HR InTouch

The Monthly Newsletter of the Greater Madison Area SHRM

In This Edition

President's Message

By Dana Denny

Government Affairs & Legal Updates

Legal Update – Complying with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Professional Development and Events

April 27th - Networking Event - Park Towne Lanes

2023 Human Capital Conference

Roundtables Continue on Zoom in 2023!

Workforce Readiness, Diversity & Inclusion

The HIRE Initiative

Disability Employmnet Awareness

Diversity Observances in April and May

GMA SHRM and Member News

Volunteer and Committee Spotlight - Anita Herrick, GMA SHRM Director of Human Capital Conference

New Membership Offering - Retiree Membership

Welcome New Members!

Congratulations to our 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 year anniversary members!





President's Message

2023 Corporate Partners

Platinum Level

B2E Solutions
Boardman & Clark Law Firm
Hausmann Group
The QTI Group

Gold Level

The Alliance
Delta Dental
Fidelitec, LLC
Summit Credit Union

Silver Level

Cottingham Butler
Edvest - Wisconsin's College
  Investment Plan

Park Capital Management
Succession App, LLC

Bronze Level
Baer Insurance
Carex Consulting
Carlson Dettmann
Group Health Cooperative
M3 Insurance
Restaino & Associates Relocation
Robert Half

Thank you!


Hello GMA SHRM Members,

Spring is here and in full swing! During the last quarter of the GMA SHRM Board year, we finalize our 2023-2024 Board Slate of volunteers who will continue to lead our Chapter with great ideas, wonderful programming offerings, and fantastic networking opportunities into the next year and beyond. We are always interested in adding to our roster enthusiastic Chapter volunteers and Board members, so if you’d like to join us, check out our Get Involved website link for more information; alternatively, please contact Laura Bermudo, our President-Elect, who is heading up our succession planning project this year.

During the month of April, GMA SHRM leadership formally recognizes our fantastic committees by celebrating volunteer recognition month. I want to dedicate some space in my April President’s Message and extend a huge shout-out of thanks to ALL our GMA SHRM committee volunteers!! Our ideas and goals turn into real and valid accomplishments because of your commitment, energy, and perseverance, and I thank every one of you for your service. We are only able to set and maintain this stellar level of service and excellence to our members because of you!
Although this month generally portends showers, we do have some bright spots to lift your spirits with a novel HR networking option! Our Membership Committee is offering a networking opportunity which will be held at Schwoegler Park Towne Lanes Thursday, April 27th from 4:00 to 6:00. Lanes, shoe rentals, and appetizers will be provided.  Participation is limited to the first 30 members who rsvp so please be sure to sign up early!  Bowling starts promptly at 4:30, however, if you are only interested in socializing with your human resource “peeps,” come and watch the fun! If you are interested, please register on our website

Can you believe our flagship programming event, the Human Capital Conference, is just around the corner? Taking place at the Alliant Energy Center on May 16, 2023, the all-day event features two keynote speakers, Justin Jones-Fosu, the founder and CEO of Work. Meaningful, who will be speaking on Working to a Different Beat, and Your Why Matters Now; and Mike Aitken, SHRM Chief Membership Officer, who will address Workplace Issues: Now and Looking Ahead. We also have a full roster of brilliantly informative breakout speakers for you to enjoy, so please check out our full lineup here, and register on our Human Capital Conference page!

I’m really excited about the upcoming programming and networking offerings we have available this Spring; I hope to see many of you at our events.

All my best,

Dana Denny, IPMA-CP
GMA SHRM Chapter President


Click here to view the full GMA SHRM Board of Directors


Government Affairs & Legal Updates

Legal Update – Complying with the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Submitted from Mai Chao Chang, Storm Larson & Brian P. Goodman, GMA SHRM Programming Committee Member, and Attorneys at Boardman & Clark LLP, a Platinum Partner

Mai Chao


Storm Larson


Brian P. Goodman

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) goes into effect on June 27, 2023.  Under the PWFA, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees who have known limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions, unless the employer can show that providing such an accommodation would result in an undue hardship to the employer. 

