President, Executive

Catherine Preim, SPHR, SHRM-CP

Catherine is currently a Senior Business Partner with Baker Tilly US, a leading advisory CPA firm.  Serving as a leader within the Talent Management Business Partner team, she partners with leadership in the Pennsylvania/West Virginia market in the development and execution of their people strategy and advises on various people-related matters including employee relations, performance management, DEI, succession, and compensation. She also serves in a leadership role chairing the Philadelphia DEI committee and co-chairing the firm’s ESG Social initiative.

Prior to joining Baker Tilly, she held increasingly responsible roles in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. Touching on everything HR and Talent related from recruitment and talent acquisition, project management, compensation, employee relations, and training to immigration. In her roles, she successfully led several key initiatives including the implementation of new software tools for performance management and HRIS, and streamlined several key processes to enhance efficiency with onboarding and recruitment.

Catherine is active in the HR community and has been a member of SHRM since 2009. She started volunteering with the Philly SHRM Emerging Leaders committee in 2011 where she eventually held a board role co-chairing the committee. Following her time with Emerging Leaders, she co-chaired the Membership Committee and most recently served as Executive Vice President, Chapter Operations, where she was responsible for overseeing Sponsorship, Marcomm, Certification, and Membership. In addition to her leadership roles with Philly SHRM, she previously served on SHRM National’s Young Professional Advisory Committee (YPAC) and held a board role with Philadelphia WTS, chairing their Membership committee.

Catherine graduated Magna cum Laude from Temple University’s Fox School of Business with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management. She also holds SHRM-CP and SPHR certifications.

In her spare time, she enjoys doing activities with her husband and two children. You will often find them at the Jersey shore in the summer months spending time on the water. Outside of that, she has recently reignited her passion for singing and has been focusing on brushing up her skills.

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Immediate Past President, Executive

Theresa Velykis, PHR, SHRM-CP

Theresa is currently the Director of Human Resources at Mastery Charter Schools in Philadelphia, promoting the Mastery mission and serving as a Business Partner for a subset of Mastery Charter Schools, in Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ.  In her role, Theresa ensures that Mastery Human Resources supports an employee-focused, high performance, outcomes driven organizational culture. Theresa is responsible for the delivery and management of key HR functions of employee relations, performance management, benefits, compensation, certification and compliance.  She works with school-based leadership staff to address employee needs, manage personnel issues, and implement a performance-based compensation system.  As the Director of Human Resources, Theresa is outcomes driven, organized, customer friendly and committed to the Mastery mission.

Theresa has provided Human Resources support for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. She began her Human Resources career with ARAMARK in the company’s Human Resources Representative program. During her time as a Human Resources Representative, Theresa worked with Human Resources leaders in the Sports and Entertainment business providing HR support and guidance during large scale events.

Theresa later accepted the role of Human Resources Coordinator for one of the top symphony orchestras in the world, the Philadelphia Orchestra, where she assisted both administrative staff and orchestra musicians in all areas of employment.

In 2012, Theresa joined St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, a leading pediatric facility in Philadelphia, as a Human Resources Generalist for. In this role, Theresa worked as an advocate for healthcare professionals and provided support in all areas of Human Resources. Theresa was a Six Sigma Lean Leader for St. Christopher’s and worked to implement process improvement initiatives throughout the hospital.

Theresa is a graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management where she obtained her Bachelors of Business degree in Human Resources Management and her People First certification. She has been an active member of Philly SHRM since 2009 and has worked on the Programming, Emerging Leaders, Philly SHRM Symposium committees.

Theresa lives in Northeast Philadelphia with her husband Jason, son Jacob, and Labradoodle Duncan.

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Vice President, Legal, Executive

Timothy M. McCarthy, Esq.

Timothy M. McCarthy is an associate attorney in the Philadelphia office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers exclusively in workplace law and employee relations matters, including management training, litigation defense, and preventive advice and counseling.

Mr. McCarthy graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University School of Law-Camden in 2014 and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Loyola University Maryland in 2011. While attending law school, Mr. McCarthy was an executive editor of the Rutgers Law Journal, was a Michael Young Scholar for his participation in the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, and served as a judicial intern to a United States Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis as an associate, Mr. McCarthy was a Summer Associate in the firm’s Morristown, New Jersey office, and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph L. Yannotti, N.J. Superior Court – Appellate Division. Mr. McCarthy is currently admitted to practice law in the state courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey.

