Speaker Bios N-R


Valery Noakes, CPP

Valery Noakes, CPP is a Payroll Consultant with over 25 years of expertise in multi-state, large payrolls and focuses on process efficiency and effectiveness. Previously, Valery was the Director of Payroll for HVHC Inc., an optical retail organization in the United States with over 650 retail stores in 48 states and the District of Columbia, from August 2012 to September 2015. Valery was Manager of Shared Services, Payroll for Andeavor from September 2001 until August 2012. Prior to Tesoro, Valery worked for Dell, Inc., from June 1998 until September 2001 and was previously employed with H.E. Butt Grocery Company for 15 years. She has a BBA in Accounting from UTSA and an MBA in e-Business with the University of Phoenix. She originally obtained her CPP in April of 2001 and has maintained her certification.

Valery is currently an active member of the Alamo Chapter of the American Payroll Association and President for the 2018-2019 term of office. She has also served as President-Elect for 2017, Treasurer for 2016, Secretary for 2010-2011, Public Relations Officer for 2008-2009, President for 2006-2007, President-Elect for 2004-2005 and Government Liaison officer for 2002-2003.

Valery has spoken at the Texas Payroll Conference since 1997 and has served on the Texas Payroll Conference Board of Directors in various roles to include President/Chairperson in 2001, Exhibitor Chair in 2000, Registration Chair in 2012, Secretary and Officer in 2013, and Registration Chair in 2015. In 2006, Valery received the Texas Payroll Professional of the Year award.

Valery has been an active member of the American Payroll Association since 1993 and currently chairs the APA’s CPP Certification Board and serves on CHAMPS, National Speakers Bureau, Shared Services Task Force, and Emerging Technologies Committee. She has served on the APA’s Paycard and Unemployment Subcommittees. She has presented at the American Payroll Conference Annual Congress in 2010-2011, 2014-2015, and 2017-2018. She has presented APA’s Payroll Issues for Multi-State Employers, Payroll Practice Essentials, Intermediate Payroll Concepts, Advanced Payroll Concepts, Payroll Tax Forum, and Preparing for Year-End and 2018 nationwide. She received the APA Education Grant in 2007. She was inducted into APA’s Hall of Fame with a Meritorious Service Award at the 2011 Congress in Salt Lake City, UT. She also received APA’s Special Recognition Award at the 2015 Congress in Las Vegas, NV.



Matthew Ort
Senior Manager, Ernst & Young National Tax Department

Matt is a Senior Manager with EY’s National Employment Tax Department in Dallas, Texas. Since 2008, he practices exclusively in the area of federal, state and local payroll tax matters.

Matt’s payroll and employment tax advisory experience includes focusing on multistate income tax withholding issues, merger and acquisition integration, refund studies, statutory election analysis, risk management services, process reviews, information reporting and compliance issues. His experience also includes federal and state taxation and information reporting requirements for executive compensation, deferred compensation and stock options.

Matt works closely with a Texas based multinational technology company on various employment tax reporting matters. Over the course of ten acquisitions, he assisted the client’s payroll department with all multi-state regulatory compliance issues for over 20 FEINs and obtained over $10 million in federal and state successor employment tax refunds and abatements.

Matt received a BS in Finance and Accounting from Trinity University and a JD from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, School of Law. He is a licensed attorney and member of the Texas Bar Association and the United States Tax Court.



Kathy Phillips, CPP
Director of Operations, MeredithCPAs

Kathy Phillips’ official title is Director of Operations for MeredithCPAs; however, she prefers her unofficial title which is “One Happy Camper at MeredithCPAs”. MeredithCPAs is an experienced CPA firm that has been serving small and medium sized businesses for more than 30-years in Irving, Texas. She is dedicated to the advancement of the payroll profession and professionals through education and networking opportunities. She strongly believes in giving back to the profession that has afforded her countless opportunities both professionally and personally.

Kathy was honored in November 2016 with a “Lifetime Achievement” Award from the Dallas Chapter of the American Payroll Association. She was also the Texas Payroll Professional of the Year in 2002 and the Dallas Payroll Professional of the Year in 2000.

Kathy began her payroll career in 1985 and is a proud Certified Payroll Professional. She is a frequent speaker and has served on numerous committees and held several offices on the local, state and national level, including serving as President of the Dallas Chapter (1999), President of the Texas Payroll Conference (1999 and 2005) and serving as a member of the Board of Advisors, GAFT on Tax Forms and Publications, Hotline Referral Committee, Chapter of the Year and the Nominations and Elections Committee for APA National.

In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.



Bruce Phipps, CPP
Principal Product Manager/US Legislative Analyst, Oracle

Vice President – American Payroll Association
2011 American Payroll Association, Payroll Man of the Year.

In his current role Principal Product Manager/US Legislative Analyst for ORACLE, Bruce supports 2 lines of business from a legislative perspective.

Bruce has been employed in the payroll profession for 39 years and has worked for several employers in the following industries, Healthcare, Retail, Service industries, Television Retailers and Manufacturing. During his career, he has served as a key member for several system upgrades/implementations and mergers/acquisitions.

Bruce has held his CPP designation since 1989. He currently serves on the following APA committees: Hotline Referral, Electronic Payments Committee, GRTF - Pay Card Sub Committee, Child Support and Garnishment Sub Committee, MyRA Sub Committee, Co-Chair PA Act 32 Sub Committee, Emerging Technologies - SPLTF, Champs Mentor, Education Grant Committee, Social Networking, Education Grant Committee and National Speakers Bureau.

Additionally, Bruce is one of the original co-authors to the first edition of APA’s “A Successful Guide to Direct Deposit”

Bruce has been a Congress speaker since 2004 and the Texas Payroll Conference since 2006 and frequently speaks at chapter meetings and statewide Conferences. Bruce speaks on a wide range of topics, primarily though his specialty is state and local incomes taxes.

Bruce is currently the President of the Lehigh Valley Chapter in Allentown, PA. Bruce was also one of the founding members of the Southeastern PA Chapter of the APA and served as the chapter’s first president. Spanning 18 years as a member of the SEPA chapter Bruce held several officer positions.

Serving as President of a local chapter, provides an opportunity to promote the payroll profession throughout Pennsylvania and surrounding states.



Cecilia Rose, MCC

Ms. Rose is an exceptional motivational business speaker and Human Potential Evangelist who helps organizations and leaders get back to reality by leveraging their team’s strengths, enriching the work environment, and driving better results. She is an expert career strategist and executive coach. She earned the prestigious designation of Master Certified Coach (MCC) by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Only 4% of coaches worldwide hold this designation. She is dynamic and high energy and known for taking the pain out of change, accelerating the epiphany process and turning a presentation into an experiential event.

Cecilia’s presentations are all about giving people the tools for success, bringing out the best leadership qualities that reside in each member of her audience. She is dynamic, delivers high-energy that electrifies her audiences, and encourages immediate action and achieving the results they crave. She is known for taking the pain out of change. She knows that success is not an accident. She is a passionate Thought Leader whose insights and expertise are highly respected and sought-out by emerging leaders to the C-Suite. She has an uncanny ability of honing-in on behavioral traits that trip people up and the ones that motivate and drive professional success. She deftly identifies strengths and prime motivators that enable success for her individual clients and the members of her audience setting the stage for the attainment of personal and professional aspirations in the workplace.

Don’t miss this Keynote – It’s Entertaining, informative and energizing! Walk away with practical information and insights you can use immediately, and experience aha’s that will open your eyes and show you what is possible in your future and how to attain it.