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The Young Professional Advisory Council (YPAC) serves the interests of SHRM Young Professional members and provides guidance on building a community for the next generation of HR leadership through social media, membership and networking activities.
Amanda BrunsonHR GeneralistRW Block Consulting, Inc.Orlando, FL
Amanda Brunson is employed as an HR Generalist by RW Block Consulting, Inc., a rapidly expanding consulting firm in Orlando, FL. Amanda has been an active volunteer with SHRM since 2014 in many capacities. She's held several leadership positions including Secretary, President, and presently serving as Student Advisor for the Rollins College SHRM Student Chapter. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Greater Orlando SHRM chapter. Her roles have included Foundation Director, Social Media Director, and currently serving as Communications and Marketing Director.
Amanda received her Master in Human Resources Degree from Rollins College in May 2016. She holds an Advanced Leadership and Management Certificate from West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Her goal for the near future is to attain the SHRM-CP certification.
Amanda is enthusiastic about joining the SHRM YPAC! She recognizes the value that young professionals bring to their organizations and to the future of HR. She is very passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience to aid others in attaining their goals. This new opportunity will not only provide Amanda with additional leadership growth, but it will also allow her to continue advocating for the Future of HR at a National level.
Amanda currently resides in Mount Dora, Florida and enjoys bowling, scrapbooking, and visiting Walt Disney World in her spare time.
Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Brad DaltonDirector of Talent Management & DevelopmentCisco MerakiSan Francisco, CA
Brad Dalton is the Director of Talent & Development for Cisco Meraki in San Francisco and has a background in human resources, talent management, and financial and operations leadership. His career has included experience in organizational development, coaching, process design and improvement, consulting, change management, mergers & acquisitions, talent strategy, and program management. Dalton obtained his Bachelor's degree in Management from the University of Florida and his Master's in International Business with an MBA exchange program from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. He's worked for organizations such as Wells Fargo, Verizon Wireless, Aramark, and the City & County of Denver before transitioning to strategic people planning and support for the fastest growing cloud-managed tech company in the world. Dalton is passionate about aligning business needs with people strategy, and helps manage both big ideas and tiny tasks. With family extending from South Africa to Japan, Dalton also likes to travel as much as possible in his free time.
Erica DavisHR Manager, Midwest RegionAirgasChicago, IL
Erica Davis is a passionate, versatile HR professional that brings over five years of experience to the 2017 YPAC. She began her Human Resources career in 2011 at Soldier Field with Delaware North Companies, and she continued to develop her HR management skills during her time with Aramark and Big Ten Network. She is now enjoying her new role as the Human Resources Manager for Airgas, supporting the Midwest region. In her current role, she is responsible for partnering with regional leadership teams to provide Human Resources guidance and execution in talent acquisition, compensation, benefits administration, training and development, employee relations, labor relations, and talent management.
Davis graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and Minor in Sociology. She joined SHRM in May 2013, earned her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in May 2014, and earned her SHRM-Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification in January 2015.
Davis volunteers on the SHRM Foundation Scholarship Judging Committee and serves as the Special Events Volunteer Lead for American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois. She enjoys hiking, traveling, spending time with her family, and spoiling her dog, Brody. Davis is thrilled to be a part of the 2017 YPAC and is looking forward to positively influencing the community for the next generation of HR leaders.
Connect with her on LinkedIn.
Kayla DespresHR Business PartnerBilfinger Westcon, Inc.Bismarck, ND
In her current role, Kayla Despres is a strategic and innovative HR Business Partner, who translates business vision into HR initiatives that improve performance, profitability, growth, and employee engagement. She coordinates change management for HR initiatives, organizational development, HRIS technology, and corporate transformations using complete generalist HR techniques for both turnaround and high-growth construction organization. She develops and launches programs to build a high-performance workforce and develop future leaders. An empowering leader who supports the company with a unique perspective and appreciation that human capital is every organization's greatest asset. Kayla thrives on tough challenges and translates visions and strategies into actionable, value-added goals.
Kayla is a graduate of the University of North Dakota and University of Mary, holding a B.A in Political Science and Public Administration and an MBA with emphasis in Human Resources. She joined SHRM in April 2014, earned her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification in May 2014, and earned her SHRM-Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification in January 2015.
Kayla resides in Bismarck, ND where she has been a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professional Network since 2014 and currently is a co-lead for the Professional Development team. She also is a member of the local chapter Central Dakota Human Resource Association (CDHRA). She volunteers as a Junior Achievement mentor and YMCA volleyball coach. She is excited to add being a member of the 2018 YPAC to this list and is looking forward to positively influencing the next generation of HR leaders.
Connect with her on Linkedin.
