SHRM's Emerging Professional Advisory Council (EPAC) consists of members representing each of SHRM's five regions. They are SHRM members who have held an HR or related position for three to five years and preferably have experience as a SHRM student chapter leader. They have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree related to HR.
Alex Alston is an accomplished and proven hospitality professional who has over 15 years of management experience with some of the world’s leading companies, including Expedia and Walt Disney World. Prior to jumping into his current role as corporate director of HR with Presidian Hospitality in San Antonio, Texas, Alex worked for over three years in the human resources field as a training and development manager and additionally as a hotel HR director in his current role, Alex is responsible for HR compliance, training, recruiting and onboarding for all Presidian team members.
Alex holds an undergraduate degree in restaurant hotel institutional management from Texas Tech University.
Alex represents the Southwest Central Region membership council.
Jessica Blodgett is a SHRM Certified professional working in the nonprofit sector. She currently works at a NYC-based international NGO as the Director of People, Culture, and Community. Prior to working in the nonprofit and international HR space, she worked as a Senior Technical Recruiter in the FinTech industry where her love of data and people analytics emerged.
In her final semester of graduate school at New York University, Jessica interned at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with her capstone partner. Their research focused on the use of artificial intelligence in the employment space and served as the foundation for a whitepaper they wrote on the benefits, threats and level of transparency of artificial intelligence in various stages of the employee lifecycle. Jessica and her partner chose this topic in hopes of creating a process for HR professionals to apply when thinking of adopting artificial intelligence tools in the employee lifecycle.
Prior to serving on the Emerging Professionals Advisory Council, Jessica served as Treasurer for the SHRM student chapter at NYU, where she received her Master of Science in Human Capital Analytics and Technology (HCAT).
Jessica represents the Northeast Region membership council.
Alexandra Cafferty is currently the human resources analyst at Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses in Valhalla, N.Y. She has been an active volunteer with SHRM since 2019. Alexandra currently serves on the board of directors of the Southern Connecticut Chapter of SHRM as its social media director and will soon be transitioning into a new role as president. She also serves as a committee member for the Tri-State SHRM Conference.
Alexandra received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Eastern Connecticut State University and a master's degree in strategic human resource management from Sacred Heart University. She earned her SHRM-CP certification in February 2021.
Alexandra represents the Northeast Region membership council.
Angelica Herrera is currently a senior human resources partner representative with United Airlines in Chicago, Illinois. Her experience includes corporate recruiting, unconscious bias training, new leader assimilation, coaching managers and staff development. She is very passionate about leadership, diversity and professional development. An active volunteer, Angelica currently serves as president of United Airlines’ Speech and Development Club. She is also chief of staff for United’s Management Association, a volunteer mentor for SHRM and the program manager for the United-Year Up intern partnership.
Angelica earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Roosevelt University and earned her SHRM-CP certification and PMQ from SHRM. She also recently graduated from the Mujeres de HACE leadership program.
Anjelica represents the North Central Region membership council.
Claire Stroh is the director of technology talent management at Lighthouse Technology Services in Buffalo, New York and president of Claire Petrie HR & Training LLC, based in Buffalo, N.Y. She has over nine years of human resources management and recruiting experience with privately owned and publicly traded global leaders. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in HR from the University at Buffalo and an MBA from Niagara University. In 2018, she earned her SHRM-CP certification. Prior to entering the HR field, she worked in the adoptions department of her local animal shelter for six years.
She is an active SHRM member and #SHRMInfluencer and serves on the board of directors for the Buffalo Niagara Human Resources Association as the college relations and emerging professionals director. Claire is also a board member for Empower Camp and the University at Buffalo School of Management Alumni Association. She was honored as a Buffalo Niagara Spotlight Young Professional in 2019 and received an HR Impact Award from Buffalo Business First in 2022.
Claire represents the Northeast Region membership council.
