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 Austin SHRM Board of Directors

Billie Wright

Billie is an accomplished HR and operations strategic leader with 20+ years’ progressive people operations and executive leadership experience in various industries, scaling and leading teams, coaching for greatness, driving culture and change transformation, and strategy execution at all levels to achieve business results.

In addition to serving as the 2023 President for Austin SHRM, Billie also serves as an independent Leadership Consultant and Performance Coach. She previously served as the VP of People Operations for a public benefits corporation and for the WA State Employment Security Department (ESD) as the Chief Human Resource Officer. Prior to serving as ESD’s CHRO, she also served as their Chief Learning Officer where she led and directed the agency’s employee engagement initiatives, training program, leadership development and executive coaching program. Furthermore, Billie also served as the Director of Human Resources for other state and municipal entities, transportation and manufacturing industries.

Billie is a Master Certified Engagement Curriculum Facilitator, nationally certified Crucial ConversationsĀ® instructor, certified change management practitioner, DEI practitioner and certified leadership coach. She is also a skilled facilitator who brings a sense of fun and curiosity into her presentations!

Billie hails from Texas by way of Louisiana, enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. She is a graduate of Western Governor’s University, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership.

Past President
Jennifer Charles

Jennifer Charles, MLS, SPHR, is the Human Resource Director at St. Edward’s University, 17 years of experience in Human resources and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  She has worked across business industries in both the public and private sectors. She is a trainer, thought leader, and DEI implementer. Jennifer has trained on various HR and DEI topics to include but limited to Harassment and Discrimination, Cultural Awareness, Unconscious Bias, and Respect and Diversity in the Workplace. She has also supported and lead successful DEI programs and Initiates.

Jennifer dedicates herself to business transformation and culture change.  She has a customized approach in working with leaders and organizations. Jennifer currently has her Bachelor of Science degree in Business with a minor in Human Resources from Concordia University. She is currently in pursuit of her Master’s of Jurisprudence Degree from Texas A&M University. Jennifer has a love for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, HR, and talent acquisition.

Mya Kelly

With a resume that ranges from teaching English in South Korea to 15+ years' experience in Human Resources, working in a variety of industries; Mya is a multi-faceted HR leader who always maintains a "people-first" mindset.

Mya is a graduate of Texas Southern University, where she received her B.A. in General Studies and minored in Business Administration. She also currently holds her HR certifications with SHRM and HRCI.

In 2018, Mya joined Holtzman Partners, where she currently leads the HR function overseeing the firm's Total Rewards Program, Employee Engagement Initiatives, Training & Development, Recruitment, Workforce Planning and Compliance. Mya has a passion for developing others and implementing initiatives that have a hyper-focus on employee growth.

In her spare time, Mya can be found with family and friends, training for her next 10k, or simply at home reading and watching movies.

Co-VP of Conference
Odette Perez

P. Odette Perez is an accomplished Senior Business Development Manager for the Austin branch of L.K. Jordan & Associates. She is responsible for developing new business and managing sales by prospecting, gaining, and maintaining clientele. She successfully connects with existing clients to maintain business relationships by identifying current needs. Odette is experienced in identifying recruitment needs of companies in multiple industries, such as Office Administration, Accounting & Finance, Manufacturing, Construction and Engineering. She has a long history of excelling at sales, is a 5-time L.K. Jordan President’s Club Winner and has won the Quarterly Top Sales award for the company over 10 times. Odette holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Apparel Design from the University of Texas at Austin.

Odette has been a part of the Austin SHRM organization since 2014. She is an “adopted Austinite” having moved here in 1999 to attend The University of Texas. Outside of her profession, Odette enjoys traveling the world, immersing herself in Astrophysics documentaries, and loves to enjoy the culinary delights of Austin.  

Co-VP of Conference
Sarah Maldonado

Sarah Maldonado is the current Vice President of Human Resources for the Texas Bankers Association. A results-focused leader with experience in full life-cycle recruitment, talent management, training, benefits administration, payroll, vendor negotiations, and employee management. With over a decade of experience, Sarah has worked in almost every area of HR, with the majority of her experience being within the construction and real estate development industry. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and her master’s in human resource management from Keller Graduate School. She is a long-time member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM); as well as the local chapter; Austin SHRM. Sarah holds the SHRM-Certified Professional designation and is certified as a Department of One. 

VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 
Kenyetta Smith 

Kenyetta Smith is a Program Manager at CapMetro, the public transportation provider for Central Texas, which operates bus, rail and paratransit services. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management with an emphasis on Business Law from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Business Management. 

She has 20+ years of experience as a Human Resource professional in various industries, including travel hospitality, an e-commerce company, an international tobacco manufacturing company, and an American electrical equipment manufacturer. Kenyetta specializes in shaping and maintaining organizational culture, developing HR policies and procedures, and maintaining and creating team member engagement programs within an organization.

In 2022, Kenyetta served as the interim VP of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I), previously a DE&I committee member in 2020-2021. Her passion for continuing to support the Austin SHRM DE&I initiatives has led to her appointment to the VP of DE&I in 2023. Her goal is to emphasize the value of a diverse workforce that can foster a more creative and innovative environment for your organization

VP of Legal & Legislation
Sarah Glaser

Sarah is an employment attorney at Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle & Townsend, P.C. who specializes in assisting employers with federal and state employment law compliance and prides herself on providing efficient, cost-effective representation rooted in an understanding of the business. Sarah also defends employers when they are sued or under investigation by governmental agencies, litigating matters in state and federal court and before various governmental agencies. Sarah was named a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star for the years 2019 through 2021 in the area of Employment Litigation: Defense and was named a Top Austin Attorney by Austin Monthly Magazine in Labor and Employment in 2020.

Sarah has long believed that it is important to love your job, enjoy your colleagues, and give back to your community. To that end, she serves as Chair of the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Foundation, immediate Past-President of the Travis County Women Lawyers' Association, and is an Associate member of the Robert W. Calvert Inn of Court. On the weekends, she is usually running after two little kids and trying to catch up on sleep.

VP of Communication
Derek Curlee

Derek Curlee brings fifteen years of experience in healthcare sales and management, and currently leads a team at Airrosti focused on employer, broker, and carrier partnerships.  An Austin native and Texas A&M grad, he is passionate about developing strategies to lower health plan costs and educate employees on a solution to pain.  Derek has been an active member of various SHRM chapters for nearly a decade, and he is proud to serve as VP of Communications for the best chapter in the greatest city!

VP of Certification
Angela Johnson

Angela Johnson is Director of Human Resources at Greater Austin Merchants Cooperative Association, (GAMA) a Convenience Store Distribution Center with locations in Austin and Georgetown with 150 employees and over 600 members. She has 20 plus years as an HR Professional with a focus in various Engineering industries, including Transportation, Utilities, Water/WasteWater, and now Retail Distribution. Angela is a passionate People's Advocate, who enjoys helping others define, and achieve both their personal and professional goals.  Angela enjoy's public speaking, taking road trips, participating in volunteer education programs and spending time with her family. 

VP of Programs
Marie Carroll

Marie Carroll is VP of People and Culture at Social Factor. A social media moderation agency based in Ft Worth with distributed employees across the nation and the globe. She has 20+ years’ experience as a HR Professional in a variety of industries including advertising agencies and software start ups. Marie specializes in building human resource practices and teams in growing organizations.

Marie has served as a member or the Programs committee since March of 2020 and is our VP of Programs. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge of the human resource practice with others and creating worthwhile programs for our membership. 

Co-VP of Membership
Tracy Letulle

Tracy holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling psychology and is a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). She is an Advisor for employee health and benefits with Marsh & McLennan Agency. Prior to joining Marsh & McLennan Agency, Tracy spent over 20 years working in human resources in a variety of industries including banking, mortgage, retail, and a start-up.

This is Tracy’s second year serving as Co-VP of Membership.  She has served on the Certification Committee and has been a mentor in the Mentoring Program. In 2020, she graduated from the Stepping Stones to Enhance Leadership Program offered by Austin SHRM.