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Vice President, Finance & Analytics, Executive

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith is an Investment Representative and Financial Consultant with AXA Advisors, LLC in Bala Cynwyd, PA. As a Financial Consultant, Ryan takes pride in breaking complex planning scenarios into smaller more manageable pieces, to assist his clients in understanding how their investments, insurances, and tax/legal obligations* all play a part in their long term financial situation.

Ryan has extensive knowledge and experience in the employer sponsored arena. He has expanded his knowledge to become a Retirement Benefit Specialist of tax-sheltered plans. Throughout his career Ryan has built a diverse client base consisting of educates, self-employed individuals, small business owners, schools and non-profit organizations.

Ryan is a Philadelphia native and former all-public basketball player. Ryan carries the same ethics of hard work, integrity, and zeal learned on the basketball court to his business. Ryan has obtained several production awards including, District Leaders’ Corps. He continues to refine his processes and update his planning knowledge to achieve the highest level of service.

Ryan attended Clarion University of PA to earn his Bachelor Degree in Finance. He currently resides in Willow Grove, PA with his wife Michelle and their two children, Ryan Jr. (6) and Mirya (10).

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Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Executive

Joanna Vazquez, Ed.D, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Dr. Joanna Vazquez (Dr. Jo) is the Director of Organizational Development at Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CCTC), a private non-profit agency dedicated to assisting children and their families coping with the impact of behavioral health issues, traumatic events and other challenges that have an effect on childhood development. She is also an Adjunct Professor for Temple University’s College of Education and Human Development. During her tenure at CCTC, she has successfully designed and directed the agency’s professional development program which prepares staff to meet the challenges of serving the emotional and behavioral needs of at risk children and families. Dr. Jo supports the strategic vision of the organization and drives programs to support DEI, trauma-informed practices, workforce development, employee engagement, leadership development, and other related programs with measurable outcomes that demonstrate achievement.

Dr. Jo is the recipient of the 2015 Delaware Valley HR Person of the Year for Medium-sized companies and was a Finalist in the same category in 2023. She holds a Doctorate in Education from Gwynedd Mercy University. Her research and dissertation focused on the preparation and education of future HR professionals. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Saint Joseph’s University. She has been SPHR certified since 2006 and SHRM-SCP certified since 2015. Dr. Jo has been a member of Philadelphia SHRM since 2006 and currently serves as Executive VP of
Strategic Initiatives on the Board. In addition, she is the Executive Producer of the Philly SHRM podcast “HR Fresh Take”.

An avid runner, Joanna has finished her 10th Broad Street Run 10-Miler and second Half-Marathon. She is currently training for her next half-marathon and Spartan Race.

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Vice President, Chapter Services, Executive

Maria Downs, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Maria Downs is a Human Resource Project Manager at the Vanguard Group. She manages various projects within the organization that include both operational and strategic initiatives for performance management, workforce planning, payroll and leadership development departments within the organization.

She began her career at Vanguard after graduating from Saint Joseph’s University in June 2000. She has had experience in various areas, first as a client service associate for a department specializing in small business retirement plans. She then transitioned to various leadership roles as well as those focused on process improvements through data and process analysis.

Maria became interested in Human Resources while obtaining her Master’s degree. Her career in HR began as a supervisor leading the Data and Reporting team. As a result of her strong project management, she led a project looking to redesign the current reporting tools and develop the strategy for human resource reporting.

Maria has received her Master’s in Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University. She also has her SPHR, SHRM-SCP and recently obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification. She enjoys spending time with her husband Ryan and two daughters Allison and Liliana. In her free time, she enjoys running and exercising.

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Vice President, Programming, Executive

Kaela Blanks, SHRM-SCP

Kaela (she/they pronouns) is currently the Associate Director of Advisory at Seramount, focused on the Employee Resource Group (ERG) advisory offerings, providing advice and resources to organizations executing ERG strategies aligned to an organization’s DE&I mission, values, and strategy. Before Seramount, Kaela drove diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) practices at various organizations like Assured Partners, Wawa, and Aramark, which included ERG strategy-building, ERG leadership upskilling, aligning DE&I objectives to the business, community partnership-building, inclusive marketplace solutions, and executive leadership engagement.

