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We asked HR professionals to tell us about their time in HR. Here are their stories.
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Staff Lead Biographies
Michael A. Aitken Vice President, Government Affairs Society for Human Resource Management
Panel Member Biographies
Frank A. Cania, M.S.Emp.L., SPHR, SHRM-SCPFairport, N.Y.
Frank Cania is president of driven HR, a Pittsford, NY-based HR consulting firm he founded in 2006. A business and HR professional for more than 30 years, Cania's passion is helping others navigate the complexities of regulatory compliance.
Cania graduated summa cum laude from the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova Southeastern University with a Master's Degree in Employment Law, and holds both SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.
A frequent speaker, Cania has presented at numerous conferences, including the NYS Business Council annual meeting and NYS SHRM annual conference. He writes a monthly column for The NY Daily Record, has authored several white papers and compliance guides, and was a contributor to an HR textbook. In addition, Cania was a subject matter expert and presenter for several web-based training videos, and has taught college courses in employment law.
In addition to being a dedicated husband and proud father of an adult son and daughter, Cania currently serves as federal advocacy director for NYS SHRM, is a team captain for the SHRM A-Team, and is a member of the executive compensation and HR committees for the YMCA of Greater Rochester.
Janine DunnSenior Director, Human Resources Thames Valley Council Community Action, Inc.Norwich, Conn.
Janine Dunn, MLIR, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, is a human resources professional with over 30 years of human resources experience in all areas of HR. She is currently the Senior Director, HR for Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc., a human services nonprofit agency serving Eastern Connecticut. She is responsible for all areas of human resources for the agency. Previously, Janine ran her own HR consulting company and was the human resources director for organizations in a variety of industries, including publishing, retail, microelectronics, textiles, industrial chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.
Juan Diego GallegosDirector of Total RewardsIgnite Restaurant GroupHouston, Texas
Juan Diego Gallegos is an HR professional with more than 16 years of experience working in private and public companies. He is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Cenergy International Services, a global leader in workforce solutions.
Previously, he led the HR function for Ignite Restaurant Group, as the company's VP and head of HR. He is also a U.S Army veteran, with time served as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle. In 2016, he was named one of Houston Business Journal's 40 under 40.
Gallegos holds two bachelor's degrees, one in management and another in international business from Florida International University. He holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certifications.
Laura Frazier, MBAExecutive Vice President, CHROSunflower BankSalina, KS
Alice Kilborn SHRM-CP, JD, PHR Founder Kilborn Consulting, LLC Albuquerque, N.M.
Alice Kilborn, ESQ SHRM-CP, is the founder of Kilborn Consulting, LLC in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kilborn Consulting is an employer counseling and training practice devoted to working with organizations to help prevent workplace litigation and streamline and improve the employer/employee relationship. Alice also serves on the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Labor Relations Special Expertise. In addition, Alice is an Instructor at the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management. Prior to starting her own practice, Alice was an Associate Litigation Attorney at Moody & Warner, PC, where she represented employers and employees in employment and labor-related matters. Alice was selected to the Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star lists in 2014 and 2015, a designation awarded to less than 3% of lawyers in the state. Prior to entering the legal field, Alice worked in Human Resources specializing in the areas of state and federal regulatory compliance (including oversight of Affirmative Action Plans, Equal Employment Opportunity Programs, USERRA, and the Family and Medical Leave Act) and corporate training. Alice is a frequent, enthusiastic speaker on workplace related issues.
Marie LaMarche SHRM-SCP, SPHR Division Director of Labor Relations Franciscan Health Systems Tacoma, Wash.
Marie LaMarche, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, is a seasoned Labor Relations and Human Resource Professional and active SHRM volunteer. Marie is currently the CHI Franciscan Division Director of Labor Relations in Washington State, managing and guiding Labor Relations for nine hospitals, 21 union contracts and over 14,000 employees. Prior to this role she was the Executive Director of Human Resources for Harrison Medical Center, where she directed all aspects of Human Resources, Organizational Development, and Employee Health for two hospitals and 21 physician offices. She holds a BA degree in Psychology and an MBA. LaMarche is also an avid SHRM volunteer having held roles and volunteered at a chapter, state and national level. She has served on the SHRM Labor Relations Expertise panel for five years, and prior to that on the Employee Relations expertise panel. Last year Marie helped to develop content and material for a SHRM pre-conference workshop on Labor Relations for the non-labor HR practitioner. LaMarche was a pre-conference workshop speaker at the Annual Conference last year, presenting on Workplace Flexibility in unionized Healthcare settings. She has written articles for HR magazine, and has been interviewed for many publications including ASHHRA's HR Pulse. She is frequently asked to present at community events and has presented at several West Sound Human Resource Management annual conferences.
