Board of Directors

Meet the Southern Connecticut SHRM Chapter’s

2017 Board of Directors

OFFICERS

mitch podob

PRESIDENT, 2016-2017: Mitch Podob

Vice President, Human Resources, Timex Group USA, Inc. (203) 565-5128

Mitch begins his second year as SOCT SHRM President  and will work closely with the Board and continue the exceptional work of the chapter to support member needs and serve the HR community. Previously, Mitch held the roles of President-Elect and Director, Community Affairs, where he integrated the chapter’s involvement in our local community through our efforts in support of volunteer projects, scholarships, internships and the like. In addition, he provided support by promoting the SHRM Foundation, a leading funder of HR research grants, scholarships, Foundation publications and educational resources that advance the HR profession.

Mitch is VP, HR, at Timex Group USA, one of the largest watch makers in the world, selling millions of watches each year under a number of well-known brands.  He is called upon to consult regularly with senior management to create synergistic solutions for an organization aimed at enhancing all aspects of Timex’ HR operations. Previously, Mitch was the Director of Human Resources for Cotiviti (Connolly), the largest private recovery audit firm in the world specializing in financial auditing, consulting and payment error identification services that serve clients in the healthcare, retail, and commercial sectors. Mitch’s primary responsibilities included Organizational Development, Talent Management and Generalist Human Resources functions.    Prior to Cotiviti, Mitch’s professional background included extensive experience in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries with senior Human Resources positions in both Leadership and Organizational Development.

In 2009, Mitch received the SOCT SHRM Fairfield County Human Resource Generalist of the Year HR Award. He presently serves on the Board of the Tri-State Adoptive Parent Committee (APC); holds a Board position for their educational programs at the Beardsley Zoo and has worked on fundraising efforts for the Center for Women and Families. He also has supported the Stepping Stones Museum for Children on their HR Organizational Development Committee, and is an active volunteer for Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue. Mitch holds his B.A. from Binghamton University and Human Resources Certification from Fairfield University.

Bill Wassa_101x101

TREASURER: William Wassa

Controller/COO, Berkshire Wilton Partners, LLC, (203) 761-9943

As Chapter Treasurer, Bill is responsible for the financial affairs of the Chapter. This includes the preparation, interpretation and dissemination of periodic financial reports to the Board of Directors as well as maintaining the books and records of the Chapter. Thirty years in accounting and finance management roles, in both corporate finance and marketing operations.

He is currently the Controller for a small, high-end residential construction management firm in Fairfield County, CT engaged in projects in Connecticut and New York.

Previously, he managed accounting professionals focused on GAAP compliance in one of the world’s largest publishers, and has managed smaller advertising and publishing businesses with emphasis on cash flow issues.

Bill graduated from Clarkson University with a degree in Accounting & Law.

 

SECRETARY: Meghna Gangwani,  SPHR

Sr. Human Resource Manager, QuEST Global Services, N.A. Inc. (203) 550-2707 

Meghna joins the board this year as Board Secretary for SOCT SHRM and  is responsible for overseeing and managing the administrative activities of the chapter to ensure timely and effective documentation of chapter information in addition to providing accurate records of all Board meeting including agendas and  minutes. She will maintain all official chapter records including original records of bylaws and dated amendments and  provide notice and information related to meetings and perform  a variety of other chapter operational business as assigned.

Meghna is a Sr. Manager, Human Resources, for QuEST Global, an Engineering solutions company. In her role, she is responsible for designing policy; programs & talent management initiatives that foster large scale growth & organizational effectiveness. As a Business Partner, Meghna has helped with the integration of QuEST’s talent functions to deliver faster end-to-end solutions in the areas of career planning, succession, performance management, attraction and retention. She has led several organizational effectiveness that have helped the company rightsize & control costs. In 2014, she spearheaded an initiative to phase out of a PEO (employee leasing model) and build a technology heavy self-service solution for its employees.

