15 Inspiring Employer Brand Leaders in the Southwest

Employer brand is an area where every modern company needs to shine. This means that those companies need someone keeping the employer brand humming, someone who knows how to broker the happiest and most mutually beneficial outcomes between the companies they work for and the employees they depend on.

In that spirit, here are 15 stellar Employer Brand leaders from across the U.S. Southwest. They keep the employer brand flame burning night and day with their inspiring work. They write books and blogs and host or guest on podcasts to spread the word about their company, and the higher set of employee happiness standards now hitting the mainstream of U.S. workplaces.

Shannon Grimes
Head of Employee Brand

Shannon is a talent acquisition triple threat, bringing to the table over 10 years expertise in full cycle recruiting, sourcing and employer branding. She’s found her niche in driving organizations to uncover, reveal and unleash their brand through powerful, authentic storytelling and imagery. Shannon can be found in off hours teaching barre fitness classes, chasing her daughter through Arizona’s museums and parks or exploring the region’s wineries and restaurants.

“GoDaddy’s culture is truly one of a kind. When I listen to our employees talk about their experiences here, what I hear most often is that working at GoDaddy is the most fun they’ve ever had at work. My team’s role is to help talent understand our culture and decide if they want to make the leap to join Team GoDaddy.”
– Shannon Grimes

Sean Bestor
Team Lead - Global Employer Brand Marketing

Before his segue into Employer Brand Marketing, Bestor focused on copywriting. He was a Content Sumo for Sumo, Copywriting and Growth for LeadPages, and a Copywriter/Web Editor for Meet Minneapolis. He earned a BA in Journalism from the University of Minnesota in 2011.

“The overall goal in career branding in our opinion, is should be to hire better people faster.”

Craig Fisher
Head of Recruiting Innovation, Employer Branding SME

Craig Fisher leads recruiting innovation at Allegis Global Solutions + Employer Branding SME for AGS RPO and MSP customers. He has led talent acquisition teams at the Fortune 500 level. His digital branding methods have been adopted as best practices by companies like Linkedin, Toyota, YUM! Brands, HootSuite, and many more. He’s the author of Inbound Recruiting, and a popular keynote speaker at tech, social media, HR / recruiting, and sales conferences worldwide.

” For so many of us, the office is sort of a safe space; while we might not love being there every minute, it’s a place where we can escape, lose ourselves in the everyday, and connect with coworkers around a shared sense of purpose and professional pride.”
Business Lessons from the New Normal


Allegis Global Solutions employees rated their overall culture among the top 10% of similar-sized companies in the U.S.


Allegis Global Solutions employees rated their overall culture an A.

Rhonda Merchant
Sr. Director, Talent Acquisition & Employment Branding

Rhonda Merchant is a 20+ year Talent Acquisition leader who develops and manages high performing teams who are transforming business in multiple industries. Her industry experience varies from Logistics/Transportation and Supply Chain, Hospitality, Retail, Consumer Products, Food & Beverage Manufacturing, Financial and Professional Services.

“‘Rhonda is a leader with passion and supports one’s continuous development. She values the importance of open communication, self-development, and pushing yourself for greater achievement. I have learned so much from her and have the highest amount of respect for her. She makes a positive impact in every role she has held and I witnessed it while working with her.”
– Myriam Holguin, LinkedIn

Alex Her
Global Employer Brand Program Manager

“I’m currently working at Informatica, driving the candidate experience from start to finish. I provide employer branding, recruitment marketing and solutions for all recruitment globally for Tech (Engineering/R&D/IT), Sales, Client Services, Product, and Marketing. I strive to provide innovative solutions, top-notch content marketing, game-changing strategies while providing the highest level of service.”

“Alex is a first-rate employer brand leader, with outstanding experience in Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing, Talent Attraction and Candidate Experience. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Alex for the past two years. What I like about Alex is his attention to detail and commitment to listen to truly understand ones need vs. jumping straight to a solution. Alex is intentional in his approach to develop employer brand strategies that have a lasting impact and tangible ROI.””
– Terry Killian

Kelly Myers
Employer Brand & Diversity & Inclusion Specialist

“Employees are the backbone of an organization. I use my 10+ years in talent recruitment marketing and employer branding to help companies hire the right people.”

