Board of Directors    


Dalton Green

  Dalton B. Green, J.D., is serving her fifth term on the board as Legislative Chair and her second year as president elect. Dalton is a Partner/Employment Attorney with Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo. Her primary focus is to keep members apprised of legislative and case law developments in the field of employment law as it pertains to the HR arena. Dalton counsels and represents employers on a wide range of issues including hiring and termination practices, policy and handbook drafting, discrimination/EEOC claims, wrongful termination under the North Carolina Retaliatory Discrimination Act (REDA) and Title VII, wage and hour disputes (FLSA), unemployment claims and workers’ compensation claims. We would like to congratulate Dalton on her recent accomplishments of AV Rated/Preeminent by Martindale Hubble; Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2014!     

President Elect

Amber Guenther, SHRM-SCP, PHR

  Amber is serving her 4th term as Website Chair. She also services as an board advisor for the Jacksonville MSA. She has been an active member of LCFHRA since 2011 and a member of SHRM since 2009. She currently works for GE Power as an Employee Resource Manager serving the GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy plant in Wilmington. In her previous role, she worked aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for a federal contractor called EMI Services as the Human Resources Manager. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Webster University in 2011. In addition, she is a part time instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College where she teaches the SHRM essentials program and the new SHRM-CP & SCP prep course. In her current role, she focuses on employee relations, Service contract act, Davis bacon act, affirmative action, benefits administration, recruiting, and organizational development. We would like to congratulate Amber on her recognition for Small Business Employer of the Year in Onslow county. This recognition was given by the VETS Association, NC National Guard, and NC Dept. of Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions for her commendable actions to recruit, hire and retain veterans. Amber is excited for this opportunity to serve LCFHRA!

Board Advisor

Cheryl Morlote, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

  Cheryl has 20 years of experience in a variety of human resources positions, including Human Resources Director, Human Resources Consultant, Human Resources Manager and Employment Specialist. Expertise in recruiting strategies, employee relations, performance management, as well as extensive experience in employee compensation, benefits and implementing positive morale initiatives. She specializes in building new Human Resources departments for companies realizing the need for this crucial element in their businesses.     

Stacy Johnson


Stacy Johnson joined the board in 2016 as the Secretary. Stacy is an Associate Rewards Specialist for PPD a leading global contract research organization providing comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services. Stacy graduated from UNCW with a BS in Business Administration with an HR Concentration. She has been a member of LCFHRA since 2013 when she joined the Student HRA Chapter at UNCW. During her senior year at UNCW, she also served as a board member on the Student HRA Chapter. Prior to joining PPD, Stacy found her passion for HR at Walmart Stores Inc., in her roles as a Training Coordinator and Personnel coordinator where she worked for 15 years. Stacy is excited about LCFHRA’s community involvement, and looks forward to participating in their efforts to grow and enhance the local human resource community.



Debbie Leonard, SHRM-CP
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  Debbie Leonard serves on the board as treasurer. This is her third term serving. She has been an active member of LCFHRA since 2008 and an active member of SHRM since 2013. She currently works at Cape Fear Academy as the Financial Services Administrator and she holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. Debbie is very excited to serve for LCFHRA!  

Membership Chair

Shelley Southerland, SHRM-CP, PHR



 Shelley worked 30 years in the financial industry, 18 of those in Human Resources. She served as HR Manager and Corporate Secretary for a local community bank for 12 years. Most recently she was a Human Resources Manager for a regional bank with extensive experience in performance management, employee relations, change management, merger and acquisitions activities, and training and development. Shelley has been a member of the LCFHRA since 2009 and a SHRM member since 2006. She received her PHR certification in 2010 and SHRM-CP certification in 2015. She joined the LCFHRA Board in 2016 and serves as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee.                

Membership Co-Chair 

Kim Mueller 


  Programming Chair 

Sarah Wright, MBA, SHRM-CP, PHR                               910-254-3670                                  

  Sarah Wright joined the Board in 2017 as Programming Co-Chair. She has been an active member of LCFHRA and SHRM since 2012. She currently works for Sturdy Corporation, a local manufacturing company, as the Human Resources Manager in Wilmington, NC. Sarah recently completed her Master’s in Business Administration at East Carolina University and is PHR and SHRM-CP certified. She has more than 15 years of experience in Human Resources. Sarah looks forward to this opportunity to serve the local HR community.    


