President - Karen Smithson, 2017

Karen Smithson's career has focused on human resources and office administration, primarily supporting professional services organizations. She earned her B.S. in Office Administration from Abilene Christian University. Karen moved to Austin in 1997 and became the campaign manager for Justice Deborah Hankinson of the Texas Supreme Court. The campaign ended in 1999 and shortly thereafter she joined Atchley & Associates, LLP.

Karen holds the designations of SPHR and SHRM-SCP. Currently, she is a member of SHRM, AHRMA, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas, and the Austin Association of Mediators.

As a lifelong volunteer, Karen has served a number of community, education and religious organizations. As a trained mediator, she serves as a volunteer mediator at the Dispute Resolution Center. In 2013, she was elected to the Board of Directors for the Austin DRC. From 2009 to 2015, she served as an Ombudsman for the Texas Committee of ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve). She is also a volunteer for the Austin Forum. 

Karen's involvement in AHRMA has including serving as the Coordinator of the Right AHRM affinity group, Conference Committee member Co-VP for Diversity and Inclusion from 2014 to 2015, and President-Elect in 2016.


President-Elect, Arlaine Decrevel, 2017


Arlaine Decrevel, MBA, SHRM-CP, PHR, CAM is the Executive Director Client Services for Evins Personnel Consultants, Inc., a full service human resource consulting, recruiting, and staffing company headquartered in Austin, Texas. She is a Certified Human Resources Management Professional and TMCA Credentialed Mediator. She also holds several certifications from the University of Texas at Austin in Transformational Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Communication and Success Skills for Small Business.

For over 20 years, Arlaine has led, coached, and mentored others during her career with Fortune 500 companies, small to medium sized businesses, and not-for-profit associations. She is the founder and former owner of A.D. Collaborative Solutions, Inc, a strategic management, human resources, marketing, and mediation consulting business. She holds three degrees in Business Administration and Certificate of Human Resource Management from the University of Texas at Austin.

Arlaine has been an active member of SHRM and AHRMA since 2013, awarded Volunteer of the Month in 2015, and a recognized AHRMA Conference Speaker in 2014 and 2015. She is a graduate of AHRMA's 2014 Stepping Stones to Enhanced Leadership program. She is a Volunteer Mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center, a former Board Member/Social Media Chair for the Texas Association of Mediators 2014-2015, AHRMA Co-VP Marketing/Public Relations 2014-2016, and Volunteer for SHRM's HR Southwest Conference in Fort Worth, Texas 2015-2016. 

Co-VP Career Development - Darlene Templeton, 2017-2018

Darlene is the CEO and founder of Templeton & Associates. She is a professional speaker, certified executive coach, business strategist consultant, trainer and author.  Darlene specializes in leadership and transformation for corporations and professionals, specifically for those who want to make a greater impact personally and professionally.  She held multiple management and leadership positions during her career at IBM.    She brings her 36 years of experience at IBM, to her work and her clients, and provides a level of mastery that is extraordinary.

Darlene’s unique combination of extensive corporate experience, her own personal career journey, and her successful coaching and speaking business have given her the ability to work with individuals, small businesses and Fortune 100 companies to help them define their goals, enhance their performance and put an action plan in place to achieve the results they desire.

Darlene is the founder and Chief Leader of the AMAZING Women Alliance, a group of high achieving women who meet monthly to inspire, motivate and support each other to achieve their goals.   The AMAZING Women Leaders program is a  six-month results driven  leadership development and coaching program designed for professional women who are committed to accelerate, accomplish and achieve their goals both  personally and professionally.  You can build more confidence, develop business and leadership strategies and implement your action plans to achieve your goals and get the results that you desire.    

Darlene is the Co-VP of Career Development  and established  the Mentoring Program for the Austin Human Resource Managers Association (AHRMA).  She has co-authored three books, The Unstoppable Women’s Guide to Emotional Well Being, “The Success Guide for The Unstoppable Entrepreneur”, and “Behind Her Brand”. 


