Date: 10/19
Time: 5pm-8pm
Location: Cabrillo Arts Pavilion


Workplace Pivots

The workplace landscape has changed significantly over the last three years of the pandemic, and out of it has evolved a new set of workplace challenges, forcing organizations to rethink their people strategies. This program will focus on navigating the challenges of a remote, hybrid and onsite workforce, addressing a higher sense of urgency in retention after the great resignation has plagued organizations and quietly quitting, what does it mean and how to mitigate its impact?

Other topics include:

A discussion on cultural shifts – what organizations are doing to build culture in a hybrid work environment as well as the challenges associated with recruiting in today’s low unemployment environment.


Deb Horne, VP of Human Resources at Seek Thermal

Deb is an innovative Human Resource Executive, passionate about the HR profession and dedicated to giving back to the profession through volunteer efforts and strong leadership.

Debbie has served as the Human Resource Leader for mature and start-up organizations in Santa Barbara. She has been instrumental in the growth and organizational development of Indigo Systems/FLIR, Fastclick, Inogen and CMC Rescue, where her depth of experience has played a key role in Acquisitions, Mergers, IPO, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Employee Relations and Employment Law. Strategy and building operational strength are the favorites in her toolbox. Deb has a BA in Business Administration and a Masters in Organizational Management, as well as SPHR and SHRM-SCP Certifications.



Shaina Semiatin

Shaina Semiatin, Head of Talent Acquisition at Grindr

Shaina Semiatin (she/her/hers) has spent the last decade scaling global talent acquisition teams, programs, and systems for companies going through hyper-growth. She is currently Head of Talent Acquisition at Grindr, where she and her team focus on fast growth paired in tandem with equity-focused hiring practices. Prior to her roles in talent acquisition, she spent time working in environmental science and education roles in Alaska, Georgia, New York, and South Korea and received a Master’s in International Relations from the University of Chicago. In her free time, she writes poetry, hikes and backpacks across California, and spends time with her wife Anjuli and cat Matzah.

Andrea Nelson

Andrea Nelson, Founder, CEO, InovarHR 

Andrea Nelson (she/her/hers) is a Human Resources Executive with twenty-two years of experience shaping high-performing cultures at private and venture-backed companies. Andrea is a certified Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) through the Human Resources Certificate Institute (HRCI) and holds a specialty credential in People Analytics through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). Andrea founded InovarHR in 2021, an HR firm supporting startups and small-to-mid-size businesses. She teaches Technology Enabled HR and HR Analytics for the University of California PaCE HR program. Andrea has a passion for mentoring emerging HR professionals. She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband Mark and three dogs. They love to take dog-friendly road trips, and dream of retiring to Kauai, Hawaii.

Sonja Smith

Sonja Smith, Director of HR, Umbra Space

In 2021, Sonja Smith joined Umbra Space as their new Director of HR. She brings over 20 years of HR and talent acquisition experience focusing her time on everything from projects, L&D, recruiting and compensation to performance management and employee engagement.  Prior to joining Umbra, Sonja worked as HR Director at a nearby tech company and most recently led HR, Recruitment and Learning & Development for a local community bank where she was a critical business partner to the senior executive team.

Before moving to Santa Barbara with her husband in 2013, Sonja earned her degree in Human Resources Management at Coventry University in the United Kingdom. She also owned her own Virtual Assistance business, providing clients with administrative, HR and marketing support. In her free time, Sonja loves to read, paint and walk her dog. She makes her own lotions and potions, and pre-covid made jewelry and animal tags for non-profits. More recently, she discovered how hard gardening is!

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