HR Disciplines Panel Members


Staff Lead Biography

John Dooney
Manager Training
Society for Human Resource Management

With more than 20 years as a researcher, advisor and HR practitioner, John blends HR theory and practice to give insights into evidence-based HR practices.  John is training manager of Knowledge Center and previously he managed SHRM's Workforce Analytics Program which offers SHRM members more than 500 metrics in health care, human capital, benefits and paid leave customizable by industry, size, geography and more. He has conducted many training workshops on HR metrics for audiences in the U.S. and Middle East.  Recently John authored the "HR Roller-Coaster Ride: Are Key Metrics Back to Prerecession Levels?”   John holds a graduate degree in industrial/organizational psychology and is SHRM-SCP certified. 

Panel Member Biographies

Rami Busbait, SHRM-CP, HRBP
Professional Development/Training Advisor
Chemical Business Organization, Saudi Aramco
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Rami Busbait is currently working as the head of Talent Development and Knowledge Management and he is a Professional Development/Training Advisor in Chemical Business Organization within Saudi Aramco. He has 17 years of professional experience in IT, Planning and HR. He also has a bachelor degree in Management Information System and a master degree in Information Technology.

During his past working assignments, he was engaged in several projects such as the creation of Specialist Development Program (SDP) Competency Maps (C-Maps) which will serve as career maps for future specialists in the company, revision of all Inspectors' Job Descriptions then job ladders in Saudi Aramco and participated in Zero Base Manpower Studies which will help in recognizing the right manpower allocations for different organizations within the company.

He also worked in the implementation and administration of important company programs such as the Performance Management Program and Balanced Scorecard (BSC). He also worked as a Change Management agent using the ADKAR model and Knowledge transfer consultant using knowledge transfer program methodology developed in-house to help in transferring knowledge from experienced to the non-experienced employees.


Ria Glenn DeMay J.D.
Labor Relations Manager
University of Maine System
Augusta, Maine

Ria Glenn DeMay J.D. is the Labor Relations Manager for the University of Maine System.  In her current role, DeMay is responsible for negotiating agreements with labor organizations and individual employees. She also manages employee relations matters, grievances, mediations and labor and employment law compliance. DeMay also held legal and HR management positions in tech and healthcare as well as higher education and has served as a consultant to non-profit organizations.   Additionally, she held clerkships at the National Labor Relations Board and the NY State Division of Human Rights. DeMay a graduate of the labor and employment law program at the University Of Buffalo Law School and serves on various non-profit boards throughout the community.


Robert Farmer, SHRM-SCP, MBA, SPHR
Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Missoula Federal Credit Union
Missoula, Mont.

Robert Farmer, MBA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR is a University of Montana graduate and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.  Farmer has also achieved his Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management. He has worked for Missoula Federal Credit Union for 17 years and has many years of leadership and supervision experience.  He is a national member of ASTD (American Society for Training and Development), as well as a national and local member of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management).  Farmer has several years of training experience and is certified to train the following courses:  Vital Learning's Take the Lead Series, Tracom's Social Styles Profile, Wilson Learning's Working in Challenging Times, and Adjusting Your Lens: Embracing Diversity, a program he developed on diversity awareness and appreciation in the workplace. Robert is dedicated to the learning environment and understands that each participant brings something different to the table. 


Sylvia Victor Francis, SHRM SCP, SPHR
Manager, Total Rewards 
Regional Transportation District- Bus, Light Rail & Commuter Rail
Denver, Colo.

Sylvia Francis has over 30 years of experience in the field of Human Resource Management.  Francis currently serves as the Manager of Total Rewards for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver, Colo. RTD provides bus, light rail and commuter rail for the Denver Metro area and employs over 2,000. Total Rewards at RTD encompasses Compensation, Benefits, HRMS, Performance Management and Employee Relations/Recognition.