Meghna holds a Masters in Social Work from Delhi School of Social Work, India and a BS Delhi University, India. She has recently completed a 1 year Executive Development program from Global Nxt University.

 

DIRECTORS

 

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT, 2016-2017 & ADVISOR,  Susan Blazer

Sr. Principal, Lantern Consulting LLC, (203) 354-8828

Susan joined the Board in 2008 as Vice President of Programs. In her current role as  Past President & Advisor, she consults with a dynamic and committed Board of Directors, building on the chapter’s past successes and adding value with new chapter activities. One of her key roles is to mentor and coach Board members and to share her experience of having been a Board President.Susan has in-depth experience in working with financial services, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, retail and communication organizations to achieve results through performance improvement. As Senior Principal of Lantern Consulting, her experience includes coaching executives and managers by improving a broad range of strategic leadership and human resource issues. This includes working with and coaching executives and managers to improve their performance, address career their career progress, assess their high potential candidates, identify and create a plan for leadership development, implement their leadership objectives, and address issues which might impede performance improvement.In addition, Susan is involved with Abby’s All Stars, a not-for-profit organization focusing on assisting children with diabetes.

 

Co-DIRECTOR, Membership: Maryann Donovan

President, Impact Personnel, Inc., (203) 866-2444

Maryann currently serves as Co-Director, Membership for SOCT SHRM, where her focus is to support member needs and increase membership in the chapter.

She is the President and owner of Impact Personnel, which she founded in 1989. Impact Personnel Inc. places marketing, human resources, administrative and sales professionals. The company fills permanent, temporary and contract positions.

In addition, Maryann is a member of the board of directors of Operation Hope in Fairfield. She recently finished chairing the Career Committee for the Parents Board of Directors at Gettysburg College.

Maryann is frequently asked to speak about trends in the recruiting and staffing industry. She has presented at Fairfield University, the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club, Right Management, Lee Hecht Harrison and Norwalk Community College, among others.

A graduate of Fairfield University, Maryann has also served on the Alumni Board of Directors. She is a member of the prestigious Women Presidents Organization (WPO) and Who’s Who in the East.

 

Co-DIRECTOR, Membership: Chelsie Pacha Perone

HR Generalist, Crius Energy, (740) 244-2979

Chelsie Pacha joined the board in 2015 to support and help retain current members and achieve an increase in new chapter memberships.  She will work closely with Co-Director, Maryann Donovan, to accomplish these goals.

Chelsie is a Human Resources Generalist at Crius Energy Management, LLC., one of the largest independent energy retailers in the US, providing electricity, natural gas, and solar products to nearly 600,000 residential and commercial customers. At Crius, Chelsie is responsible for new hire orientation, benefits management, HRIS, employee recognition programs, wellness initiatives, employee engagement and more.

Chelsie is also the co-chair of the SOCT SHRM Young Professionals Special Interest Group, which serves the special needs of this demographic group of HR professionals.

Chelsie is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and holds a BA in Psychology.

 

Co-DIRECTOR, Programs and Professional Development: Amy Aiello, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

HR Generalist,  (203) 274-5071

Joining the board in September, 2015, Amy Aiello has the responsibility of planning and organizing the Chapter’s programs along with her Co-Director, Jackie Fedor.  Their mission will be to build on past successes and bring a rich variety of high caliber events, programs, and developmental offerings to the Chapter’s membership. They along with the Program Committee will continue to work with the Legal Symposiums and Webinar areas to bring professionally rewarding, thought provoking, and fulfilling events to the membership.  Amy is also one of three co-chairs for SOCT SHRM’s Young Professionals Special Interest Group, which serves the special needs of the chapter’s Young Professionals who are beginning careers in human resource management.

Amy started her career on Wall Street, and her most recent position was Human Resources Generalist at a local telecommunications company.   As a HR Generalist, Amy has worked on merger integrations, I-9 compliance and education, policy updates as well as, day-to-day support of corporate office professionals. Amy holds a BA in Psychology from Binghamton University, an MBA from Baruch College – Zicklin School of Business, as well as, a Certificate in HR Management from Villanova University online.

