Veronica Strickland-Birkenstock
Owner, Practical Employee Solutions

Mrs. Birkenstock is President and owner of Practical Employee Solutions (PES), an experienced U.S. Based Recruiting and Service Organization providing innovative solutions to solve recruiting/placement opportunities. PES strives to go beyond the limits of a typical recruiting agency by building relationships to understand specific needs for each client. PES offers employers an opportunity to reach a global applicant base, with proven recruiting programs, designed to allow the employers the freedom to tailor a program that meets specific needs at an affordable price.

PES was established in 1996 in Dallas, Texas, approved to do business with the U.S. government and multiple foreign governments that provides temporary labor—specializing in H2-B visa processing. Mrs. Birkenstock is also an equity owner of a multi-family home complex, and has other real estate interests (hotels and agriculture). Mrs. Birkenstock’s past experience includes over 15 plus years of executive level human resource leadership in the hospitality industry, including 10 years as Director of Human Resources at the Kingston Plantation Resort and Sands Resorts in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Mrs. Birkenstock holds a Masters of Art Degrees - Human Resources Management and Development, from Webster University, is an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina. Mrs. Birkenstock, having overcome many challenges personally, from being orphaned at age 21, supporting herself through college to having a cardiac pacemaker, is dedicated both personally to her family, and to society. She is a highly motivated business owner and entrepreneur with a standard that far surpasses success to significance, not only for her family, but to the community and global impact. She is truly an agent of change and significance, having achieved success personally, professionally, and politically. Mrs. Birkenstock is the mother of a 26 year old son (Walt Strickland) who was married last October. Both he and his wife work in Health Care services. Mrs. Birkenstock is the adoptive mother of two biological children - ages 11 and 6. She is married to Brian Birkenstock and currently resides in Frisco, Texas where she and her husband are actively involved in the community and in local politics. She loves God, loves her family and friends, and is committed to Making America Great Again.​

Zach Crede
Vice President, Crede Lawn & Landscaping

Coming soon…

Terry Forrester
President, Labor Consultants International

Terry Forrester is the founder and Owner of Labor Consultants International. Before Terry devoted his life to working with small, seasonal businesses obtain a consistent workforce, he spent a several years as a laborer first and then as a foreman thinning and planting our forested lands. He was the one in the trenches, providing the temporary, seasonal services that quite literally pave the way for the American Dream. Terry attended N. Idaho college and Pacific Union College in California majoring in business. Of the many things Terry has done, he is most proud of growing and nurturing genuine, trusting relationships with friends, co-workers and clients. With more than 20 years of guest worker visa experience, Terry has developed a small army of passionate individuals. Individuals that strive to cut through the red tape of H-2A and H-2B guest worker programs to make it easier for employers to hire the temporary foreign labor. Terry is a strong believer in persevering when things get tough, determined in best-representing our clients and their needs, and being optimistic in all aspects along the way. Terry calls the mountains of North Idaho home. But it wouldn’t be home without the love of his life Keriana, their three beautiful daughters, and their four-legged friends. The pursuit of adventure is always the main course; whether it takes them into Alaska’s untouched wilderness or full-throttle on their snow-machines through Big Sky Montana. If you ever needed someone to truly shoulder the weight of the H-2 industry craziness, Terry is your man (but be prepared for a couple of pranks along the way!).

James K. Judkins
President, JKJ Workforce Agency

James K. Judkins is President of JKJ Workforce Agency, a full service H-2B facilitator specializing in the Mobile Entertainment Industry. He has 4 decades of experience in both the mobile entertainment industry and processing non-immigrant alien workers for the industry.

He also one of the initial founders and current board member of the Seasonal Employment Alliance. This organization is in the front line on shaping H2b Reform Legislation and Regulation, working with other organizations to find legitimate, reasonable and logical regulatory framework for non-immigrant seasonal workers to augment the US labor force, respecting the rights of US Workers and the needs of Seasonal Employers Employees and Compliant Temporary Seasonal Foreign Workers.

On September 1, 2014 James K. Judkins accepted the position of Executive Director of the Valley AIDS Council, Inc., one of the most respected HIV/AIDS agencies in the USA and served as an agent of change for 18 months at the organization, continuing to remain active with this and other local organizations as family, work and other obligations permit.

Tim Portland
CEO, Yellowstone Landscape Group

Tim is the Chairman & CEO of Yellowstone Landscape, a leading commercial landscape services firm in the Southern United States. Tim serves on the Board of the Seasonal Employment Alliance, an H-2B advocacy organization pushing hard for congressional reform of the H-2B program and US labor situation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), and chairs the NALP’s H-2B Advisory Committee.

Yellowstone Landscape currently employs nearly 3000 personnel in 30 branch locations that range from Raleigh to Palm Beach to Las Vegas. Since 2013, Yellowstone has more than doubled its US workforce - from 975 in 2013, to over 2000 and growing today - and complements its US workforce with over 600 seasonal H-2B guest workers. Yellowstone started using the H-2B program in Houston Texas in 1995, and some of Yellowstone’s longest serving H-2B personnel have been returning to work every year with Yellowstone since 2001 (that’s 17 straight years for those who may be ‘math challenged’).