Co-VP Career Development - Jill Taylor, 2017-2018


Jill Taylor is a Human Resources professional with over six years of experience who holds both PHR and SHRM-CP certifications.  Her areas of expertise include strategic partnerships, employee relations, training, project management, benefits and compensation and event planning.  Jill is passionate about partnering with business leaders to develop strategies to recruit, engage and retain talent.  

She is a 2016 graduate of the AHRMA Stepping Stones leadership program, and looks for ways to promote AHRMA within the Austin HR community. Young Women’s Alliance (YWA) is another organization that Jill is involved with.  YWA is a non-profit organization that strives to empower women by providing them with opportunities to lead, network, educate and serve. In 2014, Jill held two chair positions with Young Women's Alliance - New Member Chair and General Meetings Chair. In her free time, Jill enjoys completing DIY projects on her home, traveling both domestically and internationally and running in races.  One of her bucket list items includes visiting all 50 states.  Thus far she has visited every state except Alaska.

Co-VP Conference - Barbara Morris-Blake, 2017-2018


Barbara is the President of Elevate Organizations, a consulting company specializing in employee engagement and leadership development Using a holistic approach, Barbara tailors and integrates the most advanced tools and techniques to engage employees to enable clients to succeed. She draws on more than 20 years of experience working with leaders in diverse organizations - from C-suite executives of multinational corporations, to entrepreneurs, to managers in nonprofits.

Barbara is also a popular speaker. Business and professional groups frequently call upon Barbara to share her insights and tips regarding how to develop proficient leaders and inspire a workplace culture of community and performance.

Barbara is currently working on a Master’s in Leading Innovation and Change from York St. John University and expects to graduate in 2017.Barbara is also a Certified Professional Coach and a member of the International Coach Federation.

Barbara recently moved from Toronto to Austin. She and her husband, Jeff, are volunteer Mentors for the Dream Come True Foundation, a Texas based organization that moves high-potential people from poverty to success  by working with them personally.  She is an active member of the Austin Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Council, lobbying with the Chamber on important issues that affect both the city and the state.

 

Co-VP Diversity and Inclusion - Christina Sigafus, 2016-2017


Christina is a bilingual (English/Spanish) HR professional with over 10 years’ experience with a 
graduate degree in Human Services as well as a PHR and SHRM-CP certification. She graduated with a Masters in Human Services from St. Edwards University.  Christina currently serves as the Human Resources Manager at the Phase I Clinic in Austin, TX for PPD (Contract research organization). Prior to joining PPD she was the Director of HR for “Leap to Success” a non-profit organization that connects job seeking professionals that volunteer their time and experience to deliver business planning, website, marketing pro bono projects to nonprofits in the central Austin area. Christina is also an active volunteer in her community. She serves as a volunteer to the Dispute Resolution Center in Austin as a certified community and family mediator. Christina also volunteers at the Austin PD as a communications facilitator for police officers on the job that require Spanish translation.


Co-VP Diversity and Inclusion - Juanita Baldwin, 2017-2018


Juanita Baldwin, SHRM-CP, PHR, is a seasoned HR professional and strategic thinker with over twenty-five years of experience managing core HR functions including recruitment, staffing, benefits, compensation, employee relations, and organizational development. She currently serves as the Recruitment and Internship Coordinator for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), where she was recognized by the Chief Auditor’s Office for excellence in relationship-building.  At the TCEQ, Juanita successfully collaborates with scientific and technical program areas to meet their talent acquisition needs. Prior to joining TCEQ, Juanita gained private sector experience in insurance, financial services, hi-tech start-ups, and information services.

Juanita is a proud Longhorn with a degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  She successfully completed the Governor’s Center Senior Management Development Program, and led the winning project team for the 2009 Hispanic Austin Leadership Program (HAL) sponsored by the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Juanita served as President of AHRMA in 2013 when the organization was recognized as the Leading Contributing SHRM Chapter by the SHRM Foundation. Juanita is also a member of the Human Resource Management Advisory Board at Texas State University and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 

Juanita’s passion involves implementing talent management strategies that drive organizational success.  She particularly enjoys mentoring university students seeking internships, and advising candidates pursuing a professional career.


