Los Angeles HR Star Conference
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Speaker Information


Jill Christensen is an author, international keynote speaker, employee engagement expert and President of Jill Christensen International – a global firm based in Denver, Colorado that focuses on teaching companies proven strategies to re-engage their employees. With three decades of real-life, in-the-trenches Fortune 500 executive-level experience, Jill’s view is radically different from many other employee engagement experts. Prior to launching her consulting firm in 2009, Jill served as the head of Global Internal Communications at both Avaya and Western Union. Jill’s proven approach for increasing employee engagement has allowed her to speak throughout the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and India. Jill is also a best-selling author, holds a Six Sigma Green Belt and was named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer. In 2017, her popular blog was awarded a Top 100 Corporate Blog alongside that of Apple and Microsoft. Jill partners with the best and brightest leaders around the world to re-engage employees, improve productivity, retention, customer satisfaction and revenue growth. She has worked in 13 industries with clients that include: Samsung, Novartis, AT&T, Nokia, ARROW, TIAA and ACT as well as numerous U.S. cities and non-profit organizations.


Allison West, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the Managing Principal of Employment Practices Specialists and holds a simple approach to employment practices: be proactive. Using her employment law background, coupled with her sound knowledge of human resources practices, Allison provides proactive risk management services aimed at helping companies both prevent and resolve employment claims. She is a top-rated speaker at the annual SHRM conference as well as other HR conferences speaking on employment law and human resources topics. Allison specializes in delivering customized in-house training programs to companies of all sizes, serving a wide variety of industries. Her expertise also includes delivering one-on-one sensitivity training to executives, managers and employees concerning harassment, discrimination, and disciplinary and/or behavioral issues as well as conducting workplace investigations, providing expert witness assistance and other HR consulting. Allison is a member of the State Bar of California and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification.


Debbie Birndorf Zeiler, Esq., M.B.A. has been practicing law for more than 20 years - with 11 years at major law firms in both Chicago and Los Angeles. Her practice primarily focuses on representing employers in all aspects of employment law, including harassment and discrimination claims, wage and hour claims including class actions, disability claims as well as misappropriation of trade secrets. She also provides preventative counseling and drafts and reviews employment contracts, severance agreements, employee handbooks and personnel policies. Debbie has been honored by being named a Super Lawyer in Employment and Labor in 2013, 2015, 2016 and most recently in 2017. She has also been named one of the Top Employment and Labor Attorneys in Los Angeles and one of the Top Women Attorneys by Los Angeles Magazine. Additionally, Birndorf Law Offices was also recognized by Los Angeles Magazine as one of the best law firms in Los Angeles. Debbie is a frequent speaker on a wide variety of employment law topics and teaches Legal Aspects of Employee Relations at UCLA Extension. Debbie earned a B.A. from UCLA, an M.B.A. from NYU and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, where she graduated at the top of her class.


Sheree Knowles, SPHR is the Founder and Chief Human Resources Officer for HR Knowledge Source (HRKS) - a human resources advisory firm based in Atlanta, Georgia - as well as a talented executive with over 20 years of HR leadership experience. She has served in senior-level roles for companies with regional and national geographic footprints. Her most recent corporate role was VP of Human Resources for a $1B professional services firm. Through HRKS, Sheree works with clients in variety of industries, including nonprofit, government, technology, higher education, construction and professional services. Ms. Knowles is a highly regarded leader and professional speaker. She is best known for her ability to build HR departments from the ground up: people, policies, processes and technology. In addition, she is an accomplished practitioner earning multiple certifications and designations throughout her career such as SPHR, CPM, MBTI and DiSC. Sheree is a “generalist” by heart, preferring to work in all aspects of human resources. She enjoys talent acquisition, talent & performance management, employment law compliance, training & development, mergers & acquisitions and health & wellness. Ms. Knowles is also committed to the development of emerging HR leaders and entrepreneurs. Sheree is actively involved in several professional organizations, including the Cobb Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Leadership Forum, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Urban League of Greater Atlanta. She also serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for the National Association of African American in Human Resources (NAAAHR) Atlanta Board. Ms. Knowles is a graduate of the University of Dayton.


Brett L. Ward, CFI® is Vice President at Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. A renowned speaker, Brett has led over 750 seminars on interview and interrogation techniques around the world for private industry, law enforcement agencies, government entities as well as the International Association of Interviewers. In his 26 year career in the investigative field, Brett has conducted hundreds of investigations both for the public and private sectors. Also, Brett has spoken at several national organizations' annual meetings including the National Retail Federation, HR Southwest, Eye For Retail Europe and the SHRM Labor & Employment Conference. Brett has extensive training in the government sector with organizations like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service; the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Diplomatic Security Services; and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service where courses were taught at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia. Brett is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma in Oklahoma City where he received a B.S. degree in Finance and Business Administration. Brett currently resides in Houston, Texas.


Angela J. Reddock-Wright, Esq. is an employment law attorney, mediator, arbitrator and Managing Partner of Reddock Law Group in Los Angeles, California. Named a "Top California Employment Lawyer" by the Daily Journal and one of Los Angeles' "Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys" by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Angela has been a practicing attorney for 22 years, including 15 years as a litigator. Angela's practice now focuses on the mediation, arbitration and investigation of workplace disputes. In her investigation practice, Angela is retained by public, private and non-profit sector employers to conduct independent and neutral investigations of workplace harassment, discrimination and other claims. Angela received her training as a mediator from the Strauss Institute at the Pepperdine University School of Law and has extensive training in conducting workplace investigations holding certificates from the Association of Workplace Investigators. In addition she is T9 Mastered for conducting Title IX sexual assault, harassment and misconduct investigations.  The President-Elect of the Southern California Mediation Association, she is also a member of the distinguished panel of arbitrators and mediators for the American Arbitration Association. Angela is an Associate Professor at California State University Dominguez Hills in the Negotiations, Conflict Resolution and Peace Program as well as an Instructor at UCLA Extension in the Human Resources Certification Program. A published author, frequent speaker and legal commentator, she has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Essence Magazine and on CNN, among many news and media outlets. Angela is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law, Amherst College and the Coro Foundation Fellowship in Public Policy and Public Affairs. 


