Cole Williamson, SPHR-CA
Director HR and Administrative Services
Profil Institute for Clinical Research Inc.
Advisor for CSUSM Human Resource Management Certificate Program
Cole has been practicing HR for over 20 years in a variety of industries, with a majority of his background being in retail and life sciences. He is currently the Head of HR at the Profil Institute for Clinical Research, where he also oversees IT and Facilities. Cole has a Master’s in Organizational Management and a Bachelor’s in Economics from San Diego State University. He holds the unique distinction of having the Senior Professional in Human Resources certification (SPHR), the California Human Resources certification (CA) and the Global Human Resources certification (GPHR). Cole has been an adjunct professor at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) for over 13 years where he teaches HR Strategy and the PHR\SPHR test preparation. He is also currently the HR Certificate Program Advisor for CSUSM. Cole has served on several local Human Resource leadership boards including the San Diego Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), HR BIOCOMM, the National Human Resources Association (NHRA) and the San Diego HR Forum (SDHRF).
He has been married for nearly 20 years to his Jennifer. They have two kids, Sierra 14 and Ian 7.
SANDRA FICHTER, MA, SPHR
Sandra is the President/Owner of Fichter Silva Consulting, ‘A Human Resources Services Company’ offering a full spectrum of HR services, including Spanish support. She has managed from two to over 800 employees and has experience in a variety of industries, including hospitality, health care, manufacturing, defense contracting and non-profit.
Sandra provides hands-on services in the areas of recruiting, benefits management, wage and hour, policies & procedures development, employee relations, FMLA management, conflict resolution, OSHA compliance, employee and leadership development, coaching and training. She’s an experienced, hands on generalist providing services, management and strategic support as needed.
She has a Masters of Human Resources and Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco and her Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) Certification. She served on the San Diego Society of Human Resources Management (SDSHRM) Board in 2009 and 2010 as VP, North County. She currently serves on the SDSHRM Board as advisor of veteran employment issues.
Most of Sandra’s personal time goes to volunteering with nonprofits, including those supporting veterans; she is an Army veteran and served both in the enlisted and officer ranks.
She’s the Vice President of Veterans Association North County (San Diego), an all volunteer, 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization established to provide a one-stop resource center where military, veterans and their families can receive aid, be connected to needed resources, including career transition assistance and job search support.
As founder of Access to Leadership, Lois Hall brings over twenty years of independent and corporate business experience in training, development, coaching and management. She has designed training and coaching programs and facilitated workshops for all levels of employees, with emphasis on skill and career development. Her expertise is in leadership and management development, performance management, career management, succession planning, strategic planning and talent management, customer care and sales.
Career highlights include international sales and management positions in the service and high technology industries with companies such as American Airlines, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Jenny Craig International and Altos Computer Systems, where she was responsible for the hiring, training and on-going development of staff. In addition to teaching Leadership and Management courses at the University of California, California State University and San Diego State University, Hall serves as a Certified Career Consultant where she coaches individuals in Career Management and Development, and Career Transition. She has also been a featured radio guest discussing various topics on effective management and leadership practices.
Lois holds an M.A. in Counseling from Assumption College in Worcester, MA, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology from Annhurst College in Woodstock, CT. She is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator professional and incorporates the instrument into many of her programs. Hall participates in the National Speakers Association, the American Society for Training and Development, and the Society for Human Resource Management.
Sue Johnson, SPHR
Sue has more than 25 years of Human Resources leadership experience in the San Diego area. Sue has worked in both private and public companies and her experience spans a number of different industries including medical device manufacturing, luxury consumer products, biopharmaceuticals and software development. She graduated from California Statement University San Marcos with a B.S. in Business Administration (Cum Laude) and later earned her M.A. in Organizational Behavior from the California School of Professional Psychology (now Alliant International University).
Mary Ann Marcuzzi, SPHR-CA/GPHR
Mary Ann is an HR Leader at Beckman Coulter, a $3B+ global clinical diagnostics company with manufacturing operations in Carlsbad. Prior to joining Beckman Coulter In 2000, Mary Ann held Human Resource positions in healthcare, aerospace and software organizations. She has taught Human Resource Management courses for the Chapman University System since 1993 and for CSU San Marcos since 2004.
Mary Ann serves on the HR Committee of the Board of Directors of Tri-City Healthcare, is a member of advisory committees for the Southern California Biotech Center and serves on the San Diego Workforce Investment Board.She holds graduate degrees in Public Administration and Counseling Psychology from CSU Dominguez Hills and Loyola Marymount University, a certificate in Career Counseling from UCSD Extension, and is a graduate of the 2012 class of Leadership North County.
Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP
Jeff represents employers in all aspects of employment law, with an emphasis on wage-hour class actions, equal employment opportunity litigation, and appellate advocacy. He has defended against class actions ranging from 150 to 30,000 employees, and has successfully defended clients in individual actions through trial. Most recently, he was part of a team that tried a disability discrimination action to complete defense verdict following a two-week federal jury trial, and served as lead counsel in obtaining summary judgment in a EEO retaliation case in state court. Jeff is also an experienced appellate advocate, and has authored numerous appellate briefs and amicus briefs in the Federal Circuit Courts and for the California Supreme Court.
