Team Member Bio


  • Founder of Directional
    - a career and personal development company

  • President of Client Staffing Solutions, Inc.
    - a nationwide search and recruitment agency

  • Managing partner of Solid Rock Investments, LLC.
    - a real estate investment group

  • Volunteer Chaplain within the SD Penal System

  • Russ has been a national award winning executive recruiter for over 20 years. His commitment level and his professional approach in helping clients, has been recognized throughout the industry. He also has served as a volunteer chaplain within the SD Penal system for over 20 years, finding  great joy and satisfaction in reaching out to others in need. In meeting other needs, Russ has begun a series of book publications penned as the Directional Motivation series. His first book “How to get a raise; the correct way to ask for an increase in salary and wages” has been regarded highly by many individuals and organizations across the US.

    Russ Hovendick, President


  • Currently the Head Track & Field Coach at Bethel University in Minnesota

  • Athletics:
    - 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in track & Field.
    -2005 World Champion
    -Ranked in the top 5 in the world as a sprinter for several years
    -17 time All-American at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
    -9 time NCAA National Champion
    -17 time All-American at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
    -Holds numerous school, conference, and national records

  • Education:
    -BS from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

  • Volunteer/Speaking Engagements/Media Exposure:
  • -Volunteer for Special Olympics and Boys and Girls Club of America
    -Numerous school, corporate,  and clinic speaking engagements
    -Featured on major network stations (NBC, CBS, ABC) as well as major print outlets (USA Today, New York Times, Chicago Tribune)

  • Family
  • -Married 7 years to my wife
    -Father of three children

    Nolan Ruby, Veterans Relations Advisor


  • Lifetime resident of Sioux Falls, SD.

  • 4½ years of active duty service in the US Marine Corps as an Infantry Machine gunner.
  • -Meritoriously promoted to E-4 and combat meritoriously promoted to E-5.
    -Combat tours in Afghanistan, Haiti, and Iraq.
    -Recipient of combat valor award and the Purple Heart.

  • Correctional Officer for the South Dakota State Penitentiary.
  • -Correctional Officer for disciplinary segregation, mental health ward, and death row.
    -Disturbance Control Squad (DCS) member.
    -Special Operations Rescue Tactics (SORT) team member.

  • Veterans Service Officer for the South Dakota Division of Veterans Affairs.
  • -Advocate for South Dakota veterans for:
    Service connected compensation
    Non-service connected pension
    Educational benefits for not only veterans, but also the veteran's family
    -Charter member for the bi annual Salute to the Troops event in Sioux Falls, SD.
    -County Veteran's Service Officer Supervisor (Field Officer) for six SD counties.

  • Veterans Service Representative / Military Service Coordinator for the Sioux Falls VA Regional Office.
  • -Development of service connected compensation cases.
    -Local outreach and public forum speaker.
    -Liaison between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD).
    -Recipient of the Veterans Benefits Administration Special Contribution Award.
    -Recipient of the Veterans Benefits Administration Performance Award.

  • Education
  • -BA from Great Plans Baptist University and Divinity School.

  • Personal Accomplishments and volunteer opportunities.
  • -Minnehaha County Jail Chaplin.
    -Self-defense instructor for Empire Baptist Academy.
    -Life member, Military Order of the Purple Heart.
    -Member, Marine Corps League.
    -Licensed Resident Producer with the State of South Dakota.

  • My Family
  • -Married five years to my beautiful wife.
    -Father of two great children.

    Nolan Ruby, Veterans Relations Advisor


    Many within various sectors of industry and community relations would consider Zina to be the “Ultimate Professional,” due to her extensive knowledge and her genuine heart for people.

  • Guest Lecturer – Organizational Leadership & HR at Southern Poly Technical College & University 2012
  • Guest Panelist - Equal Pay for Equal Work Countering the War on Women - GA Legislative Black Caucus 2012
  • Guest Lecturer - Interview Techniques in a Challenged Economy - National Forum for Black Public Administrators 2012
  • Guest Lecturer - Interview Techniques in a Challenged Economy - National Forum for Black Public Administrators 2012
  • Fulton County Schools Career & Technical Advisory Committee 2012
  • Business Owner/Investor – Curves for Women Southwest Atlanta 2004-2008
  • Clayton County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2003-2005
  • South Metro March of Dimes Revenue Chair
  • South Metro March of Dimes Recruitment Chair
  • South Metro March of Dimes Rookie Team of the Year 2000

  • Currently, Sr. HR Manager for a leading industry plastics manufacturer. She began her career in Cleveland Ohio as a Social Worker working with a Family Development Program helping families to develop the skills to be self-sufficient.  She soon learned that the key to success in the program meant finding meaningful employment and developing the skills to do so.  She moved to Atlanta in 1993 to attend Clark Atlanta University and pursued a career in Human Resource Management.  Trained at CAU, Ford Motor Company and through various courses and networks.  Zina has become a true Human Resource to colleagues and friends.

  • Zina is a Human Resources professional with 19 years' experience in various roles in Human Resources.  She has held positions ranging from Human Resources Assistant to Sr. Director of Human Resources for a Fortune 100 food processing and packaging company.  Her industry experience includes automotive manufacturing and supplier component manufacturing, heavy industrial equipment and machinery, food processing and now plastic.  

  • Zina has owned and operated an Executive Recruiting Company, Cooper Selection Services, and a franchised Women's fitness center.   She has searched for candidates at the entry level to the Sr. Executive level.  In addition, she is past Board of Directors Member for the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, and has served as the Southern Region March of Dimes Walk Chair.

