Samara Azzawi, B.Sc.
Samara graduated from a gifted high school for girls and has a B.Sc. in Microbiology from Baghdad University. When she got her first recruiter position she stated, “I was very excited, I enjoy talking to people and helping place them in the right roles. I love all the pieces of the recruiting process; posting the job ads, going through resumes, phone screening candidates, in-person interviews, helping them with their resumes and placing them with a company that will help them grow.”
Samara has over six years of experience working in customer service management, training and quality assurance, and over three years of experience working with non-profit organizations (citizen projects) in Iraq. She is bilingual (Arabic & English) and speaks a little bit of French.
In her free time, Samara writes short stories or poetry or cooking a new recipe. She also loves fashion design and learned how to make clothes when she was a teenager.
Judy Clark, SPHR, CPC, IMPA-CP
Owner & Founder
Judy has over 40 years of human resources experience, more than 30 of which have been in consulting. Additionally, she served as adjunct faculty to the at the University of Washington for 27 years, and at the Akinson School of Management at Willamette University. She continues to teach Compensation and Rewards Systems at the School of Business at Portland State University.
Judy is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Human Resource Certification Institute, as a Certified Professional Consultant (CPC) through the International Guild of Professional Consultants, and as a Certified Professional in Public Sector HR Management (IPMA-CP) through the International Public Management Association – HR Division. She served for six years on the national Board of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and recently completed a six-year term on the Board of the SHRM Foundation. She also served for five years on the national Board of Directors for SHRM’s Consultants Forum, including a term as President of the Board. She has a busy national presentation and training schedule. She is frequently a presenter at course or study groups designed to assist other HR professionals to attain their professional certifications. She is often sought out for media commentary, and has served as an Expert Witness for court cases on numerous occasions for employment cases. Judy has been a writer for the Portland Business Journal and Oregon Business Magazine, a manuscript reviewer for the national HR Magazine, and has served on a variety of community service boards and committees.
If you’ve been to our office, you’ve probably seen some of Judy’s extensive artwork in our hallways and offices, but even more impressive is her 2,000+ collection of frogs (not on display at the office). Judy lives by the acronym FROG: Frequent Reacher of Goals. She is very proud of her two cool grandsons and enjoys reading and watching sports. And something you probably didn’t know about Judy – she once danced with the Clan Macleay Bagpipe Band for four years!
Caroline Gregory, MBA, CFE
Caroline has over 15 years’ experience in corporate finance. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Oregon State University, an MBA in Finance from Portland State University and has been a Certified Fraud Examiner since 2013. Her business experience includes a wide range of corporate accounting responsibilities for large manufacturing companies headquartered in both Portland and San Francisco areas.
When Caroline isn’t in the office she is most likely planning her next trip, she is an avid traveler, and if asked to pick a favorite location, she might pick Scotland, or Ireland… or Italy. It may take several more trips to decide.
Laurie Grenya, SPHR
Laurie possesses over 15 years of Human Resources experience in the public sector. Laurie has extensive knowledge and understanding of compensation work and Human Resource management for all sizes of government agencies. Laurie’s skills include salary surveys, classification and position description development, Human Resource system management, project planning, training, staffing and recruitment, organizational design, labor contract negotiations, interest arbitration and mediation. Laurie has extensive experience working with executive, management and staff in group settings and one-on-one meetings to explain and exchange information or facilitate discussions.
Laurie has served as an expert witness in arbitration hearings and supported Attorneys in case development and settlement discussions. Laurie is truly an expert in public sector organization compensation and has literally worked on more than one hundred compensation projects. Laurie has a passion for effective management and has a keen eye for alternative solutions within best practice and acceptable risk.
Outside of work Laurie enjoys spending time with her husband of 20+ years and watching the success of their two adult children, Rachelle and Brandon. A good deal of her time is spent in the kitchen baking under the watchful eyes of her two pugs; Princess Leah and Yaddle (and she isn’t even a Star Wars fan). Oh, if you spy her without a Starbucks cup, the world may have actually ended without your knowledge!
Advantage Program Specialist
Rachelle has completed four years of college since her graduation from West Salem High School. Rachelle worked in various healthcare settings before joining HR Answers in her current role. Since her start with HR Answers, she has functioned in five different roles. She operates as the Program Specialist for the HR Answers Advantage Plan. Rachelle has plans to continue her college education concentrating on Business in order to build on her current foundation of education and experience.
