Our Editorial Team
BLR® has been an acknowledged authority in covering state as well as federal law for over three decades. Our award-winning in-house legal and editorial team produces the best-in-class products and services our customers depend on day in and day out.
Media Inquiries – Call 800-727-5257 ext. 2184 and ask for Amanda Hurlburt
—Chief Content Officer
Human Resources, Compensation and Employment Law
Trainor, Patricia, J.D., SPHR—Sr. Managing Editor, Human Resources; Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Blackburn, Celeste—Managing Editor
Carsen, Jennifer—Managing Editor, Employer Resource Institute (ERI);
Contact: 510-764-6472; e-mail email@example.com
Ceplenski, Chris—Managing Editor, SEO Content
Emshwiller, Kyle—Web Content Coordinator, Editor
Farrell, Joan, J.D.—Legal Editor
Jones Holly, J.D.—Legal Editor, Product Manager, New Product Development
McKnight, Sharon—HR Technical Writer
Prince, Susan, J.D.—Legal Editor
Schoenfeld, Susan, J.D.—Sr. Legal Editor
Simon, Martin, J.D.—Sr. Legal Editor
Webb-Ayer, Jessica, J.D.—Legal Editor
Mayo, Virginia—Group Publisher
Weber, Mary—Group Publisher
Simpkins, Jean—Associate Group Publisher
Furches, Katie—Associate Editor
Occupational Safety and Health Compliance
Galt, David—Managing Editor, Safety; Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellington, Ana—Legal Editor
Condon, Clare—Managing Editor, Environmental; Contact: email@example.com
Czepiel, Amanda, J.D.—Legal Editor
Dickinson, Liz, J.D.—Legal Editor
Fagan, Tim—Legal Editor
Lagana, Kelly—Contributing Editor, Product Manager, New Product Development
Teolis, Nancy, J.D.—Legal Editor
Cretella, Peggy—Instructional Design Manager
Hunt, Heather—Production Editor
Ed Keating, Chief Content Officer is an information industry executive with more than two decades of experience as both an internal manager and a consultant. He oversees BLR editorial content operations, stays abreast of new technologies, identifies new information needs and conducts periodic competitor assessments. Most importantly Ed will test new products and champion launches, building on BLR’s top-rate content team. He has led marketing, product management and sales organizations at both start-up and established information companies. He has helped numerous companies enter unfamiliar markets and launch new products by enhancing product processes and organizational effectiveness. He received his BA in Russian Studies at Hamilton College and his MBA from Northwestern University.
Human Resources and Compensation
Patricia M. Trainor, J.D., SPHR is Senior Managing Editor of BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Ms. Trainor has several years of experience representing employers and school districts in labor and employment matters. As an associate at Franczek Sullivan, P.C. in Chicago, she represented employers in state and federal court, before the EEOC, and before the Illinois Human Rights Commission. Before entering private practice, Ms. Trainor clerked for the Honorable Anthony Scariano at the Illinois Appellate Court. Ms. Trainor received her law degree magna cum laude from Loyola University Law School. She has a Masters Degree in Mass Communication from San Diego State University. Ms. Trainor is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the national Human Resources Certification Institute. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Connecticut Bar Association, and the Illinois Bar Association, and she is admitted to practice in Connecticut and Illinois.
Celeste Blackburn is the Managing Editor of HR Insight, Diversity Insight, and Technology for HR. She has written about human resources for a variety of publications, including Basic Training for Supervisors and Frontline Supervisor, and has written and edited a series of white papers covering employment trends and developments. Before coming to BLR®, she was the business editor for The Daily Herald in Columbia, Tennessee. Celeste earned her bachelor’s degree from David Lipscomb University and a master’s from Middle Tennessee State University, where she also taught writing.
Jennifer Carsen, J.D. is the Managing Editor of the Employer Resource Institute (ERI), BLR’s California-specific division. She oversees the content of ERI’s print and online publications and coordinates live events and webinars for both BLR and ERI. Before joining ERI in 2005, Ms. Carsen was a Legal Editor at CCH, Inc. and practiced in the Labor & Employment Department at Sidley & Austin, LLP in Chicago. She received her law degree from the New York University School of Law and her B.A. from Williams College.
Chris Ceplenski is Managing Editor, SEO Content. Mr. Ceplenski also manages BLR’s human resources, employment law, and compensation and benefits newsletter content. He has authored hundreds of articles that have appeared in BLR print and on HR.BLR.com. Prior to joining BLR in 1999, Mr. Ceplenski worked as an editor for a book producer and literary agency and as a college writing instructor. Mr. Ceplenski received his B.A. from Eastern Connecticut State University and an M.A. in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
Kyle E. Emshwiller is a Web Content Coordinator and Editor at BLR. She has written articles for BLR's HR and compensation websites and is responsible for the day-to-day management of HR.BLR.com. She has been at BLR since 2008. She graduated with a BA in English from the University of Connecticut.