Unlike under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers must even consider reasonable accommodations related to the essential functions of such an employee’s job, provided those accommodations do not present an undue hardship to the employer. The interactive process to determine potential reasonable accommodations under the PWFA will likely look similar to the interactive process used for employees with disabilities under the ADA. However, to receive accommodations under the PWFA, employees need not have an underlying disability.  Specific accommodations, which should be determined on an individualized basis for each employee, might include flexible work hours, additional break times, and more convenient parking. Additionally, under the PWFA, an employer cannot require an employee to take leave as an accommodation if another reasonable accommodation could keep the employee working.

The EEOC has already issued an initial FAQ on the PWFA, which is available at https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-pregnant-workers-fairness-act. The EEOC will also be issuing formal regulations by the end of the year.  If you have questions about complying with the new requirements of the PWFA, you should reach out to your legal counsel.


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Professional Development and Events


April 27th - Networking Event - Park Towne Lanes!

Thursday, April 27, 2023
Schwoegler Park Towne Lanes

Whether you like to bowl or simply show up to meet and  reconnect with fellow GMA SHRM friends, we are hosting our next networking event at Schwoegler Park Towne Lanes Thursday, April 27th from 4:00 to 6:00. 

Lanes, shoe rentals, appetizers provided by your membership committee with GMA SHRM.  Participation is limited to the first 30 members who rsvp so please be sure to sign up early!  Bowling starts at 4:30 but again you don’t need to bowl if you’d prefer to socialize only instead.

Registration Required - Register here!

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2023 Human Capital Conference 



Justin Jones-Fosu will share his message of empathy, empowerment and engagement with his keynote presentations Lead to a Different Beat and Moving from Head to Heart.   

Our second keynote presenter is none other than Mike Aitken, former VP of Government Affairs and current Chief Membership Officer with SHRM!  Mike is a leading authority on the issues important to the HR profession and will share with us the latest SHRM research on Workplace Issues: Now and Looking Ahead.    

Outstanding Breakout Sessions:

  • Mental Health in the Workplace: Tools and Processes for HR Professionals
  • The Critical Role of Compensation in the Recruitment Process
  • Leadership in an Age of Permanent Whitewater
  • Modernizing the Employee Lifecycle Using an Equity Lens  
  • Annual HR Legal Update 

Information and Registration

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Roundtables Continue on Zoom in 2023!

Join us for these virtual discussions facilitated by members!

During Roundtables, members discuss their emerging HR challenges and when possible, others offer possible solutions, support, and resources. Come with those questions top of mind for your organization, offer your own experience and best practices, or simply join to network with others by using the registration links below.

Roundtables are designed for human resource professionals who are interested in sharing their ideas and experiences in a confidential environment. It is expected that what members share in these roundtables will stay within the roundtable. We encourage members to exchange contact information and reach out to each other outside of these meetings to expand on the discussions.

Find out more or register for Roundtables!
Membership is required to join Roundtables so if you're not a member, join us or reach out to learn more!


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Workforce Readiness, Diversity & Inclusion

The HIRE Initiative

Submitted by Laura Berkan Mael, Director Recruiting, Pareto's Talent, GMA SHRM Director of Workforce Readiness

Have you heard of the HIRE Initiative? The Hire Initiative is a United Way program dedicated to breaking down barriers that exist for people who need employment. The program offers child care subsidy, housing funds, and micro loans to help participants meet basic needs that can get in the way of securing and maintaining employment. The goal and purpose of this initiative is to help adults prepare for and find steady employment. The United Way says not having a high school diploma or the right qualifications are most often the reason people go unemployed and jobs stay unfilled. The HIRE Initiative starts with education by connecting participants to resources to help them earn a diploma and/or go through industry-specific training.

