“Tamara is passionate about partnering with successful leaders who have a desire to maximize their full potential, achieve remarkable results, and make a difference in the lives of those they lead. She spent the majority of her career leading HR and OD functions for organizations in San Diego and the SF Bay Area. Currently, she is the CEO of SD Leadership Institute where she and her team of coaches, facilitators and trainers help leaders and their teams achieve optimal results through executive coaching, individual and team assessments (360s, Predictive Index, DISC, EQ-i 2.0, Meyers-Briggs, and Conflict Style Indicator), customized leadership acumen curriculum, and team interventions/off-site retreats. Tamara earned her MS in Executive Leadership at USD and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Organizational Behavior from USF. She completed her coaching certification at Hudson Institute of Coaching and obtained her professional coaching credential through the International Coach Federation. She is also a Board Certified Coach and a certified Senior Professional in HR. She enjoys spending time with friends and hanging out at home or at the beach with her husband and two furkids. She is delighted to serve as President for SDHR Forum, and looks forward to continuing to support the HR community in meaningful ways.”
"Celeste Blodgett is a passionate, strategic person who brings over 20 years of education, training and management experience to ESET. As a former educator, Celeste takes a tactical and comprehensive approach to managing people, encouraging and leading teams and enhancing the workplace culture and environment. Healthy living and wellness programs are the motivating factors of what drives Celeste. Through her creation in developing a robust wellness program, employees are seeing the benefits of the fitness activities, challenges and daily tracking program. Celeste holds two masters, a Master of Education with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction from USD and a Master of Science in HR from Brandman University. She is currently active in three mentoring programs for USD, SDHR and ESET’s management training program. Being a female and underrepresented in the STEM field, she saw a need to help support other women, particularly in the technology space so she created a women’s leadership group called WOW, ‘Women of the Workplace’. Once that group developed she wanted to reach other young women so she started the first ever Women in Cybersecurity scholarship program which is now in its second year and nationally recognized. In addition to being on the board for SDHR Forum, she also serves on the SDPF board where she has acted as both the chair and committee member for the Women in Blue event for the last 3 years. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her family and friends enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and feeling blessed to live in San Diego."
"Dena Ayala is friendly, forward thinking and incredibly driven. She has served on SDHRF’s board for 3 years and has been an active member for over 8 years. She is currently leading one of the strongest boards we have seen, filled with talented professionals aiming to make a difference in our HR community. This year the major focus is to continue to expand services to our members and create our first Executive of the Year event. In her career, Dena has gained 18 years’ experience in the recruiting industry. She is the President and CEO of SRC, a national recruiting and executive search group that has been operating since 1990. SRC is one of Southern California’s fastest growing firms of 2016, with 7 total offices in San Diego, Orange County & Los Angeles. Her true priority in life is her wonderful family of 9, including her husband John, their 6 kids and dog Ali (a 3 year old boxer named after Muhammed Ali ). She enjoys SUP (stand up paddle boarding), yoga, reading, HH with friends, and recently purchased a power boat to enjoy summers cruising around Mission Bay and Long Beach."
"Chris currently leads the People and Culture function for Harrah’s Resort Southern California and has served as the Corporate Director of Human Resources for both Boyd Gaming Corporation and Caesars Entertainment. Chris’ gaming and human resources experience spans over 15 years and includes leading several property openings including the Horseshoe Baltimore.
Chris graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from the esteemed William F. Harrah school of Hospitality Management. Chris is a native San Diegan (Go Padres) and dedicated supporter of the Helen Woodward Animal Center and foundation."
"Sallie is the President and Partner with Lockton’s Southern California Benefits Practice. She is a member of both the Lockton Pacific Series Executive Committee and National Employee Benefits Executive Committee. Sallie began with Lockton in September 2006 and is committed to providing the best service and resources in the industry to her clients. Sallie specializes in plan design development, alternative funding, compliance and employee benefit administration. She has more than 17 years of experience in the areas of Alternative Finance Arrangements with a special emphasis on self-funding; Managed Care and Consumerism Models, Financial Structures and Communication Strategies, Cafeteria and Flexible Benefit Design and Executions; Objectives and Strategic Development for Benefits as a component of Total Rewards models; Population, Wellness and Disease Management Integration; Financial Plan Management and Modeling; and Flexible Defined Contribution Plans."
