Engage and Inspire the Human Resources Professional to drive excellence and innovation, and to make a difference in the Community

Board of Directors


Ashley Case, SHRM-CP

Ashley has been working professionally in all Human Resources functional areas for 20 years and has also spent time in operational management roles in the Healthcare sector.  She earned a Bachelor's of Health Sciences in 2001 from the University of Kentucky in Health Services Management.  She graduated with plans of becoming a Nursing Home Administrator, but after serving her internship at a long-term care facility in Lexington, she was offered a position at that same facility as Director of Human Resources and that is where her love of all things HR began!

Ashley has since worked in for-profit, not-for-profit, privately owned, and corporate environments across various industries to include government, healthcare, education, social services, and the financial sector.  She previously served as both the Director of Internal Communications and President Elect for Bluegrass SHRM and is a sitting Kentucky SHRM State Council member.  She is also a certified Human Resources professional (SHRM-CP) and a National SHRM Member.

She is currently employed as the Assistant Director of Human Resources with Forcht Group of Kentucky.   

Past President

Amanda Sutton, SHRM-CP

Amanda relocated from South Bend, Indiana to Lexington in 2014. Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Purdue University in Communications/Human Relations. Prior to relocating to Kentucky, she was employed by the Sterling Group (a property management company) for 4 years and served in various roles including Recruiting Coordinator and Human Resources Coordinator. She is currently employed by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government as a Human Resources Generalist.

Amanda is a National SHRM member and SHRM-CP certified. She has previously served as the College Relations Director for the Michiana SHRM Chapter in Indiana, served in both the Internal and External Communications Director roles for Bluegrass SHRM, and is completing her 3-year chapter Presidency term.

Amanda was a member of the Purduettes, a Purdue all-women’s chorale ensemble at Purdue University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, traveling, hiking, and spending time with her husband and golden retriever.

Secretary & Business Manager

Beverly Clemons

Beverly Clemons has more than 20 years' experience in Human Resources Consulting specializing in outplacement and career transition services, professional search and recruitment, employee climate and attitude surveys, behavioral assessments, hourly and salary compensation design and analysis, wage and benefits administration, and general human resource consulting. She has worked with many companies and clients in various industries including manufacturing, non-profit agencies, financial institutions, health-care providers, internet-related companies, and many others.

In addition, Beverly is involved with a number of charitable causes and served on the Entrepreneurial Committee for the Governor’s Task Force on the Economic Development of Women in the state of Kentucky, and recently served on the Business Advisory Board for Midway University.

Membership Director

Leslie Moody

Leslie C. Moody is a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky who moved to Lexington in 2003. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Masters degree in Psychology, Leslie has been in the HR recruiting field since 2011. While working as an adjunct psychology professor for the Sullivan University system, Leslie began headhunting for a national recruiting company. Leslie is currently employed by Precision Staffing, Inc. – a locally owned, independent staffing and recruiting agency serving the Bluegrass Region for 40 years. As business development manager, Leslie applies her recruiting background and expertise in psychology and human resources to provide consultation, education, and recruiting services to business in the Central Kentucky region. Leslie has served on the BGSHRM Board of Directors since 2016 and was elected to President in 2019.

Leslie enjoys life with her husband, Adam, and beagle, Trusty while residing in downtown Lexington. A member of the Junior League of Lexington and involved in fundraising and volunteer efforts with several non-profit groups, Leslie strives to bring together a variety of local organizations to collaboratively build a strong, enriched, and robust Lexington community.

Internal Communications Director

Heather Ballinger, SHRM-CP

Heather Ballinger earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources from Midway College and a Master of Human Resources Degree from the Keller Graduate School of Management.  Heather joined Copperhead Environmental Consulting, Inc. in January 2020 as the Human Resources Manager, where she focuses on all aspects of Human Resources, including, but not limited to strategic recruiting, employee engagement, and ensuring compliance with human resources laws and regulations.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading, and staying abreast on evolving HR related topics.