Tracy and her family have lived in Austin for over 19 years. When she is not helping companies find the best solutions for their benefits, you can most likely find her begging her labradoodle to jump on her paddleboard on Lake Austin or playing pickleball.

Co-VP of Membership
Michelle O'Neil

Michelle O’Neil, SHRM-CP is a Human Resources Leader with 25+ years of experience in several industries including EMS, finance, manufacturing, property management, and technology. She has a proven track record of success in developing strategy, managing organizational performance, and driving company goals through people. Michelle strives to advance the HR profession from a “people first” perspective.

Michelle has been active with Austin SHRM since 2019 after relocating from Boston, MA.  She served on the Certification Committee and was a past instructor for the Certification Study Group.  She is a 2020 graduate of the Stepping Stones to Enhanced Leadership Program.  Michelle served on the Board of Directors as VP of Communication for the 2021-2022 term and is also a mentor for the Spring 2023 Mentor Program.

Currently, she is Sr. Lead HR for Owlchemy Labs, a VR gaming company headquartered here in Austin.

Co-VP of Career Dev.
Karen Nieft

Karen Nieft retired after a wonderful career in HR worldwide working in international transportation with a steamship line, finishing the last few years in HR with an Austin tech company.

She volunteers with Austin SHRM co-chairing the Mentorship Program and has 3 amazing Mentees. She also serves with the SHRM Advocacy Team working with legislation on HR issues nationally.

Karen enjoys traveling, gardening and white water rafting.

Co-VP of Career Dev.
Ricardo Carlos

Ricardo is passionate about empowering and developing individuals and teams while advocating for equitable spaces. During his career, he has worked as a facilitator, consultant, and leader across small and large organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

Currently, Ricardo is the Director, Global Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity with Stantec Consulting, a global design firm. Since joining Stantec in 2012, Ricardo has worked to advance inclusion, diversity, and equity at Stantec by developing strategies, leading initiatives, and facilitating numerous education sessions, including Unconscious Bias training. Prior to Stantec, Ricardo was the Associate Director at the Centre for Race and Culture in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where he was responsible for Cultural Competence, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs.

Ricardo graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in International Business from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico and completed a Human Resources Management Certificate from the University of Alberta in Canada. He holds the SHRM-SCP and CHPR designations.

VP of Workforce Readiness
Metha Vasquez

Metha Vasquez is a Human Resources Leader with over 20 years of human resources experience. Holding director and vice president roles in Fortune 500, world class organizations, and start-up firms; Metha’s areas of expertise include talent development and performance management, international Human Resources, organic growth projects, and mergers and acquisitions. She has served on for-profit and nonprofit boards dedicating much of the last twenty years to helping others in the community. Metha owns a Life & Leadership Coaching Practice where she works with leaders in all walks of life to achieve their career and personal goals.

Metha graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Houston. She obtained her master’s degree in business from Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University. She holds two national Human Resources certifications (SPHR, SHRM-SCP) and one international Human Resources certification (GPHR). 

2023 Board Secretary
Kaitlyn Vicars

Kaitlyn Vicars is an Austin native and has been working in Human Resources for over 15 years.  She achieved her SHRM-CP and PHR designations in 2015 and then her Associates in Risk Management (ARM) in 2019.  She is currently in HR with Hospice Austin, the only central Texas Hospice that is non-profit.  Hospice Austin believes that all individuals deserve dignity and comfort during their end-of-life care no matter their ability to pay and the commitment and love she sees from employees daily has revived her love of HR.  She is grateful to not only work with amazing individuals who care for others but has also found that same commitment from the individuals she volunteers with at Austin SHRM. She has been a part of Austin SHRM for 4 years and in past years has served on the membership committee as well as the conference sponsorship committee.  For 2023, Kaitlyn is grateful and honored to be serving as the Board Secretary and Volunteer Coordinator as well as Conference Sponsorship committee chair.  When she is not working or volunteering, Kaitlyn enjoys spending time with her son Miles as he gets ready to graduate high school, spending time as a newlywed with her husband Jon, relaxing and catching up on shows, or planning her families next travel adventure.

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