AHRMA Board of Directors
Since moving to Austin and joining AHRMA in 2014, Lisa has served on the Board as VP-Finance (2015-2016), Co-VP of Conference (2018), President-Elect (2019), and currently President (2020). Lisa Blanton is the owner and CEO of the Austin Alliance Group, and has a diverse professional background that includes over 30 years in corporate positions of COO, CFO, and CHRO; including 14 years as a business owner. She is passionate about helping leaders drive for high achieving results through strategy, integration, and people relationships. Lisa is focused on the financial, people service, and enterprising aspects of business. Her career is filled with success stories of assisting leadership teams with building the business functions of operations, finance, accounting, and human resources while they concentrate on the development of the product or service.
Core Values: Help first; Do the right thing; Do what I say; Grow or die; Be humbly confident
Core Focus: To help people get what they want from their business and careers.
Motto: "I am living my authentic life while helping others live their authentic lives."
Credentials: Professional EOS Implementer, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, MBA in Organizational Studies
Outside of work: Lisa spends quality time with her family & loves to binge watch reality game shows.
L. Shaw is an accomplished HR professional with experience in multiple
industries including retail, government, healthcare and most recently
Education. Angela has grown her career from an administrative employee
performing the different functions of human resources to leading the
function in several organizations. She also teaches an Essentials of HR
Class at Austin Community College where she gets to interact with future
She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with a minor in Human Resources and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership. She is dual certified as a Professional in Human Resources and a SHRM Certified Professional.Angela is a 2014 graduate of the AHRMA Stepping Stones program and believes in leadership that is responsible and accountable. Angela has a love of HR as a whole but is specifically devoted to diversity, inclusion, and workforce readiness.
Angela views volunteer leadership as a pathway for her passion as a servant leader to the HR community. She has steadily been involved with SHRM affiliated chapters since 2011 having served in multiple capacities including 2013 Workforce Readiness Day Panel Member for WilcoHR Association, 2014 Workforce Readiness Day Panel Member for AHRMA, 2015 Student Summit Panel Member for AHRMA, 2015 President of WilcoHR Association, 2016 Director of Diversity and Inclusion for TXSHRM, and currently serving on the Educational Sessions committee for the HRSouthwest conference since 2017.
Brian Hayes has been heavily involved with the HR community in the State of Texas for many years, having served on the Board of Directors for The HRSouthwest Conference for the past 5 years, and he has been a volunteer for the conference for a total of 7 years. Brian was recently selected as a finalist for DallasHR’s “HR Stars Awards” as the HR Southwest Conference’s Volunteer Leader of the Year for 2019. Prior to moving to Austin in January 2019 to join the team at Disability Rights Texas as HR Director, Brian lived in the League City, Texas area and served as the Chapter President for Texas Bay Area SHRM for 4 years. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Austin Human Resource Management Association (AHRMA) as President-Elect for 2020. AHRMA is the third (3rd) largest HR professional association in the state of Texas. In his role as President-Elect, Brian will be responsible for managing the Stepping Stones Program, AHRMA’s 2008 SHRM Pinnacle Award-winning leadership development program.
Brian brings more than 24 years of Human Resources management experience in both for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication/Public Relations, and holds professional certifications from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), as well as, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).
Co-VP of Membership
Katie Hayden currently serves as a Senior Human Resources Business Partner for Covenant Management Systems/Austin Regional Clinic. Katie works closely with senior management, focusing on talent acquisition, employee relations, performance management, and succession planning, among other HR functions and employee-facing initiatives.
Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management, is a Certified Professional though SHRM, and has supported human resources functions in multiple industries including retail, distribution, insurance, and health care. She firmly believes that a company’s most important and valuable asset is its talent. Katie is passionate about working in human resources because each day brings a new challenge or opportunity to help someone - from hiring an individual who’s in danger of losing a home, providing health insurance to someone who’s never had it before, or providing job training that will give employees transferable skills no matter where they work.
Katie relocated to Austin from California in 2017 and absolutely loves Austin! Outside of work she enjoys traveling, crafting, and spending time with her family.
P. Odette Perez is an accomplished Business Development Representative for the Austin branch of L.K. Jordan & Associates. She is responsible for developing new business and managing sales by prospecting, gaining, and maintaining clientele. She successfully connects with existing clients to maintain business relationships by identifying current needs. Odette is experienced in identifying recruitment needs of companies in multiple industries, such as Office Administration, Accounting & Finance, Manufacturing, Construction and Engineering. She has a long history of excelling at sales, is a 4-time L.K. Jordan President’s Club Winner and has won the Quarterly Top Sales award for the company 10 times. Odette holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Apparel Design from the University of Texas at Austin.