Nancy McKeague SHRM-SCP Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Michigan Health & Hospital Association Okemos, Mich.
Nancy McKeague is Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. A former member of legislative staff in both the Michigan House and Senate, she has more than 30 years of experience in government relations and non-profit association management.
Specializing in labor, insurance, and employment law, employee benefits, and organizational development, she is active in legislative and regulatory issues at both the state and federal levels, and frequently testifies as a subject matter specialist.
McKeague holds dual national certification as a senior certified professional from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP) and from the Human Resources Certification Institute (SPHR). She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management's Labor Relations Special Expertise Panel and its Policy Development Council, which provides guidance on matters relating to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
She has a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Spring Arbor University and a master's degree in Administration from Central Michigan University.
McKeague serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Accident Fund Group (the eighth largest writer of workers' compensation coverage in the US), and on the Board of Directors for Sparrow Health System in Lansing, where she also chairs its Human Resources and Compensation Committee.
She and her husband, United States Court of Appeals Judge David McKeague, reside in East Lansing.
Eric Oppenheim SHRM-SCP VP or Asst/Assoc VP Republic Foods, Inc. Rockville, Md.
Eric H. Oppenheim is the Executive Vice President and Franchise Owner of Republic Foods, Inc. where he manages the operations and human resources for eighteen Burger King Restaurants in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. He is an experienced business owner, leader, and human resource executive with over sixteen years of responsibility with strategic planning in managing day-to-day operations and human resource functions, including the development of policy and directing and coordinating human resources activities such as: recruitment, hiring, orientation, training, compensation, employee benefits, security, consumer issues and employee services. Additionally, he is responsible for identifying, analyzing, and evaluating new business segments to support corporate diversification.
His analytical ability, strong operational and financial focus, as well as energetic and progressive approach to the business, has earned his organization the 2008 Brand Leadership Award from Burger King Corporation, as well as achieving recognition for outstanding operational results in 2010 as measured by Burger King Corporation metrics. These acknowledgements are the result of the dedication and commitment of the 70 salaried employees reporting to him.
Along with his work in Operations and the Human Resources field, he has been involved with many advocacy efforts in advancing the Human Resources position as well as articulating and representing the interests of small business on Capitol Hill. Participation on business panels with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and lobbying efforts with the Society of Human Resource Management and the National Franchise Association, have resulted in an increased impact on the legislative process in support of and advocate for employees, human resource professionals, and the business community.
He received his undergraduate degree in International Business from Ithaca College and his Master's Degree in Human Resources and Organizational Development from Johns Hopkins University. He holds an SHRM-SPC as well as an SPHR Certification, has served on the Labor Expertise Panel for the Society for Human Resource Management since 2012, served on the Human Capital Measurement/HR Metrics Expertise Panel for the Society for Human Resource Management, holds a certificate in Strategic Decision Making and Human Resources from The Wharton School, and is the vice chairman for the Government Relations Committee for Burger King Corporation. Additionally, he has served on the Legislative Committee for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, and is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the Human Resource Leadership Forum, and the Washington Area Compensation and Benefits Association.
James Rhollans SHRM-SCP, SPHR Director, Labor Relations Owens Corning Sylvania, Ohio
Jim Rhollans joined Owens Corning in October, 1998 as a Human Resources Leader in the Insulating Systems Business. He was promoted to Director, Human Resources in 2001 where he worked with the Corporate organizations, including Legal, Finance, Sourcing, Human Resources and Safety. In this role, Jim was responsible for all facets of HR for these functions, including strategy development and implementation, executive coaching, talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, development, and compensation.
Rhollans joined the Labor Relations team in 2008 and is responsible for developing and implementing labor and employee relations strategies and negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements. He has successfully negotiated more than 50 collective bargaining agreements over the past 8 years, across all of OC's business units and with many different unions. He has also lead plant wide assessments in several non union facilities which resulted in significant improvements in plant performance and lead labor relations training for supervisors and HR professionals across the company.
Prior to joining OC, Rhollans had worked in Human Resources for Marathon Oil Company for 14 years.
Rhollans received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Cincinnati.
