Texas Municipal Human Resources Association’s
Texas Municipal Human Resources Association’s
2021-2022 Nominations and Elections
TMHRA’s Nominating Committee and Board of Directors present the 2021-2022 nominees for the Board of Directors. There are nine individuals for four trustee positions and one individual for secretary-treasurer. All terms will begin on October 1, 2021.
Consistent with the TMHRA Constitution, the voting membership may cast their vote by electronic ballot beginning August 30, and the poll will close on September 30 at 5:00 p.m. CDT
Shanté R. Akafia
Shanté R. Akafia, HR Director, City of Plano
Shanté has almost 20 years of municipal human resources experience with the City of Palm Bay, Florida and several municipalities in the DFW Metroplex, including DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Allen and Rowlett. Currently Shanté serves as the Director of Human Resources and Civil Service for the City of Plano. Shanté is a Dallas native and has had a long standing passion for local government administration dating back to high school where she attended the Magnet Center for Government, Law and Law Enforcement in downtown Dallas. This passion for local government administration led Shanté to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Grambling State University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Texas. Shanté served as a Trustee on TMHRA’s board of directors from 2008 to 2012 and from 2016 to present. During this time she had the pleasure of chairing the conference programming, newsletter and sponsorship committees. In her free time, Shanté enjoys traveling, meditative coloring, listening to audio books and spending time with her husband and their sons.
Andre Houser, HR Director, City of Conroe
Andre Houser, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, IPMA-SCP, currently serves as the Human Resources and Civil Service Director for the City of Conroe, TX. He has served in that capacity since January, 2012. Andre has over 30 years of municipal HR experience, having served in 5 cities and 3 states. He has worked for both Mayor-Council and Council-Manager cities, and is very familiar with the pros and cons of each. His experience covers all aspects of HR Management, including collective bargaining, labor relations, recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, health and safety, and Civil Service.
Andre has been active in the HR field, having previously served as a SHRM Chapter President in Arkansas, as SHRM State Director in Oklahoma , and as a multi-year member of the former Area IV SHRM Board. He currently is a member of the Montgomery County chapter of SHRM. Andre is also a member of the International Personnel Management Association, where he serves on the 2016 Awards Committee.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration, both from the University of Arkansas. Andre received a Certificate in Management from ICMA, has been certified as a Professional Trainer by Arkansas State University, and is a Texas Certified Public Manager, which he earned at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Montgomery County in Texas. He is certified as SHRM-SCP, SPHR, and IPMA-SCP.
Secretary / Treasurer
Lauren Safranek, HR Director, City of Frisco
Lauren has been the Director of Human Resources for the City of Frisco for over 20 years. Lauren leads her HR team to attract, retain, and develop City employees, current leaders, and future leaders so employees can continue to develop and support the Frisco community.
Prior to joining Frisco, Lauren served as the Director of Human Resources for the City of Southlake and the Human Resources Manager for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Lauren is a former TML Board Member, Texas Municipal Human Resources Association (TMHRA) Past President, International Public Management Association for Human Resources member, PELRA Certified Labor Relations Professional, SHRM Senior Certified Professional, certified mediator, and certified instructor for Developmental Dimensions International (DDI).
Lauren has a B.B.A. in Personnel Administration and Industrial Relations from University of North Texas. She has been married over 28 years and has 2 children, Max (19) and Erika (16).
Incumbent Trustees Nominees
Christi Klyn, HR Director, City of Wichita Falls
Christi Klyn attended Midwestern State University where she received a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, and a M.A. in Training and Development. Christi worked in private sector Human Resources for eight years prior to beginning her municipal service with the City of Wichita Falls in 2013. She began her career with the City of Wichita Falls as the Human Resource Manager/ Civil Service Director, and promoted to Director of Human Resources/Civil Service in 2015. Christi is responsible for oversight of Personnel Services, Risk Management, and Employee Benefits. During her time with the City, Christi has formed a Wellness Committee and supported the committees implementation of a City Wellness Program, is in the process of working with departments to implement and support the City’s first formal safety program, and collaborated with the Police Department to implement an alternative promotion system for the Wichita Falls Police Department. Christi is a member of SHRM, TMHRA, and Wichita Falls Human Resource Management Association. Christi would be honored to serve as Trustee on the TMHRA board, and is eager to support the organization through her commitment to human resource best practices.
Cat Schlueter, HR Manager, City of Azle
Cat has been in the field of Human Resources since 2001 and became PHR certified in 2008 shortly before starting her current role as HR Manager for the City of Azle in July of 2008. In December of 2015 she obtained her SHRM-CP certification. In addition to serving as Emerging HR Professionals Director on the Board for Fort Worth HR since 2017, she has been a regular member on various committees for the HR Southwest Conference since 2007 and their Director Elect for the 2021 Special Events Committee.
Cat’s heart is in public service, and she is committed to learning about all aspects of municipal government to better identify means of effective and strategic integration of Human Resources best practices in the different departments. To that end, in January of 2019, she began pursuit of her Master’s Degree in Public Administration through Tarleton State University. Cat strives to assist those who are new to municipal HR and has worked with and on the TMHRA programs committee as a volunteer for four years, facilitating Nuts and Bolts Conferences and recruiting speakers and sponsors.
