Board of Directors

President - Jonathan Covington, Precision Drilling

Jon Covington has been a member of Houston Compensation & Benefits since 2010 and has served on the board since 2013.  He also serves on the Texas Total Rewards Alliance board. Jon currently holds the position of Manager, Executive Compensation at Precision Drilling.  He has over seven years of experience in compensation, both on the corporate side as well as a consultant.  He has been used as a resource in the media and co-authored several publications regarding compensation best practices.  Jon holds a BBA in Accounting, as well as the Compensation Committee Certification through the Economic Research Institute.



Vice President - Robert Pesch, Mercer

As a Principal in Mercer’s Health & Benefits practice, Robert assists employers with the execution of their overall healthcare strategy.  Robert is also a member of Mercer's Energy Sector vertical.  Previously, Robert was the leader of the benefits practice for a major consulting firm over the timespan of eleven years.  He has extensive experience working on the design, strategy and administration of compensation and benefit plans for all types of companies. Robert has also consulted on HR considerations in mergers & acquisitions and other payroll matters.  Robert is a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist, which is a co-sponsored program under the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Robert is a member of the Houston Compensation & Benefits and the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals.  Robert has served on the Texas Total Rewards Alliance board as the Treasurer.

Past President - Casey Loyd, EDHC

Casey leads EDHC's efforts to forge and manage relationships with national brokerage & consulting firms.  Prior to EDHC Casey worked for Ascende, a boutique health care consulting firm in Houston, where he focused on strategic benchmarking studies for the Oil & Gas industry.  Casey is a board member and serves as the President of the Houston Compensation & Benefits Association.  Casey holds an MBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Economics from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia.

Treasurer - Richard Smith, CCP, GRP, PHR, SHRM-CP, Ensco

Richard Smith is currently a Sr. International Compensation Analyst with Ensco, a global provider of offshore drilling services to the petroleum industry.  He has more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources in the areas of compensation, benefits, payroll, policies and procedures, process improvement, recruiting, and testing, recommending modifications, and implementing Human Resources Information System conversions and upgrades.  Richard has held corporate compensation positions for global employers in the energy services and financial services industries such as Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, Smith International, Baker Hughes, Halliburton, JPMorgan Chase, Van Kampen Investments, and the local health care industry with CHI St Luke’s Health.  He has served as Treasurer for Houston Compensation and Benefits since April 2009 and also served as Chapter Webmaster for HR Houston and on their Membership Committee.  Richard holds a BBA from the University of Houston Downtown.

Secretary - Fernando Herranz, SPHR, Weatherford

High energy and enthusiastic, with more than 20 years of professional experience in varied areas of Human Resources, including Compensation, Benefits, HR Systems, Sales Compensation, Training, Performance Management and HR Generalist. Last 15 years have been with international responsibility. Fernando’s recent experience has been in high tech industry, with positions held at Duracell Inc, Compaq Computer Corp, Hewlett Packard Co., BMC Software and most recently at Exterran and Weatherford, where he currently holds the position of Director Global Compensation. Fernando holds a BBA from Universidad de Las Americas, an HR degree from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and an MBA from University of Houston, C.T. Bauer College of Business. Fully bi-lingual in English and Spanish.







Professional Development - Ben Manrriquez, MBA, Paragon Offshore

Ben Manrriquez is the Global Payroll Partner for Paragon Offshore, an international offshore drilling contractor.  Ben has over 15 years of human resources experience with concentrations in payroll, benefits, and HRIS.  Ben’s work history includes positions at Noble Drilling, Vantage Drilling, Seahawk Drilling, Pride International, AIM Investments, and Paychex.  He prides himself as a hands-on individual with a diverse background and a positive attitude.  Ben holds a BS/BA from the University of Phoenix and an Executive MBA from Texas A&M University-Commerce.  In addition, he holds several certifications; CPP, SPHR, GPHR, CCP, GRP, CBP, WLCP, CCC, and SHRM-SCP. Ben volunteers and mentors with several organizations in support of the “Pay it Forward” concept and in appreciation of those that have helped him along the way.









