LEADERSHIP.

Renita Headshot

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 her top two favorite movies of all time are Forrest Gump and Braveheart.

Michael Headshot

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.

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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

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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

Maria Headshot

Maria Douglas, Fund Accounting and Audit Manager

Maria Douglas adds over 20 years of payroll experience to the SDP team. She joined SDP as a member of our ACA Management Team in 2015 after 15 years managing national accounts at Intuit QuickBooks. She has also served as SDP’s Service & Solutions Coordinator and Customer Service Manager, using her extensive knowledge of payroll operations and workforce management to support clients and ensure compliance. Maria has a degree in Business Management from University of Phoenix and is known for her love of all things Disney. Her top two favorite movies of all time are Coming to America and The Sound of Music.

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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.

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