04:56 am
April 24, 2018

The Honorees

The Honorees

Accounting

Debra McCullough

Chief Human Resources Officer

Keefe McCullough

McCullough has directed HR functions at Keefe McCullough since 2013. Before joining KMc, she was vice president of HR at Magellan Associates, a global IT consulting firm in Chicago. Her career also includes several years as an entrepreneur working as a business and HR consultant. She has directed nearly every aspect of HR.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a bachelor’s and master’s degree in human resources as well as SPHR and SHRM-CP certifications. She has extensive volunteer experience in South Florida.

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

— Richard Branson

Samantha Downie

Director of Human Resources and Learning and Development

MBAF

Downie has been in her position since August 2017. She has a background in training and development, human resources, recruiting and corporate development. Her expertise is in team leadership, project management and process improvement.

She has managed and continuously improved training efforts within a Fortune 500 company. During her tenure, the company climbed 37 places within Training Magazine’s “Training Top 125” ranking.

Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in intercultural communications from Alaska Pacific University. She is certified in Mandarin Chinese.

“Go where you’re invited, and stay where you’re appreciated.”

Joy Batteen

Director of Human Resources

Kaufman Rossin

Batteen joined the company in 2007 as director of talent development, and was promoted to HR director in 2010. In addition to overseeing the firm’s human resources department, including the recruiting efforts, she also manages the firm’s wellness initiatives, which led it to win the Best Health & Wellbeing Program honor at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Excellence in HR Awards.

She obtained her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Kansas. She is active in the community, participating in the local chapter of PEO International, an international philanthropic educational organization.

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Banking and Financial Services

Chris Perry

Executive Vice President of Human Resources

BankUnited

Perry joined the company in October 2012 and is responsible for all aspects of HR. His responsibilities include strategy and planning at all levels, recruitment, talent management, benefits, compensation, payroll and employee relations, leadership development and training. Before joining BankUnited, he spent seven years as the senior human resources executive for Memorial Hospital West.

He is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in history and Nova Southeastern University with a master’s in business administration.

“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.”

— Queen Elizabeth II

Ellen Charleton

Vice President of Human Resources

Sun Capital Partners

Charleton has more than 25 years’ experience in the HR field. She joined Sun Capital in 2015 after working as first vice president with Bayview Asset Management, and as the director of human resources with National Beverage Corp.

She has demonstrated an ability to develop and implement domestic and international HR initiatives.

She received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from St. Louis University.

“Action is the cure for despair”

Claire Bergquist

Executive Vice President, and Chief Talent and Knowledge Officer

Power Financial Credit Union

Bergquist has been at her current position since 2017. Previously, she was with Popular Community Bank, also known as Banco Popular, where she directed a staff of two in all areas of HR management for Popular’s $3 billion-plus Florida region.

She was a member of the Florida senior management team responsible for all financial HR budgeting, strategic planning, talent management, workforce planning and execution of critical HR processes. She holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Villanova University.

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work another day in your life.”

— attributed to Confucius

Brenda Victoria

Vice President of Global Talent

MasterCard

Victoria has been in her current position since July 2016. Previously, she worked for Ryder System in various management positions (2010-16) and was HR director at Baptist Health South Florida (2008-10). She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration at the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo.

Colleagues describe her as a “rare breed; an amazing, humble leader who gets things done and brings out the best in people.”

Health Care

Diana Pacheco

Global Human Resources Executive

Baxter International

Pacheco’s career has shown success aligning people, processes and goals with business strategy in complex matrix organizations. A native of Colombia, she has more than 20 years’ professional experience. In her current capacity, she is the global HR director for the Nutrition and Research and Development units.

She has an executive MBA, a doctorate in law (cum laude), and master’s degrees in labor and Social Security law, commerce law and financial law.

“Too often … we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

— John F. Kennedy

Raquel Diaz

Director of Human Resources

Altor Bioscience Corp.

Diaz has 14 years of human resources experience in various industries, including retail, entertainment and biotechnology. In her current role, she partners with the leadership team to prepare for FDA approval and manufacturing of an immunotherapeutic drug to fight cancer.

Diaz credits her career to having worked alongside gifted and passionate women. She holds a master’s degree in HR management as well as a SHRM-SCP certification.

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

— The Dalai Lama

Patti McEwen

Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice President

Envision Physician Services

McEwen joined the company (formerly Sheridan Healthcorp) in 2010 and oversees all aspects of the HR program. Her role has evolved from being the HR leader of a company with approximately 2,500 employees to one with around 26,000 employees. 

Previously, she was a vice president of DHL Express for more than 20 years, working both in the United States and internationally. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away.”

Marina DeMaio

Chief Human Resources Officer

MDLive

Colleagues say DeMaio is a trusted, respected and effective HR executive leader and consultant,  providing direction on how organizational talent is best managed and leveraged to sustain a thriving culture that drives business results and profit.