Sponsorship - Mike Lopez, Ascende

Mike Lopez is a business development analyst with Ascende, a human capital consulting firm located in Houston, Texas.  Mike is responsible for effectively marketing the firm, its services and capabilities.  Ascende’s HR and employee benefit plan solutions target middle-market companies that highly value human capital.  Mike serves as a relationship manager for several clients in an effort to effectively communicate and manage client expectations. He is responsible for preparing proposals for new clients, which highlight the firm’s consulting services for health and welfare plans, retirement plans, HR technology, and customized employee communication pieces, such as employee benefit guides, internal websites and print and email campaigns.

Mike also promotes the Ascende Energy Acumen Benefit Plan Surveys, which benchmark employee benefit plans and costs for companies who operate in the drilling, exploration and production, energy services, midstream or engineering and construction sectors of the oil and gas industry.  Ascende also sponsors a global benefit plan survey for energy companies with international footprints and a general market benefit survey for all for-profit companies with over 100 employees.

Mike received his bachelor of science degree in finance and marketing from the University of Oklahoma and has been a member of Houston Compensation and Benefits for the past four years. He is currently pursuing his first CEBS designation, but in his free time, Mike enjoys a round of golf, eating out with his wife and spending Sundays with his large family.


Communications - Waland E. Walsh, CCP, Halliburton

Before joining Weatherford International in 2008, Waland worked 15 years for a diverse range of top performing financial and healthcare organizations, including Nations Bank (now Bank of America), Living Centers of America, and US Oncology. In his roles, Waland has been responsible for financial, operational, and business analytics reporting to senior management that was vital to growing and or maintaining his organization’s market share, operational excellence, and competitive compensation programs. Waland is a 1992 graduate of Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) with a BBA in Finance, a husband to Marcell Moran, and the father to three daughters, Waily, Wesley, and Walker.


Programs - Stacie Lyons, CCP, GRP, Comp Matters

As a contractor for 19 years, Stacie has acquired domestic and international knowledge and experience in a variety of industries including manufacturing, engineering and construction, upstream and midstream energy, oilfield and environmental services, distribution and information technology.  Stacie partners with Human Resources, line management and executive teams to identify foundational needs and to design and implement compensation programs that support business strategy.  Specialties include: Job Analysis, Job Descriptions and Level Guides, Job Evaluation, Market Analysis, Structure Development, Variable Pay Analysis and Incentive Plan Development.  Stacie has served in a variety of volunteer positions on the HC&B board and on the Texas Total Rewards conference.  Stacie earned a BBA in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of North Texas.

 Luke Prettol

Programs - Luke Prettol, EDHC

Luke was the Human Capital Manager for Aggreko North America, a global energy services provider, and is responsible for compensation, benefits, and workforce planning. Luke’s focus has been to apply analytics and behavioral economics to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of total rewards programs. Prior to Aggreko, Luke was at Ascende in the Health & Welfare and HR Solutions practices where he provided human capital solutions for clients across the energy industry. Luke holds CEBS, HCS, and PHR designations and received his BBA in Human Resources from Baylor University.


Membership - Cindy Stein, Alert Logic

Cindy Stein is the Director of Talent Management for Alert Logic, a managed security services provider.  She is responsible globally for directing all aspects of Compensation and HR Services for over 600 employees. This includes compensation strategy, benefits program administration, employee relations, HRIS, HR measurement/analytics, immigration and global mobility.

She brings more than 20 years’ experience in human resources serving companies globally, designing and developing human resources programs, compliance, and building strong teams. Before joining Alert Logic, Cindy spent 8 years at Rackspace, as the Director of Global Compensation and Mobility, based in San Antonio where she was responsible for compensation, relocation, immigration, and new market setups in the EMEA/Asia-Pacific regions and the United States.  Previous to Rackspace, Cindy held consulting positions at BHP Billiton and Accenture.


At Large - Megan Frommel, Longnecker & Associates

Mrs. Frommel joined L&A in 2014 and is the Marketing Director in the Houston office.  Her experience has been in marketing, sales, and business development.  Her responsibilities include social media management, local conference and speaking engagement coordination, communication with L&A’s PR firm, and management of L&A's website, blog, and newsletter.  She is also responsible for community outreach and business development.   Mrs. Frommel holds a BS degree in Economics from Texas A&M University.