2017/2018 Board of Directors
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Get to Know Chicago SHRM’s 2017/2018 Board of Directors!

Chicago SHRM’s Board of Directors provides leadership for the chapter’s educational programs, interest groups, and networking events to meet the professional needs of our members.

Our diverse Board ensures that the organization’s values and vision are at the heart of everything it does to ensure the continued vitality of Chicago SHRM. It is structured around three functional areas: Education, Membership, and Marketing/Communications.

  • Education leaders lend expertise to develop educational programs that support SHRM’S Bodies of Knowledge: Strategic Management, Workforce Planning & Employment; HR Development, Total Rewards, Employee & Labor Relations, and Risk Management.
  • Membership leaders run Special Interest Groups to meet the needs of all of our members: Volunteer Connections, Emerging HR Leaders, In-Transition, as well as Student, Mentoring, and CHRO programs.
  • Marketing leaders keep everyone connected and informed through our diverse social media platforms and monthly newsletter.

We are here to serve our members! Introduce yourself at an event, send a note through email, or join us on social media

Shelli Nelson, PHR, SHRM-CP

I have served on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years, most recently as President, and have been a member of Chicago SHRM for over 15 years.  Chicago SHRM has played an integral part in shaping my career and connecting me with some of the most talented HR professionals in our field.  My business philosophy has always focused on people. People are what can make or break your business. Finding the best talent and respecting and rewarding them along the way will ensure that you not only exceed your financial targets, but that you have a team that is dedicated and believes in your vision and will do all they can to make it happen. My career in HR has been successfully doing just that - understanding business strategies, building organizations that are structured to excel, locating phenomenal talent and designing and executing innovative programs that propel companies beyond the competition. Coupled with these professional accomplishments are my differentiating personal skills, which have allowed me to build a reputation in the industry as a passionate leader and an HR expert who is driven to win while delivering on commitments with uncompromising integrity. I have worked in a variety of industries including retail, finance, marketing and consulting.  Some of the organizations I have worked at or consulted for include Levi Strauss & Co., Ibbotson Associates, Morningstar, Incapital, University of Chicago and BP. In my current role, I am the Sr. Manager, Talent Acquisitionat kCura.  kCura’s product, Relativity, was created to simplify and accelerate how the world conducts e-discovery by bringing the entire process and community together in one open, flexible, connected platform.  I hold a B.A. in Psychology from Drake University and earned my Master’s degree in HR Management from Keller Graduate School.


Courtney Pike Templin

Vice President

I always have been passionate about HR, learning, and development, so I am excited to partner with board members on Chicago SHRM’s strategic goals and initiatives this year.  I recently led Chicago SHRM’s programming as Education Director helping launch our Executive Insights Series and carry on our chapter’s legacy of strong educational programs for our members.  Prior to that role, I lead the Emerging HR Leaders effort to engage and retain young HR professionals with our chapter.  I also serve on the Associate Board for Chicago Scholars and have helped create a career coaching partnership with Chicago Scholars and Chicago SHRM. I am President at JB Training Solutions, a training and development company.  I spearhead JB Training Solutions' strategic planning, HR, consulting, and instructional design, and I partner with key clients including Marriott, Whole Foods, Abbott Laboratories, and Eli Lilly.  I am co-author of Manager 3.0: A Millennial’s Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management, and I hold a B.A. from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL.


Paul Salasky, M.A.

Director at Large, Past President 

I joined Chicago SHRM to get a better understanding of the daily issues that my Human Resources clients encounter. The programs have given me a better understanding of HR as well as provided an excellent opportunity for networking. My over 15 years of industry experience as a staffing professional includes Managing Director at Advantage Professional. Currently, I am Senior Business Development Manager at Volt Technical Resources, and have held many other managerial positions over my career. I earned my undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and a Master’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University.  


Carol Semrad, SHRM-SCP; SPHR

Treasurer, Past President

As a “Collaborator and Connector” I initially became a member of Chicago SHRM to network with other HR professionals. Since being a member, I have found the connections and friendships with the members are most gratifying. I believe being a part of the HR community is important to expand my own learning and as well as to mentor others. I also appreciate being able to earn SPHR and SHRM-SCP re-certification credits for the programs I attend. If you attend one, please introduce yourself! I have been an HR/OD consultant in my own business, C. Semrad & Associates since 2003. We are best at working with entrepreneurial businesses and their leaders to maximize potential and continue to build on their success. We deliver results through inspiring collaboration within organizations and supporting personal and professional growth for business success.


