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Northeast Human Resources Association
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One of NEHRA’s most important efforts as a professional organization is offering our members the highest quality educational opportunities. This would not be possible without the leadership of our talented and dedicated faculty, most of whom are volunteers. Each of these individuals has a passion for teaching coupled with a desire to further the HR profession by providing relevant and insightful learning opportunities to students of all ages and experience levels.


If you are interested in volunteering as faculty, please contact Marissa Cammarano, Project Coordinator, at or 781-239-8718.

David Almeda
Chief People Officer, Kronos

Teaches: Leveraging Data Analytics Module of Leadership Level HR Series

David Almeda is responsible for overseeing the global human resources function at Kronos. In this role, he drives the company’s human capital management strategy – including talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, and employee engagement programs – to support the company’s continued growth, innovation, and profitability. Almeda is passionate about employee development and is credited with bringing the WorkInspired employment brand to life at Kronos.

View David's LinkedIn Profile

Joe Andrews
Executive Coach and Organizational Consultant, OpenView Advisors

Teaches: Change Management Module of Leadership Level HR Series

Joe Andrews is President of OpenView Advisors which specializes in executive coaching and consulting. He also serves as a conference host and speaker at a number of human resources strategic events. Joe previously served as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Progress Software Corporation and a member of the company's executive leadership team. In this role, he was responsible for developing and implementing human resources strategies, plans and programs worldwide. Prior to joining Progress, Joe held the position of Vice President of Human Resources at, NEC Technologies,  Polaroid Corporations Graphic and Medical Imaging Systems businesses. Early in Joe's career, he held various human resources management and individual contributor positions at Digital Equipment Corp. and General Electric Co. Joe also been a member of the Board of Directors for NEHRA, HRLF, CEI Corporation and advisory board member for Sobel & Raciti. Andrews earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. 

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Allyssa Bates
Leadership Development Program Manager, Alkermes, Inc.

Teaches: Talent Management of Developing HR Fundamentals

Allyssa joined Alkermes in May 2016 and is thrilled to collaborate with the organization’s managers through various trainings designed for optimal manager growth and development.  She is a huge advocate of Alkermes’ culture and currently works with employees across the organization to make sure the performance management process reflects our cultural values.  Allyssa strives to make each interaction high-impact and usually finds that people leave her sessions with 1-2 “ready to implement” ideas.

Prior to joining Alkermes, Allyssa was the Leadership Development Program Manager at Constant Contact.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross and a Master of Business Administration degree from Babson College.  

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Ruth Baylis
HR Consultant, Mercer PeoplePro

Teaches: Employee Relations Module of Developing HR Fundamentals

Ruth Baylis is a Senior Human Resources Consultant with Mercer PeoplePro. Ruth works with a variety of clients from start-up organizations to more established companies with small HR teams.  She has worked on specific projects in organizational redesign, talent acquisition strategy, and more specifically in implementation of policies and handbooks, training programs, benefits, and generalist support in employment regulations, recruiting, and procedure refinement.

Yariela Brandao
Vice President People Strategy, Consulting Services, Compensation & HR Group

Teaches: Building Financial Acumen for Becoming a Strategic HR Business Partner

Yariela is Head of Human Resources Consulting and brings to this role an energetic, creative personality and an ability to implement effective strategies to increase employee engagement. She also brings more than 20 years of hands-on experience and expertise in every phase of human resources management, from recruitment to talent management to succession planning. She has helped startups get to the next level and has served as top-management advisor to global organizations, aligning resources and strategies with corporate goals. Her diverse experience spans multiple industries and market sectors, from technology to life sciences to academia and non-profits.

A bilingual professional fluent in Spanish, Yariela began her career as an HR Consultant, then became head of the fiscal section of the Panama Canal Authority. Later, she served as HR Regional Manager (North and South America) of attune Consulting, helping the company increase its revenue from $5 million to $25 million in three years. Most recently, she served as Human Resources Director for Inflexxion.

Yariela is passionate about special needs services, social responsibility and the environment. She has spearheaded several initiatives with the New England Project of the Perkins School for the Blind.

Yariela earned an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and a master’s in human resource management from Emmanuel College, Boston. She is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (SPHR and SHRM-SCP), a Certified Compensation Analyst (CCA), and an active member of the New England Human Resources Association and the Society for Human Resource Management.

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Melissa Christenson
President/CEO, Creative Training Resources

Teaches: Executive Presence & CHRO Panel for Leadership Level HR Series

CHRO Panel: Ruthanne Russell (Hill Holiday); Marilyn Hausammann (Harvard University); Carlos Echalar (CDM Smith)

Melissa Christenson, president of Creative Training Resources, has over 30-years’ experience designing and delivering a wide-range of Learning and Development programs. She works within a variety of industries and companies ranging from small start-ups to non-profits to Fortune 100 firms. Although she provides training on most soft skills, her passion is in helping individuals and teams enhance their executive presence and increase their presentation effectiveness. Prior to starting Creative Training Resources in 1998, Melissa was the worldwide training manager at Reebok International, Ltd.

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Lauren Duffy
Senior HR Consultant, Compensation and HR Group

Teaches: Total Rewards for Developing HR Fundamentals and Benefit Plan Design for Becoming a Strategic HR Business Partner

Lauren is a Human Resources Leader with over 15 years of diverse experience across all HR functional area in the healthcare, hospitality/call center and apparel industries.  Lauren has held roles in Total Rewards where she focused on programs and initiatives in the areas of compensation, benefits, HRIS, rewards and recognition, performance management and HR operations, all through rapid global growth and company acquisition. Lauren has also lead HR teams as a Director of Human Resources, overseeing all HR functions as both a strategic and tactical leader in the areas of talent acquisition, employee relations, training, HR Communications and compliance.

