President’s Letter



I cannot believe it is March already… so, far we have had two great meetings and March will probably be the best of the year to set a new standard. We have quite a talented CHRO panel at our March meeting. We also have our first Quarterly Community Cause coming up on March 16th when we will be helping keep our local environment clean with Tampa Bay Watch. Please come and join us.(Details are in this newsletter) Then, in April is our all-day event called “On the Cutting Edge”. At this event, we will take a close look into the life of an HR professional and hear from some of the top HR professionals about what is on the cutting edge in the HR world today. This event is also worth six CEUs. Please plan on spending the day learning with us.


Suncoast HR is here to support our members. If there is anything we can do to support you, please let me know. See you soon.

A Seat at the Table 2.0

Date:     Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Time:     8:00 – 9:30 am (Registration begins at 7:30am)
Where:  Feathersound Country Club
               2201 Feather Sound Drive
               Clearwater, FL 33762

Register Here

You do not want to miss this!  For March’s event, SuncoastHR will be bringing together HR Executives from some of Tampa Bay’s best-known employers to discuss their strategic value in the C-Suite. These HR leaders will share their journey to the top and best practices for obtaining that “Seat at the Table”.


If you have a question for the panel, please forward to so we can add to the educational content these HR leaders will share with our group at “HR – A Seat at the Table 2.0”.


Alexis Muellner,
Editor for TBBJ



Keith Harris – Chief Human Resource Officer, Kobie Marketing
Ben Hom – SVPHR, Laser Spine Institute
Jessica Oreste – VPHR, Valpak
Rebecca Sanford – CPO, Nextech

Diana Sacchi – CHRO, Welbilt



Benjamin Hom, SPHR
Senior Vice President of Talent and Ancillary Services Laser Spine Institute

From a young age, Benjamin Hom had a knack for making things work. His insatiable search for the how and why in any given situation would lead him to uncover an essential key to unlocking and revolutionizing an industry — natural curiosity.


With his natural ability to create efficiencies for complex business processes, Ben was an ideal fit the Senior Vice President of Talent and Ancillary Services role at Laser Spine Institute. He brings more than 15 years of experience in industrial engineering, human resources, administration, operations and finance to his position on the organization’s executive team.


Ben knows how to implement change in a meaningful way that helps companies evolve. And that’s how he’s transformed Laser Spine Institute’s employee experience from recruitment to retirement. By building strong, strategic relationships with his teammates, patients and business partners, he puts Laser Spine Institute’s patient-centered approach front and center.


With expertise at national and worldwide health care organizations, such as Cancer Treatment Centers of America and GE Healthcare, Ben brings an in-depth understanding to Laser Spine Institute’s mission of “delivering hope, healing and restoration by providing the highest level of minimally invasive spine care.”

Ben holds Master of Science degrees in both manufacturing engineering and business administration from Northwestern University. He achieved his Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources who is also Six Sigma Black Belt certified.


For Ben, each day is another chance to make the world a better place for someone else. He is a proud graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County, where he worked with local leaders to champion socioeconomic causes in their community. He has also served as an advisory board member for Keiser University and Palm Beach County Library System.


When not crafting new and innovative ways to engage his teammates, Ben enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three children.


Jessica Oreste
Vice President, Human Resources Valpak

Jessica joined Valpak in May 2018, bringing more than 20 years of experience as an HR leader for ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. She's responsible for the human resources functions at Valpak, SKUlocal and, and aligning HR strategies and programs with corporate objectives. She oversees employee relations, benefits, compensation, talent acquisition, cultural engagement, security and environmental health and safety. Before joining Valpak, Jessica was Group VP of HR with ServiceMaster, a Memphis-based $3 billion public company that operates in more than 30 countries with more than 8,000 company-owned and franchise/licensed locations. In this role, Jessica developed strong and effective talent strategies to enable the growth and performance goals for two of the company's three business units: American Home Shield, the largest home warranty company in the nation, and the Franchise Services Group, comprised of five market-leading brands: AmeriSpec, Furniture Medic, Merry Maids, ServiceMaster Clean and ServiceMaster Restore.



