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 –Wisconsin’s Rules on Paid Breaks

February 16, 2023 - WI SHRM Workplace Policy Conference
(formerly Day on the Hill)

Professional Development and Events

Roundtables Continue on Zoom in 2023!

January 24th Professional Development Summit
Focus on Strategy & Ethics and Remote Work

Workforce Readiness, Diversity & Inclusion

Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS)

Diversity Observances in January and February

GMA SHRM and Member News

Spotlight: College Relations Committee Volunteer: Stacey Sykes

New Membership Offering - Retiree Membership

Welcome New Members!

Congratulations to our 1 and 5 year anniversary members!





President's Message

2023 Corporate Partners

Platinum Level

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

Bronze Level
Baer Insurance
Carex Consulting
Carlson Dettmann
Restaino & Associates Relocation
Robert Half

Thank you!


Happy New Year GMA SHRM Members!

It’s hard to believe I’m reviewing blank pages on a 2023 calendar and slotting in tentative plans already! And yet here we are – everything feels brand new, refreshed, possibilities are endless, and everything feels clean and shiny! If the years since the pandemic started have taught us anything in human resources, it’s that all rules may be revised, rewritten, or tossed; we may challenge the status quo, transform it entirely, and even develop a new, exciting way forward if necessary. Please continue with us on the 2023 GMA SHRM journey – there’s much to look forward to beginning this month, so continue to check our website for all the details!

Starting off the year, our Board of Directors will congregate on January 13th for our mid-year strategic planning session where we will continue to focus on delivering our chapter mission “To offer Madison Area HR professionals high quality professional development and networking opportunities with the goal to educate, share ideas, shape experiences, and build lasting relationships”, and our vision to “Equip and inspire HR professionals to lead and build a better workplace and community.”  We have already identified several goals we will continue to work on from our July 2022 strategic planning meeting; we will continue to build on these at this meeting – if you have any suggestions for us, I welcome you to forward these to any of our Board Members.

In other news, each winter our chapter begins succession planning where we seek additional volunteers who have an interest in serving on committees and/or representing the chapter as one of our board leaders, starting in July of 2023. If you’d like additional information about how to become more involved in the chapter, please review our “Get Involved” webpage, or contact Laura Bermudo, our President-Elect.

Our January Professional Development Summit will be held on Zoom on Tuesday, January 24, featuring Tina Paulus-Kraus, reporting on “Teams That Thrive,” which details high performing teams and what makes them click. Our second session features Shawn Belling, presenting the challenges and opportunities that contribute to “Remote and Hybrid Work Environment Success.” Also, please remember to save the date for our biggest event of the year, our annual Human Capital Conference on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023, at Alliant Energy Center. Continue to check our website for details on all our upcoming events!

Additionally, WI SHRM invites you to join colleagues from around the state at the WISHRM Workplace Policy Conference, which replaces the WI SHRM Day on the Hill event! This exciting professional development and networking opportunity will be held on Thursday, February 16th and will provide HR professionals with a forum to learn, discuss, network and engage with others on workplace policy matters, keeping employees and customers safe, advocacy topics and the latest employment law updates. Here’s a link to learn more about the conference, and to register [link]!

And with that, let’s usher in 2023 with eyes wide with excitement and grateful hearts, as an HR community eager for knowledge transfer, comradeship, and many other possibilities! I wish all of you the best this year and hope to see you at our programming and networking events.
All the 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 – Wisconsin’s Rules on Paid Breaks

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

Wisconsin law does not generally require employers to provide mid-workday breaks to adult employees.  However, when employers choose to provide such breaks, Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) sets parameters on whether or not those breaks must be paid.  These parameters are not new, but employers still frequently misunderstand them. 

If a mid-shift break is less than 30 consecutive minutes, the break is considered work time.  If the employee is not free to leave the employer’s premises during the break, the break is considered work time.  If the employee is asked to work during part of their less than 30-minute break, the break is considered work time. DWD considers such short breaks to be primarily for the benefit of the employer (by allowing employees a moment to clear their minds before returning to work more productively).

Only if a break is at least 30 consecutive minutes and the employee is completely relieved of duty and free to leave the premises, is the break time eligible to be unpaid. DWD considers such longer breaks to be primarily for the benefit of the employee, who can complete errands, eat, or use the time for any other personal need.

Employers that automatically deduct 30 minutes of work time for a lunch break should be cautious.  If the employee doesn’t take the full 30 minutes each day, the employer owes that employee wages for the full 30 minutes.  Multiply this small mistake by multiple workdays and multiple employees and a small error can quickly become a large—and expensive—problem.

