Michaelle Stanford, PHRca, M.A, Senior Consultant / Training Specialist

Michaelle is a senior HR leader with 30+ years diverse and increasingly responsible experience in Organizational and Leadership Development strategies and programs, HR Policy Management and Administration and HR Operations.  Both a strategic and pragmatic leader, her achievements spread across private, non-profit and public sectors covering global high tech, financial and education companies in which she successfully deployed compliant HR policies and programs from hiring, onboarding, talent management and development, team effectiveness, engagement and retention. 

Michaelle specializes in working with business leaders to assess the effectiveness of their operation and identify the right talent initiatives and improvements including leading HR teams in which she applies her experience in coaching managers to get the best out of their employees.  She is a strong strategic and holistic thinker respected in her unique ability to build and implement cost effective and scalable improvements with the goal of achieving the best possible outcomes for the business and their employee’s experience.

To provide the best support possible, Michaelle works first to understand the business, their products and services, competitors, market challenges, operations and what managers require most from their employees.  Based on understanding and appreciating their unique requirements, opportunities and challenges, she has been successful in many endeavors including:

  • Advising leaders in assessing their business to ensure their vision, mission and business model aligns to the effectiveness of their business functions, processes and talent needs.
  • Establishing hiring strategies and plans including Internships, Referral Bonus and tools and manager training to enable best practices in hiring the right talent.
  • Designing and implementing employee on-boarding and new leader assimilation’s that expedite the overall learning process while improving the employee experience.
  • Developing and implementing retention strategies incorporating regular reviews of high performers, compensation levels, rotational assignments, mentoring, development planning and promotional or successor readiness.
  • Conducting employee engagement surveys, assisting leaders in implementing improvements including employee advisory groups. In addition, assessing team effectiveness and training driving higher levels of engagement and performance.
  • As a Certified Skilled Facilitator and MBTI® instructor, working with teams in developing communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills.
  • Consulting and participating in the setup of HRMS systems enabling automated hiring, on-boarding, payroll, performance management, talent development actions and reporting.
  • Leading M&A and divestiture initiatives resulting in successful employee transitions.
  • Developing and facilitating training covering harassment and discrimination prevention, leadership, coaching and communication skills, performance management and improvement.

To contact Michaelle, click here.

Luisa Murcia, SHRM-SCP, BI-Lingual/Literate/Cultural

Luisa is a human resource professional with over twelve years of proven results in managing human capital as well as benefits, recruiting, training, management transitions and labor relations.

She has a proven ability to provide strong operational management for the human resources function while creating strategic programs to support the overall business plan of an organization. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SHRM-SCP) from the Society for Human Resource Management.

She has a rich background in human resources from working in diverse environments in states with complex human resources laws including California and Massachusetts and other countries including Mexico. She has experience working in multiple industries, including agriculture, manufacturing and construction for multinational companies. As a native Spanish speaker, she has been particularly instrumental and effective at working with Spanish-speaking employee populations.

Some of her areas of experience and projects that she has worked on include:

  • Transitions of a company’s human resources department as the result of mergers and acquisitions and decentralization’s.
  • Development and implementation of balanced scorecards, performance management and variable compensation programs.
  • Conducting time-sensitive investigations pertaining to harassment claims and employee issues.
  • Implementation of various human resources information systems and payroll systems.
  • Safety and OSHA reporting and ACA 1094-1095 reporting.
  • Recruiting and staffing, employee relations, training and development.
  • Development and implementation of training programs in English and Spanish including harassment and discrimination prevention, leadership skills, safety and emergency preparedness, agricultural laws and regulations.
  • Development and implementation of a major program to ensure compliance with CA wage and hour state laws.
  • Writing Employee Handbooks, mapping and designing of processes and procedures.
  • Head of human resources of companies in different industries.

To contact Luisa Murcia, click here.

