TEXAS PAYROLL CONFERENCE - Key Persons


Aaron R. Alaniz

Aaron has responsibility for accounting, payroll, human resources, marketing, and client/candidate delivery at NextStep Recruiting. Aaron has worked in business in hiring manager roles and executive roles for 20+ years in Staffing, Hospitality, Recreation, Advertising, and Restaurants. Aaron earned a Bachelor degree in Business Management with an emphasis on Human Resources Management from Western Governors University. Aaron is currently serving in the capacity of Website Director for the Dallas Chapter of the APA where he is a current member. Aaron has 10+ year career in staffing where he has held multiple roles in leadership. Aaron has held his HR Certifications since 2015. He holds the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute and the Senior Professional Certification (SPC) from the Society of Human Resource Management. In March 2021, Aaron earned his CPP (Certified Payroll Professional) designation from the American Payroll Association (APA). Before that time, Aaron spent 7 years as an entrepreneur lending his skills to consult with restaurants and other establishments to drive results. Previous to that spent 9 years in restaurants & movie theaters in progressive roles. Aaron continues to be active in his local community and church working with youth and young families in need since 2003. Additionally, he works with youth in his church, teaches leadership skills, and provides mentorship to other teachers and students. Aaron has trained in every stage of his career to facilitate and design curriculum on multiple subjects, including restaurant operations, payroll, human resources, training, documentation, difficult conversations, driving results, food safety, interviewing (hiring managers & candidates), and managing performance. Aaron is passionate about mentoring and training people to be able to reach their full potential in both business and their personal lives.

Alexis C. Knapp

Alexis is a Board Certified Labor and Employment Lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and has also held her SPHR since 2003. Her career has spanned both HR and employment law, and she represents employers of all types and sizes with regard to all of their labor and employment needs. She also focuses a significant portion of her practice to leave and accommodation issues, from litigation and administrative matters and audits, to day-to-day advice, counseling, compliance and training work on FMLA and ADA issues.

Barbara Biri

Job Titles:
  • Treasurer of the Board of Directors

Brian Slowik

Job Titles:
  • Senior Vice President, Rapid! PayCard Founder, Green Dot Corporation Wage and Corporate Disbursements
Brian is rapid! PayCard Founder who is currently responsible for Sales, Marketing and Go to Market at Green Dot Corporation for the Wage and Corporate Disbursement market representing over $44.1B. He is a skilled intrapreneur with strong skills in optimizing advanced and evolving payment solutions.

Bruce Phipps

Job Titles:
  • Director - Shared Services, People2.0
  • President of the Lehigh Valley Chapter
In his current role at People2.0, Bruce leads the following Teams; Payroll Operations and HelpDesk Operations within the Americas Operations Team. Working closely with HR, Legal, Accounting and Affiliate Relations, Bruce takes the lead role for Payroll Compliance for the company. Additionally, Bruce takes the lead for system enhancements and new projects that will differentiate the company from its competitors. Bruce has been employed in the payroll profession for 45 years and has worked for several employers in the following industries, Healthcare, Retail, Service industries, Television Retailers and Manufacturing. During his career, he has served as a key member for several system upgrades/implementations and mergers/acquisitions. Bruce has held his CPP designation since 1989. He currently serves on the following APA committees: Hotline Referral, Electronic Payments Committee, GRTF - Pay Card Sub Committee, Child Support and Garnishment Sub Committee, MyRA Sub Committee, Co-Chair PA Act 32 Sub Committee, Emerging Technologies - SPLTF, Champs Mentor, Social Networking, Education Grant Committee and National Speakers Bureau. Additionally, Bruce is one of the original co-authors to the first edition of APA's "A Successful Guide to Direct Deposit" Bruce has been a Congress speaker since 2004 and the Texas Payroll Conference since 2006 and frequently speaks at chapter meetings and State Wide Conferences. Bruce Speaks on a wide range of topics, primarily though his specialty is State and Local incomes taxes. Bruce is currently the President of the Lehigh Valley Chapter in Allentown, PA. Bruce was also one of the founding members of the Southeastern PA Chapter of the APA and served as the chapter's first president. Spanning 18 years as a member of the SEPA chapter Bruce held several officer positions.