Prior to specializing in DE&I, Kaela’s background is centered around critical HR functions, like talent management, organizational development/change, HR systems/analytics, communications, and employee engagement. They also served as an ERG leader during their time in HR roles. Kaela has a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership with a focus in Human Resources from Northeastern University and is an alum of Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. They hold a Senior Certified Professional (SCP) certification from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Kaela is also an active member of the local Philadelphia community and holds board and operational leadership roles with Philly SHRM, Making Worlds Cooperative Bookstore and Social Center, and cinéSPEAK.

Kaela is also an active thought leader and frequently contributes their insights on panel discussions, workshops, and conferences. They were nominated as an HR Rising Star in 2020 by the Delaware Valley HR Person of the Year Awards and named Philadelphia’s Top 40 Connectors and Keepers by Leadership Philadelphia in their class 2021. True to their passion, Kaela loves to travel to new cities and explore new foodie dishes to learn more about the cultures of others. They also geek out on sci-fi and space travel and can easily get lost in a good book, movie, or tv show.

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Ex Officio

Director, Ex Officio

Jackie Linton, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

With more than 20 years of executive leadership experience, Jackie Linton is the President of JL HR Solutions, LLC, a full-service HR consulting firm focusing on talent management strategies; HR strategic planning; HR policies and process improvements; diversity and inclusion training and improvement strategies; and executive coaching.

During her career, Jackie has held leadership roles in operations, engineering, and human resources with a primary focus on process improvements in each of these areas. She has created enterprise-wide solutions for various companies using a systems approach, grounded in thorough analysis and clear metrics. This work has been proven to significantly impact and improve operating results. She has created and implemented HR strategies designed to attract, develop, and retain top talent including creating policies, processes and procedures, training, and development, recruiting and establishing practices to ensure legal compliance, all in support of business goals. She advises business leaders in the areas of change management, diversity and inclusion, performance improvement, strategic planning, and talent management to ensure sustainable results.

Before starting this HR practice, Jackie was the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for HR&Talent for the City of Philadelphia. In this role, she focused on improving the operation of City departments and agencies through strategic human resource activities such as training and development, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, recruiting, onboarding and process improvements through internal consulting engagements. Prior to joining the City of Philadelphia, she held executive level HR positions including the Chief Human Resource executive for Synagro, the Vice President of Organization and Leadership Development at ARAMARK Corp. and the Vice President of Human Resources at Intracorp, a subsidiary of CIGNA Corp.

Jackie is a firm believer in giving back to the community and she has demonstrated this in her volunteer work. She is the past president for Philly SHRM, the Philadelphia chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management and was nominated for the 2017 HR Person of the Year. She is also a project executive working closely with MBA students at the Fox School of Business at Temple University as they complete their capstone project. Her volunteer experience also includes membership on the board of Career Wardrobe, participation as a counselor for SCORE, a small business support organization and participation as a tutor for adult learners with the Lutheran House.

She holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute, a Senior Certified Professional certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP), a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology from Southern Illinois University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Illinois.

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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Ragine Williams, M.S., SHRM-CP.

Ragine Williams, M.S., SHRM-CP, is the Leader of DEI Reporting, Recruiting and Outreach at SEI. Her first gig was at Smoothie king, and she approaches her profession the same way today as she did then: with a positive outlook, commitment to teamwork, and a hunger for knowledge. She is the ultimate HR Geek!

Ragine is passionate about embedding new perspectives of Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. She is a graduate of La Salle University, with a Master’s Degree in Human Capital Development. Ragine attended Penn State University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Labor and Employment Relations. Ragine was a finalist in the Rising Star Award for the 2021 HR Person of the Year award ceremony. As a Human Resources Professional, her goal is to put the Human back into Human Resources, making sure that every employee feels valued and appreciated. Ragine is dedicated to making the workplace an equal and safe environment for all employees—expanding her reach. Ragine is continuously thinking of new and innovative ways to embed Diversity and Inclusion into everything that she does! She taught Strategic Human Resource Management as an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University. Ragine is also a volunteer with various nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area. She is a current and active member of Society for Human Resource Management Philadelphia Chapter. Ragine spent 4 years serving as PhillySHRM’s Vice President of Marketing & Communications. Ragine is a lifelong learner who enjoys exploring the world.