If your company is struggling to fill entry-level or front-line roles – this could be a great community partnership and candidate pipeline for you! Interested in learning more? Check out the links below:

Overview of program - https://www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/hire/
Employer information - https://www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/hiretoolkit/
Want to talk to a person? Contact Lauren Martin – United Way, Senior Director, Community Impact: Cross System Collaborations (Lauren.Martin@UWDC.org).


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Disability Employment Awareness

Submitted by Liliana Roebke, Onboarding Associate at Dungarvin and GMA SHRM Diversity Committee Member

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) companies identified as leaders in disability inclusion had on average over a four-year period 28% higher revenue, double the net income, and 30% higher economic profit margins than their counterparts.

What is a disability?
Merriam-Webster defines disability as a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition that impairs, interferes with, or limits a person's ability to engage in certain tasks or actions or participate in typical daily activities and interactions.

How many adults in the U.S. have some type of disability?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 1 in 4 adults in the United States have some type of disability.

What are some Disability Awareness resources?
The Department of Labor website below highlights inclusive employment policies and practices for disabilities.  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/initiatives/ndeam.
For some interactive videos and resources, go to the website for The Campaign for Disability Employment, https://www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/.


Diversity Observances in March and April

Submitted by Mary Vesely, Employee Engagement & Inclusion Manager at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and GMA SHRM Director of Diversity 

  • Diversity Month​​
  • Scottish-American Heritage Month​
  • National Minority Health Month​
  • National Autism Acceptance Month​
  • World Autism Awareness Day: April 2
  • Passover: April 5-​​13
  • Good Friday: April 7
  • Easter: April 9​
  • National Pet Day: April 11
  • Asian Pacific Heritage Month
  • Jewish American Heritage Month
  • Military Appreciation Month
  • Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Older Americans Month
  • Cinco De Mayo: May 5
  • Mother's Day: May 14
  • LGBTQ+ Elders Day: May 16
  • Armed Forces Day: May 21
  • Memorial Day: May 29

Use these observances for team engagement! Have fun, celebrate diversity, and take this opportunity to share stories and learn more about your teammates.

Interested in joining or sharing suggestions for our committee? Contact Mary Vesely, Director of the Diversity Committee.


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GMA SHRM and Member News

Volunteer and Committee Spotlight - Anita Herrick, GMA SHRM Director of Human Capital Conference

Submitted by Anita Herrick, HR Director at UW-Madison, WI Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, GMA SHRM Director of Human Capital Conference

How long have you been a member of GMA SHRM?   Off and on for 8 years, more on in the past 5 years.

How long have you been a volunteer with GMA SHRM?  Around 4 years.

What committee(s) have you volunteered with? What’s been your role with the committee(s) or why did you choose that committee(s)?  I was on the Social Media committee as a volunteer for a couple of years, and also on HCC for a couple of years, and two years ago I was elected HCC Director

Why do you volunteer with GMA SHRM?  I volunteer with GMA SHRM because of the networks I have made being on committees, and it also provides me with additional career satisfaction that I sometimes find missing from my day job. I am amazed by the work done by my fellow volunteers, and being around them inspires me to give my best.

What would you say to others who are unsure about volunteering with GMA SHRM?  I would tell someone to try it…everyone understands that we’re all busy with our day jobs, and we all back each other up as needed. It’s an amazing group of people to surround yourself with!

What’s been the biggest “surprise” to you since being a member of or volunteer with GMA SHRM? (Something you didn’t know about the chapter before, or something you think others may not know, or a fun-fact about GMA SHRM leadership, etc.)   Hmmm…the biggest surprise would be the outpouring of support that I see coming from GMA SHRM volunteers, members, and the board of directors…and also the incredibly high level of professional development from the PDS session and HCC, of course!

What’s been the biggest “reward” for you since volunteering with GMA SHRM?   Honestly, having others to share ideas with and get input on how they work through issues similar to what I may be working with. It’s amazing to have others to talk with and to get other perspectives. There are so many talented and experienced people to connect with, and I wouldn’t have that without GMA SHRM.