Johnna EhlertHR Operations AnalystNeustar, Inc.Lovettsville, VA
Johnna Ehlert discovered her passion for HR when she was at a Business Fair at Liberty University, trying to determine what specialization to choose. She reviewed the Project Management table, but did not seem interested in the course. Johnna went over to the Human Resources table and met her professor, Dr. Colleen McLaughlin, who got her interested in Human Resources. She loved every class from compensation to staffing, and was part of the Liberty SHRM competition team that won the Northeast Region Student SHRM Competition in 2014. After graduating from Liberty University in December of 2014, Johnna received her first job as an HRIS Coordinator for Tegna (formally known as Gannett). After a few months, she became HR Operations Analyst for a growing technology company, Neustar, Inc. Johnna have been working with Neustar for almost two years and assists with the full employee life cycle, from onboarding a new hire to off-boarding employees. She also assists with international and intra-company transfers and initiating H-1B visas for immigrant workers. Johnna administers leave of absence, answers benefit questions, and works on the HRIS system. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Employment Law to become a stronger legal resource for her company. Johnna would eventually like to become an HR consultant and teach classes in human resources at the collegiate level.
Crystal GrangerHR SpecialistFriends of the ChildrenPortland, OR
Crystal Granger graduated from Portland State University in 2016 with a double major in Human Resource Management and Management & Leadership. While attending university she was the Portland State Chapter President of the Human Resource Management Association. Upon graduation Crystal backpacked through Europe for three months which allowed time to reflect on education and what her next steps would be. While in Europe she received an internship with Friends of the Children – Portland as a specialist. After the three month internship Crystal was offered a full-time position with the company as a benefit specialist.
Over the last year Crystal has had the flexibility in her position to gain experience with administering federal leave. The practice of coordinating benefits before, during, and after an open enrollment period. Practice her recruiting skills from job description edits, to postings, to interviewing, through the background check process, and onboarding. Process payroll changes and perform performance review and merit letter audits.
Crystal is happy to be involved with this year's YPAC group and will continue to keep a growth mindset in the work she does today to make the future of HR stronger.
Schyler HouckDirector of Human Resources and Labor RelationsSaratoga Casino HotelRotterdam, NY
Schyler Houck is the Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations at the Saratoga Casino Hotel where he leads the HR team in ensuring that there is an exceptional employee and guest experience. Schyler has a MBA from Clarkson University and a BS in Marketing and Management from Siena College. He is certified as a SHRM-SCP through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR) through HRCI. Schyler was selected as one of the "Top 30 Under 30 HR Professionals" by SHRM in 2016 and is also on the Forbes HR Council.
Schyler has worked across several industries, for organizations such as the New York State Government, Bechtel, and most recently the Saratoga Casino Hotel (SCH). His team at SCH supports the operation of a race track, hotel, casino, multiple restaurants, night club, simulcast, and online wagering platforms. His experience has run through a wide array of HR and business functions, but enjoys working on organizational development, process improvement, coaching, and strategic planning initiatives.
Schyler is dedicated to developing the skills of the local workforce and beyond, and currently serves as President of the Hudson-Mohawk Association for Talent Development, Ambassador for the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Mentorship Program, and on the local SHRM chapter's Workforce Readiness committee. He has spoken at the SHRM Annual Conference and at various local workshops and colleges. When not involved with work or the community, he's involved with events with his wife and four kids, or hunting down the world's best burger.
You can connect with Schyler on LinkedIn.
Meigelle Lapos Assistant Director of HR Four Seasons Jackson Hole Teton Village, Wyo.
Lina LeHR ManagerY. Hata & Co., LimitedHawaii
Lina Le was born and raised in Hawaii. Her parents are first generation immigrants from Vietnam and decided to call Hawaii their home for the last 30 years. Lina started her HR career in Benefits, Compensation, and Retirement. She's worked in a variety of industries including hospitality, airline, education, and food distribution. Along the way, she's been a part of system integrations, outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions and companywide reorganizations.
Lina joined Y. Hata & Co., Limited, Hawaii's oldest and largest locally owned food distributor in 2015 as their HR Generalist and now serves as a HR Business Partner. In this role, Lina constantly seeks to include the employee's experience into perspective when providing HR solutions. Teams she supports include sales, customer service, day and night warehouse operations, transportation, quality assurance, sanitation, maintenance, and purchasing.
In addition, Lina is involved with her local SHRM chapter, SHRM Hawaii, and is on their first Young Professionals Committee that kicked off in summer of 2016. She also supports the local college chapter, SHRM Aloha. Lina has been volunteering with the Hawaii People's Fund, a local nonprofit for social justice, for the past 10 years in roles including board member, grant making committee co-chair, and facilitator.
Lina earned both her Master's and Bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In addition, she has earned both the SHRM-SCP and SHRM-CP Certifications.