Meredith Morales, SHRM-CP; PHR


Meredith Morales serves as Diverse Talent Manager on U.S. Cellular’ s Diversity and Inclusion Team.  She brings nearly 10 years of industry experience as a Human Resources Talent professional with 7 years dedicated to the Talent Acquisition Diversity and Inclusion Strategy space.  Prior to joining the U.S. Cellular Team, Meredith worked at PeopleScout-RPO (formerly AonHewitt) where she consulted on Diversity and Campus Talent Strategies and best practices across multiple clients.  Her primary client was group was BMO Harris Bank and Financial Group (Bank of Montreal).  In this role, Meredith served as North American Diversity Manager, leading a team of 12 and accountable for Diversity & Campus Talent Strategies and Execution across the US and Canada.   Prior to supporting BMO,  Meredith served as Senior Diversity Recruiter for The Federal Reserve System.  Through her work with The Fed, Meredith identified and placed diverse top talent, led strategic local and national recruiting initiatives and community partnerships, and provided full-cycle recruiting in conjunction with The Fed’s Office of Minority Women and Inclusion (OMWI). Outside of work, Meredith serves on the Executive Board of the Chicago Chapter of SHRM (Society of HR Management) , and also serves as a Board Member on the Career Advisory Board, Sponsored by Devry University. Prior to her career in HR, Meredith spent time in the Finance industry on Wall Street's New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).  Meredith holds a B.A. cum laude from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, and a M.A. in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University in Chicago.  She resides in Irving Park with her husband and two daughters.

Jon Jelinek

Education Director

I am a recruiting professional with seven years of experience in full life cycle recruiting and business development.  I specialize in the placement of Human Resources professionals across the Chicago area and works with a variety of organizations from startup firms to Fortune 500 companies to help them identify HR talent on both a consulting and direct-hire basis.  I have worked for both global staffing firms and private staffing firms in Chicago.  I am an award-winning recruiter earning national ‘Top Producer’ of the year honors.  Currently, I am Managing Director for the HR vertical at Advanced Resources. I graduated from Illinois State University, where I studied Business Management/Entrepreneurship and am currently the Conference Chair for Chicago SHRM.


Nicole Skaluba, SHRM-SCP; SPHR 

Membership Director

Over the past few years, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Chicago SHRM’s Newsletter and Volunteer Connections Committees. My focus now shifts to engaging members through our unique membership opportunities including the College Relations, Emerging Leaders, Mentoring, Transition, and Volunteer Connections groups.  Whether you are new to the field or are an experienced HR professional, there is a place for you with Chicago SHRM. Whether mentoring a new HR professional, supporting our collegiate chapters, networking with our members in transition or attending our cutting-edge educational events, you will find value, purpose and professional development opportunities in all facets of the organization. My professional experience includes work in a variety of human resource positions in technology, manufacturing, insurance and education, including my current position as Director of Human Resources at PersonalizationMall.com. My education includes B.A. degrees in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Iowa and an M.S. degree in Human Resource Management and Development from National-Louis University. I also hold the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) designations and have the great pleasure of teaching the SHRM-CP/SCP Certification Courses at Northwestern University.


Sandra Small, SHRM-CP; PHR

Membership Associate Director

 My HR experience includes 14 years of working for Hyatt International Corporation, where I began as an Administrative Assistant and rose to the Director of Human Resources. I currently work for a small liability insurer, Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Inc., where I work on a variety of HR disciplines and streamlining of the day-to-day benefits operations. I first became a member of Chicago SHRM in 2006 and have had the opportunity to volunteer on the Orientation Committee, then went on to serve as the Volunteer Connections Committee Chair and lastly in the role as Membership Director (2014-2015.)  I am rejoining the board as the Membership Associate Director and look forward to having the opportunity to collaborate with other HR professionals and further the membership goals while helping grow the organization.