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New Membership Offering – Retiree Membership

Have you retired from a career in the HR profession or do you know someone who has?  Want to stay connected to friends and the profession while also giving back?  GMA SHRM now offers a Retiree Membership option.  Dues are discounted to $25 for a 12 month membership for all retired HR professionals. 

To qualify you need to have been employed in Human Resources and no longer represent a company.   We ask Retiree Members get involved and join a committee and/or participate in monthly HR Advice Network group meetings (roundtables). 

For more information, visit our Retiree Membership page.

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Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in February 2023!
Cara Bechen   Northmarq
Annie Bewick   Food Fight Restaurant Group
Shaun Dow   Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association (WFAA)
Michelle Elkins   WPPI Energy
Stephanie Fredrick SHRM-SCP Findorff
Chris Hansen   B2E Solutions Inc.
Jane Kimani PHR/SHRM-CP Bock Water Heaters
Gina Kratcha   Bell Laboratories, Inc
Stacey Lane SPHR BPB CPAs + Advisors
Lauren Levey   Alsum Farms & Produce
Jason Loewi   The QTI Group
Kerri Molenda   University Book Store
Brittany Nyenhuis SHRM-CP Nordic Consulting Partners, Inc.
Sehade Sejdini   Plastic Ingenuity
Jessica Sitton   Veridian Homes
Rachel Sulik   Power System Engineering
Nancy Thao   Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
Jennifer Voegeli   Grande Cheese
Leah Zine   DeliverHealth

Congratulations to our 1, 5 and 10 anniversary members!

20 Year Anniversary:
Julie Nicodemus
Lisa Beauclaire

15 Year Anniversary:
Gail Johnson

10 Year Anniversaries:
Alison Sparks-Johnson
Kim Doolittle

5 Year Anniversaries:
Jenna Wepfer
Mary Khamphouy
Susan Gafner
Jennifer Wilkie
Anne Nowak
Anita Herrick
Lisa Jacob
Elena Koyun
Pamela Olson
Donna Marchese

One Year Anniversaries:
Mandy Ayers
Kaye DeMartino
Carrie Falk
Shannon Halkoski
Martha Johannsen
Kassandra Kraemer
Darcy Kubichka
Katie Lyons
Jason Messer
Amanda Murray


HR InTouch Guidelines

Article Writing:
Do you have an interest in writing for the HR InTouch? We have an interest in learning more about your area of expertise!
Why should you volunteer? Top three reasons: 1) to share your knowledge and experiences to educate others; 2) to become more connected in the HR and Dane County communities; and 3) to contribute towards the advancement of GMA SHRM and the HR profession.
The first step is for you to choose a submission option: you can pre-submit an article to GMA SHRM at any time for us to use in any of the upcoming newsletters, you can sign up to write for a particular month, or we can put you on a list of people to contact in future months whenever we need articles.
Article length:
Because the HR InTouch is now in an online format, the size is flexible. The article should be engaging and hold readers’ attention. Include the core information in your article, and we will advise if it is too lengthy.
GMA SHRM is conscious not to allow solicitation through the articles, in an effort to protect the interests of our partners and members. The nature of the article should be educational (i.e., what are the business advantages of having a product like yours) or informational. Otherwise, if you truly are interested in advertising through the HR InTouch, you can work with our Marketing Committee. As a rule of thumb for article writing, if the submission relates to a for-profit event, or specifically markets your company (vs. your industry), it is an advertisement, and should be purchased. If it is a not-for-profit event that your company is hosting, or an announcement (i.e., a SHRM member recently joined your company), it is an acceptable addition to the HR InTouch content. If you have any questions related to the appropriateness of your submission, please contact us.
If you have questions, or to submit an article, contact GMA SHRM at chapteradmin@gmashrm.org .

Don’t forget to add us on Social Media to see updates, events, general HR knowledge, and more!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMASHRM
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gma-shrm

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