 

Co-DIRECTOR, Programs and Professional Development: Jackie Fedor

Vice President of Sales and Client Relations, The Schegg Group    (203) 538-8823 

Jackie has the responsibility of planning and organizing the Chapter’s programs along with her Co-Director, Amy Aiello.  Their mission will be to build on past successes and bring a rich variety of high caliber events, programs, and developmental offerings to the Chapter’s membership. They along with the Program Committee will continue to work with the Legal Symposiums and Webinar areas to bring professionally rewarding, thought provoking, and fulfilling events to the membership.

Jackie has achieved a history of successes in sales, marketing, new business development and customer relationship management. An accomplished networker, her skills have been developed and sharpened in B2B technical and service organizations. Her career began at IBM where she earned many Branch Manager’s awards over a 7-year period – five 100% Clubs and one Golden Circle. Prior to joining The Schegg Group, she represented ICXpress, a telecommunications company.

Her knowledge, enthusiasm, sincerity and concern for clients’ needs is paired with a commitment to providing appropriate solutions. Jackie is a founding member of Global Outplacement Alliance (GOA). She is a member of Southern CT SHRM and Western CT SHRM and is on the board for the Women’s Leadership Council for Bridgeport Regional Business Council (BRBC). Jackie leads the Human Resources Forum of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association and has been a board member on the Program Executive Committee of the Human Resource Association of Greater New Haven chapter. She previously led the in-transition group for the HRA of Greater New Haven.  She was a member of the Women in Networking Group of The Greater Valley Chamber in Shelton and was SHRM CT State Council Program Call Coordinator.  Jackie continues to attend FNEW, ATD and chamber of commerce events around the State of CT.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and business from Fairfield University.

 

Co-DIRECTOR, Diversity and Inclusion: Constance Atiles- Hewitt, PHR, SHRM-CP

HR Manager, Whitby School (203) 983-6614

Connie, joins the board this year, and, along with Selena Kuo-McCaul, her Co-Director, will monitor and evaluate, on a continuing basis, local activities concerning diversity issues as well as support diversity in the Chapter’s membership and publicize successful diversity programs in the local community.

Currently, Connie works as the HR Manager at Whitby, a private independent school in Greenwich. She has worked in HR for over 15 years, both as an employee and consultant, in a variety of industries including technology and software, consumer products, banking, food and beverage, healthcare and professional services firms.  Connie is involved in a number of volunteer activities for her College and the hotline of the Greenwich-YWCA.  She also serves as Secretary on her condominium board.   Connie earned her B.A. with a major in Sociology at Smith College in Northampton, MA.  She holds certifications as a CP from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and has had her PHR (Professional Human Resources) certification for many years.

Michele

DIRECTOR, Marketing, Communications & Website: Michele  T. BeccarelliSPHR, SHRM-SCP,

HR Consultant, (914) 630-0902

With a focus on chapter Marketing and Communications , Michele is responsible for website content and providing our membership with up-to-date information regarding our varied chapter activities. She works closely with other board members to communicate “value-added” member information and enhance our marketing efforts. She partners with the Director of Technology in maintaining the chapter’s website.  Michele also serves as the Advisor to the HR Young Professional Special Interest Group, which she founded to address the needs of this special demographic population. She also currently manages many chapter operations as the chapter administrator.

Michele is a past chapter President, and under her leadership, the chapter grew 52% becoming the largest chapter in the state. Michele has been a member of Board of Directors since 2001. She was nominated for SOCT SHRM’s HR Leader of the Year Award and is also the recipient of the chapter’s CREATIVE EXCELLENCE AWARD in recognition of her contributions to the chapter’s website and communications.