Liliana O. Salazar, Esq. is the Chief Compliance Officer Western Region for HUB International and is responsible for addressing employers’ health and welfare responsibilities under federal and state laws and city ordinances. She works closely with HUB’s service teams and clients to develop short-term and long-term strategies that allow clients to remain in compliance while addressing clients’ financial and human capital needs. Liliana interacts with regulatory agencies such as the Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Treasury Department, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state insurance departments to discuss the applicability of laws and regulations to group health plans. Liliana possesses 20 years of experience in addressing the compliance and regulatory needs of employers and their group health plans. She actively worked with carriers and clients in ensuring their compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and HITECH Act rules, GASB 45 obligations and more recently the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Prior to joining HUB, Liliana was National Practice Leader for the Employee Benefits Compliance Practice of Wells Fargo Insurance Services and Vice President of Compliance for ABD Insurance Services. Liliana is a regular speaker at national and state conferences sponsored by employers, employee benefit chapters and HR associations, including ISCEBS, SHRM, CALPELRA, PERLA, NAFOA and others. She is also a regular contributor to national and regional employee benefit publications. Due to her many industry contributions over the years, Liliana was the recipient of the 2013 Women to Watch Award from Business Insurance.


Dave Collins is the Founder and CEO of Oak and Reeds, a corporate training firm dedicated to using the tools of improvisation to train clients on everyday soft skills. Dave is an award-winning improvisor, coach, speaker and corporate strategist with over a decade of experience performing and coaching improv. Along with his teammates, Dave won the National Collegiate Improv Tournament. He has headlined shows across the United States and individually has coached hundreds of students and professionals in the art and practice of applied improvisation. Prior to founding Oak and Reeds, he worked as a change management expert at AECOM. As part of AECOM's workplace strategy team, Dave helped clients to examine the relationship between workspace and productivity, enabling people to break old habits and embrace change. Dave has a B.A. in Communication and Economics from Northwestern University with a specialization in Team Leadership.


Candice Gottlieb-Clark, MS, CRC, BCE is the Founder and President of Dynamic Team Solutions - an organization whose mission is to improve interpersonal and business functionality through enhanced communication, teamwork and productivity. With more than 20 years of expertise working with individuals, teams and full organizations, Candice is frequently engaged to provide leadership development, group facilitation, corporate culture alignment, mediation, executive coaching and performance based training programs. Candice holds a Master's Degree in Counseling from San Diego State University and a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition, she holds a national Certification in Rehabilitation Counseling, serves as a Certified Mediator of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and is a Board Certified Executive Coach. Membership and affiliations include the National Association of Women Business Owners and Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA). Candice Gottlieb-Clark is a renowned Business Advisor, Coach and Conflict Management Specialist. Candice founded Dynamic Team Solutions, to help businesses strengthen their leaders and employees through enhanced communication, teamwork, leadership, and conflict management. Dynamic Team Solutions provides executive and leadership coaching, team building and development, and conflict management and resolution, to positively transform business functionality in terms of employee relations, morale, turnover, culture, and productivity. Candice holds a Masters degree in Counseling, is a Certified Mediator of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and is a Board Certified Executive Coach. She is sought after speaker and writer on topics of leadership, teamwork, communication and conflict management. Current memberships include the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).


Alexis D. James, Esq. and Renee N. Noy, Esq. are owners of the boutique law firm, WorkWise Law PC, which counsels and represents small to mid-market companies with their employment and labor law compliance needs. Alexis and Renee have a combined 24 years of experience in employment law, having practiced on both sides of the equation. Their insight into what employees sue over helps their clients avoid the common pitfalls of being a California employer. Alexis and Renee are the preferred partners of the Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) and the Physical Therapy Providers Network (PTPN), providing legal and educational services to medical practitioners. They have been featured speakers at the National Association for Women Business Owners, Southern California Association for Healthcare Risk Management, Professionals in Human Resources Association, and were guests on Voice America's Business Channel. Renee is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder and earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Alexis is a graduate of Duke University and the Lewis and Clark Law School.


Jeff Hunt, CMC® is President & CEO of GoalSpan, a performance management software company in the San Francisco Bay Area. His focus is with SMB's and nonprofits. Jeff is known as a "CEO who speaks HR." He is a Certified Management Consultant through the Institute of Management Consultant's ISO9001 accredited program. He has a heart for nonprofits and loves helping them realize their visions for a changed world. Jeff has run public and private corporations, and sold, acquired, and merged businesses. He has deep expertise and long string of successes in managing for results with complex workforce organizations. Jeff is an employee performance management expert - he understands people and business. On a personal note, Jeff is a San Francisco Bay Area native with his wife and two sons and has been a life-long sailor.


Braden Albert is the Founder and President of the HR Star Conference and its parent company, Abbington Court Media. A graduate of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, Braden began organizing job fairs and trade shows in the mid-1990's. Intrigued by the idea of bringing people together for a shared, learning experience - and impressed by the impact such an experience can provide - Braden organized his first HR Star Conference in 1999. Today, the scope of the HR Star Conference includes annual events in Los Angeles, California; Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco, California; and Cleveland, Ohio. Over 3,300 HR professionals attended an HR Star Conference in 2018.