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Annette Alvarez, MBA

President & CEO

Annette is a talented and seasoned executive who subscribes to a strategic client-focused system of operations. Bilingual, emotionally intelligent, and proactive, Annette has championed initiatives that have changed the fabric of organizations to be more inclusive, efficient, and productive. No stranger to challenge, this executive both captivates and directs the mission of FirstIdea, Inc. With a 30,000-foot view of the market, her client needs, and relationship building, you can find Annette at the helm of FirstIdea, guiding and motivating her staff. Annette is well-respected in the First Responder community and beyond as an advocate for unbiased, equitable and efficient selection, promotion and most recently, personnel training.

A transformational leader in tailored HR solutions, Annette is also a lifelong learner and support in her local community. Whether fundraising, event organization or mentorship, Annette finds enjoyment in cultivating others – personally and professionally.

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Guillermo Alvarez, MS

Vice President

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force with 20 years of subsequent experience in major corporations such as US West, Qwest, and Raytheon, Guillermo brings vast expertise in process effectiveness and assurance, quality assurance, statistical analysis, testing, and business development. He holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Colorado Technical University and a master's degree in Industrial /Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University. In his role as vice president at FirstIdea, Guillermo serves as a critical corporate strategist.

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Susan Quarles

Director of Operations

Susan is the operational heart and soul of FirstIdea. Susan has assembled a distinguished 40-year career in operations management, and as a U.S Army Veteran was recognized as a “Distinguished Honor Graduate.” Susan carries a broad portfolio of responsibilities from day-to-day office management to client-facing project duties. She also plays a crucial role in long-term planning geared toward operational excellence and collaboration. Continuously challenging procedures to increase efficiency, her passion for creating and implementing innovative process improvements enhances organizational effectiveness, client satisfaction, and drives ongoing expense reduction.

In addition to being a servant-leader at FirstIdea, Inc for 15 years, Susan is a true servant in her community and beyond. She organized and helped sew over 1,200 face masks in response to the pandemic and continues to serve in local food banks.

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Mary Galloway, PhD

Director of Organizational Development

Dr. Galloway is an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, and certified DISC professional who serves as our Director of Organizational Development. After a decade of teaching and developing psychology and leadership courses at the graduate and undergraduate level, she now applies her expertise in motivation, high stress work environments, diversity, equity & inclusion, and psychological development across the lifespan. Mary builds and oversees our training and development processes and programs’ efforts that are supported by her BS in clinical psychology, MS in forensic psychology and her PhD in Industrial-Organizational psychology. Mary’s professional focus lies in personalized consultations. Her areas of expertise include personality, job satisfaction, generational differences, compassion fatigue, and workplace training development and facilitation. Mary also functions as an Associate Professor for an executive MBA program.

Mary actively donates her time as a mentor to refugees, and low-income individuals seeking career guidance with resume curation, behavioral and personality assessments, and interview coaching. Mary is also an avid fisherwoman and enjoys playing her ukulele.

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Brandon Young, PhD

Senior Assessment Scientist

Brandon is our chief expert in assessments. Brandon applies his skills to developing measures, analyzing data, and building validity evidence. He has evaluated hundreds of job candidates’ performance on structured interviews, written exercises, role plays, work samples and a broad spectrum of skills tests and behavioral assessments. As a consultant for a large employers’ association, he has guided hundreds of organizations on initiatives involving selection, HR measurement, performance management, policy development, and employment law. Brandon earned his Ph.D and MA in Industrial / Organizational (I/O) Psychology, and a BA in Psychology.  

As an organizational insight consultant, Brandon crafted and managed survey instruments (e.g., engagement, onboarding, exit, 360) and strategies, orchestrated organizational research, and analyzed and interpreted data to guide organizational decision makers in local, state, and federal government, and medium to large private sector organizations.  In addition to his work at FirstIdea, he serves as a scientific advisor to human resources technology start-ups and consulting firms. Brandon holds several certifications including, PHR, SHRM-CP, top-level Productivity Measurement & Enhancement System (ProMES) facilitator, and he serves as a board member for the ProMES International Competence Center. He is also a long-standing member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Brandon enjoys the great outdoors - you can often find him enjoying live music, hiking, biking scenic trails, or snowboarding beautiful, snowcapped mountains.

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Michelle Chancey, MA

Personnel Assessment Consultant

As FirstIdea’s most experienced consultant, Michelle has innovated and implemented state-of-the-art measurement tools for more than 12 years. Her technical experience is partnered with a robust project management foundation, having led hundreds of projects from conception to completion. She earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Vermont and a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. Michelle is rarely matched and never surpassed in her areas of expertise.

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Jenneh Peabody, MA

Item Developer

Jenneh is our principal test developer and author of knowledge-based content for our customer-tailored written examinations.  The Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification and distinction as an I/O Psychology Generalist equipped Jenneh to bring FirstIdea a rich background in private businesses and the public education sector. Her expertise in the technical and interpersonal makes her a vital part of the FirstIdea team. She has also successfully guided and managed change in organizations to promote sustainability and effectiveness. Jenneh holds a BS in Psychology and an MS in Industrial-Organizational Psychology; her graduate research examined workplace behavior and motivation theory.

Jenneh has volunteered her time with Big Brother, Big Sister - Miami-Dade and Boys and Girls Club of America. When the opportunity calls, Jenneh will fly, sail or drive to both quaint and exotic destinations; traveling allows her to glean from diverse cultures and customs.