Jeff authored three chapters of the leading treatise on California wage-hour law (addressing independent contractor status, exempt status classification, and calculation of pay), and has published numerous articles addressing wage-hour law and Equal Employment Opportunity laws. He has led nationwide wage-hour and exempt status audits for several hightechnology and new media companies. In addition, he has guided companies through significant nationwide reductions in force, providing counseling on the WARN Act and adverse impact.
Jeff maintains an active pro bono practice. Most recently, he brought a petition for writ of mandate on behalf of two public benefits recipients, and obtained a settlement resulting in payment of back benefits to over a thousand of California’s neediest citizens. Previously, he obtained relief from the Ninth Circuit for a refugee seeking political asylum in the United States.
Prior to joining Paul Plevin, Jeff worked as an associate in the Employment Law Department at Paul Hastings LLP. He received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and his B.A., with high distinction, from the University of Virginia.
Vickie is currently Vice President of Human Resources at Stone Brewing Co., where she has lead the HR function since 2009. With more than 25 years of HR experience, Vickie has held various HR positions with companies such as La Jolla Pharmaceuticals, Invitrogen (now Life Technologies), Quest Diagnostics and Allergan, Inc. She serves on the Board of Bucknam Infrastructure Group, and as a Board Member-At-Large for NCPA. Vickie holds a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University, and a BSBA from University of Phoenix. She has been an instructor for CSUSM Human Resources Certificate Program since 2007.
Kathy has been successfully impacting organizational behavior change for over 20 years through her extensive experience as an organization development professional. Kathy helps organizations achieve optimal performance through performance improvement consulting, needs assessment, instructional design, facilitation, team building, change management, and business process improvement. Kathy is currently a Senior IT Learning Consultant with the Capital Group, a financial services organization. She leads and manages large-scale training initiatives across the Information Technology Group (ITG) and develops curricula and programs as a part of the Information Technology Group University (ITGU). She holds a Master of Arts degree in Instructional Technology from San Jose State University and an MBA from National University, San Diego.
ELIZABETH ROCHE, SPHR
Elizabeth Roche is a highly experienced professional in the field of Human Resources. She has held a number of positions within Human Resources for more than 18 years. Her experience has encompassed the spectrum of being an effective generalist to being a competent specialist in training. She is widely versed in all areas of Human Resources and demonstrated her expertise in all disciplines of HR when she became certified as a “Senior Professional in Human Resources” in 1995. This designation is awarded by the international Society for Human Resource Management and is now hers for life. Elizabeth started her own HR consulting firm in 2005, Employers Workforce Relations.
In addition to being effective in all areas of HR (recruiting, retention, training, employee relations, benefits and compensation) she is also a specialist when it comes to training. Elizabeth spent nearly a decade working as Director of Training for an agricultural trade association. During that time she developed dozens of training modules and presented them as well. The modules concentrated on both supervisor and management skills; as well as training for others in the HR profession. Her work within the trade association was also comprised of providing advisory services to member companies on a wide range of HR topics. Working hand-in-hand with labor attorneys, Elizabeth was an invaluable source of information to the member companies and accurately assessed when an issue needed legal attention.
In her last staff HR position, Elizabeth was part of the senior management team of a start-up company experiencing 30% growth year over year. As the head of the HR function, she had responsibility for developing all company procedures, policies and processes that related to the employees spread out over a dozen states. During her tenure the company grew from 725 employees to over 2,000 while adding large manufacturing locations and consolidating small existing ones. She was instrumental in the strategic planning of the company as it met the challenges of rapid growth and expanded market share. Additionally, she spearheaded the defense of a number of government agency investigations and charges, as well as handling the successful management campaign against an organizing attempt by the Longshoreman’s Union in the state of Washington.
Elizabeth has enjoyed a state wide reputation as an effective trainer and presenter. Since 2006 she has been an instructor for Cal State San Marcos’ Extended Learning Department. She can guide employers in numerous valuable HR functions, assisting companies to increase their bottom line and realize their strategic goals.
Elizabeth graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles. She has continued to educate herself in the areas of her profession through seminars, conferences and extension classes. She is a member of several HR professional associations including the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Professionals in Human Resources (PIHRA), American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). Elizabeth has served on the Board of PIHRA as well as other volunteer leaderships positions
Tracy Ward, SPHR-CA, GPHR, CHA, RRP
Vice President of Corporate Culture
Tracy has been with Welk Resorts since 1995, and currently oversees the Human Resources, Risk Management, Corporate Events and Legal functions. She is a key individual responsible for the company’s strategic planning initiatives, with a focus towards facilitating the growth of the organization.
Tracy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Law from the University of California, San Diego, and has acquired several professional certifications within the HR and Hospitality industries, including the Senior Professional in Human Resources, Global Professional in Human Resources, and California HR certifications, and the Certified Hotel Administrator and Registered Resort Professional designations. Tracy’s leadership has contributed to creating and maintaining an exceptional workplace culture and Welk Resorts has been a recipient of the San Diego SHRM Workplace Excellence Program’s Crystal Award in 2009 and Marble Award winner in 2012, and received ARDA’s ACE Employer of the Year Award in 2012.