  • Zina's favorite past time is baking various dishes using the Sweet Potato with her favorite being the sweet potato cheesecake; writing and being the number 1 fan in her kids activities (Music, Soccer, Volleyball, Baseball and Flying).  She is a parent volunteer with two PTSA committees, a community volunteer and a member of The World of Faith Family Cathedral.
  • Zina is happily married with four wonderful children and  two precious granddaughters.

  • Zina Cooper, Coach/Diversity Relations Advisor


  • Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) with 27 years of Executive Recruiting

  • IPA 2011 Recruiter Awards Earned
    -IPA #1 Counselor of the Year
    -#1 Supplier of the Year
    -Recognition of Excellence

  • Author: A Guide to Social Network Recruiting
  • Below is what I live my life by:

    Whatever You Give To Life, Life Gives You Back
    By Dr. Sirisha Sundarum

    If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
    If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
    If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
    If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory
    If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
    If you plant hard work, you will reap success
    If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

    Carol Martin, Management Development Coach/Advisor Advisor


  • Master's Degree in Organizational Development/Human Resources Development

  • currently pursuing a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

    Mari Peck has over 20 years of leadership experience in all areas of human resources. She has an emphasis is Organizational and Leadership Development, Change Management, and all areas of Learning and Development. Her experience and passion for change management has resulted in numerous positions where mergers, acquisitions, or extensive change management expertise is needed. Mari has worked in diverse industries including manufacturing, aviation, transportation, and health care and has been responsible for leading 40 direct reports in both union and non-union environments.

  • Outside of work, Mari is adjusting to being an empty-nester and enjoys bicycling, gardening, traveling, and learning (imagine that!).
  • Mari Peck, Management Development Coach/Advisor


    Kevin is a native South Dakotan, growing up in the scenic Black Hills area in the western part of the state. Education took him to the eastern part of the state, kicking off a somewhat eclectic career path. After graduating from the University of South Dakota, he started professional life in the transportation industry which gave him real life exposure to the lives, goals and needs of a truly diverse workforce.

    He returned to school and attained an MS in Industrial Relations at Iowa State University. From there, he obtained his first role in the HR field as a benefits administrator in a local facility of a nationwide food manufacturer. The next stop was with a large regional healthcare company where he continued working with benefits but in a consultative role with businesses. His customers ranged in size and profile from those employing thousands to small family shops. He was able to see the day to day concerns of workers and their families in industries as varied as healthcare, steel manufacturing, education and even a casino. Eventually, he ended up in his current seat with Directional Motivation. Throughout his career, the constant themes have been service and balancing concern and care for individuals with business objectives. Throughout it all, he has gotten satisfaction from adding to his own knowledge and being able to make a difference in someone's life, regardless of how small.


    Millie Lapidario is the head writer and editor of Lapidary Copy. As an adjective, “lapidary” means “elegant and precise”—a description befitting her work and a standard she strives to attain for every client with every project. Millie has written T-shirt slogans for Nike, eBooks for Hyperink Press and articles for the San Francisco legal newspaper The Recorder, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, and The San Francisco Chronicle’s entertainment publication 96 Hours. Her training and professional experience as a newspaper journalist give her a unique advantage as a copywriter and book editor.

    A published writer since 2001, Millie is known for her descriptive storytelling style. Her writing reflects her ability to observe people and her curiosity about the human experience. Millie has interviewed hundreds of people, from district attorneys and government officials to farmers and hunters. She has written about lawyers representing sexually violent predators, aspiring teen rock stars, and segregation in a small town.

     She holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies and a B.A. in Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2003, she learned from some of the country’s top storytelling gurus at the Poynter Institute of Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida.

    Millie Lapidario


    "Success is a choice!"

    As a native of Springfield, South Dakota, I believe in the old adage of Midwestern work ethic, which means we will not stop until the job is filled or completed. I feel very fortunate to be able to work in an industry that offers such challenges day after day.  I have 12 years of industry and search experience.

    Interests/Hobbies/Community Involvement:

    I am a graduate from the University of Sioux Falls and I reside in the great little community of Dell Rapids (just 12 minutes north of Sioux Falls) with my wife Stephanie and three young children. We are actively involved with St. Mary school and Church activities.  I have also been honored to be quoted in the USA Today, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Agri Insights and various business journals.

    Featured In The Following Publications

  • Dave Ramsey's Entreleadership (Click to listen to audio)
  • USA Today
  • Fox Business
  • The Street
  • Agri Insights
  • Careerbuilder

  • Craig Libis



  • The George Washington University Law School
    -JD (with honors) 1990-1993

  • The Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, The University of Virginia
    -MBA 1986-1988

  • Georgetown University
    -BS Business Administration (summa cum laude), Accounting 1980-1984

    Special Accomplishments

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Immigration Law
  • Virginia's Legal Elite, Immigration & Naturalization Law
  • Virginia's Super Lawyers, Immigration Law

    Contact Information

    Arthur Serratelli, Esq.
    Partner & Chair, Immigration Law Group
    Vandeventer Black LLP
    CELL: 757-235-4624
    SKYPE NAME: "immigration_art"
    Offices: Norfolk / Richmond / Raleigh / Kitty Hawk / Pasadena

    Specialties: Non-Immigrant Visas; Employment-based & Family-based Immigrant Visas and Lawful Permanent Residency ("Green Cards"); working with F-1students and J-1 Exchange Visitors to change to lawful work status.

    Click here for immigration application

  • Art Serratelli