Shelli Mahan, SPHR - Board Member Elect since 2004
Shelli graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in
Personnel Administration and Spanish, and a Master's of Science in Human
Resources Management from the Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Beginning her professional HR career, Shelli joined the hospitality industry
by accepting the position of Benefits Coordinator at the Hotel Inter-
Continental in San Diego California. In 1988 she joined the Holiday Inn
on the Bay as the HRD, then transferred to the Holiday Inn Civic Center as
their Director of Human Resources.
After seven years at the property level, Shelli decided to move her talents toward a more corporate function, as the Corporate Director of Bay View Hotels in Monterey, California. After two years, she felt the desire to return to the field, only this time there was a little treat in store for her. From 1994 to 1995, Shelli was stationed at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel where she played a pivotal role in reopening the hotel. This was not an easy task as the job at hand was to transfer what was then a union property to a functioning non-union hotel. During the latter part of 1996, Shelli relocated to Los Angeles where she secured the position of Director of Human Resources for the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites. Shelli has had a wonderful tenure within the HR arena. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the Association. She enjoys spending her spare time with her two favorite guys; her loving husband Chris and their ten year old son Maxwell. Shelli's favorite pastime is camping in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Gema Ortiz-Cardenas – Board Member Elect since 2005
Many of you may recognize the familiar and friendly face of Gema Ortiz-Cardenas as she has been working within the Southern California Hospitality Industry for many years. Gema began her HR career at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. After a nine year tenure with the Security Department, she transferred to Human Resources as their HR Coordinator. She later promoted to the position of Employment manager. After an eleven year stint with the Westin Bonaventure, she moved on to the Westin Century Plaza and St. Regis Los Angeles Property, where she became the Assistant Director of Human Resources, and subsequently the Director of Human Resources. Nine years later she decided to head south. She spent two years at the St. Regis, Monarch Beach in the capacity of Director of Human Resources. Gema I is currently the Corporate Director of Human Resources for the Edward Thomas Companies which includes the Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. When she is not busy at work, Gema enjoys spending time with her husband and children.
Jacques Rigaud – Founder and Board Member
Jacques has honored the profession of Human Resources, and his life is marked by his commitment to all of his past employers and this Association. He is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of this great organization. He is highly respected for his unparalleled dedication, the Los Angeles Hotel Human Resources Association (LAHHRA) as it is known today has continued to thrive for over 40 years; assisting many men and women to be more efficient in their profession.