Diana Sacchi
Chief Human Resource Officer Welbilt

Diana Sacchi is currently Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Welbilt. In this role, she has the responsibility to lead the global Human Resources team function for a global food services equipment manufacturer with 5500 employees. Most recently Diana served as Vice President, Human Resources North America for LG Electronics USA. Prior to LG, she held a variety of human resources leadership roles with Grameen America, Inc., Avon Products, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and the United Nations Development Program. She graduated from the Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and earned a Master’s degree in Counseling and Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. She is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish.



Rebecca Sanford
Chief People Officer Nextech

Rebecca Sanford is a forward-thinking human resources executive with over fifteen years of professional experience championing organizational culture and employee experience, particularly through periods of transformation / M&A. Rebecca serves as Chief People Officer at Nextech Systems, a private equity backed specialty healthcare software provider headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Rebecca joined Nextech’s executive leadership team in 2014 and has since led the People & Culture department through three successful acquisitions, more than doubling its workforce.
A native New Yorker, Rebecca started her career in human resources at a French investment bank in NYC (BPCE Natixis) and went on to build the HR function for a venture capital backed global educational technology company that was ultimately acquired by Blackboard. Rebecca then served as HR director for the Echo Design Group, a century-old family-owned fashion accessories company in midtown Manhattan. After relocating to Tampa in 2012, Rebecca joined Greenway Health, a Vista Equity Partners portfolio company, where she led the human resources function through multiple workforce transformations and built an award-winning employee wellness program. Rebecca has pursued a lifelong passion for culture.


Having studied and lived in both western Europe and South America, she earned her undergraduate degree in French and Writing at Loyola University in Maryland and her Master of Arts in International Affairs at The New School in New York City.  Rebecca enjoys travel, art, fashion and creative fiction writing. She lives in Tampa with her husband and daughter.


Challenger Outplacement / Career Transition

As the pioneering firm in the industry, with over 50 years of outplacement experience, Challenger, Gray & Christmas has a broad array of experience spanning all levels and industries.


Using a dramatically different approach to outplacement, we serve as co-owners of the job-search by using only full-time coaches, working one-on-one with our clients, consistent communication with each client, and letting the customer know the final outcome for each individual in the program.


With over 800 service locations in the U.S and over 1,000 worldwide, our firm has a proven track record of successfully providing quality outplacement programs for executives, middle managers and long-term or highly valued employees.  In addition, we provide results-oriented programs for plant closings, downsizings and restructurings.


Careful assessment, best practice processes and pairing with the appropriate coach are the keys to our success in outplacement.


Darren Veneri
Vice President
Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Inc.
(813) 364-0304 (W); (727) 460-8217 (C)
Visit our website:

Why Challenger:




Renew by March 15th to continue as an active member of SuncoastHR


Our 2019 membership year started on March 1st and all members must renew to have access to the great content coming this year. This month’s CHRO panel and April’s OTCE are two events no HR pro should miss!


Not sure if you’ve renewed? Check your member profile at to be sure. Click through to Members > Update Your Profile > Pay Your Bills to check for any open invoices.


Any memberships not renewed by March 15th will be suspended. After that time, members will need to submit a new application to the chapter in order to re-activate membership.



The 2019 first quarter cause that SuncoastHR is supporting provides our members with an opportunity to help beautify the county where most of us live and work.  This is an event that asks us to give a bit of our time while getting our hands dirty and possibly our feet wet. 


We will be volunteering with Tampa Bay Watch and participating in the Great American Cleanup, in partnership with Keep Pinellas Beautiful.  The cleanup is sponsored by SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and supported by City of St. Petersburg. The Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program, which takes place annually in an estimated 20,000 communities nationwide.
This is a land-based cleanup, so we are looking for volunteers to walk the sites to pick up trash to prevent marine debris as well as do some planting of native species.  This event is family friendly, so invite your friends and family to join you as part of the SuncoastHR volunteer team. 
Helping hands are needed at Little Bayou Park, 301 55th Ave S., St. Petersburg 33705 on March 16 from 9 a.m. – Noon. 
To register for this volunteer event as part of the SuncoastHR team, please email

Legislative Update:


The DOL’s New 2019 Overtime Proposal Has Arrived
By: William Grob, Ogletree Deakins, Suncoast HR Legislative Chair

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled its new overtime proposal in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which would update the salary thresholds according to which workers are entitled to overtime compensation. According to the proposal, the new salary level will increase from $455 per week (which amounts to $23,660 annually) to $679 per week (which amounts to $35,308 annually). If the proposal becomes final, this would be the first increase to the salary level since 2004.