She is currently an HR Consultant, and most recently, was Director, Corporate Human Resources, for L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc., a Stamford-based technology company, that provides biometric solutions protecting personal identities. With strategic and operational experience in fast-paced, dynamic organizations undergoing tremendous change, she has a significant HR background in start-up, mergers and acquisitions, and integration covering security/identity management, hi-tech electronics manufacturing, consumer products, consulting and publishing industries. She held HR leadership roles with Vectron International, Inc/Dover Corp, Portnoy Messinger Pearl, Cadbury Schweppes, Maxwell Macmillan, and Xerox Corp. Michele was graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mercy College with a BS degree in Business Administration.

 

DIRECTOR, Sponsorship and Advertising: Kimberly A. Boskello

(203) 526-4600

Kimberly has been involved on the SOCT SHRM board since 2011. She will continue to cultivate and nurture relationships with current and potential corporate sponsors for all SOCT SHRM programs and events. Kimberly is a resourceful and diverse top revenue producer with vast skills and abilities that span more than two decades in sales, the establishment of long term lucrative relationships, comprehensive product and superior client services.  Kimberly has represented the following Fortune 100 companies:  ADP, Automatic Data Processing, Inc. and Pitney Bowes, Inc.

 

DIRECTOR, Hospitality/Volunteer Coordinator:  Diana Burns Derivan

Vice President, Human Resources,  The McIntyre Group  (203) 956-2396

Diana joins the board this year in a liaison role with our members where she will focus on hospitality and welcome to all members and guests at our monthly meetings and work with chapter members interested in getting involved.  She will be responsible to find opportunities for volunteers that line up with their interests and availability.

Diana has worked in the staffing and recruiting industry for over 20 years, moving from various recruiting positions to human resources.  As Vice President, Human Resources for The McIntyre Group, a Norwalk-based recruiting firm, she oversees all Human Resources functions, including benefits, compliance, policy, employee relations, business strategy, recruiting and hiring, compensation and performance management.  She was nominated for the SOCT SHRM Human Resources Leader Award.

A Connecticut native, Diana holds a BS in Business Administration from Bucknell University.

 

DIRECTOR, Special Events and Planning: Christopher Bylone

Project Manager, International Flavors & Fragrances, (212) 708-7111

Christopher joined the board in 2016.  His focus is on working with other board members in planning and organizing special events for the chapter.  He is very active with SHRM and is currently, Co-Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the SHRM CT State Council. Christopher has also served HRLA of Eastern Connecticut as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair from 2013-2015.

He is the Project Manager for Workforce Planning & People Analytics at International Flavors & Fragrances in NYC.  In this role, he takes HR Data and tells a story to help Business Leaders make strategic decisions to enhance the business plan.  Christopher holds a BS in Agriculture from Rutgers University, as well as a MA in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University and a MS in Organizational Leadership with a Grad Certificate in HR Management from Southern New Hampshire University.

 

DIRECTOR, SHRM Foundation and Community Affiars:  Rich Juliana

Director, Human Resources, Silver Hill Hospital (203) 801-2294

Rich Juliana originally joined the Board in 2007 and served for a number of years as Certification Director.  His new assignment focuses on integrating the chapter’s involvement in the local community through efforts in support of volunteer projects, scholarships, internships and the like.  In this new assignment, he will provide support by promoting the SHRM Foundation, a leading funder of HR research grants, scholarships, publications and educational resources that advance the profession.

Rich is the Director of Human Resources at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, CT.  He has over 25 years’ experience in HR at a variety of health care and financial institutions including: Lawrence Hospital, Oxford Health Plans and Citibank.  He earned a BA from the City College of New York and an MPA from John Jay College and a MSW from Adelphi University.

 

Co-DIRECTOR, Diversity and Inclusion: Selena Kuo-McCaul

Compensation, Benefits, HRIS Analyst   (203) 743-8220

Selena has been an active member of SOCT SHRM since 2008 and joined the board this year.  She, along with Connie Atiles-Hewitt, her Co-Director, will monitor and evaluate, on a continuing basis, local activities concerning diversity issues as well as support diversity in the Chapter’s membership and publicize successful diversity programs in the local community.