Jeanette Johnson, SHRM-SCP; SPHR

Marketing Director           

I joined the Chicago SHRM Social Media committee in 2010 hoping to lend my passion for technology and connecting people. Later, I transitioned to leading the group as the committee chair.  There is a constant stream of great people I’ve met that are connected to this organization and we accomplish great things together.  We are moving the profession forward and leading businesses. Would you like to get to know great HR leaders? Volunteering on a committee is a great start! You will no doubt meet excellent professionals that you will be inspired by and even a chance to inspire others around you. Chicago SHRM led me to my current position as HR Director for SPINS. I was at the right place, knew the right people, at the right time!  My role focuses on creating a great workplace, developing a dynamic culture and making an impact on the natural and organic industry.


Jessica Schaeffer

Marketing Associate Director

I became involved with Chicago SHRM to learn more about the HR industry, to grow my network, and to become more involved by volunteering or taking on leadership roles within the organization. My personal brand has always been about hard work and hustle… two things that I took from my collegiate basketball career at Illinois Wesleyan. This approach has served me well in my career, as I’ve had the opportunity to grow with an incredible organization. I am the Director of Marketing at LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based staffing and recruiting firm that specializes in temporary, temporary to permanent and permanent placements in the areas of Accounting & Finance, Administrative, Customer Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Technology and Executive Search. I joined LaSalle Network in 2011 in an entry level capacity as a Marketing & PR Coordinator. I didn’t have a background in Marketing, but applied my liberal arts education with on the job training from our CEO, CHRO, and other executive leaders. I loved the culture, my responsibilities, the autonomy and the training I received. In 2012, I was promoted to a Senior Marketing and PR Coordinator; in 2013, I was promoted to Marketing and Communications Manager; and in June 2015, I was promoted to Director of Marketing, where I oversee a team of six people. I received my undergraduate degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, and am currently pursuing an Integrated Marketing and Communications certificate from the University of Chicago; I am a member of LaSalle’s philanthropic committee, Community Champions.


Tim Carey

Recruitment & Retention

I decided to become a member of Chicago SHRM so I could better understand the role HR plays in an organization. Chicago SHRM has been instrumental in helping me understand the challenges and opportunities my prospects and clients deal with on a daily basis. I am a true extrovert or people person and enjoy connecting with others.  As a vendor, Chicago SHRM gives me direct access to HR practitioners to have authentic conversations about what is happening in the industry. The SHRM membership committee welcomes new members to the organization and encourages them to get involved.  We also field questions from new or existing members about the organization. If you want to connect with professionals involved in human resources and are looking for a way to develop great long term, organic relationships then joining Chicago SHRM is a must!

Angela Daley

Newsletter Chair

I initially joined Chicago SHRM in January 2015 to provide media support to the Diversity Committee, and became the Newsletter Chair shortly thereafter. As an integrated marketing and project management champion, I bring to this role a background in strategic communications, e-mail marketing, event planning and execution, social media, promotions, public relations and program development. I am currently the Marketing Manager for Arroweye Solutions, a financial services company. Prior to that, I was Marketing Consultant for Discover Financial Services, Marketing Communications Professional for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Marketing Manager for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Marketing Coordinator for EBONY Magazine. I earned my MBA in Marketing and Integrated Marketing Communications at Roosevelt University, and my BBA in Marketing at Tennessee State University. In addition to my involvement with Chicago SHRM, I am, or have been involved with several other organizations, including: Kendall College School of Business Junior Advisory Board and National Black MBA Association.


Cynthia Ferrara Elstien

Board Member Emeritus  

I have been actively involved in Chicago SHRM for over 19 years. I’ve served as President of Chicago SHRM for two terms, Membership Director, and currently serve as Strategic Relationship Ambassador. For over 25 years, I have been a practitioner and consultant in the Human Resources profession. As Senior Vice President, Director of People and Office Operations at Alper Services LLC, I educate clients by evaluating existing policies and procedures and making recommendations to help companies maintain compliance with employment laws. I majored in Psychology at Northern Illinois University, and completed my Human Resource Certification at DePaul University. I also completed the Strategic Coach Series program from 2002 to 2004. In addition, I am licensed in both Property & Casualty Insurance and Life & Health Insurance. I am very active in the Chicago HR and nonprofit community, including as a past Board member for the Illinois State Council of SHRM, volunteer mentor for Menttium 100 Corporation, and member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW). I received an award for outstanding leadership from the International Women’s Leadership Association in January, 2013. Formerly, I was a Women's Committee Member of the LaRabida Children's Hospital in Chicago, a cause I still support. In addition, I am a member of the Union League Club and Mid-America Club in Chicago. 

