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Meet Your Board of Directors
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Meet Your Board of Directors

CRHRA’s members are served by an enthusiastic Board of Directors. Here’s a "news in brief” introduction to these volunteers. We look forward to seeing you at meetings and programs this year and to receiving your feedback and opinions about how our chapter can serve YOU, the HR professional and advance our profession in the eyes of the Capital Region community. Our email addresses and contact information are available on the Contact Us page.

Chris Wessell, PHR - President 2016-2017

Chris has 12 years of recruiting experience, and in 2009 co-founded Pinnacle, a staffing company specializing in providing talent to technology organizations.  In addition to spending most of his time recruiting, he also manages all HR responsibilities for the company.

Chris has an MBA from UAlbany with an HRIS concentration (2004) and has been PHR certified since 2009. Chris has been an active CRHRA member for 14 years, starting in graduate school serving as President of the UAlbany SHRM student chapter, going on to be involved in several committees over the years and serving on the CRHRA board from 2008-2011.

Chris is currently a member of the executive committee for the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Northeastern NY (and an active classroom volunteer), as well as a past board member of organizations such as the Schenectady County Community College Foundation, the Capital Region Recruiters Network, the UAlbany Alumni Association, the Capital Alliance of Young Professionals, the Stakeholders, GenNEXT, and Best Buddies New York. 


Alisa Hobb - Vice President 2016-2017

Alisa is currently employed with The Arc of Rensselaer County as the Director of Human Resources.  Alisa has held various roles during her 19+ years of service with The Arc.  Alisa began her career as a Direct Support Supervisor and was able to pursue opportunities for professional growth and development within the organization during her tenure.  As the Director of human Resources, Alisa shares the responsibility for the care and support to over 250 individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.  Alisa has oversight of the agency's human resource team and supports 500+ employees.  She has 10+ years of human resource experience in the areas of recruitment, employee relations, training and development, conducting workplace investigations and strategic planning.

Alisa is a graduate of Oneonta State College and received her Master's of Science in Health Services Administration from Sage Graduate School.  Alisa received her PHR certification in December 2009 and her SHRM-CP certification in April 2015.  She was a graduate of the 2011-2012 CRHRA Leadership Program and has been a member of SHRM/CRHRA for 10 years.  Alisa served on the CRHRA Board of Directors from 2012-2015 and has been a volunteer member of the CRHRA programs committee since 2012.

  Jennifer O'Connor Teepe, PHR, SHRM-CP - Secretary 2015-2017

Jennifer has over 8 years of human resources experience in both the private and public sector, particularly in the areas of organizational analysis, compensation analysis, recruitment, labor relations, benefits administration, and FLSA determinations.  She is currently an Associate Personnel Administrator within the Office of General Services, and is the primary Human Resources contact for the NYS Business Services Center.  Housed within OGS, the BSC is one of Governor Cuomo's shared services initiatives tasked with consolidating transactional finance and human resources functions (and the employees who go with them) into one state agency.

In her pre-human resources life, Jennifer was a journalism major at SUNY Oswego.  Jennifer has a Master's in Public Administration from SUNY Albany, and earned her PHR in 2011.

Nihla Zarook, SPHR - Treasurer 2016 - 2017

Nihla Zarook is the director of human resources, finance and administration for Albany Community Action Partnership (ACAP). Ms. Zarook holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources management and a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) with a specialization in organizational leadership and human resources management. She holds a designation as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the Certification Institute of the Society for Human Resources Management. She also possesses an attorney-at-law qualification in Sri Lanka and is a graduate of the CRHR HR Leadership Class of 2013.

With experience in the United States and internationally, Ms. Zarook offers several years of human resources management and legal expertise. Her career experience includes positions in the banking, academic and nonprofit industries. Ms. Zarook is responsible for the organization’s overall human resources management and finance efforts including employee recruitment, benefits, and relations. She also serves as ACAP’s equal employment opportunity officer.

   Shannon Smith - Special Projects 2017-


Shannon is a Talent Acquisition Manager for Linium, a globally recognized firm focused on consulting, recruiting and managed services. In her role at Linium, Shannon specializes in consultative recruiting services for all levels of Administrative, Marketing, Human Resources and Information Technology roles.


She graduated from the University at Albany in 2013 with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Business with a focus in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She was an I-O Psychology Research Assistance and an active member of various organizations within the University.


Shannon became a member of CRHRA as a student and continued her involvement afterwards. She joined the Programs Committee in 2015 and co-chaired the Annual Holiday Party the past two years. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors in 2017 at the Special Projects Chair.


Deb Misetich, PHR - Director 2014-2017
One Day Conference Chair

Deb has 15 years of Human Resources experience.  Currently, Deb is an HR Manager, Resource Development at nfrastructure.  In this role she is responsible for recruitment, development and day-to-day Human Resources support of all staff.

She holds an Associate’s from Hudson Valley Community College and PHR certification.  Deb has been a member of SHRM and CRHRA for over 10 years and has volunteered in various capacities. 

Rob Manfredo Director 2012-2017
Government Relations Chair

Rob Manfredo is a labor and employment attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, where he concentrates his practice in employment counseling and litigation. Rob routinely assists employers navigate issues involving wage and hour laws, employee discipline, workplace accommodations, the Family Medical Leave Act, and misclassification of independent contractors. He has successfully defended employers against claims of discrimination, retaliation, and workplace harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the New York State Human Rights Law; wage and hour actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law, and Unfair Labor Practice Charges under the National Labor Relations Act. Rob also reviews employee handbooks and policies, trains supervisory and non-supervisory personnel, and assists employers conduct workplace investigations.