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Vice President , Certification

Michelle McDevitt

Michelle McDevitt is a dynamic HR professional with over 8 years of experience guiding nonprofits, higher education institutions, and private companies on their overall HR and management strategies. She currently serves as the HR Director at ClimeCo, a global sustainability company advancing the low-carbon future with market-based solutions. Dedicated to efficiency, she directs HR efforts with the overall goal of achieving business strategies through change management methodologies and workforce development. She partners with staff and leadership to promote a safe, healthy, diverse, and effective workforce. In her free time, Michelle enjoys visiting museums and running marathons.

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Workforce Readiness

Vice President, Workforce Readiness

Dawn Bruno, PHR, SHRM-CP

Dawn Bruno is the Vice President of Human Resources for McCormick Taylor, Inc., a full-service civil engineering firm providing creative design, planning, and environmental solutions primarily to the transportation and energy sectors. Her focus is on the company’s most important asset—its people.  Advocating for staff development and training, and managing a comprehensive benefits program are among her priorities. From employee benefits to employee relations and retention, Dawn oversees the life of an employee at McCormick Taylor.

With over 20 years of experience, Dawn leverages the insights she gains through working with ownership, management, and employees to help shape the strategic direction of the organization. Her blend of experience with business management and employee relations gives her a unique perspective that she brings to our firm’s leadership team.

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Vice President, Workforce Readiness

Kena Sears-Brown, MBA

Kena R. Sears, is Director, Continuing Professional Education and Workforce Initiatives at Goodwin College of Professional Studies. Kena is an accomplished professional with over 15 years of experience in advertising, marketing, and business development. For over 6 years, she held the position of Continuing Education Representative at Penn State Abington.

In this role, her exemplary strategic planning and natural interpersonal and communication skills were an asset to dozens of clients and students with professional development needs. Kena is an alumna of Penn State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Master of Business Administration. She resides in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

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Marketing and Communications

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

LaRhonda Green, SHRM-SCP

LaRhonda Green, SHRM-SCP is a visionary human resources professional with over 10 years of experience partnering with senior leaders to sustain and grow organizations through people and culture. LaRhonda earned her bachelor’s degree in HRM from Temple University and continued her studies at La Salle University obtaining her master’s degree in Human Capital Development.

She currently works as a HR Business Partner for Merck & Co in the Merck Research Laboratories division, where she serves as a strategic people partner for her clients in the Global Regulatory and Clinical Safety space. LaRhonda focuses on partnering with senior leaders to build and sustain high quality talent through talent acquisition and retention, talent management, career development, diversity and inclusion, and organizational development strategies. Before joining Merck’s HR team, LaRhonda worked in the Higher Education, Retail, Industrial Manufacturing and Behavioral Health industries. In addition to her daytime profession LaRhonda is an Adjunct Professor at Temple and Drexel University; as well as a wife, mother and phenomenal baker, she enjoys creating treats for her family and friends during the holiday seasons and beyond.

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Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Nicole Bieri, MBA

Nicole Bieri is an HR Business Partner (HRBP) at Merck & Co. serving as the HR Site Lead for the Enterprise Shared Service, Merck’s first skill-first based organization, in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to this role, Nicole served as a HRBP supporting the Global Clinical Development Therapeutic Areas and Global Scientific and Medical Publications. Nicole also serves the Co-Lead for Merck’s Next Gen Network (NGN) Upper Gwynedd chapter and the Co-Lead for Next Gen Network’s (NGN) remote expansion project. Before joining Merck, Nicole held various HR positions at Temple University and both Aramark Food and Uniform Services in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Nicole holds both her BBA in Human Resources and MBA with a focus in Strategic Management from Temple University.  As part of her graduate degree studies, Nicole embarked on two international immersions, studying business abroad in Peru and Italy. In her free time Nicole is training for her second marathon this fall and enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and exploring new restaurants.

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Communities and Partnerships

Vice President, Communities and Partnerships

Shrina Patel

Shrina is passionate about data-driven, strategic HR and public service. Currently, she is a senior HR analyst at Merck, using analytics to identify opportunities for improvement in HR service delivery, for 17 countries across the Americas.

