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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.

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.

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.

Michael Lesser, MS

Senior Personnel Assessment Consultants

Michael is an Industrial Organizational Psychology Consultant with an extensive background in employee selection. Michael earned a M.S. in Psychology from The University of Memphis and pursued a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The University of Tulsa. Michael’s background has focused on large scale assessment centers, individual and managerial assessments, and executive feedback and development. 
 
Michael has managed organizational effectiveness and talent management with multiple Fortune 500 companies. In private companies of up to 300,000 employees, he has been responsible for all aspects of selection programs including job analysis, test development and validation of all hourly and salaried positions.
 
In the public sector Michael has served as a part of a leadership team overseeing transformation of a public agency in order for it to emerge from receivership and comply with a three-decade old federal consent decree. In this role Michael worked with numerous public agencies to develop and implement content valid employment tests and procedures including numerous Public Safety classifications in Police, Fire, Corrections, and Sheriffs organizations.
 
Michael has also been involved in the development of technology-based training and assessment as well as task and competency model development for tech sector jobs.
 
Michael brings critical expertise in data analysis and psychometrics for all aspects of measurement ranging from scale construction to survey reporting.
Michael has interests in woodworking and photography.

Robert Spaulding, II, PhD

Senior Personnel Assessment Consultants

Dr. Spaulding, II is an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist who also holds some of the highest licenses as a Professional Counselor Supervisor, Addiction Counselor, and Consultant. Robert hails from the deep south, with strong roots in Dublin, Georgia. His advanced studies in indigenous and Native American people groups have allowed him to hone his psychometric and testing skills in vulnerable populations. Robert has worked with the US military and top military executives and generals for decades; He speaks the language of the prisoner reintegrating in the community, and that of the veteran seeking employment as they are reentering civilian life.

Robert’s experience creating clear narratives from complicated data sets and developing feasible onboarding and human capital solutions is serves as a tremendous asset to our hiring, selection, promotion, and training services and products.

In addition to his statistical and HR solutions expertise, Robert actively volunteers and provides substance abuse interventions and education to at-risk communities. He is an avid outdoorsman, adventurer, and sportsman. You can often find Robert 100 feet below the surface as a diving instructor. You can also find Dr. Spaulding fishing or hunting on mountainside – depending on the season.

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.

Jenneh Peabody, MS

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.