Randy Kramer, PHR - Director 2015-2018
Programs Chair

Randy is currently the Benefits Adminitrator for AngioDynamics, Inc., overseeing the company health, wellness and retirement benefit plans for over 1,200 US employees, largely concentrated in the Capital District. Prior to joining the team at AngioDynamics, Randy worked as an HR Manager at ReQuest, Inc. in Ballston Spa. Before moving to the Albany area, she worked as a Job Developer and Employment Specialist, providing staffing services to adults with disabilities.

Randy holds a Bachelor's Degree from Boston University, and earned her certification as a Profession in Human Resources (PHR) in June 2013, thanks in large part to the certification program offered through CRHRA. Randy has been a volunteer on the CRHRA Programs Committee since 2009 and is enthusiastically stepping into a leadership role beginning in 2015.


 Riana Millington - Director 2016 - 2017
Newsletter and Public Relations Committee Chair

Riana is currently an HR Generalist at the Center for Disability Services, where she provides human resources support in the areas of employee relations, workplace investigations, policy and procedure development, compensation, and compliance. The Center provides comprehensive health care, residential services, education, adult programming, service coordination and skilled nursing care to individuals with disabilities. In addition, the Center has a commercial printing, inserting, and mailing operation that is supported by a workforce of over 200 individuals with disabilities. The Center employs over 2,700 workers in over 80 locations.

Riana holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Siena College. She achieved both her PHR and SHRM-CP certifications in May of 2016. Riana has been a volunteer with CRHRA since joining as a student member in 2011. She has been a member of the PR Committee since 2013 and recently stepped into a leadership role as the PR/Newsletter Chair for the 2016-17 Program Year.

Matt Ingold - Director 2016-2017
Marketing Co-Chair

Tammy Burke, PHR - Director 2013-2017
Marketing Co-Chair

Tammy is the Human Resources Generalist of The Adirondack Trust Company based in Saratoga Springs.  The Adirondack Trust Company provides full banking, insurance and investment services and has several branch locations from Albany to Queensbury, NY. 

Tammy has been employed by The Adirondack Trust Company for over 25 years where her responsibilities have included Payroll, Benefits, Recruitment, Onboarding and Conflict Resolution.  She received her PHR certification in December, 2010, and is currently pursuing additional certification through World-at-Work as a Certified Benefits Professional (CBP).  

She is new to her position as Co-chair of Marketing for CRHRA, but has often volunteered in the past.  She is currently a member of The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), a Board member for the Saratoga County Job Service Employment Council (JSEC) and serves on the Quality & Assurance Board of Home Helpers based in Saratoga Springs.


Jennifer Powers, PHR, SHRM-CP - Director 2013-2017
Membership Chair

Jennifer is a graduate of Siena College with a Bachelor's degree in Management and also holds an MBA with a concentration in HR from Sage Graduate School. 

Jennifer is currently employed in the Human Resource department at Jaeger & Flynn Associates, inc.  A leading Upstate New York provider of insurance, employee benefits and human resources support services. JFA offers a full range of brokerage and consulting services.

She has over 7 years progressive HR experience but has focused primarily in employee benefits. Jennifer has been active with SHRM and CRHRA for the past 6 years and also serves on the Student Chapter Committee.  

  Jeff Hall, SPHR, SHRM-SCP - Director 2014-2017

Workforce Readiness Chair

Jeff is the Director of Human Resources for Amsterdam Printing.  He manages and directs human resources activities for this supplier of promotional items.  Prior to this role Jeff held various human resources positions in the areas of recruitment, performance management, HR management, payroll, and employee relations for companies including Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union, The Home Depot, Ace Hardware, and SCA Tissue.  Jeff earned his M.B.A. from Empire State College, a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rochester, as well as obtaining the SPHR and CEBS certifications.

Jeff is new to his role as the Certification Committee Director, and has been volunteering with CRHRA since 2010 as a certification study group facilitator.

Joe Koyon - Director 2016-2017
Student Chapter Chair 

Joe is a Human Capital Generalist with Maximus, Inc. in Albany, where he supports call center and back office employees as a member of a passionate and dynamic HR team.  His career has been characterized by a combination of broad operations management experience and human resource specialization in a variety of industries and environments, from managing operations and HR in retail settings to grooming the next generation of leaders in a pharmacy benefits management company.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a theater certificate from Siena College, as well as a Master of Science in Organization Management from Sage Graduate School.  A member of CRHRA since 2008, Joe has served on the Membership and Student Chapter committees since 2013, and is excited for the opportunity to serve CRHRA as a board member.

In addition to his role with CRHRA, Joe is a member of the Development Committee for Capital District Habitat for Humanity. He also recently began serving his alma mater as a member of the Sage Colleges Alumni Board.


Azita Hirsa- Director 2016-2017
Certification Chair

Azita Hirsa is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Management in the Huether Business School as the College of Saint Rose. Over the years, she has developed and taught a broad range of management courses at both the undergraduate and MBA levels, as a full-time faculty and an adjunct professor at various area colleges. Her main teaching and research focus include Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management.

Dr. Hirsa earned her Ph.D. at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lally School of Management and Technology. She also holds a M.Sc. in Management with a focus in Technology and Organizational Behavior and a B.Sc. in Management with a major in Management Information Systems and a minor in Social Psychology from the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Azita has been a member of SHRM since 2007 and a member of CRHRA since 2013. She served as a member of the Public Relations committee in 2015, and has enthusiastically taken on the role of chair of the certification committee in August 2016. She has also served on the board of trustees at the Clifton Park_Halfmoon Public Library and has served as the chair of its Personnel Committee.


Katie Melnikoff - Director 2016-2017
Diversity Chair

Ginny Falls - Director 2016-2017
Website Management Chair


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