Carolyn Cox

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors
  • Senior HCM Consultant, RPI Consultants
She has been in the payroll industry for around 35 years. Carolyn began her payroll career as a Payroll Clerk at Allied Bank, which is now Wells Fargo. She has advanced her career by working in various positions such as Americas Payroll Manager for McDermott, Inc. Payroll/Benefits Administrator for Duddleston Management, Payroll Specialist for Tejas Gas, Payroll Supervisor for Input/Output and Landry's Seafood Restaurants also as a Client Serving Associate for Ernst & Young, LLP, Americas Payroll Manager for McDermott, Inc., Payroll Manager for Champion Technologies, NRG, and JV Industries. Carolyn was Payroll Director for TEAM Industrial Services, Inc. She also taught the 2018 Fall Semester of the Pay Train Level I & II Class at Lone Star College in Tomball, TX. Carolyn has been a member of the American Payroll Association since May 1994. She passed the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) exam in 1998 and recertified in 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018. Carolyn serves nationally on the Hot Line Committee for the American Payroll Association (APA). She is currently serving as 2019 President. Carolyn has also serviced as the 2018 President-Elect and 2017 Treasurer for the Houston Chapter of the APA (HCAPA). She has served as Chair of several HCAPA committees including Resume, Historian, Photography and Telephone. She also served on various other HCAPA committees. Carolyn has held the Secretary position for not only HCAPA, but also for the Galveston/Bay Area Chapter of the APA (GBAC) and Texas Payroll Conference (TPC). She has served in the Officer positions of Treasurer and Secretary plus served on various committees including Registration, Speaker, Decoration and Marketing with TPC. Carolyn was President with the 2006 Board of Directors for TPC and three terms as President with the GBAC. She holds the title of 2001 HCAPA Payroll Professional of the Year and 2011 Texas Payroll Professional of the Year.

Carolyn Huse

Job Titles:
  • Compliance Manager, Parallon Business Performance Group
She has been in the payroll industry for over 40 years. Carolyn began her payroll career as a Payroll Clerk at American Income Life Insurance Company. She has advanced her career by working in various positions such as Payroll Coordinator for Club Corp, Payroll Manager for Buckner Baptist Benevolence, Payroll Manager for Glazers Inc. and Payroll Director for Critical Healthcare Management. Carolyn has been a member of the American Payroll Association since 1990. She passed the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) exam in 1991 and recertified in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016. Carolyn has served on the National level as Secretary on the Nominations and Election Committee, Donald Sharper Educational Grant Committee, Board of Advisor for Region IV for the American Payroll Association, CPP Certification Board, CHAMPS Committee, Hot Line Committee and Chapter Recognition Committee. On the state level, Carolyn served as Speaker Chair, Secretary, Exhibitor Committee, Speaker Committee, Volunteer Chair, President Elect, President, Exhibitor Chair and Advisor for the Texas Payroll Conference. On the local level, Carolyn has served as Secretary, President, Advisor, Government Liaison, Membership Director and Program Director for the Dallas Chapter. Carolyn was named the 1997 Dallas Chapter Payroll Professional of the Year, the 2003 Texas Payroll Professional of the Year, the 2017 Dallas Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2018 APA Payroll Woman of the Year. Volunteering is a major part of her life. She finds it an honor to give back to the Payroll Profession.

Chako Perez - Chief Legal Officer

Job Titles:
  • Senior Counsel
  • Senior Counsel, Fluor
Chako is Senior Counsel in the Employment Law Group of Fluor, a Fortune 500 company and leading provider of engineering, procurement, and construction services. Chako has represented companies both as outside and in-house counsel in US and international matters, ranging from wage and hour, discrimination, and government compliance. Chako is a Texas Board Certified Attorney in Labor and Employment Law, and is a frequent speaker and writer for industry associations and employment law journals and magazines.

Chester Morgan

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors

De Ann Doonan

Job Titles:
  • Executive Director of Global Payroll Services, Maxim Integrated
De Ann leads an international team responsible for Payroll Operations, Time and Attendance & Payroll GL for 8,000 employees in 27 countries. Prior to Maxim, she was the Director of Global Payroll for Dell. De Ann has been responsible for architecting transformation projects, leading and project managing global payroll and timekeeping implementations, building shared services offshore and leading automation and RPA initiatives. De Ann was awarded the Dallas Chapter Payroll Professional of the Year in 2005 and the Texas Payroll Professional of the Year in 2008. Currently she is a member of the APA's National Speaker's Bureau and the Dallas Chapter of the American Payroll Association.

