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Nina Brink, PHR, SHRM-CP

Nina W. Brink, MHA, PHR, SHRM-CP is currently employed as a Human Resources Manager with Sierra Nevada Corporation. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with an Accounting Minor from the University of San Diego and a Master of Health Administration Degree from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center. Nina's background includes comprehensive experience in human resources; defense contracting; marketing; graduate-level education/research; and healthcare administration, credentialing, operations, revenue and compliance.  In the community, Nina has served as a mentor with Take Stock in Children of Okaloosa County and a Loaned Executive for the United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties.  She has also served as the Auction Committee Chair for the White-Wilson Community Foundation's Little Black Dress Party, which raises funds to increase access to health services for women in need. 



Shari Bruns, PHR, SHRM-CP

Shari is the Director of Human Resources for the Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Memphis State University, which served her well in her TV and Radio broadcast career, where she won multiple Florida Associated Press journalism awards for outstanding radio news coverage. However, the Human Resource field is where Shari found her calling. Since 2003 she was employed in the private sector as an Operations Officer with a concentration in Human Resources before crossing over into the government sector in 2009. Along with serving on the SHRM-ECC board, Shari is a member of SHRM National. She has served in an assortment of roles with non-profits such as the United Way, Boys and Girls Club, PAWS and the YMCA. Currently she is Vice Chair of Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers and volunteers on behalf of Choctawhatchee High School Athletics. Shari is married with 4 sons.


Stephanie Pella

Mrs. Stephanie Pella recently took on a new challenge as Office Supervisor for the Okaloosa County Department of Corrections.  Prior to moving to the Department of Corrections, she came from the Okaloosa County Human Resources Department, where she returned in 2016 after having served two years as the Human Resources Manager for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. Mrs. Pella has sixteen years of direct experience working in progressively responsible positions within human resources, organizational development, and management. Mrs. Pella holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Arizona, and is a Certified Public Manager, Senior Certified Professional with the Society for Human Resource Management, and a Certified Practitioner for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.   Mrs. Pella is the 2013 recipient of the Individual Innovation in the Workplace Award from the Society for Human Resources Management in Tucson, Arizona. Over the years, Mrs. Pella has been notably involved in administering leadership training programs for management, leading complex organizational changes, and optimizing organizational efficiencies within several public organizations in Arizona and Florida.



Michelle Crocker

Michelle Crocker is the Human Resource Manager at Micro Systems, Inc. Michelle has 18 years of experience in Human Resources and is also currently serving as the President of the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation.  Michelle’s volunteer history also includes serving the Emerald Coast SHRM Chapter as the Workforce Readiness Coordinator, Programs Director, and 2007 & 2008 President as well as holding a seat on the Florida State Council serving as the District Director in 2009 & 2010.



William Cartier

William Cartier (“Billy”) has been the Human Resources Manager at Okaloosa Gas District since 2013. Billy has over 10 years of direct experience in Human Resources and is also currently serving as chair-elect for the Florida Energy Workforce Consortium (FEWC) and sits on multiple Workforce Development Committees, such as for the American Gas Association (AGA) and Florida Natural Gas Association (FNGA). He began his career in Human Resources after his diverse/broad experience in management made for the perfect transition into Human Resources. When it comes to the community, Billy assists the ACS’s Relay For Life, AHA’s American Heart Walk and with The United Way, as well as participating in Toys For Tots and holiday Adopt a Family efforts.



Aimee Cox


Aimee Cox is the HR Manager and Physician Recruiter at White-Wilson Medical Center.  She has been with White-Wilson for 3 years and previously worked at Cox Communications for 13 years.  She holds the PHR and SHRM certifications as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in HR Management. She is an active member on the Little Black Dress planning committee and a volunteer with the American Cancer Society. 




Michele Burns

Michele Burns has worked for Kelly Services for over 28 years and is currently the District Manager for Okaloosa and Walton County.  Michele has served in many positions on the Emerald Coast Chapters Board and has been a member since 1989.  Michele also served on the HR Florida State Council as District Director for Region 1.  She currently holds the facilities chair on the HR Florida State Council.  Her Marketing Degree is from the University of West Florida.  Michele has been active in many community events and currently is a member of the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, Elks Lodge 1795, The Panhandle Job Fair and on the Okaloosa Public School Foundation.  Michele and her husband Dave live in Fort Walton Beach. 



Leanne Lloyd, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Leanne has been the Corporate Director of HR for Banyan Investment Group, operating hotels in 9 states, since 2015. Prior to working for Banyan, Leanne served as the Director of Human Resources for COPE Center in DeFuniak Springs for 9 years. She began her management and HR career with Alltel in the retail sector. Leanne graduated from Okaloosa Walton College with an AA degree in Business Administration and received her BS degree in Business Administration/Human Resource Management from Western Governors University. Leanne also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Emerald Coast CrimeStoppers, serving Okaloosa and Walton Counties. In the past, she has served on the Board of Directors for Walton County Habitat for Humanity, as well as serving as an officer on their Executive Board for one year. Leanne has also volunteered as a Loaned Executive for the Okaloosa-Walton United Way.