Co-VP Legal and Legislative Affairs - Kevin Lashus, 2016-2017


Mr. Lashus graduated from Stanford University in 1994 and received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1998.  Mr. Lashus is the Managing Partner of the Austin office of Jackson Lewis, LLP.  He is also Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Mr. Lashus has represented management in employment verification compliance investigations, administrative employer sanctions cases, in-bound business immigration, USCIS fraud investigations and other workplace w matters since 2007.  Before moving to the private sector, Mr. Lashus was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas - defending state-wide law enforcement officers accused of civil rights violations and employment discrimination in federal and state court litigation.

Shortly after September 11, 2001, he moved on to the US Department of Justice, then ultimately, the US Department of Homeland Security, where he prosecuted terrorists and advised Special Agents on the execution of worksite investigations and Form I-9 inspections.  Mr. Lashus was a member of the National Security Team - enjoying a Top Secret security clearance.  He has presented at national ABA, AILA, and FBA seminars across the country and has contributed written articles concerning immigration enforcement and employment verification law matters.  A 2010 peer survey identified him as a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star in immigration; he was re-designated in 2011 as well.  Mr. Lashus frequently addresses supervisors and managers to assist them in developing the immigration and employment verification compliance systems needed to manage effectively in today's challenging legal environment.  Mr. Lashus is admitted to practice:

  • All Texas Courts
  • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas

Co-VP Legal and Legislative Affairs - Chris Wike, 2016-2017


Christopher Champion Wike is an attorney in the Austin and Miami offices of Ogletree,
Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. His practice focuses on labor and employment law, with a significant emphasis on litigation and counseling businesses on how to navigate the uncertain waters of state and federal labor laws. Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Mr. Wike served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas, where he defended state employees and their respective agencies in state and federal court.

Mr. Wike has represented management from small companies to Fortune 50 companies in all types of employment litigation from administrative charges to nationwide collective actions. He also regularly advises employers on their employment policies and procedures and helps craft those policies and procedures.

Mr. Wike has experience handling single-plaintiff and collective litigation arising under various state and federal labor statutes (including the FLSA, Title VII, EPA, ADA, FMLA, OSHA, ADEA, USERRA, and similar state statutes), as well as advising clients in regard to immigration matters, I-9 compliance, and compliance with ADA accessibility issues. He also regularly handle matters related to drafting and enforcing employment and non-compete agreements.

Co-VP Marketing and Public Relations - Marc Tucci, 2016-2017


Marc Tucci is the founder and CEO of the Austin Sports and Social Club (SSC), the largest provider of adult co-ed recreational sports in the city.  He also holds the same role for companies in San Antonio & Dallas / Fort Worth, with over 55,000 adults staying active annually.  No experience is necessary to participate; these leagues are for all skills, shapes and sizes.


The SSC's provide an outlet for everyone to play, ranging from individuals new to town to company's adding a fun component to their wellness program.  With 14 different sports and several social activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy after the work day ends.  On a day to day basis, Marc oversees the company's operations and human resources.


Co-VP Marketing and Public Relations - Sam Moore, 2017-2018


Sam Moore, SHRM-CP, is a successful Human Resource/General Manager with an emphasis on leading teams through development and coaching in a retail environment for the past 20 years. He has expertise and a thorough knowledge base in HR Management fundamentals. He has led teams to successful achievements in sales/marketing strategies driving revenues for such companies as Restoration Hardware, The Container Store, and currently as General Manager of Cost Plus World Market.

Sam is adept in customer relationship management knowing people and employee relations drive successful results. He is innovative creative and entrepreneurial in his work style, while maintaining integrity and ethics with a high level of personal commitment.

Sam is certified SHRM-CP, a member of SHRM, and serves on the AHRMA Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Sam received a Bachelor of Business degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He earned his SHRM certification through a partnership with AHRMA and Concordia University.



Co-VP Membership - LaDonna Crawford, 2017-2018


LaDonna has over 20 years’ experience in human capital consulting, performing various business development, consulting and executive management roles. As Managing Director for Brainard Strategy, LaDonna is responsible for leading the expansion of the organization into the Texas market. Prior to joining Brainard Strategy, LaDonna founded a private management consulting practice in which she consulted with leading edge companies to develop their strategic direction and increase the caliber and effectiveness of their employee population. She also provided in-depth coaching for executive women.

