About Us

Gotcha Covered is a New Orleans based Human Resources consulting firm that specializes in providing businesses with practical and cost-effective solutions to problematic challenges within the workplace. Its co-founders, Stefanie Allweiss and Patricia Pannell, bring more than fifty years combined experience in employment relations and mediation of workplace issues. We understand the importance of resolving problems quickly and productively so that your business and workforce will be successful.

Our Team

Stefanie J. Allweiss, J.D.

Stefanie Allweiss is a Human Resources consultant, mediator, and co-founder of Gotcha Covered HR. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Stefanie graduated Tulane University School of Law, cum laude, in 1980, and settled into an active life in New Orleans.

During her 25 years of law practice, Stefanie specialized in the area of Labor and Employment Law, first as a partner with McCalla, Thompson, and later with Fisher & Phillips. She litigated and rendered advices in employment-related matters, conducted independent and impartial investigations of discrimination and harassment complaints and provided a myriad of training sessions for workplace conduct for a variety of clients.

From 2005 to 2008, Stefanie served as the Executive Director of Employee Relations and Equity for Tulane University, where she worked with Department Chairs, Chief Executive Officers, Deans and University Police, and was responsible for conducting a multitude of investigations and training throughout the University Communities.

Stefanie has also conducted mediations on a “pro bono” basis for the Regional Office of the EEOC and for several years was on the panel of mediators with ADRinc.

In 2008, Stefanie was trained as a Board “Coach” and mentor to assist Louisiana Charter School Boards on Board Governance issues, and served in that capacity for several years as a member vendor of the LAPCS.

Stefanie’s love of international adventure travel led her to service as an International Volunteer in Southeast Asia during the Springs of 2011 and 2012, where she assisted a Grassroots Organization in developing key policies and procedures, and conducted training on Human Resources issues and law. She is a founding Board member of the Foundation of Education and Development (GHREFED) an American-based non-profit organization whose goal is to promote education, human rights and safe working conditions for Burmese migrants in Thailand (http://www.ghrefed.org).

During her spare time, Stefanie enjoys travel, hiking, bike riding, and the music and food of New Orleans. She is married to attorney Michael “Mickey” Allweiss, and together they are the parents of three adult daughters and two rescue pups.

Patricia E. Pannell, J.D.

Patricia Pannell is a Human Resources consultant, attorney, and mediator. In 2013, Patti and her long-time colleague Stefanie Allweiss founded Gotcha Covered HR to provide human resources support and outsourcing to small and mid-sized businesses.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, Patti has been actively engaged in the practice of labor and employment law in the Greater New Orleans area for more than 25 years. She has represented clients before regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

Patti has lectured at seminars both for individual businesses and for fellow attorneys on topics such as sexual harassment, family and medical leave, and wage and hour law. She works extensively with HR professionals and business owners in proactive problem solving, including developing and implementing drug testing protocols; working with managers in dealing with employees in difficult situations, providing advice, guidance and coaching as needed; negotiating severance agreements; formulating general workplace policies and strategies; and conducting independent investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and other forms of workplace discrimination.

In 2012, Patti received her certification in Employment Mediation from The Mediation Institute and is a registered Civil Mediator with the Louisiana State Bar Association. She is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association as well as the South Carolina Bar.

Patti is also a member of the New Orleans affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (NOLA-SHRM), the New Orleans Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-NOLA), American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) and, through Gotcha Covered HR, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce and StayLocal.

Patti is married to her law school sweetheart, John Dunlap, and has two sons. She enjoys cooking, reading, gardening, spinning, and SEC football. She is an active member of St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church and is past chair of the Global Ministries Committee.

Ray Lieber

Over the last 30+ years, Ray served as an advisor, consultant, coach, and colleague to more than 1000 leaders with top organizations such as ExxonMobil, Superior Energy Services and Tulane University on wide-ranging employee engagement strategies at every phase of the employment cycle from hire-to-retire. In his last assignment with Superior Energy Services, he served as Vice President of HR where he designed, implemented and led the HR function in a global decentralized business model. He holds a certification of Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resources Management.

Ray’s specialties include managing end-to-end talent acquisition processes including sourcing, structured interview training, and selection. He is certified in Stay Interview techniques and trains front leaders on how to improve employee engagement and retention. He has designed and implemented performance review programs and provides leadership training on how to give effective feedback with an emphasis on coaching to improve.

Throughout his career, Ray has trained and developed more than 100 HR professionals and leaders and still serves as a coach and mentor to some. He has served in a wide range of HR roles including Business Partner, Compensation, and many leadership positions including corporate vice president. He has depth in all the core areas of HR expertise.

Ray’s hobby is spending time with his miniature horse, Teddy, who constantly teaches Ray about the value of using good old “horse sense.”

Dwayne Pierce

For over 20 years Dwayne has been providing leadership and guidance in a variety areas within the human resources profession. He has served as Assistant Vice President, an advisor and Business Partner in a variety of industries including Banking, Oil and Gas, and Technology both in the US and internationally.  Over the course of his career, he has served as an advisor for companies such as Regions Bank, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)/ Leidos, DynMcdermott Petroleum Operations Company, Harrah’s Casino and most recently the New Orleans Police Department where he served as the Director of Human Resources.

Dwayne specializes in Employee Relations, Performance Management, Training, Employee Engagement, Workplace Harassment and Staff Development.  Through these specialties he has laid the ground work for successful employee engagement and retention programs.

Throughout the course of his career, he has developed tactical leadership, strategic planning skills, and has supervised cross-functional teams while boosting morale with a focus on engagement, employee productivity and retention. In addition to providing managers with sound techniques for conducting interviews and improving employee engagement, he maintains a disposition that is very approachable and is very customer service oriented.

Dwayne’s hobbies include being an audiophile (listening to music on hi-end stereo equipment) and doing carpentry work.

Julie Graham

With over a decade of HR experience, Julie Graham has provided HR expertise to organizations ranging from local non-profits to Fortune 500 corporations in industries including energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals, education, and hospitality.

Working with companies like The Dow Chemical Company, Entergy, and CH2M Engineering, Julie has gained broad knowledge of corporate HR strategies and systems in HR areas that include: Training and Development, HRIT, Compensation and Benefits, Performance Management, Talent Development, High Potential programs, Diversity and Inclusion, and Succession Planning. Julie’s HR experience spans the employment life cycle, from recruitment to outplacement. While living overseas in Saudi Arabia for four years, Julie started her own HR / Career Consulting business, working with global clientele. During this time, Julie led a workshop at one of Saudi Arabia’s first female-focused career fairs, and her work was published in King Faisal University’s campus HR magazine.

Julie was certified as a Six Sigma Project Leader with The Dow Chemical Company, leading a cross-functional, global project between HR and Engineering functions. Julie is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Julie is mother to twin daughters. Outside of work, she enjoys cheering on the Saints and exploring New Orleans restaurants with her family.

Areas of Specialization:
Recruiting and Interview Skills
New Hire Onboarding and Training
Training and Development – both writing/creating training and training facilitation
Performance Management
Managerial Training / New Leader Training
Talent Development and Succession Planning
High Potential identification and development
Compensation – strategy, benchmarking, analysis, payroll systems
HR Dashboards and HR Data Analysis
Exit processes, redeployment, and Outplacement