Caron Pearce, PHRca, Lead Consultant

Caron Pearce has been in the Human Resources arena for 24 plus years. She has worked with public, private, and private equity companies. She served as the Human Resource Director for a Central Coast company which employed over 150 employees in Monterey and had five subsidiary companies with over 600 employees located across the country. Before joining TPO, Caron held an interim senior human resource management position with an international agriculture company, where she oversaw the payroll and human resource functions for the North American division. Caron has expertise in a variety of human resource functions to include; strategic planning, talent planning and acquisition, benefits review and selection, employee handbook production and maintenance, DFEH/EEOC, and harassment claim investigations and responses. She also excels at conflict resolution and counseling/coaching at all levels, from front-line employees to senior executives.

Caron has been certified as a Human Resource professional at Chapman University and holds a Professional in Human Resources California (PHRca).

Caron’s well-rounded human resource generalist experience includes the following:

  • Mergers, acquisitions, public reporting, and compliance responsibilities.
  • Legal claims and investigations.
  • Safety, OSHA reporting.
  • Recruiting and staffing.
  • FMLA/CFRA and leave management.
  • HRIS implementation and transition.
  • HR compliance and audits.
  • Coaching, training and counseling.
  • Performance management, progressive corrective action and Performance Improvement Planning (PIP).
  • Conflict management and resolution.
  • Employee files and records retention management.
  • Total compensation review and recommendations.
  • Recognition rewards, and incentive programs.
  • Employee communications and survey programs.
  • Creating company-specific policies.

To contact Caron Pearce, click here.

Melissa Irwin: SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-SCP, Senior Consultant / Training Specialist

Melissa is a nationally certified Senior Professional in Human Resources with a CA-specific designation, as well as a SHRM Senior Certified Professional. Working with TPO for the past 20 years, she is versatile in her presentation and facilitation techniques, and is equally comfortable discussing employment regulations as well as communication and leadership techniques with both employees and key managers.

Melissa specializes in training and has a generalist’s perspective of Human Resource Management and works with business owners and managers offering a broad spectrum of consulting services: from the auditing of current and desired practices, to the identification of areas of exposure and opportunity, to the development, implementation and ongoing support of sound employment policies and practices.

Whether creating employment policies, conducting training or providing one-on-one consulting, she takes pride in simplifying employment issues for business managers who may lack the time, desire or expertise to address and resolve human resource issues on their own. Melissa authors many articles for publication and contributes to TPO’s eNews and eCompliance Updates.

  • Melissa has trained and coached thousands of supervisors, managers, and executives in basic and complex employment skills and techniques to decrease litigation exposure, and increase employee relations and productivity.
  • As an HR Generalist, she specializes in offering a broad spectrum of consulting services.
  • Melissa audits current and desired employment practices to identify areas of exposure and opportunity.

She develops implements and provides ongoing support of sound employment policies and practices.

To contact Melissa, click here.

Tonja Posey, IPMA-SCP, Senior Consultant

An accomplished Human Resources (HR) Professional with a career encompassing nearly 20 years in HR management, support and operational improvements, Tonja has extensive private and public sector experience in both small and large employer operations.

She is a certified Executive Human Resources Professional by the Human Resources International Public Management Association (IPMA-SCP). The IPMA-SCP is a public sector focused and competency-based credential for qualified HR professionals symbolizing excellence in the field of human resources as an HR expert, a business partner, a leader and a change agent.

Tonja quickly partners with clients to identify HR issues and needs and skillfully coaches them through difficult and sensitive employee relations issues. She considers alternative options, and focuses on risk management, empowering managers, and caring about what is best for each organization and its unique HR objectives. She specializes in recruitment (TPO’s HireRight Systemssm), policy development, employee/labor relations, contract negotiations and conflict resolution.  Examples of Tonja’s record of success are:



  • Developed and managed an efficient and compliant Human Resources Department.
  • Reduced Workers Compensation expenses and liability by applying best practices in case management, risk and safety programs.
  • Negotiated changes to employee benefits programs, providing employer medical cost savings while still remaining competitive in the labor market.
  • Designed and implemented employee recognition programs.
  • Introduced practices, procedures and programs to Executive Management and Board of Directors which resulted in measurable cost savings and increased employee morale and productivity.
  • Conducted exit interviews and turnover analysis, creating action plans to address turnover issues with business partners.
  • Monitored employment policies, programs and procedures of administration, training compensation, compliance and benefits to attract, retain and motivate employees.
  • Developed and presented impactful regulatory and leadership skills training programs for employees, supervisors and managers.

