Renita Bess, CEO & President
In 1992, Renita started in the Payroll industry by joining Southland Data Processing. Since 1992, Renita has been a part of creating the infrastructure of SDP. Renita has participated in every aspect of the business from sales to operations. She has served on the Board of the IPPA (Independent Payroll Providers Association); IPPA President 2003-2004 and 2018-2019; and continues to serve on IPPA committees since 2001. She is part of the finance council at St. Denis Catholic Community, helps with Children’s Faith Formation at Santa Clara de Asis, and serves on the Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Board. Renita graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Cal Poly Pomona. Renita’s top two favorite movies of all time are Forrest Gump and Braveheart.
Michael Reis, Vice President of Sales
Michael has been an integral part of the SDP’s success since 2008. Michael’s payroll experience started in 1993 with ADP. He has been consulting with businesses for the past 22 years helping them look for ways to be more efficient, reduce costs and stay compliant. At SDP he has helped the organization grow year over year setting sales records each year. He manages a team of 5 outside and 1 inside sales representatives. He sits on the board of the Claremont Chamber and has volunteered with many organizations. He attended Saint Mary’s College of Moraga with a Bachelor of Science degree 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. Brett 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. Brett is a member of the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar of California and the Inland Empire Chapter of SHRM. Brett sits on the Associate Board of Steven’s Hope for Children 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.
Cherrise Newman , Director of Operations
Cherrise Newman, CPP is the Director of Operations at Southland Data Processing. Cherrise has over 15 years in the payroll industry having been with Southland Data Processing in various capacities since 2007. Prior to SDP, Cherrise spent 3 years at Inuit Inc. working in their small business payroll division. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science 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.
Maria Douglas, Fund Accounting and Audit Manager
Maria Douglas adds over 20 years of payroll experience to the SDP team. Maria joined SDP as a member of our ACA Management team in 2015 after spending 15 years managing national accounts at Intuit QuickBooks. She has also served as SDP’s Service and Solutions Coordinator and Customer Service Manager, using her extensive knowledge of payroll operations, technology, and workforce management to help clients develop best-practices and ensure compliance. Maria has a degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix and is known for her love of all things Disney. Maria’s top two favorite movies of all time are Coming to America and The Sound of Music.
Ramon Bartolome, Accounting Manager
Ramon joined the SDP family in 2000 as an Accounting Specialist, reconciling SDP’s Trust Accounts. His hard work and dedication to service, both for SDP and its clients, has led to his current position as Accounting Manager. Ramon began his 20-year accounting career in the Philippines and currently leads SDP’s Accounting Department . He has held positions from Bookkeeper to Assistant Branch Manager, giving him extensive experience in banking operations and trust accounting. Ramon received his BS in Accounting from San Sebastian College, Philippines. Ramon’s top two favorite movies of all time are It’s a Wonderful Life and the Die Hard series.