Previously, LaDonna held leadership positions in human capital consulting firms DBM/Lee Hecht Harrison where she partnered with organizations to identify key business challenges and develop solutions to support senior executives in achieving superior business performance. In this capacity, she also managed a coaching network of over 120 professional coaches located throughout North America. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota and has advanced training in leadership development and executive coaching. LaDonna is a certified executive coach through The Center for Executive Coaching.


Co-VP Membership - Meghan Hill, 2016-2017


Meghan Hill is an HR professional with over 16 years of progressive experience in human resources management across a wide spectrum of HR areas. Meghan has proven executive management experience building effective relationships and driving business results across diverse constituent groups through effective program implementation, talent management, total rewards, organizational development, coaching, employee/labor and client relations, investigations, strategic planning, mergers/acquisitions, analysis, compensation, and team building.

Meghan is the Director of Human Resources for Builder Homesite, Inc., with full corporate HR responsibility. She oversees the HR function, community involvement and philanthropy and communications.  Meghan previously served in HR leadership roles with BuildASign.com, Fallbrook Technologies, The Hertz Corporation, Franchise Specialist Inc. and Vike Husen.   Meghan received her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration from Walden University  and her MBA from Liberty University.

Meghan has a real passion for people.  Meghan is known for her fair and candid approach to situations and thrives on empowering employees and being an advocate for those around her. While she is viewed as a resource to many, Meghan has mastered the ability to build strong relationships with managers, co-workers and employees alike.  Meghan is passionate about helping those around her and enjoys setting up others for success.

Meghan is actively involved in her community and regularly volunteers at the Round Rock Serving Center and Austin Partners in Education (APiE), is a licensed foster parent through the Giocosa Foundation and Child Protective Services, participates in AHRMA’s “Just In Time” mentoring program and serves on the mentoring committee. 

When Meghan is not working or volunteering in her community, she is spending time with her two young children (Adrianna and Jackson).


Co-VP Programs - Cathi Hight, 2016-2017


Cathi Hight is a Kaizen consultant and President of Hight Performance Group. She has more than 20 years of experience in performance improvement. Using proven strategies, assessments, and intervention tools, Cathi helps clients identify their real problems and solve them. She has worked with a wide range of organizations from the association, education, finance, public, and technology sectors to navigate market changes, streamline operations, increase productivity, and develop staff and customer retention.

Cathi has extensive experience in organizational development, is a certified Motorola University instructor for continuous improvement, and an authorized partner for Wiley Workplace Solutions. Her expertise lies in strategic planning, developing high performing teams, customer retention, and productivity improvement.


Co-VP Programs - Bill Woodson, 2017


After over forty years of litigation experience, primarily in employment law cases in the southern California area, Bill Woodson moved to Texas to be near his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. He now focuses his broad experience on mediation, mentoring, and peacemaking.  Bill engages in the practice of mediation and conciliation professionally and volunteers time with the Dispute Resolution Center in Austin, Texas where he obtained his mediation certificate in 2014. He likes to say he moved from being an arsonist to joining the fire department. Bill also conducts group discussions in all aspects of conflict resolution, including mediation of disputes for family, church, and the workplace.  Bill’s extensive experience in civil litigation, including civil rights matters, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination cases, primarily from a plaintiff's perspective, make his consulting services for employers highly valuable. Bill lives in Cedar Park, Texas, with his wife Sue, and enjoys playing and listening to music, dabbling in art, and volunteering in the youth ministry for his church.
 

Treasurer - Stephen Polonski, 2017-2018


Stephen Polonski is currently a Business Consultant for CLS Partners, where he works with clients on the implementation of HRIS technologies, providing guidance to clients engaged in mergers or acquisitions & HR optimization strategies. He has over 20 years as a strategic HR professional proficient in employee benefits, recruiting, organizational development, project management, employee relations, payroll, HRIS & compliance.