Andrew is currently an HR Business Partner at Blain's Farm and Fleet, a specialty discount retailer with 38 locations throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. In this role, Andrew directly supports store operations and store management teams across all 38 locations. This enterprise role allows for a strategic partnership with store management teams to deliver tactical HR support on all HR processes, programs, and practices.
Andrew graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Olivet Nazarene University in May 2016, where he was influential in launching their SHRM student chapter. He served as President for two years. Soon after graduation, Andrew earned his SHRM- Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certification.
Andrew is an advocate for helping young professionals find their passions. Over the past several years, Andrew has volunteered with the IL SHRM State Council on numerous conferences and events engaging the Young Professional members in IL. With his recent relocation to Wisconsin, Andrew will continue to support his passion by working with WI SHRM State Council on their upcoming student conference.
When not at work, Andrew enjoys spending time with is newborn son Michael and wife Sara. Andrew is excited about joining SHRM YPAC and continuing to support the HR profession.
Staci McArterHuman Resources GeneralistGenscapeCarrollton, KY
Staci McArter considers herself the luckiest HR professional in the world. After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management from Northern Kentucky University, she was able to land an amazing position as an HR Generalist at Genscape, Inc. and is the current Director of College and Community Relations with the Louisville SHRM chapter. Both roles allow her to practice her passion of promoting and supporting professional development on a company and city-wide basis while meeting and working with amazing people along the way.
When not supporting her community with high-impact programs, McArter currently pursues her MBA at the University of Louisville where she has been elected as the President of her cohort. As a living testament to the benefits SHRM provides, McArter is ecstatic at the opportunity to connect young professionals with an amazing organization and continuing promoting professional development for all she encounters. She would love to connect with you so feel free to look her up on LinkedIn.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Alexander brings with him almost seven years of experience in Compliance and in Human Resources. Alexander holds a B.A. from Howard University, an M.A. in Human Resource Management from The Catholic University of America, and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education in the Human & Organizational Learning at GW. His research interests include organizational resilience and transformational leadership. Alexander is not only well versed in HR regulations, standards, and best practices but also has and applies his passion for process improvement and organizational development to his work within and outside of the workplace.
Alexander loves networking with other HR professionals. Feel free to connect with Alexander on LinkedIn.
Lauren Randall Human Resources Manager Homeside Financial Columbus, OH
Lauren Randall is currently the Human Resources Manager at Homeside Financial, a privately held mortgage company located in Columbus, Ohio. As one of Homeside's first employee's in 2014, Lauren carried through the development of the Human Resources department. Randall handles the full array of HR responsibilities including benefit administration, policy creation, performance management, compliance, and employee relations. Within less than three years Homeside has grown from 15 employees to a staff of over 350 employees in 12 different states.
Randall received her Bachelors of Business Administration from Ohio University in 2013 and obtained her SHRM-CP in May 2016. In her free time she enjoys being a member of her local SHRM chapter, Human Resources Association of Central Ohio, traveling and spending time with friends and family.
Alyssa SomaviaHR Specialist and Project ManagerDamitz, Brooks, Nightingale, Turner & MorrissetSanta Barbara, CA
Alyssa is a Human Resources Specialist and Project Manager for a mid-sized public accounting firm in Santa Barbara, CA. She has been with the Firm for almost 6 years and brings a wealth of human resources knowledge and expertise to her organization. Her areas of focus are talent acquisition, employee relations, and organizational development. In her current role, Alyssa has spearheaded recruiting efforts to attract and retain top talent, redesigned the onboarding process to maximize employee experience, and implemented wellness initiatives and an improved performance management process.
Alyssa graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology which sparked her interest in organizational behavior. She recently earned an MBA in Human Capital Management from Cal Lutheran University, where she helped to found a student chapter of PIRHA, a local affiliate of SHRM, and is preparing to take the SHRM-CP exam in early 2018.
Alyssa is passionate about giving back to her community as a regular volunteer with the United Way of Santa Barbara County, where she was awarded Outstanding Employee Campaign Manager for 2017, and is an active member of their Young Leaders' Society. She is also an animal activist and spent time volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In her free time Alyssa enjoys traveling, fitness, and spending time outdoors with her fiancé and their pets.
Jazzmine WoodardHR Compliance Analyst IIEnbridge Inc.Houston, TX
Jazzmine is an HR Compliance Analyst specializing in affirmative action in the United States and employment equity in Canada. Her background is comprised of work in HR Compliance, Diversity and Inclusion, and Recruiting--including supporting employee resource groups, formal mentoring programs, and policy research and implementation. She currently works under the HR Operations umbrella for Enbridge (formerly Spectra Energy) in Houston, TX.
Jazzmine is a graduate of the Hankamer Business School at Baylor University where she obtained a BBA in Marketing and Management and the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, where she obtained a Master of Science in Human Resource Management. Additionally, she holds the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification and actively volunteers with her local SHRM branch, HR Houston, as a University Liaison Committee member.
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