The H-2B program is a strong and complementary component of Yellowstone’s labor strategy, in part since it eliminates the need for Yellowstone to lay off US workers at the end of the season in the branches where it uses H-2B labor. Yellowstone has and continues to invest extraordinary efforts into recruiting, training, motivating and retaining its US workforce, and hence strongly seeks to avoid having to lay off or terminate workers who have consistently performed through the heat and humidity of the summer landscape season in the South.

Tim previously was the CEO of USI Building Solutions – a constructions services contractor, and was the President of several divisions of Scotts/Miracle-Gro, including the Ortho and Roundup brands, and Scotts LawnService. Tim and his family live in Charlotte, NC.

Debbie Powers
Co-owner, Powers Great American Midways

Coming soon…

Edward Silva
CEO, MasLabor

Edward’s history with small businesses and agriculture dates back to his youth, where he spent school breaks working the family farm in California’s Central Valley, where they grew almonds, wine grapes, and a number of other specialty crops. As one of six children born to hard-working Portuguese immigrants, Edward was afforded responsibility on the farm from an early age. Seeing his parents get involved in several entrepreneurial efforts—from truck driving to real estate to farming—left an impression on Edward of the hard work, grit, and tenacity needed to be a successful entrepreneur.

Early in his career, Edward co-founded a business that developed a smart, solar-powered lighting system to increase fall and winter egg production by 30-60% for pasture-raised poultry farmers. Concurrently, he was working at the University of California, Davis where he led an initiative to help researchers commercialize technology that could lead to more sustainable segments of agriculture. He leveraged this experience to become the Executive Director of an organization that funded and coached early-stage companies in all facets of food and agriculture from over 120 countries. In this role, he led fundraising efforts, systems/process building, marketing, building the team, and client acquisition. Prior to business school, Edward took a pivotal leap in launching his own consulting businesses focused on go-to-market strategy within food and agriculture. This included advising new startups, building incentive prize competitions, and developing and co-leading an international executive education program focused on small and medium size agribusinesses from South and Central America.

Most recently, Edward had the opportunity to purchase and lead MasLabor, the nation’s leading H-2 provider. With a strong reputation, talented team, and increasing demand for H-2 guest workers that are legal, reliable, and capable, Edward feels fortunate and motivated to hit the ground running and continue building on the legacy of MasLabor.

Edward received an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in International Agricultural Development (with a minor in Technology Management) from the University of California, Davis. He grew up in Hilmar, California, and currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia with his wife, 2-year-old boy, and baby girl.

Mark Thelen
President, Landmark Landscapes

Shortly after graduating from the University of West Georgia and the Dallas Theological Seminary, Mark joined his father and brother in launching Landmark Landscapes. That was more than 30 years ago. He started from the ground up; quite literally, in the field! Over the years, Mark learned the science and the nuances of making things grow for customers. But he was also a natural leader and learned to “grow” people, as well. He has a knack for recognizing individual strengths and putting them to work. He can bring out the best in each person. And he helps them thrive, both professionally and personally. Now, Mark is at the helm of the company, and he strives every day to educate, motivate and inspire greatness in his team. He has a high standard of excellence and doesn’t settle for mediocrity in his people or any aspect of the business. He feels that is what sets Landmark apart. When not leading the team, Mark resides in Roswell and enjoys golf and flying planes. It’s no wonder he’s been so instrumental in helping Landmark take off to become the prospering company it is today.

Aubrey M. Vincent
Vice President, Lindy's Seafood, Inc.

Aubrey M. Vincent is Vice President of Lindy’s Seafood, Inc, a crab distributor, and processor located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Lindy’s Seafood, Inc. has been a participant in the H2b seasonal visa program since 1995. Growing up in the seafood industry, Aubrey has experienced firsthand the impacts of visa shortages and uncertainty on rural fishing communities. That experience is what drives her participation in SEA, hopeful that through meaningful dialogue and collaboration long term solutions are possible for small seasonal employers in the H2b program. Aubrey holds a M.A in Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution from Salisbury University. In addition to SEA, Aubrey is a board member of the Nathan Foundation and Oyster Recovery Partnership.

Roger Warren, Chairman, Seasonal Employment Alliance
President, Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Roger Warren, President of Kiawah Island Golf Resort, was elected to serve as the 34th president of The PGA of America from 2004-06 and is a member of the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame.

At Kiawah Island, Warren oversees a resort operation that includes the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond-rated hotel, The Sanctuary; 500 villas and homes; five golf courses; two tennis centers; eight restaurants and 1400 employees. The resort’s Ocean Course will host the 2012 PGA Championship.

Warren came to Kiawah in 2003 as the resort’s director of golf before assuming the President’s duties in 2005. Formerly general manager and director of golf at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Ill., Warren has been a PGA member since May 1990. He quickly moved up the ranks of the PGA’s Illinois PGA section as its Secretary from 1992-94, vice president from 1995-96 and president from 1997-98. He was named the 1998 Illinois PGA Golf Professional of the Year.

