There was a time when the human resources department of a company was off in the corner of the executive suite. It might have received some resumes and forwarded them to hiring managers, and it might have provided information on the type of benefits offered by the company. But these days, HR departments are front and center in importance, oftentimes gaining new names that help reflect their important and evolving role.
Whether it’s People Operations, Talent Resources, Employee Experience, Human Capital Management, People and Development, Employee Management Care Unit or Team Member Services, as Robin Schooling, a 20-year plus HR, wrote in an HRcloud.com blog, “Changing the name of HR without making fundamental changes to what HR does or how we do it won’t make a single bit of difference.” Well said!
These awards are all about agents of change. No matter what their titles are and their departments are called, we are happy to honor an array of innovative HR leaders in South Florida with our inaugural HR Awards of Excellence.
None of this would be possible without sponsors, and I’d like to especially thank Chairman and CEO Steven Sadaka, President Matt Shore and Vice President Alan Berger of Steven Douglas Associates for helping conceptualize and support this awards program. Steven Douglas is a pre-eminent company when it comes to identifying and providing access to top-level talent for businesses in South Florida and we are proud to be associated with them.
I’d also like to thank our gold sponsor, Third Level, and our silver sponsors, Willis Group, Jackson Lewis, Ultimate Software, MassMutual, and Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Congratulations to all of our honorees and finalists!
Chairman and CEO
SFBW and Lifestyle Media Group
Vice President, Director of Human Resources
Regions Bank of Florida
Maria Dume is a bilingual executive with extensive experience in all areas of human resources. Her key areas of expertise include strategic business partner business expansion, organizational development, problem resolution, executive coaching, structure and development of HR teams, and acquisition/divestitures and recruitment/retention.
Dume provides proactive and innovative leadership and oversight pertaining to all HR initiatives and programs aligned with retail business strategies and initiatives for multiple countries. She has developed and executed strategies for professionals and staff in recruitment, retention and training, resulting in a significant reduction in turnover. She’s been with Regions Bank since May 2008.
Dume attended the University of Michigan School of Banking and Financial Services. Her other interests include: Share-A-Pet, pet-assisted therapy; the Humane Society of Broward County; and the American Heart Association.
Roberta Kressel, TD Bank
Debbie Kuhn, Stonegate Bank
Melissa Pineda, Apollo Bank
Victoria Mason, TD Bank
CLUBS, SPORTS & TRAVEL
Associate Vice President
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Jay Rombach is a talent management executive with more than 27 years of leadership experience driving culture change, leadership effectiveness and team performance. His specialties include social media, organizational development, leadership coaching and consultation, recruitment, talent management and employment development and assessment. Rombach, who has been with the Royal Caribbean family of companies since 1999, has also been a human resources director in the banking and life insurance industries.
Rombach graduated from Ohio State University, where he specialized in industrial and organizational psychology. He has volunteer experience and supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and United Way of America. He has received the following awards and honors: Circle of Excellence and HR Employee of the Year at Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.
Laurie Casey, Isle of Capri Casino
Jeff Humke, Gulfstream Park
Vice President of Human Resources
Kaufman Lynn Construction
Norm Baker describes himself as a “business enabler,” not a bureaucrat. As a human resources leader, he optimizes his workforce by selecting and training the right people and providing them with valuable tools and a work environment that maximizes their contributions. He eliminates liabilities by managing conflict to enhance job performance and negate legal concerns. As a sales and operations professional, he generates revenue while at the same time building and retaining his client base.
Baker has 15 years experience with both Exxon and American Express. Since then, he’s taken on even broader, companywide roles with small to midsize companies. He’s been with Kaufman Lynn Construction since November 2013.
Baker graduated received his M.S. in organizational communications from Purdue University. He has volunteered with Mission United, serving as vice chairman of the employment committee and was in the 34th class of Leadership Broward.
Angela Gonzalez, Neff Rental
Robert Morando, Dycom Industries
Todd Rogers, Moss & Associates
HR Business Partner
Open English & Next University
Michael Teichberg was born and raised in Puerto Rico with American and Cuban roots, a background that has provided him an opportunity to bring a multicultural perspective to human resources management. Over the past decade, he’s built a successful and consistent track record of elevating employment brands while generating new business and revenues, building talent and acquisition networks, and improving the overall employment experience for staff at the organizations he’s served.
Open English is a leading education technology company focused on English language learning for Latin America and other emerging markets around the globe. Teichberg has been working at his present capacity since March 2015.
Teichberg received his B.A. from Tufts University and a graduate certificate for human resources studies from Cornell University.
Edna Chun, HigherEd Talent
Vice President, Human Resources
INTECH Investment Management LLC
Martha Franco has been vice president of human resources at INTECH, which offers an investment process that is designed to protect portfolios from risk, since January 2015. Prior to that, she served as both that company’s HR director and HR manager.
She previously served as HR manager for Palm Beach County’s Health Care District, as HR manager for Sundy House and in recruitment for Tecnoquimicas.
Franco received a B.S. in psychology at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and an M.S. in HR management at the Universidad del Valle in Colombia. She belongs to SHRM and HRPBC.
Ellen Charleton, Sun Capital Partners
Alyson Smith, GardaWorld Cash Services
HEALTH CARE & INSURANCE
Chief Human Resources Officer
Bradley Kitchens has been with NCCI Holdings (National Council on Compensation Insurance), the nation’s most experienced provider of workers compensation information, tools and services, since 2003.
She was previously was chief people officer with Mars Music, vice president of HR at Starbucks, compensation and benefits administrator at SpaceLabs Medical and personnel administrator at U.S. Bank.
Kitchens received her MBA in international business from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She received a degree in business and human resources from the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business.