Francis served as president of Mile High SHRM, a Super Mega chapter, for two years and State Council Director for Colorado SHRM for two and ½ years. Francis is currently Immediate Past Director for COSHRM and over the past four years has served on two Special Expertise Panels, Technology & HR Management and HR Disciplines. Additionally, Francis serves as a member of the A Team, is Advocacy Captain for Congressman Michael Coffman and has been instrumental in the development and planning of the first biennial Southwest Executive Retreat scheduled for March 2017. Francis also volunteers as a docent at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Francis graduated from the University of North Carolina with a bachelor of science degree in Human Environmental Sciences and a minor in Business and History. She is certified as both an SHRM-SCP (2014) and SPHR (1996) and is one test away from her Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certification.

Francis has a home in both Denver and Winter Park, Colo. and is the proud Gammy of one-year-old Evelyn. She loves gardening, scrapbooking, skiing and most especially gammy-ing and is an empty nester with one daughter Hilary and a cat fur baby named Petey.


Lisa Marie-Gustafson, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Human Resource Manager
Hexcel Corporation
Burlington, Wash.

Lisa-Marie Gustafson has over 16 years of experience in the human resource field. She currently is the Human Resource Manager for Core and Engineering Products at the Hexcel Corporation. In this role, Gustafson provides management support and strategic leadership in all areas of the HR function such as: employee relations, compensation, benefits administration, leadership training and development, change management, employee recognition, performance management, and team building.

Prior to joining Hexcel, Gustafson held the role of Executive Resource and Talent Management Business Partner for Commercial Airplanes Supplier Management at The Boeing Company. In this role, she was responsible for leading the development and implementation of the global Supply Chain Management Talent Management strategy and implementation.

Gustafson has a passion for leadership and employee development. She has previously served on the Global Expertise Panel for SHRM and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri and holds her SHRM-SCP and SPHR certifications.


Danna Hewick, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Vice President of Human Resources
USSI, Inc.
Bethesda, Md.

Danna Hewick joined USSI in July 2013.  In her role as Vice President of Human Resources, Danna oversees performance management; training and development; policy and procedure; recruiting; and employment practices for both union and non-union staff.  A Senior Professional certified through HRCI (SPHR) and SHRM (SHRM-SCP), Hewick has over 15 years of strategic human resources experience. Prior to USSI, Danna was Director of Administration, managing human resources, facility, information technology and administration for Pacific Trade International a home fragrance manufacturing company.

With an extensive background as a business partner, Hewick has a strong foundation in developing business strategy; envisioning future talent requirements; implementing sound business process; developing performance improvement and talent management programs; succession planning; and the creation of competency mapping to ensure that the company's human resources are prepared to meet future goals.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from George Mason University and an Executive MBA from the University of Maryland, Robert H Smith School of Business. She is a member of the National Society of Human Resources and the Montgomery County Society of Human Resources. She currently lives in Annapolis, Md.


Nancy Kasmar, SHRM-SCP, CCP, SPHR
Compensation Connections
Snoqualmie, Wash. 

Nancy Kasmar is a Principal of Compensation Connections, with over 25 years of management experience in addition to more than ten years in human resources. She received her Master of Science degree from the University of California, San Francisco, and a Certificate in Management from the University of California, San Diego. Nancy holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation with an additional certification as a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP). She is also certified as a SHRM-SCP.

Nancy has worked with hundreds of companies throughout North America as a compensation consultant. She was the 2014 President of Lake Washington Human Resource Association, and will serve as Director-Elect for the 2017 Washington SHRM Council. In addition to her professional and volunteer responsibilities, Nancy delivers presentations on HR topics, including compensation and benefits, throughout Washington State.

As you can tell by her shoes, Nancy walks for exercise when she isn’t working or volunteering. On the rare occasion she is not moving, she also enjoys spending time watching movies with her husband Ken. Oh, and she loves laundry!

Valerie P. Keels, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Head of DC Office Services
Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
Washington, D.C.

Valerie Keels is a dynamic HR practitioner with experience in adult education, including designing, managing, and facilitating leadership development programs.  She has proven success in creating cultures of collaboration, and implementing change to achieve workforce excellence. Keels possesses experience in several aspects of human resources including: recruitment, employee training, incentives, benefits and payroll. She has a track record of coaching in the areas of transformational leadership, intercultural communication, team building, and managing change, with proven success in international recruitment.  She holds a master's degree in Organizational Leadership as well as advanced HR certifications.

At Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Keels serves as the HR representative for the DC office, which includes: planning, developing, and administering all HR functions; facilitating compensation analyses for DC based on local market conditions; oversee training and development programs; and implementing the performance appraisal process.  Additionally, Valerie ensures that policies and procedures are properly applied in the DC office in accordance with the overall Gavi HR strategy mandated by its' Geneva headquarters, while complying with US and local laws and requirements.

A native-Washingtonian, Keels currently lives in Silver Spring, Md.


Joey Kolasinsky, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, CCEP
Sr. HR Manager
Esri, Inc.
Redlands, Calif.

Joey Kolasinsky is currently a Senior HR Manager overseeing the areas of Global HR Operations, Compensation & Benefits, Employee Safety, and HR Compliance.  She has over 15 years of experience in all areas of Human Resources including talent engagement strategy, total rewards, performance management, employee wellness and safety, and employee training. Her industry expertise includes retail, distribution, engineering, and technology.  Kolasinsky has served on the local SHRM Chapter Board of Directors, Inland Empire SHRM, as a Board Secretary, VP of Membership, and is currently serving as the President-Elect.  She earned an MBA from the University of Tampa, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida Institute of Technology.  She has also achieved the designations of SHRM-SCP, SPHR, and CCEP (Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional).  


Joe Malta
Director of Human Resources
ABC Companies
Winter Garden, Fla.

Joe Malta is the Director of Human Resources at ABC Companies. He currently works with company leadership to lead the HR function for the organization nationwide. Malta is a certified executive coach, MBTI Practitioner, and a certified Professional in Human Resources. He is an engaging facilitator, with more than 25 years of coaching and consulting experience. Joe also leads the company leadership development program designed to build bench strength throughout the organization

Malta is also currently engaged as a confidential executive coach and has supported clients from Burger King, The Palm Restaurant Group, The U.S. Postal Service (American Postal Workers Union AFL-CIO), 7-Eleven, Kinko's, and W.W. Grainger.

Malta received a B.S. in Management from California Coast University and is a co-recipient of the Learning Team Gold Trailblazer Award from Chief Learning Officer Magazine in 2015.

Malta resides in Clearwater, Fla. and is a native of Syracuse N.Y. He has dedicated his career to improving individual and organization performance and effectiveness.

Michael Mantuano
Director, Field Human Resources
McLarty Automotive Group
North Little Rock, Ark.

Michael is human resources professional with 16+ years of experience currently working for the McLarty Automotive Group in Little Rock Arkansas as the Director of Field Human Resources.  Prior to his time with the McLarty Group, he worked for Asbury Automotive in various human resources positions.    
He is hands-on human resources executive director with a proven record of accomplishment in team building, conflict resolution, and integrating every day opportunities into solutions. He has managed multiple sites and multiple staff platforms.  

His experience includes multiple HRIS Systems, Pre-employment Screening and Compliance/Hotline Reporting as well as mediation sessions, legal claims and arbitration cases at state and federal venues. Michael also possess a keen understanding of recruiting, on boarding, payroll, employment law, training, policy administration, safety & OSHA, benefits, record keeping and employee performance. 
Michael holds the SHRM-CP designation.

Parker C. McKenna, SHRM-SCP, HCS, SPHR
Chief Human Resources Officer
Springfield (Missouri) Public Schools 
Springfield, Mo.

Parker McKenna is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Springfield (Missouri) Public Schools, where he is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of human capital strategy and service delivery. 

Joining Springfield Schools in 2005, McKenna began his tenure with the District managing the employee benefits function.  In 2007, his responsibility expanded to include human resources operations and service delivery to the nearly 4,000 employees of the District.  In 2011, he was selected to serve as the head of the District's HR Division and a member of the Superintendent's Cabinet.  Before his time in education, McKenna had a private sector HR background in the retail industry.

In addition to his work with Springfield Public Schools, McKenna has served in a variety of roles on the board of the the Springfield Area Human Resources Association (a SHRM affiliate chapter) and the Missouri State Council of SHRM.  In his spare time, McKenna enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends. He lives in Springfield, Mo., with his wife, and three dogs.