Previously, Shrina conducted people analytics to influence business decision-making and people strategy at Comcast, consulted organizations on their job architecture, total rewards, and diversity, equity, and inclusion at Korn Ferry, and worked at the US Department of Justice.

She is also involved in community service. Shrina has previously served on her local School Board and is currently part of her borough’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and her local BAPS Hindu temple.

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Vice President, Communities and Partnerships

Dr. Tanya O’Neill

Dr. Tanya O’Neill is a proud Philadelphia native with over 35 years of healthcare and corporate organizational development experience. She is also a Certified Professional Coach and holds multiple professional certifications. 

Dr. O’Neill uses her expertise as a strategist, consultant, facilitator and coach to help leaders and teams positively impact people, performance, and productivity. She also has served her country and supported the stateside effort during Operation Desert Shield as a United States Air Force nurse.

In her spare time, you may find her performing on stage or volunteering behind the scenes in community theater. Dr. O’Neill has performed in local theater productions throughout the Greater Philadelphia area for the past fifteen years. 

Dr. O’Neill also serves as a board member for Learning & Development Philly; and as a volunteer and advocate for a local non-profit that provides mentoring and leadership development for first generation, low-income college students, Collective Success. She serves as a volunteer with Philly SHRM’s Partnerships committee. She is most proud of being a mother, auntie, daughter, sister, soror, truth-teller, and champion of the softer voices in the room.

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Thought Leadership

Vice President, Thought Leadership

Brisilda Doma

Brisilda Doma currently works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as the Faculty Affairs Specialist for the Pathology & Clinical Laboratories department. She oversees the faculty onboarding, works on grant management and budget strategies, and other financial components of the department.

Prior to this position, Brisilda worked as the Associate Director of the Human Resource Management Department (HRM) at Fox School of Business, Temple University. In this role, Brisilda oversaw all the operational facets of the department. She worked closely with the Chair to help the department attract, retain, and develop HR student talent. She also directed the SHRM Certification Prep Program at Temple University. Brisilda is an expert in event planning management with a proven track record of planning some of the most unique events for the HRM department.

Brisilda has worked as the Coordinator of the Office of International Affairs, Temple University, planning and executing orientation for 700+ international students who joined temple University each academic year.

Before that, she worked as In Flight Service Manager for the Bahrain Royal Air Force. Brisilda trained junior cabin crew in VVIP service, as well as, emergency evacuation. She has worked in the aviation industry for twelve years before moving into higher education.

Brisilda was born and raised in Albania. She moved to the U.S. in 2008. She obtained her bachelor’s in Tourism and Hospitality Management and Master’s in Higher Education Leadership both from Temple University.

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Vice President, Thought Leadership

Dennis Paris

Dennis is a marketing strategy professor at the Fox School of Business, Temple University. Having received several teaching awards, he has piloted and continues to teach an experiential curriculum to professional and global MBA teams who conduct market analysis, strategy and planning for live problem and client firms. Dennis also coaches and consults to businesses on how to increase their brand value through gap analysis and internal organization alignment with market strategies and execution, in addition to improving innovation and new product development processes.

Client industries have included Healthcare System, Municipal Economic Development, Military Contracting, Pharmaceutical Packaging, Manufacturing and various other diverse product and service organizations.

Dennis’ experience includes instructing, speaking, consulting, and coaching on new venture, product strategy and execution planning to a variety of domestic and international businesses, including non-profit organizations. In his early career for the Dutch conglomerate Philips, Dennis had responsibility for developing international strategies that were integral to a disruptive technology shift of the global computing marketplace.

Subsequently, he led and contributed to numerous international strategic marketing initiatives for a multibillion-dollar Japanese technology company in the planning and start-up of a new technology division, the turnaround of a maturing product division and a South American business unit, including the start-up of Mexico and Brazil subsidiaries.

Dennis has served in advisory capacities to the Pharmaceutical-Drug Exchange (PDE), the Manufacturing Alliance of Philadelphia and Peirce College in Philadelphia. He is a Board Director with the Economic Development Corp. of Gloucester Township, NJ, and with Philly-SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) as Vice President of Thought Leadership.

Dennis earned his MBA from the LeBow School of Business at Drexel University, and a BBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received training at the Center for Creative Leadership in Boulder CO and INSEAD Business School in France for organization-management.