“Despite the complexity of today’s professional environment, the reasons people have for loving their companies (or not) tend to be profoundly simple”
– Creating a World-Class Culture of Innovation Through Grass-Roots Engagement


T-Mobile employees rated their overall culture among the top 5% of similar-sized companies in the U.S.

Kelly Marek Bartkiewicz
HR Director - Global Employer Reputation & Talent Marketing

“I’ve been so fortunate to work for a company I love, share the same values with, and I go to work every day knowing that I will have fun and work with amazing people!! I have been with Mars over 20 years, and have had the ability to grow into a HR leader by experiencing roles in different specializations – Strategic HR Business Partner, Leadership Development, HR Effectiveness, Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, Early Talent Strategy, and Employer Branding.”

“Love this team! While we’re already a remote global team, I continue to enjoy these smiles every day especially during these new difficult times.”

Kelly Marek Bartkiewicz, LinkedIn

Amy Forbes Winebright
Global Project Manager - Talent Attraction & Employer Brand

“I thrive on both sides of the brand management equation – the creative aspect of driving a brand’s growth through engaging content and storytelling as well as the more analytical side of building the business case behind strategic directions and proving ROI. I started my career in grass roots marketing and then 100% commission-based sales (stressful!), both experiences proved fundamental in understanding the foundations of any successful company.”

“Amy is also a leader in our local community. Her ability to collaborate with others and strategize to implement plans for a better community are unmatched. She has a reputation for hard work and pulling people together.”
– Merri Cronk, LinkedIn

Renee Holland
Global Head of People

Creative, approachable and proactive human resources professional with experience in developing global workforce-development programs and managing dynamic, highly competitive and diversely cultured employees. Strong skills in facilitating team building and open work environments. Strategic partner to senior management during periods of accelerated growth and economic downturn.

“Renee is absolutely amazing to work with. From routine day-to-day management and growth of the team to navigating some of the most complex and sensitive situations, she has been a consistent, reliable, and thoughtful partner all the way through. ”
– Jonas Laucys, LinkedIn


Sarah Vedas
Head Of Employer Brand and Digital/Social Marketing

Content marketing and social media professional with a passion for new media and innovative ways of connecting and building audiences. Excels in ability to synthesize disparate content needs into fully integrated marketing plans aligning Business Units, PR, and external partners.

Heather Bradshaw
Employer Brand Specialist

“My specialties lie in delivering employer branding strategies, engaging and attracting passive talent, crafting enticing job descriptions, developing talent pools, managing branding campaigns, and stakeholder management.”

“I am passionate about people, talent acquisition and education so I find myself in my ideal job – attracting the very best talent for University of Phoenix. I love sharing the amazing things The University and our employees are doing to impact the lives of students around the world. ”
– Heather Bradshaw, LinkedIn

Ross Sanders
Director, TA Strategy & Employer Brand

Adaptable PHR, SHRM-CP and CPSP certified HR Professional with progressive, Director-level experience. Demonstrable success as a Sr. Human Resource Business Partner supporting multiple business units across various industries including Financial Services, Insurance Brokerage & Consulting, High-tech, Aerospace & Defense, Engineering and Telecommunications.

“Ross is a great HR professional. He and I worked closely together many times recruiting people for my projects with great results. Often times, I would solicit his advice on HR related issues and his council was always sound and valuable. He is truly one of the good guys.”

Evan Corwin, LinkedIn

Kristen Ferguson
Senior Manager of Employer Brand and Recruitment Marketing

Prior to her role at Inspire, Ferguson was Senior Manager of Employment Brand Marketing for Sonic Drive-In. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2012 with a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication.


Lindsay Lee
Senior Manager, Global Employer Brand

Prior to her role at Flex, Lee was Board Chair for Talent Marketing Board and Marketing Communications Manager for McLane Company, Inc. She received a BBA in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire.

Danielle Bechtel
Talent Brand Marketing & Strategy

“I strive each day to be a leader worth following. I help humans make experiences that make other humans smile. I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to build diverse expertise and understanding in the world of Brand, Product, HR, and Management.”

“Danielle brings a unique passion and energy to her role with the product and marketing teams. Her strong work ethic and personal accountability are contagious and she instinctively knows how to tackle problems of all sizes, implement a solution, and then learn/iterate on the fly.”
– Lex Huitquist, LinkedIn