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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

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. 

Joseph Koyon, PHR, SHRM-CP - Vice President

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 hold 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 served on the Membership and Student Chapter committees before joining the Board in 2016. He is very excited to continue his service to CRHRA as Vice President.

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


Jennifer has over 10 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 Director of Human Resources with the Office of General Services, where she manages recruitment and classification for a variety of programs, in addition to managing the HR department's data analytics collection and reporting for the 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 and her SHRM-CP in 2015.



Nihla Zarook, SPHR - Treasurer

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, PHR  - Director
Membership Chair

 

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 has received her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification.

 

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. After serving as Special Projects Chair in 2016-17, she was elected to the Board as Membership Committee Chair in 2017.

 

Kathleen Proper - Director
One Day Conference Chair

Kathleen Proper is the Senior Manager, Human Resources at Taconic Biosciences in Germantown. She manages central HR services and also acts as business partner to the Senior VP of Operations and subordinate management staff.  Kathleen holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management, as well as the designations of CEBS, PHR, and SHRM-CP. She lives in Columbia County with her husband and their three dogs.


Rob Manfredo Director
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, SHRM-CP - Director
Programs Chair

Randy has over 10 years of diverse experience in the field of Human Resources. Currently employed by AngioDynamics, Inc., Randy oversees the company health, wellness and retirement benefit plans for over 1,200 employees in the US and Canada.

Randy hold a Bachelor's Degree from Boston University, and earned her PHR certification in June 2013, thanks in large part to the certification program offered through CRHRA. She is also certified as a SHRM-CP through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) designation program. Randy has been a volunteer on the CRHRA Programs Committee since 2009 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2015.

Riana Millington - Director 
Communications Chair

Riana is currently an HR Manager 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 and continued her involvement with CRHRA afterwards. She has been a member of the Communications Committee since 2013 and stepped into a leadership role as the Communications Chair for the 2016 Program Year. In this role, Riana provides oversight and direction for all aspects of CRHRA communications and public relations, including social media, website and email content, and the monthly newsletter release.

Matt Ingold - Director
Marketing Co-Chair

Mariah Ramundo - Director
Marketing Co-Chair

  Courtney Schingledecker - Director 2017

Workforce Readiness Chair

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 2017
Diversity Chair
 

 

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