Dennis served in the United States Air Force Reserves for 11 years, and with a love for choral arts, has performed internationally with the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Men’s Choral, as well as the Greater South Jersey Chorus and Chamber Singers.


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Director, Membership

Paige Liscka, PHR, SHRM-CP

Paige Liscka, PHR, SHRM-CP is an HR Manager at Tokio Marine North America Services, a mid-sized professional services organization that supports insurance companies under the Tokio Marine Group. In her role, she is responsible for managing day to day HR operations, including Employee Relations, Employee Engagement, Onboarding and Offboarding, Performance Management, Corporate Social Responsibility Activities, Rewards and Recognition, and Internal Policies and Communications.

She also serves on her company’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Council.  Paige knows that people are a company’s greatest asset.  She believes that HR professionals have the amazing opportunity to positively influence leadership, workplace culture, and overall employee engagement. She finds no greater joy than watching others succeed and truly enjoy where they work!

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Vice President, Membership

Noel Ridlon, M.A., SHRM-SCP

Noel Ridlon received her undergrad degree at Northern Illinois University and her MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from West Chester University. Noel has been working in Human Resources for almost 10 years, and has held a variety of positions in both non-profit and for-profit organizations. She also serves as an HR consultant for non-profits in the Philadelphia area.

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Vice President, Membership

Debby Derricks

Debby is currently the Director of Development for The Veterans Multi-Service Center, headquartered in Old City, Philadelphia. She serves organization in a dual capacity by management of communications and development efforts.

Before joining the VMC, Debby worked in both the private and public sector, including diverse projects within political campaign management, communications consulting and strategic marketing.

Her experience led her to be appointed to communications coordinator for the Philly Vets Home coalition, a community-wide, collaborative, and inclusive effort to end homelessness among Veterans in Philadelphia by Veterans Day 2015 and driven by an unprecedented collaboration between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, two City offices, the Housing Authority, and four non-profit organizations committed to ensuring the success of the campaign.

Debby is also a Leadership Philadelphia 2015 Fellow. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Psychology from New York University.

If given the opportunity to boast, she will definitely mention her most beloved pit bull, Kennedy.

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Vice President, Sponsorships

Kirsten Zeigler

Kirsten Zeigler is an HR expert and consultant with over a decade of experience across a variety of industries. She’s founder and principal at KDZ HR Consulting. Her expertise lies in the creation of inclusive cultures, protection of businesses, enhancing employee engagement, and establishing standards through comprehensive compliance programs. By offering expert HR support through energy, empathy & ethics, she enables business owners to concentrate on the growth and development of their company, empowering them to build their businesses with confidence.

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Vice President , Sponsorships

Lauren Cuddeback

Lauren brings over twelve years of employee benefits sales, business development, and relationship management experience as a Benefits Consultant at Corporate Synergies, a Foundation Risk Partners sister company. Corporate Synergies is a nationally recognized industry leader in Employee Benefits helping clients design, manage, and build programs that help companies with over 100+ employees.

Lauren stays current on cutting-edge benefit solutions and the ever-evolving compliance landscape to best serve clients. She joined the Board of Philadelphia SHRM as VP of Sponsorships in 2023. She is an active member of multiple local and national Women’s Organizations and a Mentor to a Little Sister with Big Brother Big Sister in Philadelphia. Lauren demonstrates her commitment to supporting Health & Wellness as an Indoor Cycling Instructor in her local community.

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Vice President, Day Programming, Programming

Richard Foronjy

My name is Richard Foronjy and I am a Sr. HR Associate with the Talent Acquisition team at Philadelphia Insurance Companies. My primary responsibilities include assisting PHLY’s Talent Advisors with our recruitment efforts, onboarding and working on various talent acquisition projects.

Additionally, I am currently a member of PHLY’s DEI Council where I serve as the Council’s Secretary. I began my PHLY career in June of 2019 after graduating from St. Joseph’s University in May of 2019 with a double major in Managing Human Capital and Spanish. I enjoy playing soccer, going on hikes and traveling on my free time. During the pandemic, I have been able to practice and enhance my cooking and baking abilities. I look forward to serving as the Director of Day Programming for Philly SHRM.

