Los Angeles HR Star Conference
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Speaker Information


Dr. Earl L. Suttle is the CEO and founder of Leadership Success International, LLC, an international consulting and training company based in Atlanta, GA, that works with businesses and organizations to increase their profits and productivity through developing their people. As a business consultant and dynamic professional keynote speaker, Dr. Suttle delivers numerous presentations throughout the United States each year. He is a best-selling author of five books with Dr. John Hubbard, including: Earl’s Pearls on Enjoying Excellence, Preparing for and Managing High-Risk Situations in the Lives of College Athletes (An Athlete’s Guide), Preparing for and Managing High-Risk Situations in the Lives of Professional Athletes (A Player’s Guide), Great Life Choices for Teens (Who Want to Make a Difference) and his latest, Stressed to Blessed. He has also produced a number of CD’s and DVD’s on leadership and professional personal development. “Empowerment through education and enthusiasm,” is the mission statement of his company. Dr. Suttle has conducted keynote addresses and seminars for corporations like Aflac Insurance, AT&T, Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company, American Express, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the United States Postal Service, Kraft Foods, Toyota, The Hartford Insurance Group, Wells Fargo, the Georgia Department of Labor, Anheuser-Busch Companies, the University of Georgia and the University of Florida just to name a few. In addition, Dr. Suttle is a consultant to the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and World Wrestling Entertainment where he works directly with the players and athletes. Dr. Suttle has been featured in Ebony Magazine, In-Style Magazine as well as on CNN.


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.


Katherin Nukk-Freeman, Esq. is the Co-Founder and President of SHIFT HR Compliance Training. As a dynamic employment law advisor, training instructor and industry thought leader, Katherin partners with clients to develop and implement strategies to manage risk, comply with the law, increase productivity and create an overall better workplace. Leveraging more than 20 years of success as a trusted advisor to corporate leaders, Katherin enables companies to proactively address and effectively manage workplace issues related to harassment and discrimination complaints, disability and leave law, wage and hour disputes, social media risks, staff reductions in force, and high-risk terminations. Katherin created SHIFT HR Compliance Training to provide innovative, engaging and impactful online training services to companies of all sizes from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. SHIFT HR Compliance Training delivers compliance training to human resource departments, executives, management teams and employees nationwide. Katherin works with human resources management professionals providing guidance and instruction enabling them to better manage and proactively address their training programs and many other employment law issues thereby avoiding costly litigation for their companies. As a champion for forward-looking employment law applications, Katherin is a frequent presenter on employment law issues and has authored many articles on current employment law hot topics.


Maria Rodriguez, Esq. is a Partner at DLA Piper and leads the Employment Group in Los Angeles where she focuses her practice on labor and employment law. Ms. Rodriguez counsels domestic and foreign corporations in all areas of employment law compliance. While Maria has extensive litigation defense experience and enjoys the strategic elements of litigating, she ultimately prides herself on being a trusted advisor to clients and helping them avoid or resolve disputes and protect resources through proactive and strategic planning. Maria works closely with clients in the sports, media and entertainment, technology, food and restaurant, airline, transportation and distribution, healthcare, and fashion industries. She advises on and defends cases involving wage-and-hour, harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of employment contract, non-solicitation, trade secrets, and other employment-related cases. Client litigation victories include dismissals by way of early motions to dismiss, summary judgment, and at trial she has produced wins in multiple-plaintiff wage-and-hour, retaliation, discrimination, and wrongful termination cases. Maria has been repeatedly named one of the top women lawyers in California as the result of research conducted by Super Lawyers and Los Angeles magazine. The Daily Journal named Maria one of California's leading labor and employment lawyers for 2014. Additionally, in 2010, the Daily Journal profiled Maria in its "Top 20 Under 40" series for her work in labor and employment litigation. Ms. Rodriguez sits on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar’s Labor and Employment Law Section and is the former President of the Cuban-American Bar Association. Maria received a B.A. in Political Science from the UCLA, a J.D. from Loyola Law School and is fluent in Spanish.


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.


Helene J. Wasserman, Esq. is a Shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Littler Mendelson P.C. and Co-Chair of the Litigation and Trials Practice Group. Ms Wasserman has spent her entire career practicing exclusively in the area of labor and employment law, representing clients of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries. She represents employers in litigation matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies in all areas of employment law. Ms. Wasserman also counsels employers of all sizes in day-to-day employment relations issues such as hiring, discipline and termination of employees, downsizing, workplace violence and compliance with all state and federal employment laws. In addition, she conducts in-house training on a wide array of topics. An avid podcaster and the host of the EmployerHelpCast, which focuses on topics of interest to employers, Helene is frequently featured and quoted in various publications on subjects ranging from all aspects of employment law to the use of technology in the legal profession. She also presents on various employment law-related topics for professional associations and delivers numerous in-house presentations for clients. Helene often works with clients and small businesses in the hospitality, staffing, construction and transportation industries. Helene started her career in employment law in Littler Mendelson's San Francisco office. She also spent time working at a small Los Angeles employment law boutique firm and a national employment law firm before returning to Littler in 2008. She is currently developing the Littler LA Associate Mentorship program. Helene earned her B.A. from UCLA and her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and has held leadership positions with the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the Conference of California Bar Associations. In addition, Helene has been recognized for excellence by Martindale-Hubbell, The Los Angeles Times and Legal 500 United States.