Kelly StilesHuman Resources ManagerCity of UnalaskaUnalaska, Alaska
Kelly Stiles has been the HR Manager for the City of Unalaska for over eight years where she performs a variety of generalist type functions ranging from benefits administration to labor/employee relations. Kelly holds Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Business Administration from Washington and Jefferson College and a Masters degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Stiles also holds a certificate and an advanced certificate in Employment Law from the Institute of Applied Management and Law, Inc. 2017 marks the second year Kelly has served on SHRMs Labor Expertise Panel.
Originally from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pa. Stiles has worked in the manufacturing, engineering and finance industry before moving to Unalaska and beginning her first public sector HR position. Kelly is particularly passionate about employee relations and contract negotiations.
Thom Stohler The National Association of Professional Employer Organization Alexandria, Va.
Michael VanDervort Director CUE Inc. Clayton, Ga.
An HR practitioner for over 25 years, Michael VanDervort specializes in creating thriving workplaces driven by positive associate relations.
VanDervort is the Executive Director of CUE Inc., a non-profit, member run organization dedicated to assisting companies in the creation and maintenance of positive working environments. Before joining CUE, VanDervort was the Manager, Labor Relations for Publix Super Markets, based in Lakeland, Florida. He is also a volunteer leader for the Society of Human Resources Management, currently serving a term on their Special Expertise panel on Labor Relations.
An accomplished social media user, VanDervort was responsible for implementing the initial social media efforts at one of the largest grocery retailers in North America.
VanDervort frequently speaks and writes about a wide variety of human resources topics including labor and employee relations, positive workplace leadership, and social media.
Christine V. Walters, JD, MAS, SHRM-SCP, SPHR Sole Proprietor FiveL Company Westminster, Md.
Christine V. Walters has more than 25 years' combined experience in management, HR administration, employment law practice, and teaching.
She has received national and regional awards, presented at conferences across the country, been engaged as an expert witness for the defense, and testified before U.S. Congressional and state legislative committees and administrative agencies on employment issues. Her book, "From Hello to Goodbye: Proactive Tips for Maintaining Positive Employee Relations" has been one of the SHRM Store's "Great 8" best-sellers for five consecutive years and is pre-approved by HRCI for 2.5 continuing education credits!!
Walters demonstrates her commitment to supporting and advancing the needs and interests of the business community and HR profession by serving in a variety of volunteer leadership roles at the national, state and local levels inclusive of more than 12 years of service on the Maryland SHRM State Council, including as Director; founding President of a Maryland SHRM Chapter; and currently a member of SHRM's Labor Relations Panel.
Today Walters works as an independent consultant providing proactive human resources and employment law consulting services and training programs doing business as FiveL Company, "Helping Leaders Limit their Liability by Learning the Law."SM
Ms. Walters is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland.
Phillip Wilson JD President - General Counsel Labor Relations Institute Broken Arrow, Okla.
LRI helps clients create positive and productive workplaces while strengthening direct relationships with employees. LRI is best known for educating employees during NLRB union election campaigns. LRI also helps companies create positive workplaces by assessing vulnerability, directing workplace improvement, and training line-level leaders to create healthy, high-performing organizations.
Patricia A. Wise, Partner Attorney Niehaus Wise & Kalas, Ltd. Toledo, Ohio
Patricia A. Wise is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a specialist in labor and employment law. Wise has received Martindale-Hubbell's AV-Preeminent rating for her legal ability and high ethical standards. She represents clients of all sizes in a variety of businesses, industries, and professions and has trained thousands on all topics of employment and labor law.
In addition to her legal practice, Wise has been a Visiting Professor or Adjunct Professor at The University of Toledo College of Law since 1999, teaching employment law as well as civil and political rights. Wise trains and speaks extensively on employment law issues. She recently completed the third edition of her book Understanding and Preventing Workplace Retaliation, published by the Thompson Publishing Group, Inc., and her book Harassment in the Workplace: Sexual, Racial and Religious Complaints, published by the Thompson Publishing Group, Inc. in 2012.
Wise is a former senior vice president and in-house counsel for a billion dollar bank holding company and continues to serve many financial institution clients. She is a frequent speaker for state banking associations and serves on the faculty of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
In 2014, Wise was appointed by the Supreme Court of Ohio to serve as a member of the Board of Professional Conduct. Wise served as Co-chair of the SHRM Labor Relations Special Expertise Panel in 2015, and continues as a Panel member. In 2015, Patty was also appointed by Jenny R. Yang, Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, to serve on the EEOC's Select Task Force on Workplace Harassment. She is the Board Chair of Advocates for Basic Legal Equality and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, non-profit law firms serving low-income clients.
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