Certification Director

Heather Humphreys, SHRM-SCP, CCP

Heather has over 20 years of Human Resources experience, with 18 of those serving the Higher Education sector. In 1997, she received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a major in Human Resources Management and minor in Economics. Heather completed her Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from Ohio University in 2003. As a lifelong lover of learning, working in Higher Education has been a fulfilling career. Prior to moving to Lexington, Heather worked for 16 years at her Alma Mater, Ohio University, in various HR roles. In 2016, Heather joined Hanna Resource Group as a consultant serving primarily as the HR Director for a Pharmaceutical Manufacturing firm. In 2018, Heather returned to Higher Education and joined the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in Versailles. Her current role is serving as Director of Employment and Compensation for KCTCS. Heather is a certified Human Resources Senior Professional (SHRM-SCP), is certified by World@Work as a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and is a member of National SHRM.

Heather is native to Middleport, OH and relocated to Lexington in June 2014 when her husband transferred to TMMK. She and her husband, Jay, have three daughters. Peyton is a Junior at Randolph-Macon College, Drew is a Sophomore at Ohio University (Go Bobcats), and Alexis is in the 8th Grade at Beaumont Middle School. In their spare time, Heather and her husband like to exercise, travel, and watch sports (especially Ohio State Football).

Legislative Affairs Director

Kimberly J. O'Donnell

Kimberly J. O'Donnell is a partner in Dentons Bingham Greenebaum's Employment and Labor practice group where she advises and represents clients in matters involving a broad range of employment issues. She focuses her law practice in employment litigation, where she represents employers in litigation before state and federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and the Kentucky Division of Unemployment Insurance involving claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, retaliatory discharge, harassment, state and federal wage and hour laws, and violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Kim also advises employers on various employment issues, including employee handbooks, employee agreements, non-competition and confidentiality agreements, personnel policies, and separation agreements.

Kim earned her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law and her undergraduate degrees from the University of Kentucky. She is also a volunteer mediator for the Small Claims Division of the Fayette District Court.

College Relations Director

Sam Stapleton, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Sam is currently the MBA Program Director and faculty member with the College of Business and Technology at Morehead State University. Sam completed his SPHR certification in 2008 and has been an active member of national SHRM since that time.

Sam has earned a Bachelor of Applied Engineering, Master of Business Administration and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Sam is also the current campus advisor for Phi Beta Lambda and onsite coordinator for the Region 5 chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

Prior to joining Morehead State University in 2013. Sam worked for more than 20 years in various managerial positions with companies across Kentucky. The first 10 years of Sam’s professional career was spent in operations management. In 2003, Sam transitioned into human resource management during his tenure with Cooper Standard Automotive and later at Merillat Inc.

Sam is a native Kentuckian, who currently lives on a small farm in Bath County with his wife Tricia.

Workforce Development Director

Elodie Dickinson

Elodie earned her MSW from the University of Kentucky and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Berea College. She is the Director for Business & Workforce Engagement for the city of Lexington, working in the Office of the Mayor Linda Gorton.  Elodie identifies and promotes strategic partnerships between industry, education, and workforce training providers. One of her primary roles is to also administer the city's workforce training grants. These grants are awarded to various local non-profit agencies that provide training and job placement for members in the community who are entering or re-entering the workforce.

Previously, Elodie was the Regional Manager of Program Services for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, where she managed all Goodwill workforce development programs in Lexington and the surrounding service areas.

Elodie is a current Board member of BGSHRM and a current Board member of Commerce Lexington's Business and Education Network.


Leslie Jarvis, SHRM-CP, SPHR

Leslie Jarvis currently serves as the Corporate Human Resources Director for the Forcht Group of Kentucky where she oversees the HR and Payroll departments.  The Forcht Group is a group of companies employing more than 2,100 employees in many companies specializing in banking and financial services, insurance, nursing homes and health care, broadcasting and print media, retail, data and Web design services, real estate and construction.