Joan S. Farrell, J.D., is a Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Ms. Farrell has over 10 years’ combined experience in employment law and human resources management. She worked as in-house counsel for an employer that had subsidiaries in several states. Her experience includes representing management in administrative matters and discrimination claims, and providing counseling on employment practices. Ms. Farrell received her law degree from Pace University School of Law.
Holly K. Jones, J.D., is a legal editor and product manager in BLR's HR and Compensation markets. She understands the existing and emerging needs and challenges of human resources professionals thanks to several years of experience managing, writing, and editing key legal and compliance publications for BLR, including 50 Employment Laws in 50 States, The HR Guide to Employment Law: A Practical Compliance Reference; Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR; Employers State Law Alert, The Employment Practices Self-Audit Workbook; and several Mastering HR reports. Prior to joining BLR, Ms. Jones worked for the Tennessee Legislature's Office of Legal Services. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in English Rhetoric and Writing, Political Science, and Psychology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she also received a 2001 Citation for Extraordinary Academic Achievement. She received her law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School and is licensed to practice law in Tennessee.
Catherine G. Leonard is an Editor for BLR’s human resources, compensation, and employment law publications. She has written newsletter articles for BLR's HR subscribers since 1998. Ms. Leonard conducts research and interviews on the full spectrum of HR topics and strategies, as well as significant court rulings in employment and labor law. She brings to BLR many years’ experience in writing marketing and investor relations material for corporations, in journalism for business media, including the Hartford Courant, and in publishing. She holds a B.A. in English from Duke University and an M.A. in corporate communication from Fairfield (Connecticut) University. Ms. Leonard is a member of the Greater New Haven Human Resource Association, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Sharon McKnight is an HR Technical Writer who draws from more than 20 years of management experience, including 6 years as a director of Human Resources, to write about HR and employment law issues for www.hrlaws.com. Her experience in both operational and human resources management provides her with a practical approach to issues facing human resources professionals and the frontline managers they coach. She attended Middle Tennessee State University. She achieved her PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification in 2006 and her SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources) certification in 2007. She is a member of the Stones River Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Susan E. Prince, J.D., is a Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Ms. Prince has several years of experience as an attorney and writer in the field of human resources and has published numerous articles on a variety of human resources and employment topics, including compensation, benefits, workers’ compensation, discrimination, work/life issues, termination, and military leave. Ms. Prince also served as an expert on several audio conferences discussing the 2004 changes to the federal regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Before starting her career in publishing, Ms. Prince practiced law for several years in the insurance industry and served as president of a retail sales business. Ms. Prince received her law degree from Vermont Law School.
Elaine Quayle is an Editor and has over 30 years’ experience in publishing, including positions with the New York Times Magazine Group and publishers of scholarly texts and banking publications. She has been at BLR since 1994 and works on a variety of products including newsletters, book supplements, special reports, and articles for HR.BLR.com. A graduate of Cedar Crest College, Elaine also attended the Fairfield University Graduate School of Communications and holds a Human Resources Certificate from Gateway Community College.
Susan Schoenfeld, J.D., is a Senior Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Ms. Schoenfeld has practiced in the area of employment litigation and counseling, covering topics such as disability discrimination, wrongful discharge, and sexual harassment. She provided training and counseling to corporate clients and litigated cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals, state court, and at the U.S. Department of Labor. Prior to private practice, Ms. Schoenfeld was an attorney with the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in Washington, D.C., where she advised federal agencies, drafted regulations, conducted inspector training courses, and litigated cases for DOL. Ms. Schoenfeld received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, with honors, from Union College, and her law degree from the National Law Center at George Washington University.
Martin Simon, J.D., is a Senior Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Mr. Simon has worked in legal publishing for over 25 years. He worked for 7 years as a legal editor for Prentice Hall, where he wrote and edited for the Pension and Profit Sharing and the Plan Administrators Compliance Manual looseleaf services. He has been a legal editor for BLR for more than 20 years. Mr. Simon has been on the Board of the Hartford Chapter of Working in Employee Benefits for 4 years. Mr. Simon has a BA degree with Honors from the University of Connecticut, where he was a member of the Honors Program and Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the University of Connecticut and is a member of the Connecticut Bar.
