AHRMA Board of Directors
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 6 years, and he has been a volunteer for the conference for a total of 8 years. Brian was 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 Galveston, Texas area and served as the Chapter President for Texas Bay Area SHRM in Clear Lake for 4 years. He was sworn in as AHRMA Chapter President for 2021 in December 2020. AHRMA is the third (3rd) largest HR professional association in the state of Texas. In his role as President, Brian will be responsible for leading the premiere HR association in Central Texas.
Brian brings more than 25 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).
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.
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 University. 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.
Co-VP of Membership
Wendy Chance is a Human Resources Professional with 20+ years of experience. Wendy is the Human Resource Manager for United PF Partners, LLC, the largest Planet Fitness Franchisee with 170 locations covering 14 states.
Wendy is a previous AHRMA President and other previous volunteer roles include VP of Programs, Workforce Readiness, Membership, Technology and numerous other committee roles within AHRMA spanning 20 years.
In addition to volunteering with AHRMA, Wendy finds time to volunteer at the State Level and serves as the Director for the SHRM Foundation with Texas SHRM and the HRSouthwest Conference, and is an active Volunteer at St. Paul in Austin, Texas.
P. Odette Perez is an accomplished Business Development Manager 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.
Arlaine Decrevel, MBA, SHRM-CP, PHR, CAM is the Executive Director for Evins Personnel Consultants, a full-service human resource consulting, recruiting, and staffing company and Marketing/Social Media Consultant for the Dispute Resolution Center of Travis County in Austin, Texas. She is a SHRM Certified Professional an HRCI Professional in Human Resources and a TMCA Credentialed Advanced Mediator. She also holds several certificates from The University of Texas at Austin in Transformational Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Communication and the City of Austin’s Success Skills for Small Business. For over 25 years, Arlaine has led, coached, influenced and mentored others during her career with Fortune 500 companies, small to medium sized businesses, governmental agencies, and not-for-profit associations. She is the founder and owner of A.D. Collaborative Solutions, a strategic management, human resources, marketing, and mediation consulting business. She holds three degrees in Business Administration and a Certificate of Human Resource Management from The University of Texas at Austin.
Arlaine is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Austin Human Resource Management Association (AHRMA) since 2013. She is currently the Director of Technology for the Texas SHRM State Council, 2019 AHRMA Past President, 2018 AHRMA President, 2020 WilcoHR Speaker, 2020 HR Southwest Conference Special Events Committee Volunteer, 2014-2015 AHRMA Conference Speaker, Volunteer Mediator for the Dispute Resolution Center, and former Board Member/Social Media Chair for the Texas Association of Mediators. Her passion is helping others, advancing the HR profession, promoting mediation services, caregiving for her Mom and spending quality time with her Austin Pets Alive! rescue pup LaceyLoo.
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 Rising Star for the years 2019 through 2021 in the area of Employment Litigation: Defense and was named a Top Austin Attorney by Austin Monthly Magazine in Labor and Employment in 2020.
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 Chair of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation, immediate Past-President of the Travis County Women Lawyers' Association, and is an Associate member of the Robert W. Calvert Inn of Court. 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.
VP of Diversity & Inclusion
Elizabeth Taplin, SPHR, has been a human resources leader for 20 years, including experience in the private sector in high-tech and healthcare human resources and in municipal government human resources and in state government. She currently serves as Manager of Agency Operations and Employee Services with a State of Texas Agency, overseeing human resources and agency operations departments.
Elizabeth earned her SPHR in December 2019 and is a member of AHRMA and SHRM. She recently served on the AHRMA Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has a passion for the sense of belonging that diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives give our employees. Elizabeth holds a masters degree in Public Administration from UT Arlington. She also serves as the governance committee chairperson for the Pflugerville Education Foundation for Pflugerville ISD. But most importantly to her, she is mom and wife to her blended family and a deaf Catahoula hound.
Michelle O’Neil, SHRM-CP is a Human Resources Consultant with 25+ years of experience in several industries including EMS, finance, manufacturing, property management, and technology. Her experience includes employee relations, change management, conflict management, organizational development as well as payroll, benefits administration, recruiting, and labor and employment law.
Michelle specializes in partnering with small businesses and start-ups to establish, develop, and implement HR best practices. She is a member of AHRMA’s Certification Committee and a 2020 graduate of the Stepping Stones to Enhanced Leadership program. In 2019, Michelle and her family escaped the New England winters and relocated to the Austin area where she currently lives with her husband and daughter.
Anthony Donato is a recent transplant from Atlanta, Georgia with over 20 years of Human Resources management experience in best-in-class organizations in the professional sports, live & filmed entertainment, technology, start-up, and media industries. He is passionate about building people-first cultures to create great places to work. Anthony is a strong advocate for professional development and has held Human Resources certifications since 1999. He is currently is a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). In addition, he is actively involved in The PEER 150 and Culture LabX.
As Founder of PeopleSherpa, Anthony helps start-ups and other small businesses build highly effective people operations to save time and money while mitigating costly risks. Anthony lives on the East Side of Austin with his four-legged best friend, Sydney, and enjoys traveling, reading, writing, music, and cars.
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.
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.