Employers should not ask employees to “watch the front desk” while on break.  Employers should also not ask employees to stop their break to perform a work task, such as locating a file, and then return to their break.  It might only take 5 minutes for an employee to find that file for an employer, but that employee was denied a consecutive 30 minutes of break. 

Mid-workday breaks are common practice and can increase productivity and focus.  However, they can pose a trap to the unwary employer.


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February 16, 2023 - WI SHRM Workplace Policy Conference
(Formerly Day on the Hill)

The 2023 Wisconsin SHRM Workplace Policy Conference will provide HR professionals with an ideal forum to learn, discuss, network and engage with others on workplace policy matters, keeping employees and customers safe, advocacy topics and the latest employment law updates.

As WI SHRM's Legislative Partner, Bob Gregg with Boardman Clark LLP will be providing the latest legal updates.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Networking Reception at the Top of the Park
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Thursday, February 16, 2022
7:00 am - 4:30 pm

Register here!


Professional Development and Events


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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January 24th Professional Development Summit - Focus on Strategy & Ethics and Remote Work

Virtual Event

Session 1: Teams That Thrive

Session 2: Remote and Hybrid Work Environment Success

Our first Professional Development Summit of 2023 will be held virtually! 

Register today to learn strategies to engage in a dramatically changed workplace and how to rethink culture and harness the benefits hybrid and remote environments can bring. 

Program Details and Registration

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Workforce Readiness, Diversity & Inclusion

Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills (LAWDS)

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

Libraries Activating Workforce Development Skills.
By now you’ve heard about the LAWDS program and how WI SHRM collaborated with WI Department of Public Instruction to create a volunteer program to support workforce development supported by the public library system. You can find more detailed information about the program here

DPI has funded this project and is the logistical interface between the library and volunteers. The role of the Workforce Development Committee with GMA SHRM is to make sure that someone connects with you from the library.

We now have simplified the process to help GMA SHRM members connect with this program:

  1. Register to request your preferred Library and preferred service to provide. Here is the registration link:  LAWDS Project Volunteer Registration (google.com)
  1. Email Laura (me) at laura@paretostalent.com once you’ve done this and let me know which library you requested (I will be following up to make sure the connection on the library was made)
  1. Watch this training video (it is 15 minutes in length)  LAWDS Training Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-eiesbCfhY

Mark Jochem from the South Central Library System will be connecting you with your library of choice. From there, you and the library work directly together.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at:


Diversity Observances in November and December

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


  • Korean-American Day: Jan 13​​​​
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Jan 16
  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day​: Jan 27


  • Black History Month
  • Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday): Feb 21

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

Spotlight – Government Affairs Committee Volunteer: Wanda Manning

Submitted from Stacey Skyes, Director of College Relations and Talent Management Program Manager at Labcorp

How long have you been a member of GMA SHRM? 
About 3 years

How long have you been a volunteer with GMA SHRM? 
I started volunteering with GMA SHRM around the same time I joined, so about 3 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’ve been a committee volunteer with College Relations and Membership and have helped with Programming as well.

Why do you volunteer with GMA SHRM?  
I love staying involved in the local HR community and feel like I’m contributing to the field outside of my day job. I also enjoy working with other GMA SHRM board members and meeting new people.

What would you say to others who are unsure about volunteering with GMA SHRM?
Take a chance! I love the idea of Planned Happenstance so give it a chance and get involved – you never know what you might discover about yourself, who you will meet, or how it will help you grow personally and professionally.

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.) 
I was surprised at how close and tight-knit the GMA SHRM community is. I especially love how much board and committee members know about each other and support one another.

What’s been the biggest “reward” for you since volunteering with GMA SHRM?  
The biggest reward has been getting to know others in the HR community! I went through a career transition about 3 years ago and felt welcomed with open arms into GMA SHRM. It has definitely made the transition much easier.

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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 November 2022!
Heather Catterson   JMJ Associates
Melissa Clemens   RCC
Lane Coulter   Robert Half
Melanie Kolze   Robert Half
Sam Neary   MCD, Inc.
Bethany Noltner SHRM-CP AmFam Group
Sara Rasmusson   Aston Carter
Gene Schaeffer   Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.
Heidi Zunker   Truity Partners

Congratulations to our 1 year and 5 year anniversary members!

5 Year Anniversaries
Sam Tews
Kyle Von Ruden
Bridget Garner
Jamie Roche

1 Year Anniversaries
Lisa Barry
Brittany Bohling
Stephanie Breunig
Nancy Carozza
Denise Gerdes
Molly Hanson
Patti Jackson
Sara Jacobson
Belle Karls
Traci Mandell
Amy Parkhurst
Richard Verstegen
Veronica Vilchez
Landon Vinger

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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