Jessica Webb-Ayer, J.D., is a Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. She has written and edited countless publications on labor and employment law and is the editor of the Benefits Compliance Advisor online newsletter and the benefits manual — Benefits Compliance: Strategies for Plans, Programs & Policies. Ms. Webb-Ayer has also worked on various Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and workers’ compensation/safety products. She graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Psychology from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and graduated cum laude with a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville, Tennessee. Ms. Webb-Ayer is licensed to practice law in Tennessee.
Virginia Mayo joined M. Lee Smith Publishers, a division of BLR®, after working as a seasonal staff attorney for the Tennessee Legislature. In her capacity as group publisher (Legal), she oversees the production of several CLE live events and audio conferences/webinars in Tennessee and Alabama, as well as an annual two-track workers’ compensation seminar for Tennessee attorneys and employers. She also serves as editor of Tennessee Attorneys Memo, a weekly newsletter summarizing appellate court decisions, new laws, and other legal developments in Tennessee. She serves as co-editor of the Tennessee Workers’ Comp Reporter, a monthly publication for Tennessee employers. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Lipscomb University and her J.D. from the Nashville School of Law, where she was a member of the Cooper’s Inn Honor Society. In 2011, she received the "Head of the Class" award, an annual award given by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development for outstanding service to its Workers’ Compensation Division.
Mary Weber is Group Publisher for Directories and Legislation Services. She oversees staff in the research and production of Tennessee Attorneys Directory, Tennessee Government Officials Directory and Bankers Association Directories for Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Minnesota and South Dakota. Ms. Weber oversees the staff of the Tennessee Legislation Service, a daily legislative bill tracking service covering the Tennessee general assembly. She also serves as programming coordinator for Tennessee Legislation Service Online. Ms. Weber holds a B.S. in Business from Indiana State University. She recently celebrated her 25th anniversary with M. Lee Smith Publishers, a division of BLR.
Jean Simpkins is associate group publisher (Legal) with M. Lee Smith Publishers, a division of BLR. In that capacity, she produces several CLE live events and audio conferences/webinars for Tennessee and Alabama attorneys, as well as an annual two-track workers’ compensation seminar for Tennessee attorneys and employers. She also serves as associate editor of Tennessee Attorneys Memo, a weekly newsletter summarizing appellate court decisions, new laws, and other legal developments in Tennessee. She serves as co-editor of the Tennessee Workers’ Comp Reporter, a monthly publication for Tennessee employers. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Lipscomb University and her J.D. from the Nashville School of Law. In 2011, she received the "Head of the Class" award, an annual award given by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development for outstanding service to its Workers’ Compensation Division.
Ed Cromer is editor of The Tennessee Journal, a weekly, nonpartisan newsletter for political insiders. He is also group publisher/politics. He tracks, forecasts, and analyzes Tennessee political developments and issues in state government. Mr. Cromer is a former political reporter for The Tennessean. He also served as senior political writer, editorial writer, and political editor for the Nashville Banner. He holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University.
Angela Pachciarz is Editor of Tennessee Legislation Service (TLS), a legislative bill tracking service for lobbyists, government agencies, and other interested parties. Ms. Pachciarz manages the TLS staff and typically covers the Finance committees and the State and Local Government committees of the general assembly for the bill tracking service. Ms. Pachciarz also compiles and edits the three main publications for the bill tracking service: Daily Update, Weekly Calendar, and the Comprehensive Memo. These reports are sent to the TLS customer base to keep subscribers updated on bill introductions, new bill status and calendar changes. Ms. Pachciarz served for six years as Managing Editor and three years as Capitol Hill Reporter before taking on the Editor position. She is also Editor of the Tennessee Attorneys Directory. Ms. Pachciarz holds a B.A. from Lipscomb University and a M.A. from Middle Tennessee State University.
Katie Furches is associate editor of the Tennessee Legislation Service and the Tennessee Attorneys Directory and editorial coordinator of The Tennessee Journal. She is also editor of the Tennessee Government Officials Directory, an annual publication that provides contact information for over 14,000 officials in Tennessee. During Tennessee's legislative session, Ms. Furches helps manage the TLS staff and covers Commerce committee meetings in addition to floor sessions. Before joining M. Lee Smith Publishers, a division of BLR, in 2004, Ms. Furches worked at Vanderbilt University where she also earned her bachelor’s degree.
Environment, Health, and Safety
Clare Condon is the Managing Editor of BLR’s environmental publications. Before joining BLR, Clare spent many years in education and worked as a reporter, focusing primarily on environmental issues. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Herbert H. Lehman in New York City and a Master’s Degree in education from the University of Southern Maine. Ms. Condon is a member of the Connecticut Environmental Forum and the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals.