Mary Jo Swearingen
Mary Jo Swearingen is a human resources business partner at LBMC Employment Partners in Nashville, TN. With experience in both the private and public sector, Mary Jo serves as a trusted HR advisor to clients in several different industries. She specializes in talent management, training and development and employment law compliance. Mary Jo began her SHRM volunteer journey in undergrad but has continued to find new ways to work with SHRM on the local, state and national level. She is currently the college relations director for TN SHRM.
Mary Jo received a bachelor’s degree in human resources management with a concentration in international business from University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She earned her SHRM-CP prior to completing her undergraduate degree. Mary Jo is currently pursuing a masters degree in strategic leadership at Middle Tennessee State University.
Mary Jo represents the Southeast Region membership council.
Kirk Wyman is the human resources manager for Elementum 3D Inc. In Erie, Colorado. In this role, Kirk works with local staff and regularly participates in global HR initiatives for the company. Kirk has been involved with SHRM for many years and at various levels, including collegiate, local, state and, now, nationally. Kirk partners with his previous educational institutions to serve as a mentor for students seeking careers in HR.
Kirk possesses a deep educational background in HR. He earned an MBA from the University of Wyoming. He also has dual bachelor’s degrees in human resource management and psychology from the University of North Dakota. Kirk holds multiple certifications, including a SHRM-SCP.
Kirk represents the Southwest Central Region membership council.
Nicole Garcia is a recognized human resources leader. She currently is head of human resources for Seamount, Inc. in Los Angeles, California, supporting its acceleration and growth. Additionally, as the founder of Integrate & Elevate, an HR consulting company, she specializes in enhancing workplace culture to create a unique competitive advantage in achieving business results.
Nicole co-founded the USC HR Management Student Chapter, a SHRM and PIHRA affiliate, and received a Master of Science in HR management from the University of Southern California. She was awarded the Order of Arete, the highest honor awarded to a graduate student. Additionally, she holds a SHRM-CP certification and a DEI in the Workplace certificate from the University of South Florida.
She currently sits on the Latina Professionals board of directors and is an ambassador for the master’s program in HR at the University of Southern California. Previously, Nicole was the communications chair for the Professionals in HR Administration, a SHRM chapter located in West Los Angeles.
Nicole represents the Pacific West Region membership council.
Rebecca Rowe is the director of human resources for Behrens Manufacturing in Winona, Minn. Rebecca has been an active volunteer with SHRM since 2012. She began her volunteer work while enrolled in the human resource management program at Western Technical College, where she served as secretary for her SHRM student chapter. Since then, she has held several leadership roles with SHRM at a local level, including vice president of membership and president-elect. Rebecca continues to serve as the volunteer director for the Minnesota State SHRM Chapter as well as currently serving as president for her local chapter, Winona Area SHRM. Rebecca serves on the Winona State University HR Advisory Board, which focuses on the current human resources curriculum for students and what improvements can be made to the program to ensure that qualified candidates are entering the workforce.
Rebecca received an associate degree in human resource management in 2012, a bachelor's degree in business administration with an emphasis in human resources in 2015 and a master's degree in training and human resource development in 2018. Rebecca earned her SHRM-CP certification in July 2018.
Rebecca represents the North Central Region membership council.
William Spencer III
William Spencer III is a human resources professional with experience in many areas, including talent development, employment law compliance, talent acquisition and program management leadership. He is currently employed as an HR business partner for Innovative Defense Technologies, a federal defense contractor headquartered in Arlington, Va. In this role, William guides initiatives relating to organizational development; diversity, equity and inclusion; talent management; and employee experience.
William has been an active volunteer member with SHRM since 2017. He served as the president and the graduate relations officer for the University of Tennessee’s SHRM Student Chapter. In August 2019, he was selected to serve on the Tennessee State SHRM Board of Directors as the graduate student representative. William has also been involved in the DC-SHRM Young Professionals Committee.
William holds a Master of Science in management and human resources as well as a Bachelor of Science in human resource management with a dual concentration in international business from the University of Tennessee.
William represents the Southeast Region membership council.