“James Hilgesen is a native San Diegan and proud alumnus of San Diego State University where he graduated with a BS in Communications. He is the head of business development/owner of homePERQs, inc., a fast growing company that has created a new business model in the mortgage and real estate field helping employees of companies reach their goal of home ownership through professional education programs. James is a motivated business leader who focuses on B2B partnerships and is an engaging public speaker, passionate about giving back to the human resource community. James has a goal to enhance the way organizations think about their company culture through providing better educational resources for their employees. After volunteering for two years on the SDHR Forums membership committee, James is ecstatic to serve as the Director of Membership enhancing the experience for existing members and recruiting the right new group of HR professionals to join SDHR Forum.”
"Chrisa Mott is a passionate professional with extensive experience in Human Resources across a variety of companies and HR functions ranging from multi-national corporations to companies just getting started. She is currently a member of the Thermo Fisher Scientific HR team, however, has held roles in various HR functions including HR Business Partner, Talent Management, Talent Acquisition and overseeing the overall HR function. Chrisa is energized by the possibilities of enabling business performance through talent and culture. Chrisa holds a Masters degree in Organization Psychology and in her spare time, Chrisa loves to exercise, travel, spend time with her family and friends and volunteer in her community."
"Karen Smith is a progressive leader in Human Resources, with more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of the HR body of knowledge. She has a passion for educating HR professionals to broaden their business acumen and their own personal development. Previously to living in San Diego, Karen spent most of her career in Phoenix, Arizona, where she served several years in various board of directors positions, including President of a SHRM chapter. She has also served on a non-for profit Board, Career Connectors, focusing on another passion, connecting employers to people in career transition. Karen’s experience ranges from technology to financial services, partnering with leaders to drive culture, engagement and development. She has worked with both US and globally based organizations.
In her spare time, you can find Karen “living the dream” traveling, exploring by hiking the beautiful trails of San Diego, strolling across our stunning beaches, and most recently, attacking the waves!"
“Christine has more than 13 years of experience as a corporate, technical and contract recruiter, helping companies in San Diego and beyond in hiring the right talent. She started her career as a CPA and had her own CPA firm where she helped emerging companies succeed in business. Now she brings that technical, business and financial background to help companies hire the best talent in a competitive market as a corporate recruiter. Christine co-founded San Diego Women in Finance in 2011 and sits on the board of the organization."
"Brooke B. Tabshouri is an attorney with Duane Morris LLP and practices in the area of employment and labor law. Brooke defends employers and management in all stages of single plaintiff and class action litigation, at state and federal level, against claims of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour violations and trade secrets theft. Brooke has extensive experience counseling and advising clients in employment law issues, drafting employment policies and handbook, and providing employee training, including required harassment training for managers in California. She also has significant employment litigation experience, including jury trial experience. Brooke is a 2011 graduate of Boston University School of Law and a graduate of the University of California, Davis. Prior to joining Duane Morris, she worked at a national labor and employment law firm, as an instructor at San Diego State University's human resources certificate program and as a research attorney for the Hon. Richard D. Huffman of the Fourth District Court of Appeal. "
"Dolores is an energetic, bilingual in English and Spanish, performance-minded Human Resources Executive with over 25 years of experience and a proven track record of directing and leading all aspects of HR. Dolores won the HR Professional of the Year in 2008. She has been nominated and has achieved the medallion winner Workplace Excellence award by SHRM. She was also nominated to the Athena Pinnacle Award for being a woman of influence. Dolores has led organizations that were considered the BEST places to work in their respective industry. Focus on creating strategic initiatives and tactical programs to support global and domestic initiatives through teams in multi-site and multi-state locations. Dolores has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Catholic University and a Master’s degree from Central Michigan University in Human Resources Management. A native of Puerto Rico, Dolores moved to the United States in the 1991 after marrying a surfer dude. She has a college bound daughter. Dolores’ educational background; energy and enthusiasm, work experience and bilingual/bicultural background has proven to be a huge asset to companies’ strategic growth, as well as a great co-chair to the sponsorship committee. In her spare time Dolores loves Stand Up Paddle boarding, Horseback riding and truly enjoy wellness activities."