Conducted time-sensitive and highly confidential investigations related to harassment and/or discrimination and safety matters.

To contact Tonja Posey, click here.

Brian Pratt, Director of Investigative Services PI-19075

Brian has been a licensed Private Investigator since 1996. He was born and raised in Carmel, CA, served four years with the 82nd Airborne Division, and retired from the Monterey Fire Department. He has provided expert investigative and security support to scores of public, private and nonprofit entities in his capacity as President of Solutions Investigative & Consulting Services.

As TPO’s Director of Investigative Services, Brian applies his years of experience combined with the latest technology to oversee all TPO client investigations including alleged harassment, discrimination and malfeasance. As a risk management and loss prevention specialist, he investigates and analyses root causes, patterns and trends to reduce exposure and liability – and then recommends corrective actions.

Brian brings substantial experience, judgment and credentials to TPO clients through:

  • RISK MANAGEMENT: Safety Regulation Compliance, Workers Compensation, Loss Prevention
  • COMPUTER/NETWORK SECURITY: Data Retrieval, Email Tracing, Access Limitation
  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS: Education, Employment, Criminal, Credit
  • SECURITY: Internal Theft & Fraud Investigations, Workplace Violence Prevention
  • SURVEILLANCE: Video & Still Photography
  • CORPORATE ISSUES : Due Diligence, Competitor Intelligence
  • SAFETY: SB198 Injury & Illness Prevention Programs, Fire Prevention & Emergency Action Plans, Accident Investigation & Future Incident Prevention

Brian has served as a member, volunteer, board member and/or officer in numerous community organizations including: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Seaside Rotary Club, American Legion Post 591, Seaside Parade of Champions, Carmel Volunteer Fire Department, and the Carmel Youth Center.

To contact Brian, click here.

Amber Allerton, Operations Manager

Amber is TPO’s Operations Manager with over twenty years of experience in the Administrative field. She steadfastly assists in the daily operation of TPO, ensuring that overall business office administration, client deliverables, marketing, communications and technology practices are smooth, efficient, orderly, and state-of-the-art. Applying her employment regulations expertise, she both supports and takes the lead in the creation, production and delivery of client deliverables. Amber consistently monitors and ensures that established TPO quality standards, client service standards, operational policies and work procedures are exceptional.

Amber applies her well-honed organizational, detail‑orientation, time management, client service and communications skills to:





  • Manage all aspects of TPO’s eNews, eCompliance, Training and other electronic communications including formatting, editing and distribution.
  • Serve as TPO’s Webmaster and internal technology expert in conjunction with external IT and Web contracted experts.
  • Assist with business management tasks for accounts payable, accounts receivable, vendor/contractor management and office management.
  • Oversee all aspects of TPO’s Training division including scheduling, PPT standards, registration, logistics, data base management, participant correspondence, recordkeeping, consultant/trainer/participant materials and equipment, web and other technology, and food and beverage.
  • Manage TPO’s Annual Employment Law & Leadership Conference planning and administration: pre-registration, marketing, collateral, budget, Conference Guide production, affiliate and speaker relations, reports, contracts and event management, setup, logistics, technology and post conference activities.
  • Support and often takes the lead in the creation, production and delivery of client deliverables such as Employee Handbooks, HR Administration Kits, Leave Compliance Programs, HireRight Systemssm, Career Transition Support, and Job Descriptions.
  • Support TPO clients “On-Site” with HR Generalist support handling full-range HR tasks from recruiting, onboarding, performance and leave management, employment records and administration, workers compensation and benefits administration, exiting, state and federal regulatory compliance and more.

Provide outstanding routine and complex administrative support to TPO Principals, Consultants and Staff to facilitate and expedite optimum outcomes for TPO and our clients.

To contact Amber, click here.

TPO Human Resource Management.    30 Ragdale Drive, Suite 100, Monterey, CA 93940.   Phone: 1-800-277-8448.   
Copyright © 2020