Meet Our New York-based HR Professionals

Meet Our New York-based HR Professionals

OperationsInc is also equipped to support your New York-based business on a remote basis.


Nicole Alvarez

Payroll Specialist

Nicole Alvarez serves as a Payroll Specialist for OperationsInc. With over 11 years of payroll experience, Nicole’s areas of expertise include payroll administration, payroll vendor transitions, tax compliance, and W-2 reconciliations. Before joining OperationsInc, Nicole worked in several capacities in the fields of accounting and human resources for companies in the country club and luxury car industries. Currently, she supports clients in a variety of industries including banking, construction, and real estate.

Nicole earned an Associate Degree in Occupational Studies from The College of Westchester.


Susan Ariano

Sr. Payroll Specialist

Susan Ariano is a Sr. Payroll Specialist with over 23 years of experience in HR and Payroll. Prior to joining OperationsInc, she held HR and payroll positions at firms in the information technology industry, managing HRIS, payroll, and timekeeping systems. Currently, Susan supports clients across many industries with a focus in areas including payroll calculations, COBRA administration, and time & attendance implementations.

Susan is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).


Holly Baumgartner

HR Manager

Holly Baumgartner acts as HR Manager for OperationsInc. She brings 8 years of HR / recruiting experience to the team and currently supports the internal HR Department for OperationsInc. Holly also supports clients in a variety of industries including Education, Financial Services, Gaming, and Retail. Before joining OperationsInc, Holly worked in the Non-Profit industry.

Holly earned a B.S. in Marketing / Management from Siena College, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Labor and Policy Studies from Empire State College. She is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).


Elissa Biegen

VP, HR Consulting

Elissa Biegen serves as OperationsInc’s VP, HR Consulting, bringing over 26 years of HR experience to the team. Prior to joining OperationsInc, she managed the Human Resources function in small to mid-size companies in industries including healthcare, marketing, and financial services. Currently, Elissa co-leads the HR Consulting and Support team, serving as an escalation point for HR clients. Her areas of expertise include compliance and best practices, HR infrastructure, and policy and procedure development. She also leads the Training & Development team.

Elissa earned a B.B.A. in Personnel Management from George Washington University.


Mariluz Blandon

Manager, HR / Training and Development (Bilingual)

Mariluz Blandon is a seasoned HR professional and trainer with over 14 years of experience. Her training specialties include leadership and organizational development, talent management, e-learning, LMS (Learning Management System) administration, change management, recruiting, performance management, employee onboarding, and succession planning. Prior to joining OperationsInc, Mariluz provided HR, talent, and organizational development for companies in the technology, healthcare, non-profit, and marketing industries.

She is bilingual and facilitates training programming from OperationsInc’s course catalog in English and Spanish.


Tamara Carson

Manager, HR / Training and Development

Tamara Carson has over 20 years of diverse Human Resources and Training experience, including curriculum development and training execution. She currently facilitates training programming from OperationsInc’s portfolio of over 50 courses and provides high level, strategic support to a wide range of clients. Before joining OperationsInc, she operated her own consulting business located on Long Island. Throughout her career, Tamara has been a trusted business partner to her clients, providing workplace solutions for some of the most challenging problems.

Tamara earned a B.A. in Economics/Management from Spelman College and an M.S. in Human Resources Management and Development from New York University.


Laurie DiPreta

HR Generalist

Laurie DiPreta serves as an HR Generalist with over 20 years of HR experience. Her previous experience includes serving as a Benefits Administrator and Human Resources Generalist in the consumer products and legal industries. Laurie currently supports clients in a variety of industries such as banking, financial services, healthcare, and transportation administering and coordinating benefit programs, and providing guidance on policy and procedure development.

Laurie earned an A.S. degree in Business Management from Norwalk Community College and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).


Karen Gray

Sr. HR Generalist

As a Sr. HR Generalist for OperationsInc, Karen Gray supports a diverse range of clients from a wide variety of industries. With over 21 years of experience, she provides clients with short and long-term HR consulting in areas including payroll administration, full employee life-cycle support, employee handbook development, policy and procedure development, and guidance on federal and state employment law compliance. Her previous experience includes managing benefits, payroll, onboarding, and terminations for companies in the research, pharmaceuticals, and publishing industries.