Dr. Mary Kelly

Job Titles:
  • CEO, Productive Leaders
  • Leadership and Economics Professor at the Naval Academy
Mary specializes in leadership growth that helps organizations improve their profitability and productivity, especially in finance, insurance, real estate, and manufacturing. One of the first female graduates of the Naval Academy, Mary served 25 years on active duty, mostly in Asia, leading multicultural teams in nine countries. Her remarkable career of service included working as an intelligence officer, a chief of police, an HR director, and a chief of staff, as well as training more than 40,000 military personnel. Mary has been a leadership and economics professor at the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and Hawaii Pacific University. She has written 13 business books, including her best-seller, Master Your World (named a "must read" by MENSA and MOAA), and her latest award-winner, Why Leaders Fail and the 7 Prescriptions for Success (profiled in Forbes and Success magazines). Today, Mary is a popular conference keynote speaker and leadership adviser working with businesses, associations, and government agencies. She offers programs that are content rich, highly entertaining, and strategically designed to help her clients get results.

Emma Jackson

Job Titles:
  • Senior Payroll Manager, North East Independent School District in San Antonio
She leads the staff in paying the District's approximately 10,000 teachers, administrators, substitute, and auxiliary, administrative and instructional support employees. A long-time member of the Alamo chapter APA, she has served in several officer positions and currently is the Government Liaison. She served on the Texas Payroll Conference board from 2009-2013 and is currently co-chair of the APA SPLFT K-12 Education Committee. Emma has received the APA Citation of Merit in 2019-2021. A member of the American Payroll Association, she earned her Certified Payroll Professional designation in 1996 and has maintained it through continuing education. Emma often says "there isn't a mic she doesn't love" as she shares her passion for Payroll and education. She has spoken for several years at Texas Payroll Conference and to the Alamo and Dallas chapters. In 2018, she was presented with the "Friend of TPC" award for her contributions to the organization. With a love for being active, she also teaches aerobic and strength classes in her "spare" time.

George Mavrantzas

Job Titles:
  • Vice President of Strategy & Thought Leadership, ADP
George is a seasoned payments executive with over two decades in the prepaid industry with the last 17 years specifically in payments. Prior to ADP, George held several executive and senior level positions at firms including Global Cash Card, rapid! PayCard, Incomm, ITC Financial Services, T-Mobile, and Powertel. He has worked in all facets of prepaid and payment operations including but not limited to: Executive Management, Business Development, Project Management, Customer Service, Implementation, Relationship & Account Management, Thought Leadership and Social Media Expansion. As Vice President of Strategy and Thought Leadership at ADP, George is a member of the Wage Payments Executive team. He devises and executes strategic decisions for the business & delivers thought leadership and on-site presentations. George is a recognized expert and prolific speaker in the payments industry, and he is invited to speak at over 50 industry conferences a year to educate professionals on the ever changing payments landscape & benefits of electronic pay. He is a national member of the American Payroll Association. In addition, he is a member of the APA's National Speakers Bureau and a recipient of the APA's Citation of Merit for his contributions to the payroll industry. George is a graduate of the University of North Florida and resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Gerald Whitmore

Job Titles:
  • US Payroll Director, Conduent Business Services
Gerald started his career in St. Louis, MO as a Payroll Technical Support. He has 30 years of diverse experience in multiple payroll processing systems, multi-state tax filing, system implementation and accounting to name only a few of his business acumen. In September 2001, Gerald obtained his CPP certification and he joined the Dallas Chapter APA in September 2002. Gerald has served as the Government Liaison Officer from 2005-2006, Vice President 2006-2008 and President 2008-2010. He also helps with chapter classes and one day seminars offered by the Dallas Chapter. In addition, Gerald has volunteered numerous times as a speaker for the Texas Payroll Conference after completing 6 years on the Board of Directors in 2011. He also volunteers for the Ft. Worth APA Chapter, the LA APA Chapter, the CA Payroll Conference and APA Congress. Gerald also served as an APA Board of Advisors from 2014-2016.