The NPRM updates the salary level with projections using current wage data to January 1, 2020. It also calls for periodic review—not automatic adjustments—to update the salary level, which would still require notice-and-comment rulemaking.

According to a DOL press release on the proposal, the NPRM does not change the overtime eligibility for a number of jobs, including “police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, nurses, and laborers including: non-management production-line employees and non-management employees in maintenance, construction and similar occupations such as carpenters, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, iron workers, craftsmen, operating engineers, longshoremen, and construction workers.”

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta commented: “At my confirmation hearings, I committed to an update of the 2004 overtime threshold, and today’s proposal would bring common sense, consistency, and higher wages to working Americans.”

The latest proposal comes after the DOL gathered input from interested parties at six in-person listening sessions that it held in cities across the United States in the Fall of 2018 and from its July 2017 Request for Information (RFI) on the Part 541 overtime regulations. Commenting on the overwhelming public input, Acting Administrator for the Department’s Wage and Hour Division Keith Sonderling noted that, “Commenters on the RFI and in-person sessions overwhelmingly agreed that the 2004 levels need to be updated.”

In November 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has granted a motion filed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to hold in abeyance the DOL’s appeal of a district court decision that invalidated controversial federal overtime regulations the Obama administration promulgated in 2016.

The new proposal is expected to be published in the Federal Register next week. The DOL has invited interested parties to submit comments about the new proposal for 60 days following the rule’s publication in the Federal Register.


Court Orders Surprise EEO-1 Pay Data Collection Requirement Reinstatement—But When?


Submitted By: William Grob, Suncoast HR Government Affairs Director, Ogletree Deakins
Author: James Patton, Jr., Ogletree Deakins


Employers will recall that in 2014, President Obama issued a memorandum directing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to develop a pay data collection. In September 2016, after receiving approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the EEOC announced that this pay data collection would be implemented in December 2017 (15 months later) through a revision of the annual EEO-1 report filed by many employers. After the election of President Trump, however, the OMB paused the rule, pending review under the Paperwork Reduction Act, in order to assess the burden of such a data collection on employers. The National Women’s Law Center and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement sued the OMB in November 2017, claiming that the OMB’s stay was unlawful.


In a surprising development on March 4, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an order lifting the stay of the pay data collection component of the EEO-1. In the order, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan rejected the OMB’s decision to stay the pay data collection requirement, finding that the OMB failed to show justification for the stay. Accordingly, she ordered that the stay of the pay data collection requirement be vacated.

Key Takeaways

EEOC has already announced that the EEO-1 website will open on March 18, 2019, in preparation for the 2018 EEO-1 filings that are due on or before May 31, 2019, and which do not include pay data. Before Judge Chutkan’s order was issued, employers did not anticipate that the 2018 EEO-1 filing could include reporting on pay data that will be difficult to gather in accordance with EEOC requirements in less than 90 days. In fact, it is not clear from the order whether Judge Chutkan intends that the EEOC immediately begin collecting pay data from employers or whether the pay data collection will begin with a later EEO-1 filing cycle.


It remains to be seen whether the Justice Department, which defended this case, will appeal or seek clarification of Judge Chutkan’s order, and whether the EEOC and/or the OMB will take further action.

HR Florida is pleased to announce its 8th Annual Legislative Conference (formerly Day on the Hill) in Tallahassee on March 27, 2019!


When: 03/27/2019 - 03/28/2019
Hotel Duval
415 N Monroe St
Tallahassee, Florida  32301
Contact: Amanda A. Simpson, ESQ
This event will begin at 1:00 pm on March 27th with a series of informative presentations.  Following the presentations, there will be an attendee reception from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Hotel Duval.  That evening, attendees will be free to dine and network with fellow HR Florida members at local restaurants of their choice.  The event will continue all day on Thursday, March 28th, with breakfast at the Hotel Duval, followed by our visit to the Capitol.  There, we will meet with legislators and/or their staff where we'll advocate on public policy issues of importance to the HR profession.  During the presentations on March 27th, SHRM and HR Florida will prepare attendees for their meetings on the Hill and will provide assistance in setting up those meetings.  After the visit to the Capitol, attendees will then reconvene for a debriefing at the Hotel Duval to discuss the legislators' reaction to information provided by HR Florida, and how we may further advance our objectives.