She focuses on strategic planning, leadership development, talent management, engagement and performance management to elevate individual and organizational performance. Her prior HR experience includes Performance Management, Shoes for Crews, Hill York and the Heat Group. She attended The College of New Jersey.

“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

— attributed to Buddha, Socrates and others

David Tripp

Vice President of Human Resources

Vision Group Holdings

Tripp has been with the company since September 2017. He had been vice president of human resources for Cross Country Home Services since 2008. Before that, Tripp played baseball in the Oakland Athletics’ system. During his HR career, he has trained more than 4,000 people in three countries.

He received a master’s degree in human resource development at Clemson University.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Janelle Garcia

Director of Human Resources and Payroll

Behavioral Family Solutions

Garcia has been in her position since February 2018. Before that, she had been director of HR and payroll for Warren Henry Automotive Group since May 2014.

Garcia is experienced in all aspects of HR, including benefits administration, risk management, recruiting and retention, conflict resolution and employee wellness.

She has a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from Barry University.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Maya Angelou

Hospitals

Janene John

Director of Human Resources

Memorial Healthcare System

John has more than 25 years’ experience in human resources as an executive with a broad base in developing and executing strategy, creating operational evidence, leveraging technology and cultivating an organizational culture that delivers results.

Her specialties include talent management, succession planning, strategic planning, operational excellence, performance management, HR information systems, labor relations, organizational development, coaching and employee engagement. She is a mother of two children, Jordan and Janai, and a community activist and mentor with the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

“In order to succeed, we must first believe we can.”

— author Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957)

Brian Altschuler

Vice President of Ancillary Operations

Boca Raton Regional Hospital

In his current role, Altschuler is responsible for overseeing the hospital’s safety and security functions, facility operations, food and environmental services. He acts as a liaison to the Debbie-Rand Memorial Service League.

Previously, Altschuler played an integral role in leadership and staff development at both Palms West Hospital and Bethesda Healthcare System.

He received a master of science in management degree, with a focus on leadership, from Nova Southeastern University.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

— Walt Disney

Diana Montenegro

Director of Human Resources

Baptist Health

South Florida

Montenegro is the human resources site director for South Miami Hospital, part of the Baptist Health system, and has been there for eight years. Previously, she was principal and owner for Montenegro Consulting, working with private and public clients in all aspects of HR.

Montenegro received her bachelor’s degree in finance and her certificate for management development in training from Florida International University. She holds her human resource development certification from the University of Miami.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

— Aesop

Peter Nyamora

Senior Vice President/Chief Human Resources Officer

Broward Health

Nyamora has been with the organization since September 2017 and previously was HR director for the Memorial Healthcare System. He received a master’s degree in public administration from Florida International University in 2011, and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts (music and computer science) from Adrian College in Michigan.

He is described as “an invaluable asset to any company. He is an extremely knowledgeable HR operations professional, readily accessible to problem-solving, providing advice and the ability to tackle any problem.”

“Always be preparing for your moment. Do the leg work; the learning when no one is watching, when you do not necessarily need to. And when the time comes, you must not fear. You are ready.”

Jennifer Foreman

Vice President, Human Resources

Mount Sinai

Medical Center

Foreman oversees all of the organization’s HR programs, functions, departments and activities, including compensation and benefits, HR information services, employee services, employee relations, talent acquisition and retention, education, workers’ compensation, wellness and the child care center.

She has been with Mount Sinai since November 2016. Previously, she was director of organizational effectiveness for Tyco from 2014 to 2016. She has a master’s degree in developmental studies from the University of the West Indies.

“Do unto others 

as you would have 

them do unto you.”

— Jesus

Hospitality

Susan J. Saturday

Executive Vice President/Chief Human Resources Officer

Bluegreen Vacations, BBX Capital Corp.

Since joining Bluegreen in 1988, Saturday has been the divisional controller, director of accounting and director of human resources and administration. In 2018, she was promoted to her current position. She has served in a similar capacity for parent company BBX Capital since June 2016.

Saturday previously was employed by General Electric in financial management positions. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in human resource management.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. 

— Jack Welch

Ana Hernandez

Vice President of Human Resources

Miami Marlins

Hernandez has been in her position since 1999. Before that, she was HR manager for Omni Hotels. Her skills include management, sports marketing and leadership. Her areas of industry knowledge include social networking, marketing, human resources and sales.

She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida International University and an associate degree in business administration and management at Miami Dade College.

Lynn White

Senior Vice President of Corporate Human Resources

Norwegian Cruise

Line Holdings

White supports the HR needs of approximately 3,000 shore-based employees in offices in Australia, Brazil, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and several U.S. locations. Her areas of focus include compensation, benefits and talent management.