Jeff Owens, SHRM-CP, PHR
Assistant Director of Human Resources
Tulsa Community College
Tulsa, Okla.

Jeff currently serves as the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Tulsa Community College in Tulsa Oklahoma, strategically serving over 3000 employees where he chairs and co-chairing various committees.

Jeff has been a Human Resources professional since 1988 and is a proud HR graduate of the University of Arkansas! Jeff has advanced Human Resources for several industries including: Health Care, Transportation, Property Management, Public Accounting, Higher Ed, and served as an HR Consultant and SHRM Chapter Management Professional.  Jeff is certified as a SHRM-CP and PHR.

Jeff most recently served as the Immediate Past Director for the Oklahoma HR State Council and the Southwest Central Region Membership Advisory Council Representative for SHRM during 2015 and 2016. Prior to these areas of service. Jeff has served as a volunteer for SHRM since 2003 both in Arkansas and Oklahoma at a chapter and state council level. For his service to the Human Resources profession, Jeff was awarded the 2014 OKHR Excellence in Human Resources Management Award.
As a dynamic speaker and story teller, Jeff has led numerous workshops and trainings facilitating all functions of Human Resources and Organizational Development. Jeff currently leads the SHRM Certification Study course as an Adjunct Professor at Tulsa Community College.

When not at work Jeff loves to mountain bike, travel and spend time with his two awesome boys: Josh and Jordan. Jeff recently served as a volunteer Fire Fighter and Board member for Owens and Company Fire Service for the past 8 years.

James M. Strain, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Human Resources Director
DKS Associates
Portland, Ore.

Jim Strain leads all human resources functions for DKS Associates, a leading full-services transportation planning and traffic engineering firm.  He started his career in human resources operations with two Fortune 500 manufacturing companies.  He subsequently headed up the equal employment opportunity and affirmative action compliance efforts for First Interstate Bank of California. Upon his return to Oregon, he served in human resources management roles for almost ten years in the athletic footwear industry with the AVIA division of Rebook and Adidas America.  Since 1999, he has been led human resources departments in firms supporting transportation including VP-HR at TransCore for 14 years prior to joining DKS in 2013.  While at TransCore, he managed the human resources aspects of multiple acquisitions, reorganizations and complex system implementations. At DKS Associates, he has introduced compensation and benefits programs, facilitated strategic planning efforts and led employee retention, engagement and career development initiatives.

Strain is a graduate of Auburn University and received his Masters of Arts in Human Resources Management from the University of Alabama. He has completed intensive professional development programs through Cornell University Institute for Industrial Relations, the Global Institute for Leadership Development and the Human Resources Leaders Summit. 


Bill Thomas SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Managing Principal
Centric Performance, LLC
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Bill Thomas has 35 years of experience in HR management, operations management and consulting. Before joining Centric Performance in 2001, he spent 5 years with Dell Computers where he held a global HR executive role, and before that 15 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers where he held a national HR leadership role. In addition to his HR roles, Thomas was the co-architect of PwC's Client Service Excellence initiative and helped design and launch Dell's Customer Experience initiative.

At Centric Performance he works with start-ups, growth companies, Fortune 500's and non-profits to help them take their performance to the next level. Representative projects include: organization effectiveness reviews; performance management, compensation and P4P practices; leadership succession and talent reviews; employment branding and recruiting strategies; management training and executive coaching; customer and employee loyalty and engagement; user and customer experience / VOC initiatives; and building execution-based performance teams and cultures.

He is a long-standing member of SHRM – having served in top leadership roles at the local, state and national levels. His work has been featured in CEO magazine, ASQ's Quality Progress, Human Resource Executive magazine and others. Thomas is the co-author of "ANTICPATE: Knowing What Customers Need Before They Do" (Wiley & Sons), a book that helps leaders build an effective customer-focus into their growth strategy, develop the capabilities needed to execute it, and shape the culture needed to sustain it. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus Maturity Model ® and Value Chain Labs®, a cross-functional workout process used to align and improve teaming.


Joyce Van Curen MAOM
Human Resources Director
The HR Madam
Vacaville, Calif.


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