Los Angeles HR Star Conference
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Speaker Information


Phillip R. Maltin, Esq. is a Partner of Raines Feldman LLP based in Los Angeles, California where he serves as a member of the Labor & Employment and Business Litigation practice groups. Mr. Maltin has a reputation as a preeminent litigator and exceptional questioner with nuanced tactical and technical skills at trial. He defends employers both in single plaintiff and multi-plaintiff litigation as well as class actions on a wide-range of employment law matters. These include wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and misappropriation of trade secrets. His clients include national and international corporations located in the United States, Asia and Europe. Mr. Maltin also manages and conducts numerous internal investigations for companies on workplace issues ranging from claims of discrimination and harassment to inquiries into violence and embezzlement. A former full-time prosecutor in the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, he continues to prosecute discrete criminal cases through trial as part of his commitment to the Trial Advocacy Project. In addition, Mr. Maltin is an expert speaker on the topics of investigation and questioning techniques - with a focus on uncovering dishonesty. His presentations have garnered wide-spread media interest, and he speaks at conferences and conventions internationally. Mr. Maltin is perennially recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer which is an elite distinction given to no more than five percent of the Southern California Bar.


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 twenty years - with eleven 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.


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.


Renae Rodrigues, M.A., SWP is the Director of Human Resources and an HR Business Partner for the Professional and Technical Staff Division of Kelly Services, Inc. and Kelly's Latin America and Canadian operations. Ms. Rodrigues' current duties include engaging with executives on Strategic Workforce Planning and Executive Leadership initiatives. Ms. Rodrigues has 25 years of expertise in consulting with internal and external clients on a wide range of HR topics including both California State requirements and Federal EEO/ADA/FMLA compliance; joint employer relationships and compliance; regulatory requirements for veterans and individuals with disabilities; updates on EEO laws and settlements. Most recently Ms. Rodrigues has consulted on employment law and responsibilities for business entry into the US with a foreign based corporation.


Bruce L. Calvin, J.D. is the President of Calvin Associates, Inc. - a global HR Corporate Advisory Firm that works with CEOs, CFOs and executives who need support with HR integration and HR intervention matters. He helps existing teams refocus on their goals and outcomes, and he works confidentially with the executives when sensitive HR issues require senior management coaching, conflict resolution, outside third party internal investigations and other neutral work. Mr. Calvin brings over 30 years of global HR expertise across a wide range of industries, including semiconductor, healthcare, financial, aerospace, nonprofit, chemical and transportation. He has worked at both the executive level and as a consultant supporting various-sized organizations from Fortune 500 elite to startups. Mr. Calvin has a clear understanding of how global HR issues - affected by California legal requirements - can impact a company's bottom line, as well as the importance of helping organizations resolve sensitive employee relations issues quickly and with little disruption to the organization. During Mr. Calvin's last 15 years in industry, his corporate experience included roles as Senior VP Corporate Services, VP Human Resources and Administration and Compliance Officer to two Boards. Mr. Calvin has a B.S. from Troy University, a J.D. from John F. Kennedy University and is licensed by the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.


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.


Chris Norris, CFI® is the Director, Europe and International Training for Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. as well as the Webinar Director and featured speaker. Chris has over 28 years of experience in the loss prevention and investigative fields, including living and working in the United Kingdom. He has trained thousands of human resource, audit, loss prevention, security and law enforcement professionals on the art of interview and interrogation and has conducted numerous investigations for both private companies and public agencies. In his career Chris has provided training and presentations on the art of interviewing and interrogation on six different continents.


Leonora “Lenny” Schloss, Esq. is a Shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Jackson Lewis. Ms. Schloss specializes in wage-hour and leaves of absence issues, advises and trains employers on preventative measures, drafts policies and agreements, conducts wage/hour classification audits and training, and handles employment investigations. Ms. Schloss has substantial experience litigating single plaintiff and class action discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage/hour cases in state and federal courts and agencies. She also represents employers in litigation stemming from employee non-competition agreements and trade secret misappropriation matters. Ms. Schloss is graduate of St. Louis University - summa cum laude - and Columbia University School of Law, where she was a finalist in the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition. In addition, Ms. Schloss serves as a Board Member for the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has been recognized in Who’s Who of American Women.


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.


Maria R. Diaz, SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-SCP is a bilingual trainer (English/Spanish) and HR Consultant for Train Me Today. There she specializes in the delivery of PHRca, PHR, SPHR exam preparation training as well as training for management, leadership, supervisor development, sexual harassment prevention (AB1825) and other customized training. Maria has over 20 years of experience in a wide variety of job roles from sole HR Practitioner to leading an HR Team as a Director of People Services. She has worked in industries ranging from healthcare to investments to retail Her experience includes all areas of HR: from mergers and acquisitions to workforce reductions. Maria holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the University of Phoenix with a number of special certifications in Human Resources. 


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).


Russ Elliot, SPHR is an expert on organizational culture and is the Founder of the Conscious Culture Group, a consulting and executive coaching company committed to linking culture to performance by creating ownership for culture and fully understanding the employee experience. Working closely with leaders, Russ helps create organizational changes that build more effective and intentional cultures holistically. Russ brings his 32 years of HR practitioner experience to his consulting practice. While serving as a SVP HR Director, his organization was recognized as a Best Place to Work in Silicon Valley and nationally as one of the top 40 Best Banks to Work For. Russ is on the faculty of UC Berkeley extension, Global Institute of Leadership Development and Women in Leadership. Russ' articles have been published in national HR magazines, he has been interviewed as an HR/culture expert for national HR articles, and he regularly speaks about organizational culture. Russ holds a BS in Business and an MA in HR.


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.


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 2017.