Before joining Norwegian, she was the senior vice president of tax, insurance and HR for Prestige Cruise Holdings, which was acquired by Norwegian in 2014. She is a CPA with degrees in accounting and tax from Penn State University and the University of Miami.

“Believe you can, and you will.”

— popular aphorism

Anya Varga

Senior Human Resources Director

Starboard Cruise Services

Varga has been with Starboard since June 2015. After her most recent promotion, she now co-leads the HR department in the absence of a chief HR officer since September 2016. In the past, she was HR director and a HR manager at Louis Vuitton.

Her current responsibilities include overseeing talent acquisition, engagement, learning and development, talent management, mobility, employee relations and compensation. She completed a luxury retail management program at Florida International University.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Maya Angelou

Hotel and Resort

Nadya Velazquez

Human Resources Manager

The Las Olas Co. (Riverside Hotel)

Velazquez has been with the company since March 2016, and her responsibilities include payroll entries, talent acquisition, internal and external job postings, predictive index review, requisition log, new-hire orientation, performance management, performance reviews, coaching and counseling, disciplinary actions and employee relations activities and events.

Velazquez attended Florida Atlantic University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and management.

“Are the habits that you have today on par with the dreams that you have for tomorrow?”

— popular aphorism

Al Linares

Director of Human Resources

Trump National Doral Miami

Linares has been in the HR industry for 20 years, specializing in hospitality. He began working at the Doral Resort & Country Club—now known as Trump National Doral—as a security officer. He stayed in this position from 1989 until he was promoted to security supervisor at the InterContinental Miami in 1991. He later was promoted to director of security.

Three years later, he was approached by the director of HR who inquired about his potential interest in the field of human resources. He committed himself to the HR industry and realized how much he enjoyed it. After a number of years, he returned to Trump National as HR director.

“Leaders don’t create followers. They create more leaders.”

— business management expert Tom Peters

Marketing & PR

Joanne Mena

Senior Vice President of Human Resources

LATAM-IPG Mediabrands

Mena has been at her present position since January 2016. She previously worked in HR at Southern Wine & Spirits as well as Ryder Transportation.

She has broad experience implementing employee development and productivity programs. Mena is recognized as a coach, problem solver, influential business partner and a thought leader. She provides strategic and tactical HR partnerships to support business operations and HR initiatives to all Mediabrands/LATAM businesses.

Mena obtained an MBA in accounting from Florida International University, and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from InterAmerican University.

“There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

— Madeleine K. Albright

Real Estate and Construction

Kristofer Cooper

Chief Human Resources Officer

Turnberry Associates

Cooper has been in his position since February 2017. Previously, since October 2009, he was chief human resources and senior vice president for MorseLife Health Systems.

Cooper’s experience includes creating visions, building teams, growing leaders, and developing sophisticated-yet-practical operational processes. He has lived overseas and delivered HR strategy to executives in more than 17 different countries. His specialties include global leadership in talent management, reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, executive recruitment, compensation and employee relations.

“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.”

— David Ogilvy

Julie Palmer

Director of People and Culture

Suffolk Construction

Palmer has been in her position since July 2015. Previously, since January 2006, she was senior human resources manager for Titan America.

Palmer’s specialties are performance management, leader development, employee relations, learning and development, and talent acquisition. She attended Florida Atlantic University for public administration and management. She has volunteered for the YWCA of Greater Miami Dade and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I am inspired by the bravery and courage of our youth today.  In particular, my son Georgie,  who lives with Type1 Diabetes on a daily basis.  He is a role model to all children who struggle every day with dietetic awareness, insulin injections and continuous glucose monitoring.  He is my hero!”

Maria Molina

Regional Director of Human Resources

Plaza Construction

Molina has been with the company since January 2016. She is skilled in talent management, HR consulting, legal compliance, employee benefits, design and payroll.

Molina is a strong business development professional with a master’s degree focused in HR management and services from Florida International University. She has been involved with volunteer work and is a Miracle Society member, an exclusive group of Big Brothers Big Sisters supporters.

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

— author Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-44)

Mark King

Executive Recruiter

Marquis Association Management

King joined the company in August 2013 as the director of talent acquisition, and part of the executive management team, to assist the company in implementing an executive search approach within an industry that has been scarce on business-minded hospitality leaders.

King has 15 years of talent acquisition leadership experience with fast-growing Fortune 500 companies across the United States.

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily believe they can go, but ought to be.”

— Rosalynn Carter

Paula Allen

Vice President, Human Resources

First Service Residential

Allen is responsible for an employee population of more than 15,000 in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. She is a strategic HR leader and business partner with experience in a variety of industries. She is continually focused on sustaining HR alignment with organizational strategies and goals through highly relevant HR plans and initiatives.

