth, with numerous greenfield market openings in the USA, multiple acquisitions - including two that each exceeded $300M, and expansion outside the USA for the first time in the company's 80 year history. He then led the consolidation of several acquired international businesses into a cohesive division, and served as Head of the Global Division for 5 years.


Prior to his corporate leadership, Trent was a Partner in another national retained executive search firm, where he was the top revenue producer.  


During that same time, he was also an At-Large Member of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education, the 18th largest public school district in the USA. Despite massive budget cuts caused by the Great Recession, Trent's tenure was an era of growth, transparency, teamwork, and dramatic improvement in student learning outcomes. CMS won the Broad Prize given to the top large urban school district in the United States, and 20 members of the leadership team from that era went on to become public school Superintendents.


Earlier in his career Trent was a high school leader, teacher, coach, and theatre director. He was also an actor, performing on regional stages in the USA and Germany.


Trent graduated from Washington and Lee University with a BA in African and Asian History, and later earned an MA in American History from Wake Forest University.  He has been married for 23 years and has 3 children.

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