Meet Our Team


Kate Gormley, Principal – Kate brings more than 25 years of experience in human resource management, including expertise in compensation and benefits, employee relations and training/ organizational effectiveness, human resource compliance and employment law, EEO/AA, HRMS and recruiting & staffing.

Kate's consulting practice focuses on guiding companies in virtually every industry through strategic (and tactical) human resources issues, with a particular focus on startup companies and M&A in the high-tech and bio-tech arenas.  She has established the HR function in many emerging companies and worked them though an IPO or acquisition.  Kate also has particular experience and expertise in developing Affirmative Action Plans and conducting OFCCP audits, having managed over 40 successful audits in her career.

Kate’s corporate leadership roles included her work as Executive Director of Human Resources for American Building Maintenance Industries, Inc., where she advised ABMI's eight lines of business on human resources issues for the 50,000+-employee organization.  Kate has also served in director-level roles at Integral Systems, Atari, and Crocker National Bank.  Kate started her career in the Labor Department of Morrison & Foerster, LLP.

Kate was a strategic partner for and served on the Board of Directors of a technology start-up.  She was also responsible for establishing the HR function at an emerging biotech startup and taking it through acquisition.

Kate is a member and speaker at the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA).  Kate has a BS in Political Science from U.C.S.D. and an MBA with an emphasis in Information Systems from San Francisco State University

Jane Funk, Associate Jane has her PHR, SHRM-CP and over 20 years’ diverse human resources and management experience that spans start-ups and established organizations.   She has extensive hands-on experience leading global HR initiatives to include compensation & benefits, performance management, M & A, talent acquisition and immigration. She has a record of accomplishment of supporting fast growth companies by linking people strategies to business strategies.

Jane has partnered with clients ramping up HR operations on both a US and International basis, guiding through the complex employment requirements. She has developed and implemented cost-effective programs, infrastructure, and systems for both HR Operations and Talent Acquisition functions. 

Prior to her consulting focus, Jane was the Senior Director, Human Resources at Infoblox in Santa Clara.  She successfully established and strategically developed the company’s first HR department to effectively support organizational objectives during Infoblox’s rapid growth pre IPO.

In addition to Infoblox, Jane also held Senior HR Management roles at UTStarcom, Kenamea, NightFire and Skillsoft.  She has presented at various HR focused events to include The Commonwealth Club - “Winning the Talent War”, NCHRA  - “Solo HR Department” and Guidespark’s “ENGAGE2014 – The Art & Science of Employee Communications”.

Jane is an active member of Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA), Society of Human Resources (SHRM) and Silicon Valley Compensation Association.


Hester Wesslemann, Associate - Hester has over 20 years in finance, having most recently served as controller at Advanced Mobile Solutions and as the head project accountant for the One Hawthorne condominium project in San Francisco.  Hester started her career at Deloitte, Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte & Touche) as the manager of the Small Business Services Department, which served clients in a wide variety of industries.

Hester has also served in a number of volunteer roles in her community, including treasurer and board member of Campolino High School in Moraga.   Hester holds a BS in Business Administration from Chico State University.

Hester’s finance, accounting and data management background makes her a perfect fit for the quantitative aspects of HR, including the data and statistical analysis skills needed for compensation and affirmative action plan creation.

Melissa Durlofsky, Associate - While relatively new to the human resources field, Melissa brings exceptional organizational skills and creativity from her years of experience in the entertainment industry. As an account executive in a Los Angeles-based advertising agency, Melissa coordinated all interactions between designers, clients and vendors, and managed the copywriting and creative sides of projects. Clients included several large syndicated television companies. Melissa has also worked in printing and public relations. She is active in a number of charitable and volunteer activities, with an emphasis on senior-citizen well being.

Julia Smith, Principal (Semi-Retired) - Julia is the founder of Smith~Jennings with over 25 years of experience in employee benefits and Human Resources. Her emphasis is in the design, implementation and communication of employee benefit plans with special interests in resolving compliance issues and liability control. Julia has assisted clients with the preparation for and successful management of IRS audits of qualified benefit plans and has extensive experience in managing large projects including integration as well as dissolution of HR programs resulting from mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

Before founding S~J, Julia was one of the founding principals of Smith Mathison & Howell Inc., Vice President of Benefits Planning for Bank of America, Vice President and Director of Employee Benefits for Crocker National Bank, and Manager of Benefits for Amfac, Inc.

Julia has served as a member of The Conference Board Council on Employee Benefits, Vice President of Legislation for the California Council of Health Care Coalitions (now known as the Pacific Business Group on Health), a member of the California Chamber of Commerce Health Care Policy Committee and is currently a member of the Western Pension and Benefits Conference, the Northern California Human Resources Association and the National Association of Professional Women. She has taught employee benefits courses for WorldatWork (formerly the American Compensation Association) and the University of California Extension.