Leslie holds a BS in Human Relations and Secondary Education and a Master's Degree in Business Administration and has over 23 years of Human Resources experience in both the public and private sectors, the last 10 plus years spent at the senior leadership or executive level.  She started her HR career as an HR Analyst in the Training & Development sector and progressed throughout her career to her current title of Director.  

In addition, Leslie is an adjunct instructor with Bluegrass Community and Technical College, teaching the SHRM Learning Course for the last 3 years.  She was also recently appointed to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Merit Council.

On a personal note, Leslie has considered Lexington home for 30 years.  She has a son who attends college in Chicago.


Rebecca Wren, SHRM-CP

As the Director of Business & Human Resources at Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Bluegrass, Rebecca works alongside a team of 18 employees and over a thousand annual volunteers dedicated to keeping families close during times of medical need. Each year RMHC® of the Bluegrass serves hundreds of families by providing lodging for families seeking medical care in Lexington, free dental care to children in Eastern Kentucky, and a place of comfort and rejuvenation within the walls of UK Children’s Hospital. Like in most non-profits with a small staff, Rebecca wears many hats including managing all aspects of the business and finances of the organization, supporting IT functions, and providing all of the services that come with being an HR office of one.  Her role is often behind the scenes and she finds great joy in creating strong foundations, transparent reporting, and being part of a team and a culture that is mission motivated and inclusive.

Rebecca holds a BS in Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Accounting from Berea College and earned her SHRM-CP in February 2021. She spent 14 years in the for-profit sector, working for and managing large independent bookstores in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Lexington, and the last 10 years working for RMHC of the Bluegrass. Rebecca’s attention to detail, proclivity towards compliance, and ability to lead with a servant’s heart have created many opportunities for growth and advancement in her chosen careers and she loves leveraging her knowledge and experience to help others discover and meet their own potential.

One fun fact about Rebecca is that she is a friendly introvert living in a large household of six.

Programs Director

Contessa Montgomery

Contessa has over five years of comprehensive experience in human resources. Contessa is currently a Recruitment and Retention Specialist at Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. In this role, Contessa monitors, analyzes, and interprets people data, and develops solutions to improve recruitment and retention results for Toyota Tsusho locations nationwide.

Contessa currently resides in Berea, Kentucky. Contessa graduated from Eastern Kentucky University, Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management with HR concentration. Contessa is a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and has been an active member of national and regional SHRM chapters since 2013 when she was first introduced to SHRM and admitted as a student member of Maroon SHRM.

Prior to joining Bluegrass SHRM, Contessa was a member of Central Kentucky SHRM

(CKSHRM) from 2015 – 2018 and Southeastern Kentucky SHRM (SEKSHRM) in 2019. During her time with CKSHRM, Contessa was elected to serve on the board of directors as Programs Director from 2016 – 2017 and Certification Director in 2018. Contessa is excited to serve BGSHRM as Programs Director in 2021!

In her free time, Contessa enjoys reading science fiction novels, spending time with friends and family (and pets, of course), and good food!

Diversity & Community Outreach Director

Jennifer Gunter, CEBS, SHRM-CP, PHR

Jennifer Gunter, CEBS, SHRM-CP, PHR, is an “HR Enthusiast” whose passion for inspiring and leading change efforts have given credibility to the Human Resources Profession while improving the well-being of the organizations she has supported for the past 16 years. Jennifer recently relocated to the Lexington, KY area to serve as the U.S. Health & Welfare Manager for Valvoline.

She previously served as the Manager of Total Rewards, for the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), where she implemented several corporate health and wellness programs all with the employee experience in mind.

Jennifer earned a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from Florida International University and a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources Management from Nova Southeastern University.