Her key skills include broad HR expertise, interpersonal skills, leadership effectiveness, achieving impactful and measurable results, culture development, and training development and facilitation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel/resort management from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“Don’t wait for a light at the end of the tunnel. Stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”

— author Sara Henderson (1936-2005)

Retail

Giselle Ramos

Corporate Recruiting Manager

Quirch Foods

Ramos has been with the company since January 2017. She has a strong background in recruiting, employee relations, process improvement, employee retention and employee engagement. From 2013 to 2015, Ramos was with Expert Global Solutions, where she was responsible for overseeing the recruitment cycle.

She received an associate of arts degree in mass communication/media studies at Hillsborough Community College. She has done volunteer work for United Way Worldwide.

“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.”

— Henry David Thoreau

Lynn Cohen

Vice President, Human Resources Operations

Pet Supermarket

Cohen has been with the company since January 2016. She is a performance-driven, bilingual HR professional with extensive experience in managing and directing HR functions within diverse organizations.

She has expertise in all generalist functions, services and initiatives, including recruitment and staffing, compensation and benefits, performance management, employee relations, budgeting and cost control, incentive plan design, organizational change, HR and legal compliance, and HR information services technology. She has an MBA in HR management from the University of Miami.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”

— Steve Jobs

Technology

Johana Bohorquez

Associate Director

of HR

Medtronic

Bohorquez is the senior HR manager for the medical technology company, which assists people with chronic disease. She has more than 15 years’ experience in HR within multiple industries, including health care, global logistics and distribution.

Areas of expertise include recruitment, benefits, U.S. and International labor laws, employee relations, talent management, organizational development, leadership and management coaching. She holds an MBA in management from Nova Southeastern University, and a bachelor’s degree in HR management from Florida International University.

“You were given this life because you were strong enough to live it.”

Debbie Cortina

Senior Director of Human Resources

Modernizing Medicine

Cortina oversees HR operations for the award-winning health care technology company, which focuses on helping physicians increase efficiencies in their medical practices. At a time of significant growth for the organization, she partners with senior leaders to implement workforce initiatives and strategies that align with corporate objectives while maximizing employee development.

She has extensive experience in the technology, entertainment and insurance sectors. Cortina received her bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Hawaii, and holds numerous professional certifications.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

— attributed to Nelson Mandela

Kathleen Pai

Vice President of Human Resources

Ultimate Software

Pai has been in her position since 2016. Before joining Ultimate Software, she was HR director for Carnival Cruise Lines and has experience with Citrix Systems and Lockheed Martin.

Her expertise include talent management, employee engagement, leadership, talent acquisition, performance management, recruiting, change management, employee relations leadership development and deferred compensation.

She obtained her MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Transportation & Logistics

Laurie David Villa

Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Spirit Airlines

Villa is an accomplished leader who specializes in driving strategic, large-scale organizational transformation. Before joining Spirit in October 2014, she served in senior leadership positions in start-ups, large-scale and international organizations, including LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Ann Taylor and Sara Lee.

She serves as president for the Spirit Airlines Foundation, supporting charities and other worthy initiatives. She obtained her bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

“The opportunity to powerfully bring my faith, commitment and experiences together in my personal and professional life keeps me energized and growing continually as a leader, coach, wife and family member. I welcome opportunities to engage with others in a way that gives voice to fresh perspectives and inspires our next generation of leaders.”

Jeannette Delgado

Vice President, Human Resources

ABB Optical Group

Delgado is responsible for driving growth through an effective human resources and people strategy. She oversees the planning, staffing, talent management and succession processes, as well as compensation and benefits, employee relations and leadership development and training.

In 2011, Delgado joined ABB as director of Total Rewards. She was promoted to senior director of HR in 2012, and to her current position in 2013. She received her MBA from Barry University.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Maya Angelou

Government

Joseph Roglieri

Personnel Administration Director

City of North Miami

Roglieri has been with the city since 2015. From 1987 to 2012, he was HR manager for Hollywood, Florida. He has an MPA from Florida State University and is a certified public pension trustee.

Roglieri emphasizes employee engagement in work and work-life activities. Employees are encouraged to give their all and maximize the opportunities that are offered to them. He says he has enjoyed a long career of ensuring employment and retention based on merit principles, while maintaining awareness of diversity needs.

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

— Philippians 4:13, New King James Version

Lifetime Achievement Award

Rita Barreto Craig

President Top Tier Leadership

Craig helps leaders and organizations build winning cultures, deliver results, and maximize performance. With her global perspective, and 45 years’ experience in the HR field, she is a recognized expert in building winning corporations.

She is an award-winning international consultant, author, motivational speaker and leadership expert. Her workshops on preventing sexual harassment have been delivered to more than 100,000 employees. She has had three gubernatorial appointments, which included serving eight years on the Florida Commission on Human Relations. She serves as vice chair of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, and as treasurer of Discover the Palm Beaches.

Craig graduated from Nova University and holds a master’s degree in business.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Maya Angelou

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