Meet the team

Our diverse skills and backgrounds combine to help our clients find the talent they deserve.

Michael Varley

Founder & CEO

Michael is the founder and CEO of ACELR8 and leads our team in Berlin. He is a never-ending source of knowledge on every issue associated with recruitment, and used these insights to found the company. His leadership is about empowering his team to work autonomously.

Isabel Strijland

Co-Founder & Head of Growth

Isabel started at ACELR8 on the agency side and then grew into an in-house recruitment superstar. Her background in communication and business has given her a broad skillset. This, combined with her recruitment experience, has allowed her to progress into the role of Growth Manager and later into a Head of Growth and the Co-Founder of the company.

Mark Muller

Sales & Partnerships (Interim)

Mark is the sniper of our team. He uses his skill and experience to deliver on the most difficult searches. His background lies in sales and management. Mark used these skills to open up the Paris market, where he helps French startups to flourish. Currently, Mark helps in building ACELR8's sales unit.

Viola Kovaca

Head of People

Viola utilises her background in recruitment and human resources in her role at ACELR8. Her passion for the field brings a positive energy to the team. As Engagement Manager, she was handling a subset of accounts and managing her own team. Her mission was to grow our in-house model and improve our internal growth and development. She came back to ACELR8 after her maternity leave to become the company's Head of People and boost our growth.

Grant Badgery

Engagement Manager

Grant gained his experience while working for companies such as Zalando, Eurostaff, and Scout24. He led teams and has a data-driven mindset to recruitment. In ACELR8, he is running one of our internal squads and works with many of our Berlin clients. He also manages our internal playbooks that help ACELR8 in delivering the best service for every kind of company.

Estelle Boussès

Engagement Manager

Estelle came to support our French team, but jumped into her first Berlin in-house assignment in the blink of an eye. After a successful period in-house at HelloFresh in Berlin, she took on our first in-house assignment in Hamburg at quantilope. She is a master in sourcing and loves to give an exceptional candidate experience! Currently, she leads a team of recruiters and helps in building teams of our Berlin-based clients.

Georgia May

Team Lead ACELR8 X

Georgia moved from the UK to Berlin to join our headquarters team. She brought years of head-hunting experience, giving her the edge to find the right talent. Her caring and shining personality, combined with experience, makes her perfect for the role. She speaks at eye-level with founders and candidates, due to her life and business experience. Currently Georgia runs ACELR8's executive search devision, ACELR8 X.

Daniel Sedgwick

Engagement Manager

Daniel has an entrepreneurial background, having founded his own recruitment startup, and has experience building teams from scratch. This, combined with his years of experience in agency recruitment, adds a lot of knowledge and skills to our team. Daniel is currently based in Berlin where he manages a team of local recruiters. Who also runs ACELR8 office in London.

Paul Finan

Senior Talent Partner (UK)

Paul has over 10 years of experience in recruitment. He is used to deal with a high workload and work in fast-growing enviroments and has a lot of knowledge to share. Also, Paul's huge network will help him to build teams at our clients.

Angela Ndagire

Talent Partner

Angela is an expert in sourcing and her interview experience allows her to communicate effectively with the greatest talent worldwide. She has a down-to-earth mentality and is highly interested in people. She took all her past experience and translated it into recruitment power, while maintaining her love of learning.

Andre Jank

Talent Partner

Andre joined our team in Berlin when support was needed most. He is a fast learner and passionate about building up our company. He knows what needs to be done to improve the lives of our clients, but also internally he is able to bring ACELR8 to a next level.

Jonathan Tsang

Talent Partner

Jonathan is the perfect example of ACELR8 talent as he is a recruiter and entrepreneur by heart. He travelled the world to fill roles for high-growth companies, which made him into a full-cycle, global recruiter. He thrives in a fast-paced and changing environment and uses his network to find the right fit.

Pragnya Challapalli

Talent Partner

Pragnya is an experienced Tech Recruiter with HR knowledge. She learned to work with and hire developers in several early-stage startups. Furthermore, she loves food, improv theatre, and books. At ACELR8 she worked with our Berlin-based clients in the e-commerce and gaming sectors.

Anya McDonald

Talent Partner

Anya has a passion for recruitment and comes from a sales background. Her natural interest in people, combined with a strong business understanding will help her to build quality teams at our client side. At ACELR8, she helps our clients in the fin-tech sector.

