AHRMA Mission and Objectives:

The Austin Human Resource Management Association's mission is to promote professionalism, effectiveness, and understanding in the Human Resource Management field by offering members a wide variety of professional development opportunities and a common forum for sharing ideas and experiences.

AHRMA's Members

AHRMA members represent the entire spectrum of HR management. Many of our members attend our annual conference (usually late July-early August) while enjoying the benefits of networking and developing relationships with each other.

AHRMA also participates in the activities of the Texas SHRM and other activities with our sister SHRM chapters in Texas.

AHRMA Serves its Members by:

Providing a wide range of educational programming and activities that allow members to develop their expertise in the functional areas of Human Resource Management.

  • Fostering increase awareness and understanding of the Human Resource profession throughout the business community and the public.
  • Encouraging the highest standards of integrity through our Code of Ethics.
  • Providing a regular forum for members to meet and exchange information in addressing current human resource issues.
  • We develop professionals and provide opportunities to contribute to each other, our organization and our communities.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


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

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 non-profits.

 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 Legal and Legislative Affairs - Chris Wike, 2016-2017

Chris Wike is a Partner at the Austin law firm Hajjar Peters, LLP. Chris's primary practice focuses on labor and employment law, with a significant emphasis on litigation and counseling businesses on employee issues. In addition to being licensed to practice law in Texas, New Mexico, and Florida, Chris is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Prior to joining Hajjar Peters, Chris practiced with a premier international labor and employment law boutique, representing management from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies, in all manner of employment litigation, administrative charges to nationwide collective actions.

Chris regularly advises employers on their employment policies and procedures and helps craft those policies and procedures. Chris has extensive 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 handles matters related to drafting and enforcing employment and non-compete agreements. He represents clients all over the State of Texas and the State of New Mexico.

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 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 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.

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

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 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 Conference - Jessica Hubbard, 2017-2017

Jessica Hubbard is the Austin Market Director at Roth Staffing Companies, one of the largest staffing organizations in the U.S. and recently Ranked #1 by FORTUNE on the list of Best Workplaces for Professional Services.  As a market leader, Jessica manages two Roth Staffing lines of business including Ultimate Staffing - supporting clerical, administrative, operational and HR roles, as well as Ledgent Finance and Accounting - placing accounting professionals on a temporary and direct hire basis with small to mid-sized companies in the Central Texas area. 

Prior to Roth Staffing, Jessica held a Market Director role with Volt Workforce Solutions and was responsible for the strategic direction and management of all offices in Texas, and territories in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas, including a program site in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Here she designed, implemented and maintained high-volume staffing programs for Fortune 500 companies.

Jessica has lived in Austin since 1995 and has a great love for this community!  She volunteers with several local organizations and non-profit associations.  She was on the 2016 AHRMA Finance Committee and joined the AHRMA Conference Committee and Board in 2017.  Jessica has an B.A. in Applied Arts and Sciences from the school of Occupational Workforce and Leadership Studies at Texas State University, San Marcos

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 Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1998.

Mr. Lashus is a Partner of the Austin office of FisherBroyles 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 law 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, SHRM, 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. In 2012, the same peer survey identified his as a Texas Super Lawyer in immigration; and, he has been re-designated each year through 2016.  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.  Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice include: 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, and the Western District of Texas.

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 - Vacant


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. 

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 67 club locations. Wendy's 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, and SHRM Foundation Chapter Champion 2008 to present. 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. This role focuses on community outreach, website, newsletter, social media and promotion to establish partnerships with key government, business, and special interest groups designed 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.

Co-VP Workforce Readiness - Traci Storm, 2017-2018

The Voice of HR for Central Texas 


Phone: 800-561-2096

Fax: 512-514-6001

7000 Mopac, Suite 200

Austin , Texas 78731

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