Jennifer is an active member of the Bluegrass SHRM chapter serving on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. An avid supporter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Jennifer served as the President of the HR Association of Palm Beach County (HRPBC) in 2013, and up until 2018, held a variety of roles on the Executive Committee of HR Florida State Council. Prior to relocating to Lexington, KY, Jennifer also served as an Advisory Board member of the South Florida Diversity Council.

External Communications Director (Public Relations)

Alisha Lyle  

Alisha Hudson-Lyle is a native of Winchester, Kentucky. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from National College in 2010. She began her HR career at Eastern State Hospital in 2007 and is currently employed at the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in the Division of Human Resources. Alisha has over 10 years of HR experience that includes payroll, accounts payable, recruiting, and medical staff credentialing.

Alisha currently lives in Nicholasville with her son and her Westie named Bentley. She also has a daughter, who is away at college. Alisha enjoys shopping and spending time with her family and friends.

SHRM Foundation Director

Tiffany Yarbrough, PHR, SHRM-CP

Tiffany is a native of Lexington, graduate of the University of Kentucky and currently employed by Avis/Budget Rent A Car. She has almost 20 years of HR experience, obtaining her PHR Certification in 2002 and SHRM-CP Certification in 2016. Before settling into Human Resources, Tiffany worked in Accounting, Sales/Marketing, and Operations Management.

She is currently serving on the Avis Advertising and Policy Committee and Convention Site Selection Committee. She is a past board member of the Bluegrass Tourism and Marketing Association and Lexington Hotel Motel Association. She also has completed the Citizen’s Police Academy (created the CPA’s Officer of the Month program,) Citizen’s Fire Academy and Citizen’s Government Academy.

Best Places to Work & State Conference Promotions Director

LaRellen Jones, PHR, SHRM-CP

LaRellen is the Human Resources Manager at Family Practice Associates of Lexington, PSC where she has gained 10 years of Human Resources experience in recruiting, onboarding, benefits, payroll, OSHA, credentialing, and accounts payable.

She obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Nutrition in 2005 from the University of Kentucky and maintains her certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM-Certified Professional. She is also an active member of National SHRM.

LaRellen has been a member of Bluegrass SHRM since 2014 and previously served as the Co-Membership Director from 2017 thru 2018.

LaRellen is a Lexington native and is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she enjoys serving the community. She also volunteers as an Advisor for the Mu Epsilon Chapter of her Sorority at the University of Kentucky. For fun, she enjoys shopping, hanging out with friends and family and cheering on the UK Wildcats and the Cincinnati Bengals!

Wellness Director

Paula Frizzell

Paula’s career path has always led to being self-employed, a true love of her clients and wanting to make a difference in the world. As a business owner for 40 years, Paula is grateful to have worked with some of the best, in several different industries (manufacturing, advertising, political affairs, clothing and employee benefits.)  Today she is excited to watch those she hired as they grow in their careers, achieving dreams and goals.

In 2004 she took a position with Aflac in Lexington, Kentucky hiring, training and motivating sales professionals. After much success she was honored to move to Columbus, Ohio in the same role on a much larger scale. Paula has published a paper on “100 ways to achieve wellness in the workplace without spending too much money.”

After moving back to her “old Kentucky home” Paula joined her husband in their employee benefits agency. Her role includes working with human resource professionals, using her past experience to better understand how she can help, implementing ideas that can aid in employee retention.  Since being back in Kentucky she has enjoyed being more involved with various charities and boards. Currently she serves on Central Kentucky Health Underwriters Board, Business Advisory Board (Commerce LEX) and recently retired from Downtown People, a homeless ministry she and her husband helped to found.  Paula is an active and designated Professional Member of National Speakers Association. Paula and Keith love to travel and cater to their two feline children. If you are friends with Paula on Instagram or Facebook, you will find her love of all things beautiful via her photography hobby. 

Bluegrass SHRM
P. O. Box 657 - Lexington, KY - 40508

Get In Touch! - communications@bgshrm.org 

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