Gabrielle Dhavernas

Talent Partner

Gabrielle is a full-stack recruiter, as she started her own agency, worked in-house, and now joined ACELR8 to combine all her learnings. Active search is her strong suit and she believes it is important to transfer the company values in the recruiting process.

Cinzia Silvia Melograna

Talent Partner

Cinzia combines agency recruitment, with in-house experience. She loves to work on technical roles and took care of employer branding at Formlabs. Communication is her strong side, both to candidates and clients.

Rob Paul

Talent Partner

His curiosity feeds into understanding technical roles very well. He started his career in recruiting at a Canadian agency where he gained a strong recruiting skillset. At ACELR8, he helps our Berlin-based clients in their hiring efforts.

Anna Pokhylko

Talent Partner

Anna has a big passion for recruitment and employer branding. She knows how to keep both client and candidate happy and informed, and with that made some key hires in the creative industry, most notable closing many design roles.

Annie Li

Associate Talent Partner

Annie joined our Berlin team to help our clients find exceptional talents as a 'Research Analyst'. She is an allrounder, who has a quick understanding of how business works and her dream is to found a startup herself. She studied sociology and has experience working in Business Development as well as in consulting. Her biggest passions are travelling and photography. In the past years, she had a chance to live in the US, UAE, and now in Germany.

Ludovico Voi-Puccini

Associate Talent Partner

Ludo brings a consultative sales background, understands businesses, and speaks four languages (Italian, English, and French fluently, plus Spanish). He comes from Italy but spent a big part of his life in New York. He moved from Milan to Berlin to help our team in business development and hiring for our clients.

Chido Therisa Nyandor

Associate Talent Partner

Chido has over two years of recruitment experience and has a passion for diversity hiring and people analytics. Currently she is sourcing for multiple clients and researching how a sustainable messages influence employer branding.

Paul Power

Associate Talent Partner

With a strong background in recruitment marketing and a passion for sourcing and interviewing, Paul supports our teams to find the best talent worldwide and build teams at our clients. He is also heavily involved in building our Talking Talent community an event series as well as our marketing efforts.

Alya Makharinsky

Associate Talent Partner

Alya is always on the hunt for her next challenge and this shows in the five languages she speaks and the diverse experience she gained in marketing, events and business development. All scenarios set her up to be successful recruiter that hires great talent for our clients. Currently, Alya helps in building out ACELR8 executive search service, ACELR8 X.

Laura Voisin

Finance Analyst

Laura is a people person at heart, combined with strong business sense and technical experience. She studied engineering in Switzerland and in the UK, added business experience in the Netherlands and connects to many people, by the three languages she speaks, making our French, German, and British team stronger all at once. Currently, Laura takes care of ACELR8's finance division and helps the company on a strategy level.

Daniel Marcinkowski

Digital Marketing Specialist

Daniel has a proven track record of success in creating content and delivering it to the right audience. From a privately ran podcasts and YouTube channels to building out a designer community for an early-stage startup. He came onboard at ACELR8 in order to share our recruitment expertise with founders, HR leaders, and VCs. You can read and hear a lot from him on our social media channels and beyond!

Leslie Kivit


Recruiting leader with a strong focus on building scalable and successful teams. 10+ years of experience from a variety of recruiting roles at start-ups, scale-ups and corporates within e-commerce, technology, mobility, SaaS, technology, venture capital and consulting.

Anton Marinovich


A native of Mountain View, California, Anton kicked off his professional career by working on the first incarnation of the Google Shopping platform. Combining data-driven decision-making with strong interpersonal skills helped him grow into a highly effective sales executive consistently beating sales targets. In the last 14 years, Anton has led sales teams across the US and Europe at Meltwater, Equilar, Aon, Contenful & now HoloBuilder, developing deep expertise in SaaS sales. Anton holds degrees from University College Dublin & San Diego State.

Steve Brumwell


Steve is one of the most experienced headhunters in the UK. He uses his networking and people skills to find exactly what founders are looking for and connect them with the right talent worldwide.

Discover how ACELR8 shape your hiring!

ACELR8 is not only looking for a matching technical profile, but also for people who fit us and our values.

Lucas Bremer
CPO & Co-Founder, quantilope
Contact us to get started