Karen earned a B.A. from St. Lawrence University, and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). She holds a certification in Human Resource Management from the University of Massachusetts – Boston.


Michelle Lopez

Manager, HR / Training and Development

Michelle Lopez serves as a Manager, HR / Training and Development, bringing over 25 years of experience to the team. Michelle is a former management employment lawyer and seasoned HR executive who has developed a unique and innovative approach to managing multiple facets of organized workplace challenges. Prior to joining OperationsInc, Michelle worked in the media, entertainment, and sports industries. She has also served as an on-air legal analyst on multiple high-profile legal matters.

Michelle earned a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Stacy Nicholas

VP, Payroll Services & Business Development

Stacy Nicholas leads the Payroll Services team as the VP, Payroll Services & Business Development. With over 19 years of payroll experience, her areas of expertise include payroll vendor transitions, tax compliance, payroll technology integration, and timeclock management. Before joining OperationsInc, Stacy was a supervisor for a major payroll company where she focused on new client implementations and multi-jurisdictional payrolls. Stacy works directly with Federal and State agencies to handle tax compliance and reporting issues, and has experience with multiple payroll platforms. She has worked with a diverse group of industries from restaurants and medical practices to investment firms and NBA teams.

Stacy earned a B.S. in Business Economics, with a minor in Accounting from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


Joan Polayes

Director, Payroll Services

Joan Polayes currently serves as OperationsInc’s Director, Payroll Services with over 18 years of multi-state payroll knowledge. Prior to joining OperationsInc, she directed all areas of payroll, billing, accounts payable, and HR for an international recruiting firm, as well as oversaw payroll for companies in manufacturing and retail. Joan supports clients in a variety of industries, as well as serves as a leader of the OperationsInc Payroll Team.

Joan holds a B.S. in Administration from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.


Jacquelyn Spezzano

Payroll / HR Specialist

Jacquelyn Spezzano serves as a Payroll/HR Specialist, bringing over 12 years of payroll and HR experience to the OperationsInc team. Currently, Jacquelyn provides HR and payroll consulting and administration for small to mid-sized firms, processes payroll, and serves as a benefits and 401k administrator for clients. She also maintains employee files, coordinates end to end payroll administration using various platforms, and conducts exit interviews as needed. Prior to joining OperationsInc, Jacquelyn acted as benefits administrator for a medical supply firm, and as a bookkeeper for a large landscaping company. She has also held positions in accounting firms and exterior design companies.

Jacquelyn earned an A.S. in Accounting from Norwalk Community College.


Paula White

Sr. Payroll Specialist

With over 19 years of experience, Sr. Payroll Specialist Paula White provides human resources and payroll consulting services to businesses of all sizes. She supports a wide range of clients in industries including consumer products, engineering, insurance, manufacturing, and software solutions. Before joining the OperationsInc team, Paula provided human resources and payroll support for a large legal practice and for a regional network of fitness centers.

Paula earned a B.A. from St. Joseph’s College. She is also a Certified Payroll Professional and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).


Calen Wilk

HR Specialist

Calen Wilk serves as an HR Specialist for OperationsInc. Prior to joining the team, Calen worked for an IT firm managing their marketing and event functions. Calen currently provides support to clients within a variety of industries including financial services, food & beverage, insurance, and pharmaceuticals. Her areas of expertise include audit preparations, new hire onboarding, database management, HR administration, and termination process administration.

Calen earned a B.A. with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Western Connecticut State University.


Jennifer Williams

HR Generalist

Jennifer Williams brings over 20 years of Human Resources experience to the OperationsInc team, and currently serves as an HR Generalist. Jennifer supports multiple clients in various industries including advertising, consumer products, and entertainment. Prior to joining the firm, Jennifer managed payroll and HR for a medical education company, as well as managed payroll and recruitment for a non-profit organization.

Jennifer earned a B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University and an M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The University of Colorado/Denver. She is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).