James Harwood has more than 20 years of experience providing HR client services. He has worked as a human resources executive and consultant with Fortune 500 companies, including Intel Corp. and Tektronix Inc., as well as nonprofit corporations and small businesses. He oversees HR administration departments, including payroll, benefits, and workers’ compensation. His areas of expertise include leadership and management development, employee satisfaction surveys, and performance management consultation.
As a former faculty member at Woodbury University, James Harwood has taught courses on human resources, organizational behavior and communication, and labor relations. His work as an educator has improved his ability to communicate clearly and efficiently with client companies. James Harwood expresses this balanced approach for effective HR management and HR client services:
“It’s important for leaders and managers to be as honest as they possibly can about the factors that are driving the business decisions and the realities that are leading to some of the difficult decisions, while also trying to stay as optimistic as possible about the future.”
James Harwood received a Masters of Arts in Psychology from Pepperdine University. He attended Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and received his MBA in 1995. As the Principle HR Consulting Manager for Soteria HR, James Harwood fosters a responsive business environment that offers both responsive attention and detailed expertise to client companies.
A Certified Professional in Human Resources, Cana Tighe provides HR consulting and manages Soteria HR’s New York office. Cana brings more than 20 years of business management and human resources service administration experience to the Soteria HR team.
Her areas of expertise are diverse, ranging from overall HR support with client companies to management of client payroll processing, payroll tax administration and employee benefits administration.
Cana enjoys working directly with clients, strategic planning and developing strong bonds with both managers and employees. “Our clients and their employees rely on us and our service sets us apart because we are present and part of the solution, we don’t just offer templates and generic advice.”
After graduating from UC Irvine in 1992, Chris started his career with Banker’s Trust in their 401k administration division. The company managed many of the largest accounts in Southern California, including the County of Los Angeles account as well as the Pacific Telesis account. Although he was already licensed by the National Association of Securities Dealers (Series 6 & 63) to manage securities, Chris obtained his Health & Insurance License from the California Department of Insurance in 1993. Leaving Banker’s Trust, Chris decided to work with groups and businesses in Southern California to help them achieve their goal of offering their employees top tier benefits at the best value. Married with two children, Chris believes in providing a customer-centric service with a human face.
In 2003, Chris teamed-up with childhood friend Raphy Timour to form Pontrelli, Timour & Associates, Inc. PT Benefits is a full-service, independent insurance agency specializing in employee benefits. In 2007, PT Benefits moved to its present location in South Pasadena as the company continued to expand and grow. For over 15 years, PT Benefits has delivered creative, cost-saving benefit program solutions to Southern California Business owners. Wanting to extend his reach, Chris and Raphy teamed with James Harwood, Samantha Harwood, and Cana Tighe to create Soteria HR. By combining the benefits administration expertise with their HR consulting and management experience, Chris knew the new company would be of tremendous help to businesses nationwide.
Raphy Timour began his career at Automatic Data Processing. During his time with the company, he worked in their Major Accounts Division (100–1000 employees). At ADP, he learned the full range of employee benefits administration and human capital management.
Taking an entrepreneurial step forward, Raphy co-founded Pontrelli, Timour & Associates, Inc. in 2003. For over sixteen years, Pontrelli, Timour & Associates, Inc. has thrived as a full-service, independent insurance agency specializing in employee benefits. His extensive experience provides a unique perspective of the benefits landscape bringing focus to recruitment and retention. Raphy has an active Life & Health insurance License from the California Department of Insurance. Raphy brings creative and cost-saving benefit solutions to the clients of Soteria HR while also focusing on Employee Healthcare Management in the age of the Affordable Care Act.
Samantha Harwood worked as the Director of Client Services at Strategic Contracting Services, a staffing company, where she managed multiple client accounts. She supported the overall development of the company by building new relationships and maintaining positive relationships with existing clients. When clients needed help and support, Samantha Harwood became their go-to team member.
Before becoming the Director of Client Services, Samantha spent a couple of years as a human resource and payroll implementation specialist. Samantha worked at a large HR and payroll software system, Paycom, where she onboarded new clients from their previous Human Capital Management solution. She enjoys managing the communication channels between her clients and the internal support team, ensuring that all deadlines are met. Samantha Harwood’s areas of expertise include customer service, implementation, project planning, and extensive knowledge of payroll and HR technology platforms.