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Vice President, Webinar Programming, Programming

Shakema Appleton

Shakema Appleton is a diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging change agent at Cozen O’Connor, a full-service law firm that has more than 825 attorneys in 30 cities across two continents and ranked among the top 100 firms in the country. Shakema is a highly effective, results-oriented strategic visionary that inspires a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond compliance and onto skill and competence.

In her current role, Shakema is responsible for tracking all diversity metrics – analyzing and generalizing data to show trends and impact across the firm; helping to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion educational efforts such as the development and facilitation of training/workshops, tools and resources; and researching, benchmarking, developing and executing the ERG strategy through project plans, communications, stakeholder engagement, timelines and milestones. In addition, Shakema enjoys facilitating on how to use diversity metrics for business impact, psychological safety in the workplace and self-care for busy professionals.

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Symposium Chair, Symposium

Kelly Jones

For over 25 years, Kelly Jones has held several progressive and strategic human resource and operations assignments. He is currently the senior vice president and chief human resources officer for The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Prior to joining The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Kelly worked at Alleghany Corporation as the strategic advisor for people and inclusion, and previously he held key leadership roles with Aramark, Lockheed Martin and Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals. Throughout his career, Kelly has been
recognized as a collaborative leader with a demonstrated track record of developing teams, coaching leaders and connecting human resource strategies to tangible business outcomes. He has led and sponsored corporate diversity councils, employee resource groups, community service projects and has been instrumental in raising funds and awareness in support of Autism research.

Kelly earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Temple University and his master’s degree from Rutgers University. Kelly resides in Montgomery County, PA, with his wife and their three children.

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Symposium Programming

Director, Symposium Programming

Edward Rogers, SHRM-SCP

Edward Rogers is a director for the United States Department of Labor (DOL) since 2011. In this role, Ed oversees reviews of EEO/AA compliance, compensation, talent selection, onboarding and employee engagement as well as all facets of investigations and analysis.

Prior to working for DOL, Ed spent 12 years with the PA Human Relations Commission (PHRC). Before leaving the PHRC, Ed was the Director of Compliance responsible for all dimensions of training and development of the staff and reporting monthly to the commissioners.

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Director, Symposium Programming

Dominic Micali

As Vice President, Senior Benefits Sales Leader, Dominic is involved in CSB’s new client development and marketing initiatives. His creativity and client focus have been instrumental in attracting and retaining client-partners over the years. Dominic is tasked with driving organic client growth, overseeing a team of Producers to ensure CSB’s short-and-long term growth initiatives are successfully met.

Prior to joining CSB, Dominic was EVP and Market Leader for the
Philadelphia offices of Arthur J. Gallagher, a global brokerage and
consultancy. In this role, Dominic oversaw a team of producers and consultants, leading key initiatives including sales accountability and process standards, resulting in record client retention and 200% pipeline growth. Previous to AJG, Dominic played a significant role in helping grow NFP into the one of the largest privately-held employee benefits firms in the Delaware Valley, delivering benefits consulting service and support to over 320 mid-market clients.

Prior to joining NFP, Dominic spent eight years in a number of sales positions with Comcast-Spectacor, most recently as a Sales Executive in charge of contracting multi-year luxury suite and sponsorship deals for the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers. In this capacity, Dominic led the sale of nearly $30 million in annual revenue generated for the Premium Seating Department.

Dominic is actively involved in numerous charitable organizations, including Melmark, Girl Scouts of Eastern PA and CUPA-HR. ia. As a board member for the Schoemaker Classic, Dominic leads fundraising efforts to benefit Melmark, an organization that helps individuals with special needs, Dominic is also passionate about HR, serving as a long-time Board Member at Philadelphia SHRM, one of the largest chapters in the country.

Dominic resides in Yardley, PA with his wife, Rachel, son, Jace, and daughter, Susannah.

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Vice President, Symposium Programming

KimberlyAnn Huegel, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Kim is the Director of Talent Acquisition at AAA Club Alliance.  Kim leads the Talent Acquisition organization in identifying, recruiting, selecting and placing qualified candidates for management, professional and technical positions.  She is also responsible for developing and implementing strategic recruitment programs and identifying best-in-class recruiting practices to drive the Organization’s growth strategy

Prior to AAA, Kim spent time as the Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY), a premier national Property/Casualty and Professional Liability insurance carrier and as the Sr. Mgr. of HR/Talent Management at CTDI, a full-service, global engineering, repair and logistics company.  Kim has led the development and implementation of strategic talent acquisition campaigns and owned the evaluation of recruiting function, strategies, and procedures while building strong relationships in a rapidly and constantly evolving environment.