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Mike Dunford
Principal, Dunford Consulting Group

Teaches: Leadership Level HR Series

Bio not available

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Kari Heistad
Founder/CEO, CultureCoach International

Teaches: Building Cultural Competency Module of Leadership Level HR Series

Kari Heistad is the founder and CEO of Culture Coach International and the Diversity Dashboard. Culture Coach International helps companies to solve the teamwork issues that arise from diverse and multicultural teams. The Diversity Dashboard is an online project management software designed to help diversity professionals track their activities, measure their results and analyze their ROI. Kari brings more than 20 years of experience in diversity and inclusion to her work which has spanned a wide variety of industries. Her speaking programs have touched more than 15,000 people. 

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Cheryl Jacobs
Senior Vice President, MCG Partners

Teaches: Self Awareness Module of Leadership Level HR Series

Cheryl is an executive coach of MCG, working with leaders on team effectiveness, conflict management, influence & persuasion and overall leadership effectiveness requirements. Cheryl is dedicated to helping leaders and organizations to achieve their potential. She leverages her extensive business background to assist our clients in achieving higher levels of performance.

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Anne Joyce
CHRO, New England Treatment Access, Inc.

Teaches: Building Social Capital and Coaching Skills Module of Leadership Level HR Series

Bio not available

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Daniel B. Klein, Esq.
Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Employment Law Basics Module of Developing HR Fundamentals 

Dan's practice includes the representation of management in employment and non-competition litigation matters before state and federal courts, at trial and appellate levels, as well as federal and state agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities. He lectures frequently on a variety of employment law topics for human resource specialists and in-house counsel.  

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Sarah Mann
Principal & Connector in Chief, Spark HR Solutions

Teaches: Executive Women in Leadership

Sarah Mann is Principal of Spark HR Solutions, providing strategic and practical solutions to organizations that fuel individual and organizational success. She has worked in both global and start-up entities, and her experience includes senior level roles in HR, marketing and operations. Sarah “thinks business,” and uses HR and coaching as powerful forces to move organizations forward.

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Jamie Resker
Founder, Employee Performance Solutions

Teaches: Talent Management Module of Developing HR Fundamentals

Jamie has a uniquely singular focus - optimizing employee performance through re-shaping  communications between managers and employees based on two-way, frequent, informal conversations designed to align performance expectations.   She helps organizations make the shift away from reviewing and rating past performance to building the capacity of everyone in the organization to speak candidly about strengths, accomplishments, and more comfortably re-direct off-target performance. Jamie is the originator of the Performance Continuum Feedback Method® and The 10-Minute Conversation, frameworks proven to drive individual, team and organizational performance.

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Nancy Persson
Principal, Leadership Growth Solutions

Teaches: Executive Women in Leadership

Nancy brings more than 30 years of talent development and Human Resources experience to her work. She is an expert facilitator, communicator, executive coach and development consultant, widely recognized for her expertise in talent and organization development and her bottom line focus. Nancy earned her BA in Communications and Education from Boston College, a Master’s Certificate in Executive Coaching, and a Master’s Degree in Organization Psychology, both from William James College. She also has earned both the SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.  

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Matt Powers
Principal (retired), National Grid USA

Teaches: Core Competencies Module of Becoming a Strategic HR Business Partner

Throughout his thirty-seven year career at National Grid, Matt Powers held a number of leadership roles in Benefits, Compensation, Employee Services and Talent Acquisition. Over his last eight years, he moved into his role as a HR Business Partner and was fully responsible for developing and delivering business driven HR solutions for his client organizations in partnership with the client’s senior management teams. Matt was the internal HR client consultant and liaison between the client organization and the HR Centers of Expertise, delivering strategic HR solutions around the areas of performance and talent management, succession planning and organizational design. 

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Michael Shipman
Vice President of Talent Development, Rockland Trust

Teaches: Talent Management of Developing HR Fundamentals

Michael Shipman, MSc, is a GISC Professional Associate and the Vice President, Director of Talent Development for Rockland Trust, a top rated, full-service, community bank headquartered in Massachusetts. He focuses on the progressive talent strategies that contribute to Rockland Trust consistently being recognized on the Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work list since 2009.

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David Weaver, CCA

President, Compensation & HR Group
Teaches: Total Rewards Module of Developing HR Fundamentals and Compensation Module of Becoming a Strategic HR Business Partner

David is President of the Compensation & HR Group and is responsible for all consulting functions within the organization. Prior to joining the Compensation & HR Group, David spent 20 years managing a human resources membership and consulting organization. He has also held positions with industry leaders Liberty Mutual, Honeywell and Hewlett-Packard as a corporate human resources professional. During this period, he gained essential hands-on experience in compensation program development, marketing and internal communications. A graduate of The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, David has also made his mark in academia, having served as adjunct faculty member for both Northeastern University and Newbury College where he taught courses in Compensation Management and Human Resource Management. He also worked as an instructor for the certification courses at the Compensation Analyst Academy, WorldatWork and the Society for Human Resource Management.

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Martha Zackin
Partner, Bello Welsh LLP

Employee and Labor Relations Module of Becoming a Strategic HR Business Partner

Martha has more than 20 years of experience advising and representing clients on a broad range of employment law issues and in adversarial proceedings. In her role as an advisor to employers, boards of directors, and executives, she regularly provides practical advice and counsel on a wide range of employment-related issues. Martha has represented clients before administrative and governmental agencies, courts, arbitrators, and mediators.

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NEHRA's Annual Partners

One Concord Farms
490 Virginia Road, Suite 32
Concord, MA 01742-2747
Phone: 781-235-2900

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