Karin Knutson

Roundtable Chair

It is exciting to be a member of the Chicago SHRM Board and Chair the Roundtable Committee.  I have had the pleasure of working with the Roundtable team since becoming a member of Chicago SHRM in 2014.  It has been wonderful to be involved with such a passionate and positive group.  Roundtables have been a fantastic way to meet and talk with other members and discuss topics and trends essential to the HR industry.  I am currently the Director of Sales at EDSI.  We are a workforce development and customized training company.  We work with public sector and private sector to research, analyze and assess their workforce development needs, leading to the development and implementation of strategies to recruit, hire and/or train current or future workers.  EDSI was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America for five consecutive years, and is a National Best and Brightest award winner and a National Best and Brightest Sustainable award winner.  I have been with EDSI since 2011 and am fortunate to work with a fantastic and supportive team and company.

Jai Brown

Workshop Chair

I am an HR Business Partner for BMO Wealth Management. In this role, I serve as a trusted advisor to my clients and provide collaborative support to the U.S. Wealth Management business across all aspects of HR including: employee relations, diversity and inclusion, recruitment & staffing, compensation, talent review, organization design, workforce planning, and learning & career development.

Rachel Miller, SHRM-SCP; SPHR

College Relations

I was a member of Chicago SHRM for a number of years primarily to network and take advantage of the excellent educational programs.  About three years ago, I joined the College Relations Committee as the liaison for Roosevelt University.  I am thrilled to be appointed as Chair of the committee and a member of the board.  Having an impact on the careers of our future HR leaders is something that is very meaningful for me.  Currently I am the Branch Chief of Labor and Employee Relations for the U.S. Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service.   Prior to that, I was a human resources leader and business partner at Penn State University.  Along with SPHR and SHRM-SCP certification, I hold a Master’s degree in Industrial Relations.

Kimberly L. Mooring, SHRM-SCP; SPHR

Orientation Chair

I joined the Chicago SHRM family eight years ago.  This allowed me to build a support network of HR Professionals as well as stay current with trending HR issues.  Volunteering on the Membership Committee has proven to be rewarding.  Not only have I met some awesome people but it has given me the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others. I’ve held various managerial positions for the last 25 years in the Retail, Operations and Human Resources space within the banking industry.  Currently, I am the Senior Performance Consultant/Project Manager for First Midwest Bank.  I focus on merger & acquisition integration projects as well as other Organizational Development initiatives.  Previous employers include Popular Community Bank (Banco Popular), BMO Harris Bank and Cole Taylor Bank. I am also an Adjunct Professor at Robert Morris University teaching Human Resources Management.  I sit on the School Advisory Board. My educational degrees include a B.S in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University and an MBA with an HR concentration from Keller Graduate School of Management.


Beatriz Rangel, SHRM-CP; PHR

Education Conference Chair

I am a Corporate Recruiter at Hyatt Corporation responsible for recruiting and sourcing initiatives including the Internship Program for the Corporate office. My goal is to connect the best-in-class talent with the right opportunities. I am also the Recruiting Ambassador for Hyatt Latinos and Hyatt Women Diversity Business Resource Groups (DBRG) where we partner with these DBRG members and diversity leaders to develop robust talent pipelines.  Prior to my role at Hyatt, I was a Talent Acquisition Professional at Allstate Insurance where I performed full life-cycle recruiting and developed a pipeline with high caliber candidates.  Through my work in these groups I developed a passion for helping and empowering others to find the right career path.  It is this passion that led me to transition my career to Human Resources and Talent Acquisition. The Conference Chair position gives me the opportunity to help educate our community about the HR Profession and providing professional development opportunities and skills for individuals to advance through their careers.

