About Us

Who We Are

Next Level Strategies was founded in 2003 to provide a tactical and strategic support for all areas of Human Resources Management by the project or as a totally outsourced function in the greater San Francisco Bay area and Austin, Texas.  We coach our clients through all facets of employment – from recruiting a key employee, to managing conflict in the workplace, writing an employee manual, delivering annual harassment prevention training, eliciting top performance from all employees, and guiding companies through terminations and layoffs.

How We Are Different

Staff: Our staff is typically more senior than those of PEO’s or our competitors, which allows us to provide both strategic and tactical services to our clients, while other firms only provide tactical services. We also think like business people not “classic HR” people. We are not road blocks to success, we are facilitators of it.

Service: We are very hands on. Our clients are not directed to a website where they have to find their own answers.  We go onsite, learn their culture, integrate into it, and take care of things seamlessly, saving our clients time and effort.


Julie A. Chendes, SPHR, Founder and CEO

Julie’s 23 years of experience spans work in the high tech, non-profit, and marketing industries. Julie holds an M.S. in Human Resources Management, a B.S. in Public Relations, and a Human Resource Certificate from San Francisco State University. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) as certified by HRCI. Julie taught seminars and consulted with clients at the San Francisco Small Business Development Center. She served on the Board of Directors of Instituto Familiar de la Raza for eight years.

Taune M. Lima, SPHR, HR Consulting/Recruiting Director

Taune joined NLS 11 years ago and her background includes an additional 11 years in restaurant management. She provides tactical and strategic HR support and solutions that work for our clients’ individualized needs. She has an A.A. in Merchandise Management Marketing, holds a Human Resource Certificate from San Francisco State University, and is a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) as certified by HRCI. She has recently relocated to Austin, Texas and has begun our Austin division there.

Katie O’Donnell, Senior HR Consultant

Katie is an experienced Human Resources Professional with a M.B.A. in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. She is a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) as certified by HRCI and a certified professional by SHRM (SHRM-CP).

Alexis Haman, HR Consultant

Alexis is a human resource professional with experience in the full lifecycle of employees, on/offboarding, recruitment, leave of absences, performance reviews, compliance management, workers compensation, employee events, perk and benefit programs, day-to-day HR management, and project management (diversity, values, and culture). She holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Jose State University.

Joy Vail, Operations Manager/HR & Payroll Consultant

Joy is our operations and office manager, payroll/accounting specialist, and OSHA-certified safety expert. She has worked as an HR representative for a variety of companies managing benefits, on-boarding, trainings, payroll, accounting, and financial audits. She has extensive administration experience including office management, office organization and customer service.

Cecilia M. Reynoso, HR Assistant/Translator

Cecilia focuses on assisting our Senior Human Resources Consultants and translating employment documents and trainings into Spanish. She has a B.A. in Communications, a minor in Spanish, and a Human Resources Management Certificate from California State University-Fullerton. She began her Human Resources career in 2011, and has supported HR generalists and managers with everything from administration, workflow, translations, on-boarding, trainings, audits, record keeping and employee engagement.