Faculty

Sarah Bowles

Sarah Bowles is the Director of Human Resources at Rainier Industries located in Seattle, WA. Rainier Industries is one of Seattle's oldest companies and has offered Display, Shelter and Shade solutions since 1896. In her role, Sarah provided primary leadership for all functional elements of HR supporting the business. Sarah has an MBA and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and is a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). Sarah serves on the board for the South King County SHRM chapter.


Shannon Clawson

Shannon Clawson is an associate attorney with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Her practice centers on employment litigation, and ranges from matters involving claims of wrongful termination to disability discrimination and accommodations, sexual harassment, retaliation and wage and hour class actions. Shannon also provides advice and counsel to employers seeking guidance on new laws and workplace issues. She graduated cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a dual B.A. in Literature and Economics and received her J.D. from U.C. Davis School of Law.


Lesa Hammond

Lesa is the CEO of Prof360, a management platform designed for higher education and small businesses. She has more than 25 years in the field of Human Resources and has been the Chief Human Resources Officer for three universities. She consulted on HR, training, and organizational development with over 60 companies and has more than eight (8) years serving as Chief Diversity Officer and Chair of diversity committees. Lesa received a B.A. from The Ohio State University, an MPA in Human Resources Development from Golden Gate University, and a Ph.D. in Transformative Learning and Change from the California Institute of Integral Studies.


Scott Hernandez

Scott Hernandez is a certified Professional of Human Resources with 20+ years of experience in the field of Human Resources and Talent Acquisition. Scott was the VP of Talent at KIXEYE: a super, high-growth social gaming company. He is passionate about working with early stage and high-growth companies to establish a Talent Acquisition function built for velocity and culture. Previously, he worked at Zynga as VP of Global Talent Acquisition. Now, he supports eBay, Inc. as their Executive Talent Acquisition Partner.


Patricia Hyland

Patricia Hyland, M.S., has more than 30 years of experience in education. She is currently the Director of Equity and Employee Relations for the Foothill – De Anza Community College District. Her equity-focused approach to education garnered national attention when she and her team removed barriers to access for students wishing to enroll in Advanced Placement courses at the high school level. The effort was recognized by White House Cabinet Secretary Broderick Johnson, who headed President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper for achieving racial parity in the AP program.


Sheila Ryan

Sheila Ryan brings more than 20 years of experience in leadership positions with both Fortune 500 and emerging companies. She is currently the Chief People Officer at Clear Capital, where she is responsible for the People strategy and implementation of key initiatives to help drive the company’s continued growth and industry leadership. She is passionate about building strong, strategic and customer focused teams that reflect and drive the company culture.

Prior to joining Clear Capital she served as the Global Vice President of People and Workplace at Glu Mobile where she built the strategic global team and practices; managing the full spectrum of HR including talent acquisition, total rewards, employee communication and workplace environment. Previous to that she served as Vice President, People and Culture at health care start up Practice Fusion, following her time serving as Vice President of Human Resources at CBS Interactive. After 20 years in San Francisco, she now lives in North Lake Tahoe where Clear Capital was founded. She’s thrilled to have the best of both worlds connected.


Dawn Sharifan

Dawn Sharifan is a life-long learner and a passionate student. As a Human Resources (or People Operations) professional, with over 15 years of experience in both public and private organizations, Dawn has worked with start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. Industry experience includes legal and financial services, tech, media, and renewable energy. Dawn currently leads People Operations at Slack Technology. Since 2014, she has been teaching aspiring HR professionals at San Francisco State University, reminding them of the benefits of working in the HR field. Dawn earned her MBA from St. Mary's and her pilot's license from the FAA, and lives in the East Bay with her best friend/husband and mini the cat (who is also a very good friend).


Chad R. Thigpen

Chad R. Thigpen, M.A., PHR, has over 15 years of experience in training and organization development in a variety of industries. His expertise includes managing professional development programs, facilitating strategic planning meetings and training programs, coaching, and change management. Chad currently serves as a Learning and Development Business Partner for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where he primarily develops and manages professional development programs.


Dawn Thomas

Dawn Thomas is a human resources professional with over 20 years of progressively responsible experience as a human resources and operations supervisor, consultant, generalist, position/compensation analyst, and trainer, working with a wide range of executive-level management, employees, and academics. Dawn’s additional experience includes recruitment, employee and labor relations, conflict management, and management consulting. She has been teaching human resource courses in higher education since 2011. Dawn completed her Master's Degree in Public Administration in 1996 from California State University, San Bernardino. She has her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from HRCI. Dawn has previously served on the steering committee for the Milliman Public Employers Salary Survey for Washington State. She is currently serving on the Personnel Board for the largest county in Washington State. She is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).


Jonathan McNeil Wong

Jonathan McNeil Wong is a partner with the Oakland-based law firm of Fitzgerald LLP. His practice areas include employment law, labor relations, immigration and nationality law, employment and business litigation, and business counseling. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been named one of Northern California's "SuperLawyers" annually since 2008.


Larry Yok

Larry T. Yok, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a management consultant in human resources, labor relations, and economic development. Larry has more than 40 years’ experience managing and consulting in the fields of human resources and labor relations. His career includes senior executive positions in state and local governments and in the utilities and healthcare industries in which he directed finance and operations functions in addition to human resources management. He holds a BS in public administration from the University of Oregon (Eugene, OR), an MBA in finance from the University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, WA), and a PhD in development studies from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Port Elisabeth, SA).