There is no registration fee for the Legislative Conference, including the reception and breakfast, and certification credit is expected for the event. 

Attendees will be responsible for their travel, lodging, and other expenses.  HR Florida chapters are respectfully requested to consider reimbursing those costs for selected participants.

Who Should Attend
We would like every HR Florida chapter to send at least two representatives to this event.  Presidents (or President-Elects) and Legislative Directors would be excellent representatives.


We need your help introducing our legislators to HR Florida, educating them on how we can be a valuable resource on legislation affecting the workplace, and shaping that legislation of concern to our profession.

HR Florida has reserved a block of hotel rooms at the Hotel Duval for our events.  You may call central reservations at 888-717-8854 or book your room online by using the link below.

Click here to book your room online


Resume Review

Tampa Bay Job and Career Fair


Monday, April 8th 10am- 2pm


The Coliseum
535 4th Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33701


Variable Pay

Improving Performance with Variable Pay


Designing for Results

This intermediate-level course presents the fundamentals of variable pay. The course focuses on compensation strategy and variable pay, definitions and the design and implementation of incentive, recognition and bonus plans.


Learn about the three categories of variable pay.

Identify common business strategies and objectives for achieving them.

Examine internal and external factors.

Discuss the activities for designing the structure of the plan.

Find out aspects to consider in establishing target performance and payouts.

Learn about funding and distribution of plan earnings.

Discover how to implement, communicate and evaluate the success of your plan.


April 8 and 9, 2019 (Monday and Tuesday)
St. Petersburg, FL, location TBD
Suncoast HR Management Association
Contact Will Rives at



This course is designed for HR professionals responsible for designing, assessing or maintaining variable pay programs.



■ Total Rewards and Variable Pay

■ Supporting Business Objectives through Variable Pay
■ Types of Variable Pay
■ Developing a Variable Pay Plan — Phases 1 and 2
■ Developing a Variable Pay Plan — Phase 3
■ Implementation and Evaluation



  • CCP: Required

  • GRP: Required

  • Recertification: 2 Course, .5 Exam

  • CEUs: 1.5 Course, .3 Exam

  • CPEs: 16

  • CFP: 8

  • CPT: 12 Points

  • PHR/SPHR/GPHR Recertification

    Hours: 16 (Traditional Classroom); 14 (Instructor-Led Live Online)


    For more information visit



Total Rewards Management


Attract, Motivate and Retain Employees with an Effective Rewards Program

Learn what is required to formulate a rewards program that has the power to attract, motivate and retain — total rewards. Participants are introduced to the total rewards model and each of its components. Emphasis is given to the five elements of total rewards: compensation, benefits, work-life, perfor- mance and recognition, and development and career opportunities.

  • Gain an understanding of total rewards management

  • Discover the five elements of total rewards

  • Understand the critical role of the main drivers — organizational culture, business strategy and human resources strategy

  • Learn the process of designing a successful total rewards strategy

October 14 and 15, (Monday and Tuesday)
St. Petersburg, FL, location TBD
Suncoast HR Management Association
Contact Will Rives at



This course is designed for professionals new to human resources, as well as HR generalists or line managers who want a basic overview of the components that can create an effective balance in employee rewards tools.




■ Introduction to Total Rewards

■ Compensation
■ Benefits
■ Work-Life

■ Performance and Recognition
■ Development and Career Opportunities

■ Total Rewards — Putting It All Together


  • CCP: Required

  • CBP: Required

  • GRP: Required

  • Recertification: 2 course, .5 exam

  • CEUs: 1.5 course, .3 exam

  • CPEs: 16

  • CPT: 12 points

  • PHR/SPHR/GPHR Recertification

    Hours:16 (Traditional Classroom); 14 (Instructor-Led Live Online)



For more information visit


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P.O. Box 2111 Pinellas Park, Florida 33780
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