Currently, Selena is the Compensation, Benefits, HRIS Analyst for Ethan Allen Global Inc. and implements Compensation and Benefits initiatives such as the annual merit reviews, market pricing, benefits communication, and HRIS projects.  Prior to working at Ethan Allen, she has either worked or consulted for various companies in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors such Interpublic Group, Wolters Kluwer, Revlon, Save the Children, Praxair, Gartner, Serious Fun Children’s Network, Hexcel, and Xerox.

Selena has also been a Volunteer Budget Coach for Women’s Business Development Council since 2013.  She is ending her three-year term as President of her local chapter of her college alumnae group, Barnard Club of Connecticut, and will continue to serve on its board.

Selena is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Masters of Business Administration in Human Resources Management from The Lubin School of Business, Pace University.

 

 DIRECTOR, Social Media and Public Relations:  Julie Lawrence

Strategic HR Consultant (646)  425-1087

Julie joins the board this year and will focus on providing timely and comprehensive information to the membership and HR Community via social media to help keep members informed.  Creating discussion on topics of interest will also involve her efforts and Julie will also maintain the chapters Facebook page.  She will also be responsible for preparing press releases for the media about our programs, workshops, and other chapter matters of interest and will serve as media liaison.

Julie has extensive experience in human resources and finance. She has held roles of increasing responsibility in organizational development learning, and strategic human resources management for companies such as St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Columbia University, The Segal Group, Pitney Bowes, Pfizer, MetLife and Chase. She utilizes her skills to deliver end-to-end solutions in the areas of human resources management, organizational development, succession/talent management, performance management, climate and culture.

Julie received the Program Partner of the Year award from The Workplace, Workforce Development Board, for a program bringing job opportunities into the hospital for people from the community. As Co-Chair of a St. Vincent’s Medical Center Golf Tournament, she raised tens of thousands for St. Vincent College scholarships.

Julie earned a Bachelor of Science from Sacred Heart, in Fairfield, and will complete her Masters of Science, Applied Psychology with Industrial-Organizational concentration from SHU in 2017.

 

DIRECTOR, Workforce Readiness:  Rick Lopez

Benefits Advisor, Key Insurance & Benefits Services (203) 854-3447

Rick has been an active member since joining our chapter in December of 2015 and is looking forward to his first year as Director of Workforce Readiness.  He will be working closely with other board members and within our community to assist in the transitional and transformative changes facing HR departments and their organizations as well as issues facing the community regarding workforce readiness strategies. He will encourage chapter involvement and activities with local schools that involve workforce readiness as well and will serve as liaison with state-level workforce readiness advocates.

Rick is a healthcare and employee Benefits Advisor with Key Insurance & Benefits Services in Norwalk and works with employers on strategy, communication and the navigation through the complexities of Affordable Care Act / ERISA compliance.  In addition, Rick provides support and technology strategies, with plan funding alternatives, along with a full complement of valuable services offered through Key Bank.  Rick also serves on the Bridgeport Regional Business Council Board and holds a BA degree in Advertising & Communication from the University of Hartford.

Debbie Perry_101x101

DIRECTOR, Certification: Debbie Perry, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

HR Project Manager, Northern Westchester Hospital, (203) 240-8545

Debbie continues on the board this year and is responsible for encouraging professional certification and recertification of chapter members to promote professional development, improve performance and enhance qualifications for advancement in the Human Resources field. She provides chapter members with advice and information on how to attain or maintain PHR, SPHR and GPHR certification.