Odette has been a part of the AHRMA organization since 2014. She is an “adopted Austinite” having lived in Austin since 1999 while attending UT. Outside of her profession, Odette enjoys traveling the world, immersing herself in Astrophysics documentaries, and loves to enjoy the culinary delights of Austin.
Justin Sharp currently serves as Global Compensation Manager with SailPoint Technologies where he provides global compensation and total rewards guidance along with equity design and administration. Prior to joining SailPoint Technologies, Justin worked with AMD where he provided global compensation guidance for over 25 countries and assisted in equity administration.
Justin also worked for Intelligent Compensation, LLC as the Director of Compensation and Business Consultant. In this capacity he provided compensation analysis and business consulting work for an array of clients throughout the United States and Mexico. Justin’s background in business management and direct human resource, training and loss prevention 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.
Active in the community, Justin has served on the AHRMA Board of Directors since 2012 where his roles included VP Membership (2013-2014), President-Elect (2015), President (2016) Past President (2017), VP Emerging Professionals (2018-2019), and currently serves as the Treasurer (2020). Previously, he 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. He received a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Texas State University.
Click here to learn more about volunteering with the Finance Committee.
Sarah is an employment attorney at Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C. who specializes in assisting employers with federal and state employment law compliance and prides herself on providing efficient, cost-effective representation rooted in an understanding of the business. Sarah also defends employers when they are sued or under investigation by governmental agencies, litigating matters in state and federal court and before various governmental agencies. Sarah was named a Texas Super Lawyers 2019 Rising Star in the area of Employment Litigation: Defense.
Sarah has long believed that it is important to love your job, enjoy your colleagues, and give back to your community. To that end, she serves as President of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, is an Associate member of the Robert W. Calvert Inn of Court, and serves on the Development Committee of the Austin Diaper Bank. On the weekends, she is usually running after two little kids and trying to catch up on sleep.
Co-VP of Conference
With a resume that ranges from teaching English in South Korea to 15+ years' experience in Human Resources, working in a variety of industries; Mya is a multi-faceted HR leader who always maintains a "people-first" mindset.
Mya is a graduate of Texas Southern University, where she received her B.A. in General Studies and minored in Business Administration. She also currently holds her HR certifications with SHRM and HRCI.
In 2018, Mya joined Holtzman Partners, where she currently leads the HR function overseeing the firm's Total Rewards Program, Employee Engagement Initiatives, Training & Development, Recruitment, Workforce Planning and Compliance. Mya has a passion for developing others and implementing initiatives that have a hyper-focus on employee growth.
In her spare time, Mya can be found with family and friends, training for her next 10k, or simply at home reading and watching movies.
Leah is a certified HR, Management, and Training professional with over 15 years of experience ensuring organizational growth by leveraging technology and education methodologies to establish results-oriented processes and people programs. Originally from California, Leah is “one of those people” that relocated to Austin, TX in 2006 with family and is currently raising a Texan in Leander, TX with her husband. While completing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at St. Edward’s University, her studies focused on the impact of employee wellbeing on organizational innovation and prosperity. She continues to research this topic as an MBA student, driven by curiosity for how the healthcare industry will adapt to the triple-bottom-line approach of modern organizations.
As a life-long learner and educator, Leah utilizes the following designations to conduct organizational assessments and apply OD-related principles, frameworks, models, tools and techniques to improve design and performance.
Leah applies all these experiences as she develops educational opportunities for HR practitioners of Travis & Williamson County. She’s grateful to call this little oasis home and be part of a community that is uniquely situated to model the future of work.
As a Human Resources Professional with over 25 years’ experience in a variety of industries, Tami is well versed in management, leadership, employee relations, human resources and organizational development. She currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources for Goodwin & Company, a Texas based Association Management Company. Tami holds certifications as a Strength Deployment Inventory and Core Strengths facilitator and is passionate about implementing communication and collaboration strategies that drive managing conflict and improving relationships resulting in organizational success.
Tami currently serves on the Austin Human Resource Management Association Board as Co-VP of Programs and Executive Advocate for the Strategic Human Resources Forum. She is passionate about helping others with personal and professional growth and development as well as giving back to the community.
Jen Garza is a Human Resources leader with over two decades of successful experience in all aspects of HR. She specializes in providing strategic advice to operational managers, directing administrative functions of complex organizations, employee relations, mediating disputes, and the development of organizational culture.
Jen enjoys a good Netflix binge but also enjoys spending time with her family, shopping and traveling. She is married with three children, Timothy, Marissa and Myranda and one grandson, Prestyn. Jen also enjoys mentoring up-and-coming HR professionals where she shares her knowledge and passion for HR.
