Faculty

Susan Flannery Adams, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Susan Flannery Adams is the interim Career Center Director for the School of Business and Economics and a lecturer in the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University. This role includes teaching undergraduate and graduate classes, and developing programs designed to connect students with the business community through internships, mentoring, community engagement and corporate sponsorship programs.

Susan brings over 20 years of hands-on HR experience in both non-profit and corporate environments with specific expertise in evaluating, designing, and implementing effective HR systems and programs that support the overall business needs of the organization. Prior to her role at SSU, Susan was an independent consultant, led Human Resources at PNI Sensor Corporation in Santa Rosa for over 8 years, and held senior positions at international consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and Chicago-based senior housing and healthcare provider United Methodist Homes and Services.

Susan holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Economics and Cultural Affairs from Valparaiso University, and a Master's Degree in Human Resources and Organization Development from the University of San Francisco. She holds certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and SHRM Senior Certified Human Resources Professional

Wendy Burbridge

Wendy Burbridge has more than 10 years’ experience working in Human Resources. She earned her BA in English and a Technical Communication Certification from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, then later decided she was interested in pursuing an alternate path. Her HR career kicked off with a recruiting internship that she grew into a regular full-time position. She enjoyed the field so much, that she went back to school to pursue her Masters of Science in Human Resources. After working several years primarily in talent acquisition, Wendy published a book entitled 30 Reasons You Didn’t Get Hired. Her enthusiasm for helping people develop lead her to the training and development practice area. She now manages Learning & Development for American AgCredit, is a member of the Association for Talent Development, and is a regular contributor on LinkedIn. When she is not working, Wendy can be found traveling, listening to podcasts, on a bike, at a yoga class, enjoying local food and wine, and speaking French. She lives in Sonoma County, California.

golbou ghassemieh

golbou ghassemieh (she doesn’t capitalize her name) has 11 years of professional Human Resources management level experience. Her career began as a recruiter for a local executive search firm, and she also spent time consulting with small businesses while working on her Master’s thesis. She continued her career in the challenging retail industry as a HR Manager, and then, transitioned into the public sector HR at the County of Sonoma. The County’s central HR Department supports 27 departments and over 4,000 employees. After under three years, golbou was promoted to the County’s Recruitment & Classification Manager position, responsible for the employment division. She has since promoted to Assistant Director of Human Resources, overseeing multiple sub-divisions of County of Sonoma’s central HR Department, including EEO, Recruitment & Classification, Workforce Development, HRIS, Employee Retention & Engagement Programs, and other administrative functions.

golbou holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from U.C. Berkeley, a Master’s in Business Administration from Sonoma State, and several private and public sector HR certifications. She has been appearing as a lecturer at Sonoma State off and on since 2004.

Brenda Gilchrist

With over 20 years of Human Resource Management experience, Brenda is an expert at leading companies through dynamic organizational change. She is recognized as one of the top business leaders, innovators and visionaries in the North Bay. Brenda has been awarded the North Bay Business Journal's Women in Business "Entrepreneur" award and also their Forty under 40 award. Brenda has made numerous media appearances to speak on various HR topics. In addition to leading The HR Matrix, Brenda teaches in the Sonoma State University’s Executive MBA (EMBA) program. With a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, a Master's Degree in Organizational Dynamics from University of Pennsylvania, Brenda is also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

Brenda has held senior HR positions at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, VFDA-Management Service Organization (a pre-IPO, multi-state, start-up), Miltenyi Biotec and Sutter Health. Brenda's approach to consulting combines a keen insight into company culture, strategy and best practices with the ability to help clients better understand their own needs. Her deeply collaborative style opens up discussion, while her expert knowledge ensures that solutions advance the client's long term goals. When she's not working, Brenda is an avid adventure sports enthusiast. She enjoys training to compete in triathlons and other adventure-related events. Her favorite pastimes are trail running, road biking, and mountain biking.

John Hyland

John Hyland began practicing as an attorney in 1995 and he has practiced exclusively in the area of employment law throughout his entire career. Prior to forming Rukin Hyland Doria & Tindall LLP, John held an Of Counsel position with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in the firm’s San Francisco office where he advised and represented companies in State and Federal court actions covering all areas of employment law, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, disability law, employee privacy, employee leaves, and wage and hour issues.

John started his career with Cook & Roos, LLP, a boutique firm in San Francisco specializing in employment law. John has represented clients in jury trials and arbitrations, and has argued cases before the California Court of Appeal. In addition to his litigation practice, John devotes a substantial part of his practice to counseling employers and employees in a wide range of employment law issues, working with executives transitioning in and out of companies, drafting contracts, policies and related employment documents, and conducting training seminars.

John regularly partners with his corporate clients to develop business strategies that reduce the risk of legal liability. Law & Politics Magazine named John a Northern California Super Lawyer each year beginning in 2006 through 2012, and again in 2014. U.S. News - Best Lawyers in America has selected John for inclusion each year since 2012. John also has a mediation practice in which he serves as a mediator in matters involving employment law issues and a wide array of other disputes. He obtained certification as an employment law mediator from Cornell University’s School of Industrial Relations.

John serves as a panelist for the Sonoma County Superior Court's Civil Settlement Conference Program. John received his B.S. degree from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned his juris doctorate degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, where he graduated in 1995 with highest honors and first in his class. While at Golden Gate, John served as a contributing author and associate editor of the Golden Gate Law Review.