Julia Scales; SHRM Certificate of Learning

Emerging Leaders Chair

I am an associate on ITW’s Talent Management & Leadership Development team focused on our rotational program for recent grads from recruitment to graduation from the program. I am passionate about uncovering the possibilities in HR and believe organizations like Chicago SHRM and SHRM, with their abundance of learning opportunities and ample networks, are one of the best ways I can empower both myself and other “Emerging Leaders” to do so. I served as a core team member for the Emerging Leaders Interest Group for just under a year before becoming the interim leader for the past 6 months. During this time, we have developed the group into a learning community, with several consistent attendees as well as new faces at each meeting. The network we are growing as our learning community attends events outside of our regular meetings will further enable us to grow our membership for the interest group as well as Chicago SHRM as a whole. Moving forward, I will work with the Emerging Leaders Core Team to increase membership through maintaining value of our group and reaching out to potential members.


Phillip M. Schreiber

I am a partner at the law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP and have represented employers in all areas of labor and employment law for nineteen years. I have substantial experience with wage and hour compliance (overtime pay and FMLA issues), union avoidance, fair employment practices (discrimination and harassment), restrictive covenants, and social media in the workplace. I am also experienced in drafting employment contracts and advising on employment issues that arise in the context of mergers and acquisitions. I became a member of Chicago SHRM in 2002 in order to get to better understand the concerns of Human Resource professionals for whom I provide professional services on a daily basis. Prior to becoming legislative chair, I was a member of the Education Committee for over one year and still serve on that committee.

Paul Young, SHRM-SCP; SPHR
Certification Chair

It’s a great time to be Certification Chair!  Chicago SHRM enjoys strong relationships with both SHRM & HRCI and is proud to support our members’ certification and recertification efforts.  2015 will see my team continue to stay current and up-to-date with the latest from both SHRM & HRCI certification camps to help integrate the new certification processes and frameworks into the chapter’s activities. Professionally, I am the Human Resources Manager at American Association of Endodontists and teach at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies. I have 28 years of HR leadership experience in a wide variety of industries, including hospitality, mining, chemical manufacturing, banking, distribution, and education.  I hold my SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications and have a Bachelor’s in Human Resources from Western Illinois University.  My experience with Chicago SHRM has been fantastic.  Working with great people and the opportunity to spread your wings – all while supporting the HR profession.  It can’t be beat.


Chris Zweidinger

Engagement & Volunteer Connections

After serving on a few different committees within Chicago SHRM, I began leading the Engagement & Volunteer Connections committee in early 2015.  The committee is a great way to connect and support professionals looking to give their time to further the Chicago SHRM committee.  Professionally, I am a Principal at Assurance.  Assurance is a Chicagoland based award winning nationally ranked top 50 insurance brokerage.  Specifically, I consult with HR professionals in creating engaging and culture enhancing employee benefit programs.

Sangita Kasturi

Executive Insights Chair

I hope to partner with other Chicago SHRM leaders to amplify the great work Chicago SHRM already does. To this end, by offering insights into new thinking, especially around maximizing a global, diverse talent base; and helping top leaders rise to the occasion in honing the vocabulary, empathy, perspectives and courage to address tough issues with greater positive impact, I hope to contribute toward the reputation of the chapter as thought leader, innovator and creator of solutions to today’s most pressing business problems. 

Dan Van De Voorde


I am currently Manager of People Operations at Strata Decision Technology, a rapidly growing SaaS company in downtown Chicago committed to “helping heal healthcare” across the US.  My role is to make sure we are building a world-class culture so we can attract, hire, retain, and grow a team dedicated to our purpose. I hope to partner with other Chicago SHRM leaders to amplify the great work SHRM already does. To this end, by offering insights into new thinking, especially around maximizing a global, diverse talent base; and helping top leaders rise to the occasion in honing the vocabulary, empathy, perspectives and courage to address tough issues with greater positive impact, I hope to contribute toward the reputation of SHRM as thought leader, innovator and creator of solutions to today’s most pressing business problems. One of my favorite quotes is by Margaret Mead and reads as, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  The passion I feel when I am with the Chicago SHRM community to do better and drive the success of others is truly inspiring and why I joined the group.  It all started with conversations I had with Shelli Nelson and Courtney Templin many years ago.  If everyone in Chicago SHRM was just half as thoughtful, inspiring, kind, and amazing as they are, I knew it was where I needed to be. Since joining, I have had the opportunity to sit on the Education Committee (thanks to Courtney for pushing me).  There have been many moments in which Chicago SHRM has enriched my career; through the educational programs, the network I have built, and the great people with which I get to interact.  Two members of the organization I look to as mentors and have provided invaluable advice throughout my career.