The Official Blog of Big Bend SHRM

HR Gumbo is a special project of the Big Bend Society for Human Resource Management (Big Bend SHRM).  We are a chapter that is capitalizing on the benefits of social media as we continue to be an essential resource for business when it comes to human resources.

Big Bend SHRM is one of 28 regional chapters of the HR Florida State Council which is part of the nationally known Society for Human Resource Management.  We have served the business and human resource community in the Tallahassee, Florida area for more than 25 years.

Our Mission is to further the professional growth and development of our members and to provide a forum through which they can exchange ideas on problems facing human resource professionals in the community.


George A. Allen, CAE, SPHR is a management consultant with Carr Riggs & Ingram, LLC.  He provides business and organizational executives with research and support in solving human resource management and development problems.  Services include personnel recruitment and selection; development of salary and benefit programs; personnel policy and procedure review and development; strategic planning, team building; employee surveys; performance evaluation and appraisal development; training and mentoring programs;  George has 30 years of experience in business management having served as the public relations and research director with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and chief executive officer for the American Institute of Architects of Florida.  Since 1998, he has been the chief of operations for Carr Riggs and Ingram and its predecessor firm, Williams Cox Weidner Cox. He is a graduate of Florida State University and a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resource Certification Institute.  He has been a Certified Association Executive (CAE), a management designation offered by the American Society of Association Executives, since 1982. Memberships include the American, Florida and Tallahassee Society of Association Executives. He is a Past President of the Big Bend Society for Human Resource Management, the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives and the Capital Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association.  He is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and serves as one of the organization’s advocacy captains on human resource issues. Contact:

JOYCE CHASTAIN, SPHR is a past president of Big Bend SHRM.  She has over 30 years of progressive human resource experience in the private sector environment.  She is the President of Chastain Consulting which specializes in Affirmative Action Plans, Talent Development, Employee Relations, Internal Investigations, and Employment Law Compliance. She has served on the board of the HR Florida State Council since 2007 and currently serves as President Elect.  Additionally, she either currently serves or has served as a member of the Florida State University Center for Human Resource Management Board, a Board Member of the Big Bend Society for Human Resource Management, a Board Member of the Big Bend Business Leadership Network and as a Mentor in the Society for Human Resource Management Program.  Joyce has been named a Tallahassee Volunteer of the Year Finalist and Leon County Schools Volunteer of the Year.  She was selected as one of the “Twenty-five Women You Should Know in Tallahassee” and was honored with the designation of the Florida Human Resources Professional of the Year.  She has also been featured by the Florida Trend Magazine as a Trendsetter in Human Resources. @joycechastain

KAREN GOODLETT, SPHR.  Karen is the Past President and an active volunteer for Big Bend SHRM.  She is a seasoned human resource professional with over 23 years of experience working in the public sector.  She is currently the Editor of the HR Florida Review.  In addition, Karen served on the executive board of Florida College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (FL CUPA-HR) from 2003-2009. She can be reached at

Suzanne Hudson, PHR has worked in Human Resources for the last 8 years at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. Suzanne received her bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from King College in Bristol, Tennessee. After receiving her PHR certification in January 2009, Suzanne became interested in broadening her HR knowledge base and advancing her career. She was promoted to Compensation Analyst after working for several years as a Recruiter and Academic Liaison. As Academic Liaison, she was a member of the Lively Health Education Advisory Board where she served as Chair for one year.  Suzanne actively worked with area High Schools and Universities promoting careers in HealthCare. She may be reached at

Christina Lynch, PHR is the Accounting and Human Resources Manager at Bing Energy International, LLC, and has been with the company since July 2011. She has four years of experience with human resources and corporate accounting. Christina is a recent graduate of Florida State University, with bachelors’ degrees in Accounting, Finance and Human Resource Management, and is currently enrolled in the Master’s of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations at Penn State University.  Christina is also very involved in the Tallahassee community. She serves as the Treasurer for the Tallahassee-Rugao Sister City, Secretary for the Network for Young Professionals, Workshop Presenter for FAMU’s Small Business Development Center, Lead Volunteer for FSU’s Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities program, and a proud Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is a mentor for the Mentoring Program and apart of the Workforce Readiness Committee for the Big Bend Society for Human Resource Management. Christina hopes to share her insights in the human resources field, and how professionals can leverage their careers through basic accounting. She can be contacted at, @christinasview