Jody Young

Job Titles:
  • Managing Director, Higginbotham Insurance Agency
Jody's prior work experience spanned a wide variety of adventures, which led to her benefits consultancy role beginning in 2002. Her past experience in managing health and retirement plans, union negotiations, stock purchase plans, executive bonus programs, immigration, payroll, budgeting, M&A due diligence and system implementations provides a unique background to her clients which cross all industries. Jody is a Teagle scholarship recipient and a graduate of Tulane University with a degree in American Studies. She is a member of SHRM, HR Houston, and The Houston Junior League.

Karen Davidson

Job Titles:
  • Advisor
  • Member of the Board of Directors

Kathryn Hubbard

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors

Larry White

Job Titles:
  • Director of Payroll Training, American Payroll Assocation
Larry White, CPP is a Director of Payroll Training for the American Payroll Association. His responsibilities for over 14 years at APA include the presentation, development, and review of APA training courses. Involved in the payroll industry for over 40 years as a practitioner, manager, director, and trainer, Larry has experience in the manufacturing and transportation industries and has also been a self-employed small business owner. In 2001, he was named Oklahoma Payroll Professional of the Year. He holds a degree in Communications from the University of Tulsa. He served for seven years as an adjunct instructor for the Payroll Professional Learning Series at Tulsa Community College. He received APA's Meritorious Service Award in 1998 and was named APA's Payroll Man of the Year in 2005. Larry is enshrined in the American Payroll Association's Payroll Hall of Fame.

Linda Almendarez

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors

Marilyn LaMance

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors

Martha Baxter

Job Titles:
  • Payroll Consultant, PayTech
Martha holds her certification as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Martha has worked in payroll leadership for over 40 years with a large footprint in health care, retail and educational payroll industries. Martha currently serves in the role Treasurer for the Dallas Chapter of the APA, where she has been a member since 2013. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Payroll Conference and served as President for the 2013 conference year. She also serves on various APA National Committees; Strategic Payroll Leadership Task Force for Best Practices and Co-Chairs the Strategic Payroll Leadership Task Force for Health Care. Beginning this year, she will begin a two-year term with APA as Region 1 Board of Advisor. In 2013 Martha was awarded the Bonnie Brown Memorial Scholarship by the Dallas Chapter of the APA followed by the Texas Payroll Professional of the Year for 2016. In 2018, Martha received the Global Cash Card Educational Grant at APA Congress in Washington DC and recently in March 2020 received the Dallas Chapter Payroll Professional of the Year. Martha has been speaking on payroll for over 25 years and has written and presented payroll curriculum for Texas Association of School Business Officials as well as a speaker for Texas Payroll Conference, various other Statewide events, Dallas Chapter, several other APA Chapters. She has been speaking at APA Congress for over 3 years. Martha is a passionate payroll professional and has been awarded the Dale Carnegie Highest Achievement Award.

Martha Heysquierdo

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors

Natalie Lopez

Job Titles:
  • President of the Board of Directors

Nicole Myers

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors

Patricia Guzman

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors

Rhonda Potter

Job Titles:
  • Payroll Manager, Premier Truck Group
Rhonda Potter, CPP leads the US payroll operations, with responsibility of paying 2000 employees and leading a team of 3 at Premier Truck Group. Rhonda has over 25 years of multi-state payroll, benefits, and human resources experience. In previous roles she has served as Payroll Manager for Wyndham Worldwide and Phoenix American Hospitality. Rhonda has served on many American Payroll Associate boards and committees on the local, state, and national levels and has received numerous awards for her work. 2003 - Premier Volunteer, 2006 - Outstanding Achievement, 2011 - Special Recognition, 2012- Dallas Chapter, Payroll Professional of the Year and 2014 - Meritorious Service Award from the American Payroll Association.

Robert Swingler

Job Titles:
  • Director for Superior Energy Services
  • Director HRIS & Payroll, Superior Energy Services
Robert has been with Superior for over 14 years; with over 20 years of payroll experience and was an integral part of several payroll system implementations. Robert has been on many different projects ranging from acquisitions to remapping multiple general ledgers. Robert has his BA in Accounting and is CPP Certified. As the HRIS Director for Superior Energy Services, Robert makes sure that our systems (HR/Payroll/Benefit/Onboarding/Recruiting/Time/Tax/Reporting) and all interfaces (some bi-directional) are running smoothly. On a local level, Robert was on the Houston Chapter of the APA for 5 years with serving as Chapter President of the Houston Chapter in 2010. On a state-wide level, Robert served as a Board member on the Texas Payroll Conference in 2011, 2012 & 2013.