 Programming Co-Chair

Katie Laymon  


Certification Chair

Jason Walter  


Jason Walter serves as Team Lead, Client Managers for Hill, Chesson & Woody, a division of Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc. In this position, Jason manages the platform and process of the client services teams in addition to leading the Client Manager team. Jason is responsible for ensuring Client Managers act as extensions of Consultants in servicing clients and managing their benefit plans. Client Managers work through the renewal and strategy processes as well as provide compliance, open enrollment, ACA and claims and billing assistance. He began his career in benefits in 2001 with Flores & Associates, LLC in Charlotte, NC as an Account Manager before being promoted to Senior Account Manager in 2005 with clients nationwide. In that position, he gained a significant amount of experience administering Section 125 Cafeteria Plans and FSA's, COBRA, as well as Section 105 Reimbursement Plans. In 2007 he moved to Raleigh, NC to work with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein in Human Resources. Jason joined the HCW team in January 2013 as a Client Manager. He was promoted to his current role in January 2016.


 Website/Social Media Chair

Katey Breen, SPHR

  Katey is serving her 2nd term on the board as Website and Social Media Chair. She has been in the HR field since 2009 and is currently the HR /Safety Manager for Louisiana Pacific (LP), Wilmington, a leading manufacturer of quality engineered wood building products. She has been a member of LCFHRA since 2012 and is also a member of SHRM. Katey received her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification in May 2016. She is responsible for all HR activities at the Wilmington location including employee relations, recruitment, onboarding, benefits, and training. She also enjoys volunteering with guest services at her church.   


 Website/Social Media Co-Chair

           Gina Foshage               



 Newsletter Chair

Lise Gorden  




Welcome Program Committee Chair

Jacqui Tritch

Jacqui Tritch currently serves on the Board as Welcome Committee Chair. This is her fifth term serving on the board. She has been an active member of LCFHRA since 2005 and an active member of SHRM since 2004. Jacqui is currently employed with CastleBranch as the Benefits and Payroll Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Mount Olive in Wilmington with a concentration in Organizational Development. Jacqui has worked in the field of Human Resources since 1994 and her areas of expertise include Human Resources Management, Benefits and Compensation, Training and Development, Recruiting and Onboarding, Policy Development, and Employee Recognition. Jacqui is a Certified Leadership and Customer Service Trainer for Miller Heiman Group and is also qualified to administer the DiSC Personal Assessment Profile.

            Student Chapter Advisor               
Jessica Magnus, PhD, SPHR

Student Chapter Chair, Professor of Management/Cameron School of Business, University of North Carolina Wilmington. Jessica has served on the board since 2006. She has been an active LCFHRA member since 2005 and a SHRM member since 2000. Jessica teaches in the human resource management concentration in the Cameron School of Business. Prior to her academic career, she worked as an HR Manager for a national engineering consulting firm. Jessica holds SHRM-SCP and SPHR certifications. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, she has an active research program which has included grant research for NASA, the Army Research Institute, and the National Science Foundation. Her research interests focus mainly on team behavior, cognition, and information sharing. Her work has been published in a variety of top-tier academic outlets, including Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Management, Human Performance, and Journal of Business Ethics.

         Student Chapter Chair             
Katie Fornes




        Student Chapter Co-Chair             
Matthew Rank




Foundations Chair

Scarlett Chalmers

Scarlett Chalmers joined the Board in 2014 as the College Relations Chair and is serving her first term as Foundation Chair effective 2018.  She has been an active member of the Lower Cape Fear HRA since 2010 when she was involved with the UNCW Student HRA as a student board member.  Scarlett is the HR Manager for Victaulic, a manufacturing company which specializes in mechanical pipe joining solutions & grooved pipe joining systems.  She oversees a facility in Leland, NC and Bristol, TN.  She holds a BS in Business Administration from UNC-Wilmington and a MBA from UW-Whitewater. 


 Workforce Readiness Chair

Marie MacDonald, SHRM-CP, PHR
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Marie MacDonald SHRM CP, PHR, was the 2014/2015 President of the Lower Cape Fear Human Resources Association and now serves as the Workforce Readiness Chair. Marie has been a LCFHRA member since July of 2005 and a member of the LCFHRA Board since January of 2006.  As Director of Human Resources, Marie MacDonald drives change through the power of relationship building. She brings her whole heart to what she does—in a company of almost 400 employees, she knows everyone by first and last name. Marie’s secret sauce is professional networking—an incredible force for discovering and promoting leading-edge thinking within CastleBranch and beyond.
Since joining CastleBranch in 2007, Marie’s commitment to building a world-class team is reflected in the impressive volume of employees that she has brought on board. Marie single-handedly sparked the surge of growth by 700%—from a 50-employee company to now over 400 CastleBranchers at HQ. Marie is first in line to champion her team’s professional growth—there is always something going on at innovation center tekMountain that can expand their horizons, and staff has access to all kinds of opportunities for enrichment and learning (on the clock and off).
Marie is a strong believer in innovative collaboration; this fact has led to her current positions as Workforce Readiness Chair for NCSHRM State Council. She is also an active member of the Employer Advisory Board at UNCW, Cape Fear Community College, and Miller Motte, while remaining involved in many local non-profit organizations.
A graduate of Newry Technical College in Ireland, Marie has extensive experience in Employee Relations, Benefits, Compensation, Diversity, Organizational Change, and Training.