Kim was also an HR Manager in a Global Shared Services organization at The Vanguard Group, managing a multi-site team responsible for all domestic recruiting operations and HR sponsored events. Kim was with Vanguard for 20 years, spending time managing teams in Talent Acquisition & Event Logistics, Leadership Development and HR Data & Reporting and also managed the strategic development and implementation of Vanguard’s Performance Management program.

Kim has extensive people leadership, HR, and business knowledge coupled with creative ideas for designing and implementing new processes and training with a solid history of success. She has strong operational leadership and planning skills, combined with the ability to coordinate the efforts of many to meet organizational goals.

Kim has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Performance Management from Immaculata University and has served on the PSHRM Symposium planning committee since 2012.

Kim enjoys spending time with her husband Patrick, their two college age children Toni and Michael, is a devoted “Drama & Swim Mom” spending her free time attending her daughter’s musical performances and her son’s swim meets.

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Emerging Leaders

Vice President, Emerging Leaders

Anna Greenwald

Anna Greenwald is a mindfulness and wellbeing speaker, professor, and founder/CEO On the Goga. Through her work, Anna helps companies of various sizes and industries think differently about the future of work. She works with leaders and their teams to enhance employee wellbeing, team performance and organizational value through culture change and technology.

Anna Greenwald is a mindfulness and wellbeing speaker, professor, and founder/CEO On the Goga. Through her work, Anna helps companies of various sizes and industries think differently about the future of work. She works with leaders and their teams to enhance employee wellbeing, team performance and organizational value through culture change and technology. Specifically, Anna focuses the power of systemic change and organizational practices that promote emotional intelligence, inclusive cultures, and comprehensive wellbeing. Anna believes that organizational success is built upon the success of individuals. Companies that nurture personal development gain a unique advantage in the competitive landscape. She has worked with professionals and teams at Johnson & Johnson, PwC, Lyft, L’Oreal, Urban Outfitters, DELL, and others to help foster happy, high-performing teams. She is a TEDx Speaker, and has been featured in numerous publications and events including Philadelphia Magazine, #MILLSUMMIT, ATD Magazine, and the Women to Watch Radio Show. Anna is an adjunct professor of mindfulness and wellbeing at Drexel University, and has served on the board of Philly Startup Leaders and the Philadelphia Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee.

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Vice President, Emerging Leaders

Swain Tamar, SHRM-CP

Swain Tamar, SHRM-CP is a highly accomplished HR professional with a strong track record in talent acquisition and organizational development. A graduate of the prestigious University of Florida, he holds a master’s degree in Human Resource Management and brings almost a decade of expertise to their role as Senior Corporate Recruiter at Amtrak. With a focus on recruiting exceptional leaders, he supports Amtrak’s mission to usher in the New Era of Rail, revolutionizing the rail industry through visionary leadership.

Passionate about making meaningful connections between individuals and their work, Swain possesses a deep desire to help people align their passions with their professional pursuits. Recognizing that fulfillment comes from engaging in work that ignites one’s inner drive, he goes above and beyond to help talented and passionate individuals connect with their next opportunity, wherever it may be. Alongside his professional endeavors, he is an avid softball enthusiast and takes great pride in being a dedicated father and husband.

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Christina Amendola, MS, SHRM-CP

Christina Amendola is an experienced Human Resources professional and is currently an HR Consultant working strategically with clients in various industries. Before consulting, she served as the Director of Human Resources at Aceragen (formerly Idera Pharmaceuticals), where she worked with senior leaders and cross-functional teams to support business objectives.

 Throughout her career, Christina has held roles of increasing responsibility in Human Resources. She drove talent management, performance management, talent acquisition, inclusion & diversity strategy, compensation, M&A integrations, and benefits. She began her career at a recruiting agency, focusing on niche roles in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

Christina received her bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Art History and her master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. In addition, she has a certification in Inclusion & Diversity Strategy from Villanova and is a Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP).

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