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.


John W. Spach, AIF, C(k)P is the Managing Director of Southern California for NFP Retirement - one of the largest independent retirement plan advisory firms in the country with billions of dollars in assets under advisement. In this capacity, John provides services to assist plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries with their required oversight and fiduciary liabilities. He has been providing independent retirement plan advisory services since 1995 for publicly and privately held companies as well as non-profit organizations. An honors graduate of California State University, Northridge, John has become an elite provider of retirement plan advisory services for plan sponsors, universities, foundations, non-profits, churches and third party administrators. He has earned the credential of AIF from the Center for Fiduciary Studies and has completed the FINRA Series 6, Series 7, Series 24, Series 63 and Series 65 securities examinations. He also holds a California Life and Health Insurance License. John is a founding lecturer of The Retirement University at the UCLA Anderson School of Business. and was one of the first advisors to earn a C(k)P. John is also a founding lecturer of The Plan Sponsor University (TPSU). Most recently John has developed a corporate Financial Wellness Program for NFP Retirement that takes a comprehensive approach to meeting employees’ financial needs.


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.


David Thompson, CFI is the Director of Investigations, Research and Innovation with Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. (WZ). He handles a variety of investigations, as well as conducting interviews and interrogations across a wide spectrum of clients and diverse cases. As a speaker for WZ, David has presented at seminars, hosted a variety of webinars as well as conducted live broadcasts of training. He is also an active member of the International Association of Interviews (IAI) and has contributed blogs, video tips and hosted webinars to support the continuing education of its members. David has a passion for coaching and engaging with attendees in an effort to support their development. To support this passion, David has provided customized seminars and consulting sessions to both private and public sector clients. He takes pride in delivering training, providing guidance and being an approachable resource for all clients.


Lauraine Bifulco is a veteran HR executive and entrepreneur with 25 years of international, corporate and consulting experience. Her career has taken her to employment and business opportunities in both Europe and the U.S. When she founded Vantaggio HR in 1994, Lauraine combined her talent for understanding what a client needs with her gift of business foresight to create a company that readily services the HR needs of small and large companies equally well. Today Vantaggio serves clients across the country from their offices in California, Hawaii and New York. As a recognized HR expert she conducts frequent seminars on a wide variety of HR topics with an emphasis on employment law compliance. In addition, Lauraine's perspective on the impact that culture has on business makes her a sought-after industry resource. The California Small Business Association has appointed her several years running as Chair of the Labor Issues Legislative Advisory Committee - and she was recently appointed to their Board of Directors. Also, Lauraine was nominated for Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year" award and Vantaggio was named one of the top 25 woman-owned businesses in the United States by Working Mother Magazine. Lauraine sits on the Board of Directors for several business organizations and is a founding member of one of the Orange County chapters of Women Presidents' Organization. Recently, Lauraine was featured in OC Metro's "Top 20 Women to Watch" edition. Lauraine received a bachelor's degree from Wellesley College and conducted graduate level studies in linguistics at the Sorbonne in Paris.


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.


Sean Kelly is the CEO of SnackNation - an INC 500 national franchise network of self-checkout healthy markets and healthy vending machines ranked #1 in its category in Entrepreneur's Franchise 500. Co-founded by Sean in 2008, today the platform can be found in more than 2,000 locations nationwide with services to companies such as BlueCross BlueShield, Tesla, Apple, Wells Fargo, HP among many others. Backed by a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University, Sean is passionate about helping people and organizations utilize nutrition to become the most ideal version of themselves and maximize performance. A TEDx alum, Sean has been named to Forbes' "30 Under 30" and "Most Promising CEOs Under 35" lists.


Deborah Moroz, J.D., SPHR is the Founder and CEO of HROIC and a seasoned human resource leader who offers guidance on a broad spectrum of HR matters. After 24 years of serving organizations as an employment attorney, HR expert witness, workplace investigator, consultant, executive or corporate counsel, Ms. Moroz possesses an expansive understanding of “better than best” practices. Ms. Moroz has led clients through a wide range of complicated workplace issues including: employee-related disputes, harassment and discrimination, wage and hour challenges, preparation for litigation, leaves of absence, reductions-in-force, accommodations, engagement, performance management and terminations. While assessing and coaching HR professionals and teams, Ms. Moroz boosts compliance, retention and productivity. Ms. Moroz also helps employees discover hidden talents, roadblocks and perceptions that damper professional growth. As CEO, Ms. Moroz oversees a diverse team of elite HR professionals who specialize in distinct HR functions ranging from professional branding, diversity and inclusion, compensation, HR and performance optimization. A “recovering employment attorney,” Ms. Moroz practiced both HR with Labor and Employment law in industries including: hospitals, nonprofit, finance, legal, insurance, travel, entertainment, consulting, education, fitness, hospitality and real estate. Ms. Moroz has advised upon or conducted scores of investigations, drafted and enforced HR policies and handbooks for more than two decades, and helped create the infrastructure or build-out of myriad HR departments.


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).


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 2016.