In Rachelle’s free time, she loves to spend as much time as possible with her two cats, Woody & Willow, her pug, Stella, and her fiance, Will. Did someone hear wedding bells ringing? She enjoys a good puzzle, a good book, and her feet in the sand.
Paul Hutter, SPHR
Paul has over 30 years in operations management, organizational development and human resources experience in both the private and public sectors. Paul has extensive knowledge and understanding of industry best practice in organizational and management development, as well as strategic Human Resource management for all sizes of organizations.
In addition, Paul’s skills include, Human Resource system managements, classification and compensation studies, Oregon Pay Equity, project and portfolio management, training, staffing and recruitment, organizational design, executive and management coaching, corporate level strategic planning and workforce/succession planning. Paul has extensive experience working with executive, management and staff in group settings and one-on-one meetings to explain and exchange information or facilitate discussions. Paul’s expertise in this area has enabled him to provide this level of service to hundreds of clients. Paul has a passion for effective management and has a keen eye for alternative solutions within best practice and acceptable risk.
Deborah Jeffries, SHRM-CP, PHR, CPC
With Deborah’s 28 years’ experience, she is the editor of HR Answers’ monthly newsletter, Advantage, and as a consultant, she works with clients on their handbooks, policy manuals, employee relations, recruitment processes, employment, compliance, and most often their training needs. Deborah’s past experience includes recruiting, training, education, sales, and marketing. She holds a BS in Psychology and a teaching certificate from Willamette University.
As a trainer, Deborah works with organizations on the employment process, recruitment, orientation, performance management, recognition and retention, discharge, customer service, harassment, diversity, improved communication styles, and most often Supervisory skills. Additionally, she has served as adjunct faculty to Marylhurst University and Portland State University, teaching business students key elements of Human Resources. Deborah is an active member of the Northwest Human Resource Management Association (NHRMA), and has served as Chapter President of her local human resources association. She is a past Board Member of both the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s Oregon State Council and SHRM Area V, which includes Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
When Deborah isn’t in front of a class room presenting, she loves her down time. She fills her time reading romance, mystery, and self-help books; working on arts, crafts, and gardening. Deborah likes growing her own food (BIG blueberries and strawberries, among other fruit and vegetables). She has her own rain barrel and is working on wind and solar power for the house next. When she is not doing those things, she is a HUGE sports fan….GO Mariners and Seahawks!!! Her teenage son plays baseball and is pretty darn good, if she does say so herself. So in the Spring, Summer, or Fall you will find Deborah on the baseball field taking pictures and watching her son pitch! And if you are looking for a friend for life, just supply Deborah with M&M’s and a Mocha Frappucino!
Gail Muller, MBA
Recruiting and Staffing Director
Gail has 20 years of talent acquisition and placement experience within the private and non-profit sectors in the healthcare, manufacturing, educational institutions, and business services industries. Gail earned a Master of Arts in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Management Organizational Leadership from George Fox University
As a member of SHRM and PHRMA since 2001, Gail recently served as an Oral Judge for the SHRM Student Case Competition West. Over the last decade, Gail has volunteered to assist the NW Youth Career Expo spring event and also served on college advisory and county workforce boards. Gail is a strong advocate of education and mentoring youth as they establish their careers.
Gail is the proud parent of two sons and grandparent of three delightful grandsons who live in the greater Portland, OR Metropolitan area. Whenever Gail has the chance, she enjoys kayaking in the beautiful Northwest estuaries or beach combing at the Oregon coast.
Jennifer has a dynamic background with over 20 years of experience leading business operations, office and facilities management, human resources, organizational development, and direct client management. She has led the way on a wide array of initiatives in her career, including office relocation, space planning, re-branding and marketing strategies, workforce planning, and business profitability analyses. She is a hands-on manager, a thoughtful decision maker, and a lover of lists.
When she is not at work, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband, cuddling with her three cats, and working on a variety of dollhouse miniature projects.
Amanda Wernli, M.S., PHR, SHRM-SCP
Her practical experience includes over four (4) years of HR and supervisory/operational experience with public and private employers. She has also worked on a variety of federally-sponsored research projects primarily related to educational assessment. She earned a Master of Science degree with an emphasis in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology – and is proud to say that she put herself through school by working throughout college. She originally became interested in Human Resources as a profession upon the realization that when people spend most waking hours at work, employment law and HR practices can have an incredible impact on people’s professional and personal/family lives.
When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time out in the beautiful Oregon outdoors and relaxing with her cats and two sons.