Prior to CLS, Stephen has held the Director of HR positions for 3 other Austin based firms and participated as a member of the senior & executive management teams, responsible for the strategic direction & management of the HR department. For one firm, he supported an 860% headcount growth from multiple acquisitions across a 2 year timeframe. He also worked for a retirement plan administration firm & built a solid understanding of IRS compliance, trust accounting principles & retirement strategies. Stephen also served on ADP's Client Advisory Board bringing client focused strategy to shape the technology used by thousands of companies today.

Stephen holds a BBA in Finance & Management from Baylor University & is active in SHRM & AHRMA.

Outside of work, Stephen spends quality time with his family & loves to travel overseas to experience other cultures & cuisines.

Co-VP Workforce Readiness - Anne Dapremont, 2016-2017


Anne Dapremont is a strategic, results-driven leader with over 15 years of diverse experience in sales leadership and education management. Since 2010, Anne has led market strategies across Texas to identify and bridge workforce skills gaps with leading employers in the corporate, healthcare, educational, and government sectors.

In July 2015, Anne joined WGU Texas, a state-endorsed, non-profit, competency-based university. In this role, she collaborates with state, regional, and local employers, associations, and community college districts to leverage pathways for in-demand post-secondary educational programs to create opportunities for Texans to earn the marketable skills needed to increase their employability and address workforce development needs in Texas.

In addition to serving as VP, Workforce Readiness for AHRMA 2016-2017, Anne also serves her community by volunteering:

  • Chair, Veterans Affairs Committee, 2017: Texas Association of Business
  • Member, 2014-Present: Texas Diversity Council
  • Member - American Heart Association Advocacy Committee

VP Technology - Wendy Chance, 2017-2018


Wendy Chance, CTS, is the Director of Human Resources for United PF Partners, a Planet Fitness Management Company, spanning 10 states with 64 club locations. 25+ years of business and HR experience include strategic planning & HR development, full life cycle staffing and recruitment, internal and external training and development, employee relations, organizational development, operations management, compensation and benefits, and core HR and business functions.

Wendy is certified by the American Staffing Association as a Temporary Staffing Specialist (CTS), attended the University of Kansas, and graduated from the Brown Mackie Business School.

Wendy's Chapter volunteer roles include: AHRMA 2011 President, Vice President Programs 2009-2010, Vice President Marketing/Public Relations 2013-2014, Vice President Membership 2015-2016, SHRM Foundation Chapter Champion 2008 to present, and Wendy was part of the 1st class to graduate from AHRMA's own leadership academy, "Stepping Stones to Enhanced Leadership."

Wendy's HR State volunteer roles include Assistant State Director of Marketing for the Texas SHRM State Council focusing on outreach website, newsletter, social media and promotion to establish partnerships with key government, business, and special interest groups to advance the human resource profession; 2015-2017 Social Media Director for the HR Southwest Conference; and recognized as the 2015 Texas HR Volunteer of the Year.

Past President - Justin Sharp, 2017


Justin is currently serving as a Compensation Analyst with Intelligent Compensation, LLC. Previously, Justin worked with Academy Sports and Outdoors for over nine years where he exhibited great success in human resource management, payroll, sales management, marketing and loss prevention. Justin also participated in the company’s efforts to optimize performance through audits and the analysis of business trends, marketing and advertising efforts, consumer needs and satisfaction, and overall operational effectiveness.

Justin’s background in direct human resource management, training and loss prevention management contributes to his overall effectiveness in helping organizations increase profits, and operational efficiencies and effectiveness while looking for ways to limit adverse operating exposure and expense. Justin previously worked with the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure where he assisted the Austin affiliation with event affairs and helped organize and operate the annual event. As Marketing Manager at Academy, Justin also worked with several nonprofit organizations to assist them in securing company donations and assistance. Justin hold a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas State University – San Marcos and is currently a member of both AHRMA and SHRM.



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 Congratulations AHRMA May Volunteer of the Month

M. Wilson Stoker 

Senior VP & Managing Attorney

Welter Law Firm P. C.

 

AHRMA is recognized by SHRM to offer
Professional Development Credits (PDCs)
for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. 

   

 


   

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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