Penda Aiken brings over 30 years of experience leading client-focused workforce solution projects, project management, and staff augmentation teams. She is responsible for maintaining a profitable revenue stream while building market share in various industries such as construction, healthcare and information technology. Through her leadership, PAI has successfully completed over 25,000 engagements in a wide range of disciplines and has achieved annual sales of $15 million. Penda oversees compliance, staff integrity, and availability of financial resources.
As PAI team leader, Penda Aiken maintains ultimate responsibility for the success of all PAI contract awards and finalizes all financial and project management decisions. Aiken is a member of various community boards and conducts numerous philanthropic endeavors. She holds a B.A from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program and an MFA from Columbia University.
Chief Operating Officer
Carter Lard has 30 years of academic, research, teaching, and healthcare experience. Prior to joining Penda Aiken, Inc., he served as the Director of Contracts and Procurement for SUNY Downstate. Carter brings his many years of leadership in operations and procurement management, conducting quality operations management and performance improvement. He is a highly respected senior executive, with a distinguished background leading operation in both the nonprofit and the for-profit sector.
Carter is a subject matter expert in clinical, pharmaceutical, and biotech operations, developing a dynamic, pragmatic approach to business operations and challenges; working with integrity and professionalism. He initiates positive change and engages with businesses, community leaders and residents according to professional requirements and regulatory procedures.
Compliance and Outreach Manager
Inaldo Chavarria serves as MWBE Outreach and Compliance Manager for Penda Aiken, Inc. He leads the internal processes for promoting and ensuring contractor compliance with laws, regulations, policies, and contracts. Inaldo is also responsible for communicating and implementing PAI’s policies and procedures.
Prior to joining Penda Aiken, Inc., Inaldo provided MWBE Compliance and Outreach services for both the public and private sectors. In his various roles, he ensured that organizations were well-informed of current regulations and focused their efforts on the promotion and use of MWBE firms. He also has direct experience performing prevailing wage audits, conducting ICAP reviews, section 3 compliance and analyzing workforce utilization plans. Inaldo received a B.A. in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University and a Master’s of Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Mary Erazo, SHRM-SCP serves as the firm’s HR Manager. She is an integral partner of PAI’s Executive Team where she serves as a change management champion, specializing in design and implementation of successful HR programs. Ms. Erazo advises management on HR best practices, to ensure PAI maintains cultural values of teamwork, integrity, and excellence as an organization. She is astute in identifying areas in need of improvement, with the vision to develop and implement successful action plans.
Her broad experience includes benefits, compensation, staffing, workforce management, employee relations, development and engagement. An accomplished professional with over 15 years of experience, she earned a Master’s in Industrial Counseling and BBA in Marketing and Administration. Since joining PAI in 2018, she has brought an innovative perspective to the firm. She is a strong strategic advisor to management.
Joseph (Joe) Simon
Human Resources Assistant
Joseph Simon is the Human Resources Assistant for Penda Aiken, Inc. He recently graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S in Integrated Neuroscience. He has been working in Human Resources for the last two years and is currently pursuing his SHRM-CP certification.
Jeffrey (Jeff) Shlager
Talent Acquisition Manager
Jeff Shlager brings to Penda Aiken over 25 years of experience in the recruitment industry. Having formerly created and built a boutique recruitment company with specialties in finance/accounting, creative/technical, legal and administrative staffing, he has previously developed staffing programs for leading investment banks and law firms including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Jeff has significant experience and a thorough understanding of the evolving digital recruitment landscape which is a critical factor in finding and placing the right talent. He brings a strong sense of urgency necessary to succeed in this current competitive talent-driven environment. Jeff manages PAI’s in-house recruiters, conducts client outreach and ensures that we continue to meet and exceed our clients’ everchanging staffing needs.
Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist
Earlene Robinson has over 17 years’ experience as a recruiter and account manager for Fortune 100 companies, government sector, and non-profit organizations. She has successfully placed workers in various positions ranging from clerical to analysts and accountants. At Penda Aiken, Inc. Earlene focuses on the construction and disaster recovery industry, placing project managers and other professionals. She volunteers as a community worker at her local church, providing food for the less fortunate, as well as supporting the church’s Executive Board. Earlene holds a B.A. degree from Brooklyn College.
Vontilla (Von) Steven
Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist
Von has a depth and breadth of knowledge in Talent Acquisition. He is proficient in sourcing, recruiting and screening qualified candidates, as well as matching the right individuals for temporary and permanent positions. Prior to joining PAI’s Staffing team, Von held various positions providing contingent, consulting and direct hire placement services. Von brings transit and construction experience to the team from his work with the MTA Bridges and Tunnels and the New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.
For the past 10 years, he has conducted contract and permanent recruitments for various construction and transit roles, while with Penda Aiken and has worked as the point of contact for many MTA Capital Construction contracts. Von has built multiple pipelines within the industry that continue to bear fruit.
Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist
David Roberts is a seasoned Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist with fifteen-years of staff augmentation and direct hire experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Penda Aiken, Inc., David Roberts worked as a healthcare recruiter for Mount Sinai Hospital and Medical School, NYU Winthrop University Hospital and Visiting Nurses of New York.
David strongly believes that the customer is the most valuable asset an organization can have and strives to recruit the ideal candidate – someone who is passionate and caring about their profession. David holds a BA in Education from Roger Williams University and is currently enrolled in the Master’s Degree program at St Joseph’s University in Brooklyn, NY.
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Krystal Higgins has a background in HR Management and Operations. She previously worked for American Airlines, JFK and Newark airports providing airport staffing. She formerly functioned in the capacity of the Operational Manager and Recruiting manager at various organizations. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.
Talent Acquisition Administrative Assistant
Sahadia Cadet is the Talent Acquisition Administrative Assistant at Penda Aiken, Inc. where she provides administrative and operational support. Sahadia serves as a focal point for staffing, assists with data management, research, correspondence, maintains company systems and client files. Her responsibilities include coordination of projects, developing spreadsheets and generating reports for analysis and workload management. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Justice Administration.
Kijo Aiken supervises client financial matters at Penda Aiken, Inc. including vendor billing, accounts payable and accounts receivable. He has worked at PAI in this capacity since 2003. Prior to joining PAI, Kijo worked with several corporations and non-profits as an IT Systems Administrator.
Moji Oke manages tracking hours worked and ensures that employees are accurately paid for their time. Moji is the first point of contact for our employees, consultants, and temps in matters of time, attendance and payroll. She also provides support to PAI’s finance department.
Penda Aiken, Inc.
Consultant Management Team
In addition to our in-house staff, PAI has an expansive team of seasoned experts in the workforce and compliance space. Our consultants have a combined (75) years of professional experience in the areas of healthcare, construction, transportation, aviation, and related services. We are uniquely positioned to provide valuable insight and assistance in support of your projects and initiatives.