Certified as a PGA Master Professional in General Management, Warren was a member of the Golf Professional Training Program (GPTP) faculty for three years. In 1996, he served on the task force that developed CareerLinks, The PGA of America’s job identification service. Warren’s golf shop at Seven Bridges Golf Course in Woodridge, Ill., was named one of “America’s 100 Best Golf Shops” in 1991, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98 and ‘99 by Golf Shop Operations magazine. He was named the Illinois PGA Section’s Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities in 1992.

Nationally, he has served on The PGA’s task force on governance and was elected to two-year terms as secretary of The PGA of America in 2000; vice president in 2002; president in 2004; and honorary president in 2006.

A native of Galesburg, Ill., Warren graduated from Western Illinois University in 1972, with a degree in education. He earned his master’s degree in 1981 from Northern Illinois University. From 1973-86, he worked for the Dundee (Ill.) School System and in the summer at The Village Links of Glen Ellyn.

Warren and his wife, Mary, have a son, Michael.​

Libby Whitley
Former President, MASLabor

Libby Whitley is President of Mid-Atlantic Solutions, Inc. (MASLabor) and its subsidiaries MASLabor H2A (MAS-H2A) and MASLabor H2B (MAS-H2B). These companies source a combined 30,000 workers through recruiting resources in Mexico as well as in Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Jamaica, South Africa and Eastern Europe.

A recognized authority on seasonal labor issues and the intricacies of the H-2A and H-2B programs, Ms. Whitley brings over three decades of experience to her presentations at industry conventions. She has taught seminars in wage and hour and OSHA compliance, immigration and anti-discrimination. She authored the Ag/Hort Labor Law Handbook, published by Gempler’s Inc., the nation’s largest agricultural safety compliance company. She also served on Gempler’s Ag/Hort Alert editorial board and has been an expert witness in agricultural labor litigation.

Ms. Whitley’s independent leadership on behalf of growers and other seasonal employers began in 1995 when she moved to a farm in central Virginia and founded MASLabor. Before moving to central Virginia she held labor and immigration policy positions in Washington, DC for over 20 years.

From 1988 to 1995 she covered agricultural labor and immigration legislative and regulatory matters as Director of Government Affairs for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, DC. From 1985 to 1989 she was Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Council of Agricultural Employers (NCAE), an organization of fruit, vegetable, horticulture and livestock industries whose focus is agricultural labor and immigration policy. She presently sits on the Executive Committee of NCAE’s Board of Directors.

A lifelong committed Republican and conservative, prior to 1985 she held senior positions on Republican staffs of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, the Reagan USDA and the Ford White House. A results-driven professional, she has been listed in Who’s Who in Business, Who’s Who in American Women, Outstanding Women in America and was named in the “Top 100 Lobbyists” by Washington business magazine Regardies in 1993. In 2012 she was an RNC Team 100 donor and in 2016 raised over $150,000 for Trump Victory.

She lives on a farm in Nelson County, Virginia, with her husband David Cross Fulton and assorted dog, cats, horses and ponies.

Lori Whitten
President, Action Visa

Lori Whitten is President of Action International, Inc. and its subsidiary Action Visa Assistance, an employer agency that she co-found in 2003. She has tirelessly helped her clients successfully navigate the unceasing fluctuations of the H2B Program for over 16 years.

Understanding the importance of this temporary, nonimmigrant program, Lori has been actively engaged in working on government legislation for over 12 years. She is a founding board member of the Seasonal Employment Alliance and member of the H2B Workforce Providers Group and Coalition.

Lori owned and operated a successful full-service events company from 1997 to 2003, at which point she decided to dive deep and open a brick and mortar restaurant and catering business. Simultaneously, she launched Action Visa Assistance. Lori operated both businesses successfully until 2007, when she decided to sell her restaurant in order to focus solely on H2 Visas. Having her roots firmly in small business entrepreneurship, Lori’s real passion is for helping small business owners be successful.

As Regulatory Compliance is a key component of the H-2B program, Lori has made it a priority to provide training and seminars to help her clients work through the intricacies of the H2 program. Her company training is a recognized Continuing Education Credit for the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association. She hosts regular compliance webinars to help her clients understand and adhere to program regulations.

Lori holds a B.A. in Political Science and Government from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Other volunteer activities include: Editorial Board Member for Connections Magazine and Columnist, 2004 to 2010; Wylie Chamber of Commerce – Executive Board Member and Finance Director 2006 to 2009; Wylie Championship Pro Rodeo – Founding Board Member and Director of VIP 2004 to 2009; Wylie ISD Education Foundation – Marketing Advisory Board 2003 to 2007; Wylie ISD Band Booster – Board of Directors and Fundraising Director 1995 to 2001 ; Wylie Sports Association – Board Member and Fund Raising Director 1990 to 1993.

Michael Wood
Owner, Wood Entertainment

Coming soon...