Jennifer Charles is the Human Resource Director at St. Edward’s University, 17 years of experience in Human resources and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She has worked across business industries in both the public and private sectors. She is a trainer, thought leader, and DEI implementer. Jennifer has trained on various HR and DEI topics to include but limited to Harassment and Discrimination, Cultural Awareness, Unconscious Bias, and Respect and Diversity in the Workplace. She has also supported and lead successful DEI programs and Initiates.
Jennifer dedicates herself to business transformation and culture change. She has a customized approach in working with leaders and organizations. Jennifer currently has her Bachelor of Science degree in Business with a minor in Human Resources from Concordia University. She is currently in pursuit of her Master’s of Jurisprudence Degree from Texas A&M Unversity. Jennifer has a love for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, HR, and talent acquisition.
Click here to learn more about volunteering with the D&I Committee.
VP of Communication
Mary Evans, PHR, SHRM-CP, is the Vice President of Human Resources with 360training.com and is responsible for leading and implementing the talent management and talent acquisition programs globally for 360training. Mary has approximately 20 years’ experience in the Human Resources field, managing teams in health care, real estate and manufacturing industries.
Mary participates in SHRM, AHRMA, ATD and holds SHRM-CP and PHR certifications. She has spoken at HR workshops on topics related to culture, as well as diversity and inclusion. Mary is passionate about mentoring HR professionals and students, creating a great culture environment and giving back to the local communities.
Laurie Holsman is a Talent Management Advisor with 18+ years of experience in talent acquisition and organizational management. As the CEO and Founder of Holsman Consulting Group and Actions on Purpose, she assists businesses with building strategic talent management programs and employee development initiatives. Laurie has worked as a career and interview coach for more than 20 years, helping over 1000 individuals learn the best way to showcase their unique value. As a professional speaker and training facilitator, Laurie shares her insights at conferences, workshops, and various corporate events. She is also a regular volunteer with numerous job seeker networks, non-profits, and startups.
Click here to learn more about volunteering with the Career Development Committee.
Patricia is a native Arizonan who found her way to Austin, TX 10 years ago. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring the outdoors, finding new adventures, and meeting new people.
She has more than nine years of experience within all areas of human resources. Having worked with non-profits, for-profit, and global corporations, Patricia brings extensive experience in organizational development, recruiting and staffing, strategic and operational planning, compliance management and more.
Patricia has been a member with AHRMA since 2015 and volunteered in the Mentorship Program and recently graduated in the Stepping Stones Enhanced Leadership Program in 2019.
She is passionate about helping to provide and identify resources for HR professionals and mentoring.
Patricia is honored to be part of AHRMA and is humbled to serve on the board of directors for 2020.
Megan Thornton is a fierce believer in the potential of all people. A self-diagnosed culture junkie and die-hard believer that work should be fun, Megan loves creating the conditions for people to come alive at work. With a background in teaching and an expectation that she'd spend her life serving as a first grade teacher, she unexpectedly fell into the world of HR and has worked at a variety of companies from family owned business to international software companies. As the current Vice President of HR at Kasasa, Megan's focus is to continue to build upon the company's amazing culture that has been integral in their multi-year designation as one of Austin's Best Places to Work.
Click here to learn more about volunteering with the Emerging Professionals Committee.
Shirelle relocated to Austin from Atlanta, Georgia in September 2009. She became a member of AHRMA in October of the same year and quickly joined the Diversity and Inclusion committee. She served on the committee for two years, then became the Co-Chair in 2011. Since relocating to Austin, Shirelle has held several senior-level HR positions in county government, HR consulting, and nonprofit. She performs her job with passion and purpose. Her purpose is to be a “change agent”. As an HR professional, she believes it is her responsibility to facilitate change and to value and embrace diversity.
Shirelle is currently the Human Resources Manager for Travis County’s Transportation and Natural Resources (TNR) department. She’s also a part-time Adjunct Professor at Concordia University where she teaches Human Resources Management and Business and Leadership courses. When time and opportunity present, Shirelle also operates her own consulting firm, A to Z Consulting Services, which specializes in outsourced Human Resources and leadership and management training and development.
Kevin Cartwright is as a Senior Compensation Analyst at Intelligent Compensation, LLC. Kevin has assisted with a variety of human resources assignments for many different clients in the United States and internationally. He provides analysis, research and assistance on numerous areas of compensation including, but not limited to, Market Studies, Wage and Salary Planning, Executive Compensation Studies and Total Compensation Analysis’.
Kevin serves on various committees within organizations around the Austin community, including the Austin Human Resources Management Association (AHRMA), where he has been a member of the Emerging Professionals Committee since 2018. He is also involved with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) of Austin as a member of the Strategic Partnership Committee, where he works to advance the mission of YNPN throughout the Austin area.
Kevin received his B.A. in History from Sam Houston State University and enjoys spending his free time with family, watching sports and working with high school students at his local church.