Renita Bess, CEO & President
In 1992, Renita entered the Payroll industry by joining Southland Data Processing. Since then, she has been an integral part of creating the infrastructure of SDP, participating in every aspect of the business from sales to operations. She has held numerous roles with the Independent Payroll Providers Association (IPPA) including Board Member, President, and Committee Member since 2001. Additionally, she cares deeply for her community and is actively involved with Santa Clara de Asis, the St. Denis Catholic Community finance council, and Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Board. Renita graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Cal Poly Pomona and participates with Tiggbee, an organization that empowers students regardless of economic or geographic barriers with the hope and knowledge of the opportunities to be happy and successful individuals. Click Here to view Renita’s Tiggbee interview.
Renita’s top two favorite movies of all time are Forrest Gump and Braveheart.
Michael Reis, Vice President of Sales
Michael has been a key component of SDP’s success since 2008. His payroll experience started in 1993 at ADP, and he has spent the past 22 years consulting with businesses to help them find ways to be more efficient, reduce costs, and stay compliant. Year over year, he has helped SDP grow by setting sales records each year. In addition to managing SDP’s team of inside and outside sales reps, he sits on the board of the Claremont Chamber of Commerce and loves volunteering in the community. He attended Saint Mary’s College of Moraga with a B.S. in Business Management and a Minor in Economics. Michael’s top two favorite movies of all time are It’s a Wonderful Life and Rudy.
Brett R. Strauss, Esq., Director of Compliance
Brett has been with SDP since 2010 and previously served as a Regional Sales Director prior to becoming an Attorney. He specializes in working with employers to find cost-effective solutions to comply with California and Federal employment regulations. Brett has a degree in business from the University of Arizona and a J.D. from the University of La Verne College of Law. Additionally, Brett is a member of the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of California, the Inland Empire Chapter of SHRM, and serves as the Speaker Chair for the West Inland Empire Employer Advisory Council. Brett’s top two favorite movies of all time are Goodfellas and The Sandlot. More About Brett
Cherrise Newman , Director of Operations
Cherrise Newman, CPP is the Director of Operations at Southland Data Processing. She has over 15 years in the payroll industry under her belt and has been at Southland Data Processing in various capacities since 2007. Cherrise has a passion for helping small businesses, and prior to SDP she spent 3 years at Inuit Inc. working in their small business payroll division. Additionally, she obtained her B.S. in Organizational Management with a concentration in Human Resources Management from the University of La Verne. Cherrise’s top two favorite movies of all time are Wedding Crashers and Gladiator. More About Cherrise
Dena Garvin-Smart , Director of New Opportunities
Dena Garvin-Smart is a marketing, strategic planning, image and company culture/brand-building executive with an emphasis in the financial services industry. Dena has spent an abundance of her career developing strategies for mergers and acquisitions, new division development, sales programs, and product launches. She has received 37 national and international awards for sales, marketing and promotional campaigns. Dena is a current member of the Board of Directors for the Haynes Family of Programs and Glendora Chamber of Commerce. Dena’s top two favorite movies of all time are Top Gun and Anything by John Hughes.
Ramon Bartolome, Accounting Manager
Ramon joined the SDP family in 2000 as an Accounting Specialist, reconciling SDP’s Trust Accounts. Known for his hard work and dedication, Ramon currently holds the role of Accounting Manager. Before leading SDP’s Accounting Department, he began his over 20-year long accounting career in the Philippines. Ramon has held positions from Bookkeeper to Assistant Branch Manager, gaining extensive experience in bank operations and trust accounting. He received his B.S. in Accounting from San Sebastian College, Philippines, and his top two favorite movies of all time are It’s a Wonderful Life and the Die Hard series.