Debbie is currently an HR Project Manager at Northern Westchester Hospital.  Prior to this role, as an HR Consultant, Debbie provided HR guidance and her areas of expertise include talent development, succession planning, performance management, compensation and coaching. Debbie was also part of the HR team at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Her expertise was developed over 25 years with IBM. She was a Senior Human Resources Partner/US Northeast Region, where she served as a trusted Advisor to over 100 executives and managers of 4 diverse business units. She was responsible for implementation of innovative human resource solutions relating to employee relations, compensation, talent development, employee satisfaction and workforce management. She also held the roles of Workforce Talent Partner, and US Resources Manager and Sr Compensation Specialist among others. Debbie also serves on the Tri State SHRM Conference Committee.

 

DIRECTOR AT LARGE, Lori Sartwell

Business Development Director, BI Worldwide. (203) 770-5602

Lori has been an active member of the chapter and joins the board this year in the role of Director at Large.   She will provide support, direction, and leadership to the chapter by performing special projects as assigned by the President.  This will involve coordinating efforts with other Chapter Board of Directors Members to best serve the membership.  Lori will participate in the development of short-term and long-term strategic planning for the chapter.

Currently, Lori is a Business Development Director with BI Worldwide, where she works with F500 brands on employee engagement initiatives. These can include but are not limited to: service anniversary programs; training, learning and leadership development; meetings and events; employee value proposition; and rewards and recognition. Lori also has experience having served on several other boards as a member at large, in addition to holding vice president and president positions. She graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

 

DIRECTOR, Government / Legislative Affairs: Jennifer Schancupp

Of Counsel, Jackson Lewis LLC, (203) 961-0404

In her role as Legislative Affairs Chair, Jennifer organizes the Workplace Law Symposiums, which meet to discuss current legal topics important to HR professionals. Jennifer also provides information for the Legislative Update page on our website as well as white papers for the membership. Jennifer joined the Board in May 2010 and is Of Counsel in the Stamford office of Jackson Lewis LLP, one of the nation’s largest law firms dedicated exclusively to representing management in workplace law, including labor, employment and benefits matters. Jennifer’s practice encompasses employment litigation and counseling employers on a variety of employment practices, including employment handbooks and policies.

Jennifer is a Connecticut native. She received her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and her A.B. degree, magna cum laude, with honors in English from Kenyon College. Jennifer is admitted to practice in the State of Connecticut, the U. S. District Court for the State of Connecticut and the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Benjamin Theil

DIRECTOR, College Relations: Benjamin Thiel

HR Generalist , St. Vincent’s Medical Center (203) 400-0560

Benjamin joined the Board in 2015.   His role is focused is on strengthening existing relationships and building new relationships with local colleges and universities. His goals are to establish and provide support to student chapters, integrate students into SOCT Chapter activities, and ultimately, attract more students to the Human Resource profession.

Benjamin is currently working in Human Resources at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut. St. Vincent’s Health Services is a member of Ascension Health, the nation’s largest nonprofit health system. In this role, Benjamin is responsible for new hire orientation, the learning management system for employees.  He also has experience in HRIS, Benefits and Compensation.

Benjamin graduated from Fairfield University with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 2005 and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Management in 2009.

 

DIRECTOR AT LARGE, Nancy Varsos

President, Varsos Consulting (203) 673-2468

Nancy  joins the board this year in the role of Director at Large.   She will provide support, direction, and leadership to the chapter by performing special projects as assigned by the President.  This will involve coordinating efforts with other Chapter Board of Directors Members to best serve the membership.  Nancy will participate in the development of short-term and long-term strategic planning for the chapter.

She is currently President/Owner of Varsos Consulting, a provider of HR Project Management and Training & Development. With over 20 years in HR as a Sr. Generalist and Executive, she brings her unique day-to-day expertise to the chapter.

Nancy has held corporate roles at organizations like DATTO, AIFS and Eurpac. She currently consults with multiple non-profits throughout CT and NY, assisting with implementing seamless changes and developing their people. She has recently received her SHRM/SCP and MBTI training and is also excited to be teaching many HR courses at AMA and Fairfield University.

Co-DIRECTOR, Marketing Communications: TBA

DIRECTOR, Technology: TBA

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