Speaker Bios A-C


Almira Ahmetovic
Global Service Delivery Manager, Celergo Global Payroll

As a Global Service Delivery manager, Almira’s responsibilities include leading cross-functional global teams based in various locations in the United States, Hungary, and Singapore. In her role she ensures global consistency, project management and completion of all commitments made relative to product development, quality and delivery of reporting, and business metrics. Her dedication is focused on managing consistency of service provided to the client while maximizing contribution profitability of the top largest and most complex enterprise accounts. Almira obtained her BA in International Studies and Political Science, with a minor in Arabic Studies from DePaul University. She also speaks fluent Bosnian and Serbo-Croatian.

Almira has presented at APA Chicago Chapter in 2015 and various other webinars on a variety of Global Payroll topics. She has spoken on topics of Global Data Privacy, Global Money Movement Compliance, Anti-Bribery, Automated Compliance, OFAC, UK Bribery Act, European Data Privacy, and several others. Almira is a member of the Celergo Core Values team as well as the Celergo Brand Ambassador in fostering and growing Celergo’s presence on today’s social media platforms.


Samantha Alonso
Special Agent, Department of Homeland Security

Samantha Alonso is a Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office in Houston, Texas. Ms. Alonso is assigned to the Worksite Enforcement Group and currently serves as coordinator of the HSI Houston IMAGE Program.

Throughout her fifteen year career as a Special Agent in Houston, Texas, with HSI and the U.S. Customs Service, Ms. Alonso has conducted criminal and administrative investigations involving narcotic smuggling, money laundering, human smuggling, and other immigration violations. 


Jim Birch
Celergo Global Payroll

Jim has spent nearly 13 years working within the global payroll environment with Celergo. Throughout this time he has held many different roles and led teams across a variety of areas within the business, including client services, IT Operations, and PMO. Jim has also lived in and led Celergo operations in Singapore, London, and Budapest. Jim is currently responsible for Celergo’s global in-country provider network which spans over 130 partners in 150+ countries along with product development.


Rori Carney
Senior Tax Manager, Equifax Workforce Solutions

Rori Carney joined the Equifax Workforce Solutions Employment Tax Practice in September, 2012. With over twenty (25) years of experience, Rori is a subject matter expert who specializes in all employment tax issues associated with mergers, acquisitions and internal reorganizations.

Working with the Equifax client base of over 3,600 accounts, Rori leads a wide variety of employment tax engagements within the practice focusing on compliance, advisory and controversy services. She has a strong technical knowledge of a wide variety of employment tax issues including state unemployment and withholding tax sourcing, federal and state payroll tax implications of mergers and acquisitions, federal and state taxpayer advocacy procedures and federal and state refund recovery analysis.

Prior to joining Equifax, Rori spent 11 years with EY where she was a Senior Manager and a leader for the firm’s Employment Tax practice in the Midwest region. She has also worked with the KPMG state and local tax practice as an Employment Tax Manager and at Barnett Associates as an Account Executive. Rori has a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accountancy from Hofstra University and has been a Certified Payroll Professional since 2008.


Susan Charles, CPP

A job transfer from Colorado brought Susan to Texas where she has been employed by GTE; ENSCO; the State of Texas; City of Arlington; Administaff (now Insperity); GameStop and most recently Sabre GLBL.

Susan obtained her CPP in 1996 while employed with the City of Arlington and has recertified every 5 years since then.

Susan has been an active member of the Dallas Chapter of the APA since 1995 and has taught several Payroll classes for the Dallas and the Fort Worth Chapters. In 2002 and 2011, Dallas recognized her with their Chapter’s Meritorious Service award and she was the recipient of the Dallas Chapter Payroll Professional of the Year award in 2014. Susan was elected as Education Director for the Dallas Chapter in 2009 and served in that position for three years.

In 2008, 2010 and 2013 Susan was nominated for the Texas Payroll Professional of the Year. She has been a speaker and volunteer for the Texas Payroll Conference since 2007.

During her many years as an APA member she served on the Hotline Committee (2012-2017); was on the National Speakers Bureau (2012 – 2017); and served as administrator for several of their seminars.

Susan spends her time mentoring payroll professionals and traveling the country with her husband, Rick in their RV and riding their Harleys.



Carolyn Cox, CPP
Payroll Business Lead, Wood

Carolyn L. Cox, CPP is the Payroll Business Lead for Wood. She has been in the payroll industry for 30 years. Carolyn began her payroll career as a Payroll Clerk at Allied Bank, which is now Wells Fargo. She has advanced her career by working in various positions such as Payroll/Benefits Administrator for Duddleston Management, Payroll Specialist for Tejas Gas, Payroll Supervisor for Input/Output and Landry’s Seafood Restaurants, Client Serving Associate for Ernst & Young, LLP, Payroll Manager/HRIS for Champion Technologies, and Payroll Manger at JV Industries, NRG and McDermott, Inc.

Carolyn has been a member of the American Payroll Association since May 1994. She passed the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) exam in 1998 and recertified in 2003, 2008 and 2013. Carolyn serves nationally on the Hot Line Committee for the American Payroll Association (APA). She has currently been elected to serve as the 2018 President-Elect and served as the 2017 Treasurer for the Houston Chapter of the APA (HCAPA). She has served as Chair of several HCAPA committees including Resume, Historian, Photography and Telephone. She also served on various other HCAPA committees. Carolyn has held the Secretary position for not only HCAPA, but also for the Galveston/Bay Area Chapter of the APA (GBAC) and Texas Payroll Conference (TPC). She has served in the Officer positions of Treasurer and Secretary plus served on various committees including Registration, Speaker, Decoration and Marketing with TPC. Carolyn was President with the 2006 Board of Directors for TPC and three terms as President with the GBAC. She has been a Speaker for Dallas APA, HCAPA and TPC. She holds the title of 2001 HCAPA Payroll Professional of the Year and 2011 Texas Payroll Professional of the Year.