Richard Ahearn

After nearly 25 years as a Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board,Rich Ahearn retired in January 2012 and opened a labor arbitration practice. AFellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and a recipient of thePresidential RankAward in 2010, Rich is a frequent speaker at conferences andcurrently Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the King County BarAssociation.

David Black

David Black has focused on labor and employment law for 20 years. Formerly with Lane Powell and Jackson Lewis, Mr. Black is now a solo practitioner and services clients in Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Mr. Black currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Washington State Bar Association Labor & Employment Section and served as Chair in 2012.

Mr. Black has also served as the Legislative Director for the Washington State Council and Seattle SHRM. Mr. Black has instructed continuing legal education courses for other attorneys, appeared on television and NPR, authored employment legislation for Washington (also adopted in Minnesota), and speaks publicly on a variety of labor and employment law topics.

Outside of work, Mr. Black enjoys spending time with his family, outdoor recreation, and Mensa activities.

Lynda Buehring, Supervisory Special Agent

Lynda Buehring is employed with Immigration and Customs Enforcement/ Homeland Security Investigations as a Group Supervisor/Supervisory Special Agent for the Worksite Enforcement Unit in Seattle, Washington. She supervises a unit of special agents who investigate criminal violations with employers and employees in Washington. She also supervises a unit of auditors who conduct Form I-9 audits and prepare administrative fines involving employers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.She has a total of 28 years federal service, of which 18 years are in law enforcement.

Michael Droke

Mr. Droke is a partner and the Labor and Employment Co-Department Head.He is also co-Chair of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Practice Group, and member of the Privacy Practice Group, Executive Compensation Team, and Electronic Discovery Practice Group. He is currently the Partner-in-Charge of LegalMine, Dorsey's state-of-the-art document review service. He was Dorsey & Whitney Partner of the Year in 2001.

Jeff Lanza

Jeff Lanza was an FBI Agent for more than 20 years in which he investigated corruption, fraud, and organized crime. He served as chief of internal security for the FBI’s Kansas City region. He has provided more than 750 presentations on risk management to associations, corporate boards, and employees of major corporations around the world. His presentation on leadership ethics has been utilized to train future leaders in numerous organizations, including the University of Kansas, Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Helzberg Entrepreneur Leadership program. His program on ethics was made available to a worldwide audience of the American Records Management Association. He holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

Marcus Mann

Marcus Mann is an award winning instructor, established performance coach and EEOC Officer. As Principal for Sound Predictions LLC in Seattle, he’s known for rapid organizational change, minimizing bias, and maximizing motivation. During his 22 years in public safety, he specialized in Hate Crime training and investigations while acting as the primary academy instructor for workplace harassment awareness. Marcus graduated from the Behavioral Sciences Program at the FBI National Academy (U.VA - Quantico).

Deidra A. Nguyen

Deidra A. Nguyen advises employers of all types and sizes regarding various employment and personnel issues and claims, including non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, wage and overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment, discrimination and harassment, and disability and accommodation. She helps clients stay current and compliant with an ever-changing legal landscape by drafting and revising employee handbooks, policies, and employment agreements. As part of her employment litigation work, Deidra has represented clients in matters under investigation by the United States Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Washington State Human Rights Commission, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, and various other state and federal employment agencies. Deidra is a graduate of the 2011 Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Leadership Program. Before going into private practice, she clerked for the Honorable Robert J. Bryan and the Honorable Benjamin H. Settle of the United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma.

Suchi Sharma

Suchi Sharma is Counsel for Policy and Regulatory Development at the Department of Labor and Industries’ Employment Standards Program. The Program administers and enforces laws relating to conditions of labor, wage and hour, child labor, farm labor contractor, and various protected leave from work. Ms. Sharma’s work at the Department is wide-ranging. She develops regulations and administrative policies, reviews complex cases, guides litigation strategy, and works on operational and legislative matters.

Before her current position, Ms. Sharma worked as an Assistant Attorney General, advising and litigating on behalf of the Department of Labor and Industries’ Employment Standards and Apprenticeship sections. She represented the Department before the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, the Washington State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and superior courts and administrative tribunals.

Ms. Sharma graduated cum laude from California Western School of Law in 1998. Before coming to the United States to attend law school, she attended Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, as a research student in Comparative Sociology and received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Japanese from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.

Kris Tefft

Kris Tefft is general counsel and government affairs director for the Association of Washington Business, Washington's state chamber of commerce. As general counsel, he is in-house attorney to AWB's leadership as well as directs the organization's advocacy efforts before the courts of the state. As government affairs director, he leads AWB's advocacy efforts in the legislative and executive branches in the areas of labor and employment law and civil legal reform, including workers' compensation. A Tri-Cities native, he is a graduate of Seattle University and the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Kathleen Wampold, AVP, National Compliance
Kathleen Wampold began her career 1991 and has since exclusively worked in the employee benefits field. She has over 20 years of industry experience and has gained extensive knowledge on a broad range of legislative issues including: health care reform (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) ERISA, COBRA, consumer-driven health plans (including HRAs and HSAs), HIPAA, and Cafeteria plans. Kathleen is a graduate from Washington State University with a BA in English and a licensed WA Life and Disability Broker. She has previously served on the King County Health Underwriters Board, a delegate to National Conference and is involved in various industry-related committees and charities.

James Zissler

James Zissler is experienced in all aspects of employment law and provides consultation and advice on matters such as wrongful termination, disability accommodation, harassment and discrimination, wage and hour, and unfair competition.

A skilled litigator, he has tried two class actions to a jury, obtaining successful verdicts in both, and has handled numerous appellate matters in federal courts. He has also successfully litigated numerous non-compete cases. James arbitrates union grievances and has extensive experience with corporate safety and health issues, including defending employers in Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act enforcement proceedings.

An experienced trainer, James has educated both private and public employers about diversity, harassment, discrimination, workplace violence prevention, accommodation, ethics, and investigations.