Charla is a former practicing attorney who transitioned to HR. She has experience both in-house and as an external counselor, with extensive expertise in Employee Relations (including performance management, discipline, dispute resolution, labor negotiations, investigations and compliance), Policy & Process Design, and Training. Since moving from California to Austin five years ago, Charla has been consulting with numerous organizations of all sizes across multiple industries on a wide range of HR concerns. Her clients would say she’s a solutions-driven consultant, with the unique ability to be detail-oriented and act in the moment, while remaining attuned to long-term business objectives. She is as skilled and comfortable interacting with the c-suite as she is explaining HR basics to front-line supervisors. Charla has served as chief negotiator for agencies in labor negotiations, working in confidence with city councils and boards to understand their vision and bring it to fruition at the bargaining table, while maintaining awareness of relevant laws and strategic considerations. Given her integrity and exceptional work product, Charla establishes strong working relationships quickly, serving as a skilled coach and trusted advisor.
Charla obtained her bachelor degree in Speech Communication (with a concentration on Organizational Communication and minor is International Business) before achieving a juris doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She passed the California bar exam on her first try and practiced at a medium sized law firm, where her experience included advice and counsel in nearly all areas of employment law, such as: Title VII / state discrimination laws, the ADA, the FLSA, the FMLA / state leave laws, contractual disputes, employee handbooks and numerous other employment laws and labor regulations. Since founding her HR consulting practice, Cultivate People, she has chosen to go on inactive status with the bar.