 Workforce Readiness Co-Chair

Katharine Barrack 
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Student at Work Chair

Karen Pappas

  Over the past 20 years, Karen has held senior management positions with two Fortune 500 companies – in transportation (UPS) and finance (Bank of America) – in human resources, communications and operations. She led the worldwide UPS employee communication and training programs for the 1996 Olympic Games, winning several awards from the International Association of Business Communicators. At Bank of America, she led the compensation re-design for franchise-wide implementation via Six Sigma protocols and received the award for High-Achievement in Leadership. Karen’s appointments to Diversity Councils over the years speak to her passion for workplace performance with respect and dignity.  For seven years, Karen held leadership positions with UNCW in organizational and professional development, and nonprofit capacity building. She is a public servant at heart, loves animals and the environment and is passionate about helping people and organizations grow. She volunteers with NC Coastal Federation, is a member the board of directors for Lower Cape Fear Human Resource Association; is a life-long ambassador for literacy, is past board chair for Cape Fear Literacy Council. And last but not least, is the new and busy owner and president of AGPC: Agile Pappas Consulting and Amazing Grace Pet
Legislative Chair

 Nicole Patino

Sponsorship Chair

Ann Willard


  Ann Willard, MAS has been with LCFHRA prior to 2000 and has served on the Sponsorship Committee for 10+ years.  From 1984-1997, she was Assistant HR Manager and Payroll Administrator for Container Products Corporation and then promoted to HR Manager 1997-2000.  In 2000, she joined her husband in their company, All Kinds of Stuff.  All Kinds of Stuff is a promotional products company that has been creating ideas and marketing, a 17.8 billion dollar industry, to customers and clients since 1986.  In 2013, she obtained her MAS – Master Advertising Specialist. Ann is also very active with a local Rotary club, Wilmington Cape Fear Rotary Club where she served as President 2010-2011 and has been Secretary since 2012 and also creates a weekly newsletter for the club.  Ann was named Rotarian of the year 2006-2007 and then again 2009-2010.  Outside of her business, Ann and her husband enjoy traveling and cruising.

Sponsorship Co-Chair

Ellen Tucker



Ellen Tucker, CMCE, principal, is a health & welfare consultant for Hill, Chesson & Woody Employee Benefit Services. Ellen uses her vast experience and knowledge to help client employers design, implement and manage a customized benefit strategy that best aligns with their corporate objectives and enhances their retention and recruitment initiatives. She is considered an expert in several areas of benefit finance and administration, making her a valuable asset to the HCW consulting team. Prior to joining HCW in 2007, Ellen served in several capacities related to underwriting, financial administration and product development, including Senior Vice President of Underwriting and Development. In 1988, she was one of the early associates of Carolina Physician’s Health Plan and, over the course of her career, helped the HMO grow into Healthsource and then into its eventual identity – CIGNA Healthcare. Her expertise in underwriting, product development, financial analysis, provider relations, market research, strategic planning and benefit administration makes her one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the healthcare industry today. Ellen received her Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Business Management and Economics from NC State University. She serves the HCW offices in both the Research Triangle Park and Wilmington areas.


Dawn Bunting SHRM-SCP, SPHR



Dawn Bunting SHRM-SCP, SPHR is a past president of Lower Cape Fear Human Resources Association (2012 and 2013).  She has been a member of LCF since 2009, is the current Programming Chair and, in addition to serving as President, has served our chapter as Foundation Chair, Vice President and Board Advisor.  Dawn has also been very active on the state level serving as current Foundation Chair, past District Director and past Certification Chair.  Prior to coming to North Carolina, Dawn served as Membership Chair for HRMA of St. Louis.  She has been working in the human resources and training fields for the last 22 years after receiving her Master’s Degree in Personnel Administration from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  In 2006, she received her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and in 2014 her SHRM-SCP.  As the wife of a retired Marine, she has had the opportunity to live in many different areas of the US but she and her husband have chosen Wilmington, NC as their “home”.


MSA Chair

Krystal Bennett


Krystal is serving her first term as the President of the Jacksonville MSA. She has been involved in the Jacksonville MSA since its inception and served as membership co-chair prior to being the president. Krystal has 18 years of experience in Human Resources as a generalist, an HRIS administrator, a deputy director and director in both private and public sector. Krystal is currently the Human Resources Director of Onslow County Government. In addition, she is a part-time instructor at Coastal Carolina Community College where she teaches SHRM Essentials of HR Management. Krystal holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Strayer University and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Business Administration at East Carolina University.

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