Her desire to serve as Trustee on the Board of TMHRA is a natural result of her passion for acclimating municipal HR professionals through the process and challenges the public sector faces. Working collaboratively with other Texas HR professionals to represent a voice of welcome and encouragement, navigation through change, and helping make a difference is what she strives to do. Although Cat is passionate about Municipal HR, she works diligently to assure that family remains her priority. She and her husband have been married for 27 years and share two wonderfully diverse children who are currently Aggies.
Haley Archer, HR Manager, Town of Trophy Club
Haley is the Human Resources Manager for the Town of Trophy Club. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Central Oklahoma in May of 2014. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Human Resources Management at Tarleton State University. I am SHRM-CP, and IPMA-CP certified and looking forward to continuing those certifications to the senior level soon. I was honored to receive the Rising Star award from the Texas Municipal Human Resources Association TMHRA. I began working Human Resources internships in 2012 as a sophomore in college at the City of University Park underneath Luanne Hanford. She taught me so much. Upon graduating, I was hired as the Human Resources Manager at the City of Celina in a department of 2.5 years. Upon leaving there, I was hired as an HR Generalist at the City of Roanoke. In November 2020 I moved to the Town of Trophy Club in an HR Manager role. I love working in small cities to get experience and grow in every aspect of Human Resources. I met my best friend and husband, Bryan, in 2015, and we got married and moved to Springtown, Texas, in 2017. We share a passion for Texas Rangers baseball and competing against each other in basically everything but specifically our fantasy football leagues and cornhole games! We have two toddlers, Wesson (3) and Colton (1) that keep us busy along with our two dogs, Chibbs and Winston, and cat, Meow Meows! I love spending time together as a family and cheering on our Texas Rangers!
Efren Fernandez, HR Director, City of Harlingen
Efren Fernandez is the Director of Human Resources and Risk Management for the City of Harlingen, and he has held this position for over 14 years. Previously he served as the HR Director for the Cities of Brownsville and Weslaco. In addition to his municipal experience, Efren worked as a program administrator for the Texas Workforce Commission and an Administrative Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He has a bachelor of administration in Government, with a minor in Sociology. He holds three HR Certifications, SHRM-SCP, SPHR from the HR Certification Institute, and IPMA-SCP. Efren Fernandez is the Director of Human Resources and Risk Management for the City of Harlingen, and he has held this position for over 14 years. Previously he served as the HR Director for the Cities of Brownsville and Weslaco. In addition to his municipal experience, Efren worked as a program administrator for the Texas Workforce Commission and an Administrative Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He has a bachelor of administration in Government, with a minor in Sociology. He holds three HR Certifications, SHRM-SCP, SPHR from the HR Certification Institute, and IPMA-SCP.
Lashon Gros, HR Director, City of Taylor
LaShon Gros is the Director of Human Resources and Civil Service for the City of Taylor. She began this role in January 2021. Her focus is on recruiting and retaining talented employees, increasing employee engagement, and making a positive impact in the organizational culture. LaShon began her career in municipal human resources with the City of Killeen where she served 5 years. Her duties included employee relations matters, managing the recruitment cycle, overseeing the hiring and promotion processes for Civil Service, and assisting with training. LaShon discovered her love for human resources while serving in the United States Army. LaShon retired from the army after 20 years of service in 2016. LaShon has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Master of Human Resources Management, and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. She is also a Society of Human Resources Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). LaShon loves spending time with her family, watching movies, and traveling.
Bill J. Philibert, Director of Human Resources & Risk Management, Deer Park – Bill is the Director of Human Resources and Risk Management for the City of Deer Park, Texas (TML Region 14). Bill is a past Chairman and a current member of the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS) Board of Trustees. Bill is also a Board Member for the Public Employee Benefit Alliance (PEBA) which negotiates health & welfare benefit contracts of all sorts of public employers such as municipalities, counties and districts in Texas.
Prior to Deer Park, Bill held HR leadership roles for organizations such as Shell Oil Company, CRC-Evans Pipeline International and McLane Company. Bill holds both the SHRM SCP and IPMA-SCP certifications and previously obtained the Global PHR certification. Bill is a member of TMHRA, IPMA and SHRM. Bill holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University. Bill is a Paul Harris fellow (Rotary International) and former President of the Bay Area Aggies Club.
Kathy Shields, HR Director, City of Desoto
Kathleen Shields is the Director of Human Resources for the City of DeSoto and has over twenty-five years of experience in both public and private sectors. She has served at the Director level in the cities of DeSoto, Farmers Branch and McKinney and also in Dallas County. In the private sector, she has worked in restaurant and entertainment, retail, real estate, health care and consulting. Her career is marked with expertise in all areas of HR. She is a Red Raider graduate of Texas Tech University and in her current capacity, oversees all Human Resources and Civil Service functions. In the past year, she started a forum for HR professionals to assist with COVID response, which continues to be a biweekly video call, and recently began a monthly forum for those new to the profession. She grew up in Houston and in her spare time, enjoys family time, sports, travelling and running half and full marathons.