GinNeal McVay, PHR, SHRM-CP

GinNeal is the Interim Human Resources Director for Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners. She has 13 years of progressively responsible experience. GinNeal has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management with an Emphasis in Human Resources from Florida State University and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Troy State University. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources and a SHRM Certified Professional. GinNeal has been a local and National SHRM member since 2003.



College Relations

Laura Kirby

Laura began working as the Business Development Manager for Landrum Human Resources in the Okaloosa and Walton county area in July 2013. Landrum, founded in Pensacola over 40 years ago provides human resources services to over 1,000 clients and 11,000 employees. Prior to her current position, Laura worked as Corporate Relocation Coordinator/Corporate Caller for Coldwell Banker United Realtors Relocation Services for 13 years in northwest Florida and southern Alabama. Laura earned her bachelor's degree in Advertising/Marketing at the University of Florida and is an avid Gator fan. She presently resides in Destin with her husband and has two children in graduate school.

 Workforce Readiness

Gabriela Leysath, MSHRM

Gabriela Leysath is a Business Services Representative with CareerSource Okaloosa Walton CSOW (Formerly JobsPlus).  Gabriela’s main role with CSOW is to connect local employers with talented individuals and employment resources, ranging from labor market information, screening and retention tools, training, State incentives and any employment-related matters. Gabriela serves as guidance for local businesses, throughout the Okaloosa and Walton community, in need of workforce information and HR expertise. Prior to employment with CareerSource Okaloosa Walton, Gabriela worked in the hospitality industry as a Sales Manager for a large Hotel Chain with resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. Gabriela holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from Troy University. It is Gabriela’s passion to work in a diverse culture with challenging differences of opinion.


Public Relations

Teresa Kaliski, PHR, SHRM-CP

Teresa is the Human Resources Manager for Simple HR. She has held her national certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) since 2003 and has more than 20 years progressive Human Resources experience. She is a Certified Mediator through the Institute for Conflict Management in the state of California. Her professional experience began as a staffing coordinator with a National Bank, promoted to Benefits and Payroll. She continued her HR career with a non-profit Senior Insurance company in California where she held many leadership roles in key areas such as benefits, training, health and wellness and employee relations. Since joining Simple HR in January 2006, Teresa has been instrumental in developing HR programs and processes to serve the needs of Simple HR Clients. As the Human Resources Manager she is involved in risk management, labor law, preventative employee relations, coaching and training, performance management, and state unemployment. Teresa has served on the board for SHRM-ECC since 2012 as the Membership Director and most recently Public Relations.  She is also involved in numerous community projects and is a member of the national and local HR Associations.

Non-Dues Revenue

Skye Lowrey


Skye is the Human Resources Coordinator for Acentria Insurance, Inc., located in Destin, FL.  She has been with Acentria since 2015.  Skye has worked in the Human Resources capacity for over 12 years.  Her professional experience began as a staffing clerk for a government contractor and then continued with a non-profit behavioral health services provider and has continued to grow over the years.  Skye attained her SHRM-CP certification in 2017. She has lived on the Emerald Coast for 30 years, and has been a National SHRM and Emerald Coast Chapter member since 2013.  



Foundation Coordinator/By-laws/Past President

Cindi Wood, SPHR, SHRM-SCP 


Cindi is a Human Resources Generalist/Benefits Administrator for InDyne located on Eglin AFB.  InDyne employs approximately 800 employees at the Eglin AFB location and is responsible for all test range operations and maintenance at Eglin AFB.  She has been employed with InDyne since 2006.  Prior to joining InDyne she was employed as a Benefits Administrator with BAE Systems for 19 years.  She has more than 35 years Human Resources experience. She has been a member of the ECC-SHRM since 2000 serving on the board as Accreditation Chair in 2010 and Diversity Chair in 2011 and 2012. 


Website/Social Media

Mallory Whalen, PHR, SHRM-CP

Mallory has been the Director of Human Resources for Bit-Wizards in Fort Walton Beach where she is responsible for all human resource functions, since 2013. Prior to this position Mallory was the Operations Manager for a small business where she established and implemented business processes and operations standards, as well as managed the human resource functions. Mallory graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration in Human Resource Management in 2011, achieved PHR certification in 2014 and SHRM-CP Certification in 2015. She resides in Fort Walton Beach with her husband, who also works for Bit-Wizards, and their three adorable kitties.


Walton County Liaison

Debra Wooten, PHR, SHRM-CP

Debra has been with the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office for 8 years and is responsible for all Human Resource functions.  She holds certification as a PHR and also a Florida Public HR Professional.  Her   passion in the workplace is employee engagement.  She is currently Chairperson for the Walton County Insurance Committee.  She serves in community outreach through the Walton High School/College Career night and the NWFSC Career Fest.  Debra is married to her husband Wilton and they have two grown sons and one dog (Toby).  She enjoys camping, fishing, motorcycle  riding and working with young girls through her church. 

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