David Galt is Managing Editor for BLR’s safety publications and has been with BLR since 2001. He oversees the development of federal and state regulatory summaries of environmental, safety and health topics, develops compliance and educational materials for safety programs, and writes feature articles and white papers about business and workplace safety. Dave also speaks regularly at national and regional conferences including ASSE, AHMP, and NAEP about promoting the business value of EHS. He has spent 15 years in the environmental regulatory field as a lobbyist and policy analyst, and has a Master’s Degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Dave serves on the National Environmental, Safety and Health Training Association’s (NESHTA) Board of Directors.
Amanda Czepiel, J.D., is a Legal Editor for BLR’s environmental publications, focusing primarily on water-related issues. Ms. Czepiel has clerked in the Environmental Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and with the Connecticut Fund for the Environment in New Haven, Connecticut. Prior to attending law school, she worked as an environmental educator and naturalist for the National Park Service, and also in the culinary field, with Clark Wolf Company, a New York-based food and restaurant consulting firm. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in Food Studies from the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She is a member of the Water Environment Federation, the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, and the American Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in Connecticut.
Elizabeth M. Dickinson, J.D., is a Legal Editor for BLR’s environmental publications, focusing primarily on hazardous waste related topics. Ms Dickinson has covered environmental developments since 1994. Before joining BLR, she was an associate in the law firm Cummings & Lockwood and an attorney at Aetna Life and Casualty, both in Hartford, Connecticut. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University and her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was an Articles Editor of the Connecticut Law Review. Ms. Dickinson is a member of the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals and the Connecticut Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in Connecticut.
Ana-Mari Ellington is a Legal Editor for BLR’s safety publications, and has been with BLR since 2002. She writes federal and state regulatory summaries, develops compliance and educational materials for safety programs, and writes white papers and news articles about workplace safety. Ms. Ellington has also written numerous publications on environmental management topics, such as sustainability. In addition, Ms. Ellington, who is bilingual, manages the development of all Spanish-language materials at BLR, ensuring translation accuracy and consistency. She received her bachelor of arts in English and Spanish philology (linguistics) from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Ana is a member of the National Association of Environmental Managers (NAEM), the Connecticut Environmental Forum, the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, the Society of Environmental Journalists, and the American Translators Association.
Timothy P. Fagan is a Legal Editor for BLR’s environmental publications, focusing primarily on air quality related topics. Mr. Fagan has covered environmental developments with BLR since 2000. Before joining BLR, he spent 5 years in environmental consulting and was responsible for air quality permitting and compliance for a broad range of industries in both the private and public sector. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Villanova University and a Master’s degree in environmental engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the Air and Waste Management Association.
Kelly Lagana is an EHS Contributing Editor and Product Manager for the New Product Development Team. Ms. Lagana has been covering the environmental and safety fields for BLR since 2004. She produces BLR’s popular Environmental Daily Advisor, a daily newsletter for environmental managers and the regulated community. She holds a B.S. in Agriculture and Natural Resources from the University of Connecticut.
Nancy W. Teolis, J.D., has been a Legal Editor for BLR’s environmental publications since 1993, focusing primarily on underground storage tanks, pesticides, chemical regulation, and hazardous waste-related requirements. Before joining BLR, she worked for the law firm Rudman & Winchell in Bangor, Maine, with an emphasis on asbestos exposure litigation. Ms. Teolis also served on the Clinton, Connecticut Wetlands Commission. She received her bachelor's degree in business administration from Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island, and her Juris Doctorate from Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts. Ms. Teolis is a member of the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals and the Connecticut Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in Connecticut.
Peggy Cretella is an Instructional Design Manager and has been with BLR since 1993. She has developed various training products in print, electronic, video, and online format and has developed products for the EHS field, as well as Human Resources. She has trained on a variety of topics, such as office ergonomics, back safety, emergency preparedness, and building evacuation. Most recently, she spoke at the American Society for Training and Development Annual International Conference and Expo on the Topic of Sexual Harassment Training. She is an active member of the American Society of Training and Development.
Heather Hunt is a Production Editor for BLR where she has worked on training products since 2002. She has over 15 years’ experience writing and editing business training materials in a variety of formats, including newsletters, booklets, posters, PowerPoint sessions, special reports, and guidebooks. For BLR, she works on a wide variety of topics, including OSHA-required training and compliance, diversity training and antidiscrimination laws, sexual harassment recognition and prevention, Social Security and Medicare, wellness programs, and building effective training programs for adult learners. She produces BLR's Training Daily Advisor.