2017 Board of Directors


Board President
Anil Comelo

Deputy Administrative Officer
Santa Clara County Water District


CALPELRA has been my source of information and training for over 17 years. I owe the organization and many of its members a debt of gratitude for the knowledge and friendships that have enriched my professional life. I have wanted to repay that debt by volunteering on the Conference Program Committee for the last couple of years.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Board, where I can help ensure that the organization simultaneously evolves and remains relevant for the next generation of labor relations professionals.


Board Vice President
Debora Boutté

Retired Human Resources Director/Consultant


As a Board member I want to continue to assist CALPELRA in its growth as it provides pertinent and up-to-date information to its membership by way of innovative uses of media and technology, training, conferences, and most importantly, influencing the impact of human resources and labor relations legislation in positive ways. I appreciate the opportunity to work with this group of highly respected professionals as they continue to shape the organization to surpass the needs of its membership into the future.

CALPELRA has provided a wealth of information and resources, sustaining my career in the human resources and labor relations field. I have served as a member of the Annual Conference Program Committee for many years, and having completed the role of the 2012 Program Chair, I feel honored to serve as a CALPELRA Board member.


Board Secretary
Micki Callahan

Human Resources Director
City and County of San Francisco


CALPELRA is my source for updates on the latest negotiations news and relevant PERB and court decisions.

I wanted to become a Board member because I have benefited significantly from CALPELRA's training programs over the years, and want to support the continued availability of those programs for the next generation of California public agency leaders.

As a Board member I want to help expand the scope of CALPELRA's influence and activity, to include key human resources issues beyond labor relations that challenge all of us today.


Board Treasurer
Donna Vaillancourt

Human Resources Director
San Mateo County


CALPELRA has been my source for all things labor relations! Whether it's the Academies, CALPELRA Connect, Alerts, Clips, Academy masters papers - we can always find the information and answers we need.

I wanted to become a CALPELRA Board member because I strongly believe in CALPELRA's mission and the invaluable services and resources CALPELRA provides to public human resource and labor relations professionals. And I'm honored to be working alongside such accomplished Board members and staff.

During my term on the CALPELRA Board, I want to contribute toward ensuring that CALPELRA continues to position itself as the platinum standard organization for California public sector labor relations and human resources professionals.


Immediate Past President
Lori Walsh

Director of Human Resources
Placer County


CALPELRA is my source for timely access to public sector labor relations/personnel information. I can rely on CALPELRA to provide training, subject matter expertise, or networking opportunities with colleagues as new or emerging topics arise or as legislative efforts take shape.

I wanted to become a CALPELRA Board member because I wanted the opportunity to work with the high caliber professionals that are involved in CALPELRA’s leadership and to make a contribution in the further development of CALPELRA through its programs, conferences, and networking activities.

As a Board member, I look forward to taking a greater role in CALPELRA's development as the organization strives to maintain its high quality programs, materials, and reputation.


Board Member
Ian Appleyard

Human Resources Director
City of Oakland


CALPELRA is my best source for expanding my knowledge of important labor relations and human resources trends. I've appreciated working with CALPELRA's network of seasoned professionals, who offer a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and brilliant new ideas.

I wanted to become a Board member to further contribute to the continued success of all things CALPELRA: The Academies, the professional networks, and the Annual Conference. By making timely and reliable information available, CALPELRA continues to support its members who face many governmental and labor relations challenges.

As a Board member I want to continue to build on CALPELRA's successful Conference and Academy programs, while expanding CALPELRA's reach to public sector professionals throughout California. I want CALPELRA to be the best teaching organization by listening and responding to the members CALPELRA serves.


Board Member
Jennifer Curtis

Human Resources Director
City of Pasadena


Whether it's through CALPELRAClips, CALPELRA Alerts, Labor Relations Academies, or the Annual Conference, CALPELRA is my source for timely, trustworthy, and easy-to-read information written or presented by top professionals in the field. CALPELRA is truly unique in that it shares very technical information in a way that keeps in mind real-world realities and practical application.

I wanted to become a CALPELRA Board member to work with engaged peers and give back to an organization that has been so important in my life. I believe in CALPELRA's mission and know first-hand how valuable the resources and networking opportunities it provides are to human resources and labor relations professionals.

As a Board member I want to help ensure CALPELRA continues to be the go-to professional organization and that the programs and information we produce have a direct, positive impact on our members' ability to not only perform their jobs, but to position themselves as a strategic partner within their organization.


Board Member
Debra Gill

Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations
City of Pleasanton


CALPELRA is my source for up-to-date information on an array of employment topics. I particularly appreciate receiving Alerts on the latest PERB decisions, vested rights cases, and FLSA and leave rulings. CALPELRA's Academy programs and Annual Conferences have provided me with more labor relations and personnel management information than any other single organization in my career. Additionally, CALPELRA has offered a network of professionals that has proven invaluable.

I wanted to become a Board member because I wanted to participate in the design of the organization that provided me with the valuable tools I've used throughout my career. I wanted to play a role in maintaining CALPELRA's already high standards and aid in shaping the future of this organization.

As a Board member I want to work hard to ensure the same quality programming and robust network of professionals, and to explore new opportunities to assist CALPELRA members in serving their agencies and communities.


Board Member
Thom Harpole

Human Resources Director
San Diego State University


CALPELRA is my source for critical and timely information and education regarding California public sector human resources and labor relations management.

I wanted to become a CALPELRA Board member to further the legacy of unmatched programs and activities that ensure human resources, labor relations, and legal professionals are best prepared to support their agencies and the public.

As a member of the CALPELRA Board, I want to help build on CALPELRA's excellence.


Board Member
Brad Rankin

Deputy Director of Human Resources
County of San Diego


CALPELRA is my source for information and the latest updates in the field of labor relations and relevant human resources topics through CALPELRA's Annual Conference, Academy programs, bulletins, Alerts, and CALPELRAClips.

I wanted to become a CALPELRA Board member to continue the legacy of positive interactions and support for members who are developing in their public human resources and labor relations careers. As a Board member, I am committed to furthering CALPELRA members' professional development.


Board Member
Sam Strafaci

Director, Labor & Employee Relations
University of California, Irvine


Every Conference attendee and CALPELRA member, from the beginning practitioner to those who are veterans of years of bargaining, benefit from CALPELRA's many professional development and educational services. This has certainly been true for me.

I was eager join CALPELRA's Board of Directors because I hope to contribute to the CALPELRA's continued educational and advocacy endeavors, knowing that the work of the Labor Relations Academy has served to enhance the professionalism and effectiveness of public agency negotiators. I believe it is important to contribute to this continuance of this critical mission.