Jessica Jauregui

Jessica Jauregui is a dynamic Human Resources leader with over 13 years of accomplished leadership experience in all functional areas of Human Resources. She has been the HR Director at St. Joseph Health System since 2004, leading a team of 10 HR professionals and all functional areas of human resources including employee and labor relations, organizational development, recruitment and selection, employment and retention, training and development, and employee health services. She possesses extensive knowledge of labor and employment law, including the NLRA and collective bargaining agreements. Prior to her current role, she was the Employee and Labor Relations Specialist at St. Joseph Health System, providing employee and labor relations support to a client group of approximately 1500 employees. This included direct interaction with representatives from two labor unions in the areas of contract interpretation, grievance processes and dispute resolution. She also brings experience in the wine industry as she started her HR career at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates. Jessica has a BS in Business Administration from California State University-Chico and a Master's Degree in Human Resources and Organization Development from the University of San Francisco.

Jessica has a BS in Business Administration from California State University-Chico and a Master's Degree in Human Resources and Organization Development from the University of San Francisco.

Mimi Lemanski

Mimi Lemanski is recognized as a leader in implementing effective initiatives for improving cultural understanding and awareness in the workplace. Mimi is fluent in Spanish and has worked across diverse industries with businesses and nonprofit organizations of all sizes, from Fortune 500s to small companies of less than 50 employees. She is dedicated to creating a stronger community through helping establish thriving companies that are based on sound principles and clear goals. Mimi was born and raised in Mexico City and also lived in Asia for several years. This affords her a unique, personal perspective of not only those cultures, but of cultural issues in general, which she is able to apply to the workplace. Mimi appreciates the particular considerations of establishing and maintaining a collaborative workforce and helps both leaders and staff understand one another, in terms of language as well as cultural differences.

A highly effective bilingual and bicultural trainer in many subjects, Mimi is particularly well-versed in AB 1825-compliant harassment trainings, communication strategies and leadership skill development. She conducts supervisory and management, communication and team training programs in Spanish and English. Beyond cross-cultural understanding and facilitation, Mimi offers expertise in conflict resolution. She has studied mediation and negotiation at Sonoma State University and done volunteer work with Recourse, a local nonprofit mediation organization. Mimi's own cultural diversity is complemented by her positive, upbeat attitude that she brings to her business training, coaching and mediation.

Mimi has passed the written portion of the California Court Interpreter Spanish Exam and volunteers at the Family Law Facilitator/Self Help Center in the Superior Court of Sonoma County. She translates documents, ranging from employee manuals to legal papers, and offers her expertise as an interpreter for individuals and organizations. Additionally, Mimi assists companies with strong Latino workforces understand and comply with complex immigration laws. An MS degree from the American Graduate School of International Management and a BS from Santa Clara University augment Mimi's credentials. Mimi brings cultural understanding, Spanish fluency, mediation training, solid education and deep experience to the classroom.

Shanne Malilay

Shane Malilay is the Director of Talent Acquisition with Jackson Family Wines. Prior to joining Jackson Family Wines in 2014, he held key HR Business Partner and recruiting management roles with Fireman’s Fund, Restoration Hardware, Autodesk and PG & E. Shanne brings expertise in all areas of human resources including strategic management, training and development support, multi-state and international labor law and regulations, performance management, employee relations, policy development and interpretation, safety, benefits, compensation, and recruitment. He is an active member of the Winejobs SUMMIT Advisory Board, and he has facilitated roundtable discussions on recruiting at the Winejobs SUMMITs. Additionally, he has been a speaker at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium. Shanne is a graduate of Sonoma State University’s School of Business & Economics.

Vic McKnight

Victor (Vic) McKnight is a principal in EPIC's Petaluma, CA office where he is responsible for all aspects of developing and managing a book of business including the acquisition of new clients; strategic planning and program design; ensuring the quality, timeliness and accuracy of all deliverables and developing employee benefit communication programs. Vic has been in the insurance consulting and employee benefits program management business for 20 years.

Vic spent the first ten years of his career representing insurance carriers and the last ten years as a broker representing clients throughout northern California. He brings extensive knowledge of the entire employee benefit arena, and is a frequent speaker to business groups on healthcare reform and health insurance trends. Vic also regularly contributes his perspective to articles appearing in North Bay Business Journal and other North Bay business publications. He is a graduate of St. Mary's College of California in Moraga, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management. Vic is an active member of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Mark West Union School District.

Scott Rhymes

Scott Rhymes is a highly accredited environmental, health, and safety professional with over 16 years' experience working in the areas of workplace safety, environmental health and insurance risk control. Scott is currently a Senior Risk Control Consultant with Wells Fargo Insurance Services where he helps clients identify and minimize industrial hygiene and safety risk management exposures.

Scott helps develop and implement health and safety programs for a variety of industries including large technology, transportation, and manufacturing. He conducts initial facility needs assessment, action planning, program development, culture improvement workshops and management training. His technical experience includes environmental, health, and safety program development, and the development of program metrics to help ensure proper resource allocation.

Scott's registrations and certifications include: Associate Risk Manager; Certified Industrial Hygienist; Certified Safety Professional; Registered Environmental Health Specialist; Medic First Aid Adult CPR Certification; and Medic First Aid Basic First Aid Certification. He also has focused training in de-­leading of steel structures; OSHA management and supervisor training; 40-­Hour OSHA health and safety training; indoor air quality investigation; and industrial and office ergonomics. Scott holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from the California State University at Northridge and Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from the California State University at Northridge.