Sandy Selvidge

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors

Sherman Smith Jr

Job Titles:
  • Accounts Examiner, Texas Workforce Commission
Sherman has over 25 years state experience which includes Accounts Examiner, Supervisor, and Regional Trainer. Texas born and bred.

Stefanie Arredondo

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Board of Directors
  • President - Elect

Teresa Mulkey

Job Titles:
  • Advisor
  • Member of the Board of Directors
  • Retired
Teresa has more than 30 years of payroll experience including payroll tax, system implementation and management. She has been employed as payroll manager for multiple Fortune 500 companies. Currently, Teresa is happily retired and riding her motorcycle and travelling as often as possible. Teresa earned and has maintained her Certified Payroll Professional accreditation since 1995. She has been a member of the Dallas Chapter over 25 years serving 10 years on the chapter board in various positions including Education Director and President. Teresa has been awarded Texas Payroll Conference's 2014 Payroll Professional of the year, Dallas Chapter Payroll Professional of the Year for 2001 and 2016 and Dallas' Lifetime Achievement award in 2013. Teresa is currently serving her third year on the Texas Payroll Conference board of directors.

Valery Noakes

Job Titles:
  • Member of the Alamo Chapter of the
  • Member of the American Payroll Association
  • MHP Consulting Services, LLC
Valery has over 25 years of expertise in multi-state, large payrolls and focuses on process efficiency and effectiveness. In 2021, Valery formed MHP Consulting Services, LLC to support her payroll consulting business. Previously, Valery was the Senior Manager, Payroll & Data Operations, for Becton, Dickinson & Company supporting US, Puerto Rico and Canada. Valery was the Director of Payroll for HVHC Inc., an optical retail organization in the United States with over 650 retail stores in 48 states and the District of Columbia, from August 2012 to September 2015. Valery was Manager of Shared Services, Payroll for Tesoro Companies, Inc., from September 2001 until August 2012. Prior to Tesoro, Valery worked for Dell, Inc., from June 1998 until September 2001 and was previously employed with H.E. Butt Grocery Company for 15 years. She has a BBA in Accounting from UTSA and an MBA in e-Business with the University of Phoenix. She originally obtained her CPP in April of 2001 and has maintained her certification. Valery is currently an active member of the Alamo Chapter of the APA and Treasurer for 2020-2021. She was President for 2018-2019, and has also served as President-Elect in 2017, Treasurer for 2016, Secretary for 2010-2011, Public Relations Officer for 2008-2009, President for 2006-2007, President-Elect for 2004-2005 and Government Liaison officer for 2002-2003. Valery has spoken at the Texas Payroll Conference since 1997 and has served on the Texas Payroll Conference Board of Directors in various roles to include President/Chairperson in 2001, Exhibitor Chair in 2000, Registration Chair in 2012, Secretary and Officer in 2013, and Registration Chair in 2015. In 2006, Valery received the Texas Payroll Professional of the Year award. Valery has been an active member of the American Payroll Association (APA) since 1993 and currently chairs the APA CPP Certification Board and serves on CHAMPS, National Speakers Bureau, Shared Services and the SPLTF Emerging Technologies Committees. She has served on the APA's Paycard, Shared Services, and Unemployment Subcommittees and has presented at the APA's Annual Congress in 2010-2011, 2014-2015, and 2017-2019. Nationwide, she has presented APA's Payroll Issues for Multi-State Employers, Payroll Practice Essentials, Intermediate Payroll Concepts, Advanced Payroll Concepts, Payroll Tax Forum, and Preparing for Year-Ends for 2019-2021. She received the APA Education Grant in 2007, was inducted into APA's Hall of Fame with a Meritorious Service Award at the 2011 Congress in Salt Lake City, UT, and received APA's Special Recognition Award at the 2015 Congress in Las Vegas, NV. Valery was named the prestigious Payroll Woman of the Year in 2020 at the APA's Virtual Payroll XStream.