John Brant, Patriot National Insurance Group
Kristofer Cooper, MorseLife Health Systems
Marc Grad, Hospital Physician Partners
John Hovnanian, Intermedix Corporation
Patti McEwen, Sheridan Healthcare
Frank Poschen, Grunenthal
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
ILG (Interval Leisure Group)
Mary Cheddie has been with Interval Leisure Group, one of the leading companies in the vacation exchange industry, since 2005. She leads a global team with offices in 22 countries. Responsibilities include human resources and LEAD (leadership, education, assessment and development). She was previously senior vice president of people for PRC, an IAC company, and vice president of HR at Orvis.
Cheddie is a former member of the SHRM board. She received her MBA from Upper Iowa University, her B.A. from Thomas Edison State College and an A.A. degree in business, social science from Waldorf College.
Denise Bober, The Breakers
Viviana Santisteban, Nobu Hospitality
Vice President of Human Resources
Boca Raton Regional Hospital
Mindy Raymond, who became vice president of human resources in 2006, is responsible for the overall HR function at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, including recruitment and retention, compensation, benefits, employee health, employee relations and work/life initiatives.
She also provides executive oversight for the hospital’s Center for Lifelong Learning in the delivery of leadership and staff training and development.
She received a B.S. in psychology from Florida Southern College and her master’s in health care administration at Florida Atlantic University. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.
Elisa Hernandez, Miami Jewish Health Systems
Margie Vargas, Memorial Healthcare
Director, Human Resources
Susan Faby has experience in progressively expanding roles, including oversight of human resources functions. She is responsible for the implementation of strategic initiatives in alignment with corporate and financial objectives. As HR director at Gunster, she provides strategic HR direction and support for 11 offices throughout Florida. She oversees recruiting, benefits and training of personnel; supports company growth; and ensures consistency in the organizational model.
Faby’s specialties include employee relations, labor relations, talent management, strategic planning, workforce expansion and adjustment, benefits negotiation and administration, performance management, and policy and procedure development.
She received her B.A. in business administration from Florida Atlantic University.
Beth Marley, Shutts & Bowen
Gigi Pena, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson P.A.
NONPROFIT & PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS
Vice President, Human Resources, Planning and Organizational Development
Lois Schlam is a bilingual executive with international experience with Fortune 500 companies, Universal Music Latin America and World Duty Free Americas, the world’s second-largest, duty-free retailer. Career highlights include integral participation on the launch team for a major Latin American cable network and being a member of the acquisition transition team for a major Wall Street brokerage firm.
Schlam has been with Chapman Partnership since May 2004, where she has established an affirmative action program and created and implemented a new performance evaluation system, organizational charts, an internship program, job descriptions and an employee training and development program.
Schlam received her B.A. in psychology, business and Spanish from the State University of New York at Albany.
Jorleen Aguiles, ACAMS
Freddy Pardo, Care Resource
RETAIL & MARKETING
Vice President, Human Resources
Janet Wincko is a senior human resources executive with 25 years of experience who consistently demonstrates an outstanding ability to manage, lead employees, lead and transform organizations, and communicate and collaborate effectively at all levels. She has been vice president of HR at City Furniture since December 1989.
Under her leadership, City Furniture opened a fully equipped health and wellness center, offering free preventive and urgent medical care to its employees and their families.
Wincko belongs to the following organizations: the Society for Resource Management, the Association for Talent Development and the 33rd class of Leadership Broward. She has volunteered with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life since April 2005 and has been a member of the HR committee for All Saints Episcopal Church since January 2009.
Ron Antoniewicz, Vision Group Holdings
Matthew Pittman, Republica
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Laura Miller leads human resources operations across the residential, small business and health insurance units of ADT, which she joined in 2014. She is responsible for all HR business partners, compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, talent management, labor and employee relations, and diversity and inclusion.
Headquartered in Boca Raton, ADT is a leading provider of electronic security, interactive home and business automation and monitoring services for residences and small businesses in the United States and Canada. Prior to ADT, Miller served as chief HR officer for Coca-Cola Refreshments, where she led HR for a $20 billion, 70,000-plus employee company. She received her bachelor’s in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.
Michelle Lojko, LexisNexis
Charles Rossano, e-Builder
Anthony Treglia, Caribe Blu Business Engineering
TRANSPORTATION & LOGISTICS
Associate General Counsel, Global Labor and Employment
Ryder System Inc.
Heather Gatley heads the global labor employment legal department for Ryder System Inc., a $6 billion public company. She provides counsel to human resources professionals and other managers and executives at all organizational levels regarding labor and employment law and business implications.
Gatley manages the department of employment lawyers and paralegals that serve as business partners and effectively balances business objectives with risk mitigation. She is responsible for budgeting, management and professional development of departmental members, selection and management of outside counsel, and education and training of HR and business partners.
She was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1995. She attended the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law, receiving her J.D. with high honors. She received a B.S. in speech communications from Penn State University.
Maggie Laureano, Embraer Aircraft Holding
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Cross Country Healthcare
Pat Ahern is a human resources executive and business partner with more than 25 years experience, including 12 years reporting directly to business leaders in diverse industries. He is a strategic, practical and results-oriented leader with strong business and financial acumen and a history of driving business results by developing, aligning and executing strategic and operational talent management and HR programs in large, distributed organizations.
Ahern’s many specialties include workforce planning, talent acquisition, talent development and deployment, organizational design and development, succession planning and change management for high-growth and fast-paced organizations. He has been with Cross Country Healthcare since July 2014, with prior HR experience at American Express, Alamo Rental Car, Republic Services and Viasource Communications. He attended Florida State University’s College of Business.