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 – One Visa Option to Hire Foreign Professionals Fast

Professional Development and Events

You’ve Got Possibilities: How do you uncover Your Unlimited Potential?

November 15th Professional Development Summit -
Legal and Legislative Update

Workforce Readiness, Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity Observances in November and December


GMA SHRM and Member News

Committee Spotlight: Social Media Committee

Volunteer Spotlight: Alyssa Merten, SHRM-CP

Welcome New Members!





President's Message

2022 Corporate Partners

Platinum Level

Boardman & Clark Law Firm
Delta Dental
Hausmann Group
The QTI Group
Wisconsin School of Business Center
for Professional & Executive Development


Gold Level

The Alliance
Group Health Cooperative of
  South Central Wisconsin

Silver Level

Cottingham Butler
Edvest - Wisconsin's College
  Investment Plan

Incredible Bank
KerberRose (formerly Career Momentum)

Bronze Level

Carex Consulting
Carlson Dettmann
M3 Insurance
Restaino & Associates Relocation
Reynolds Transfer
Robert Half

Thank you!


Hello GMA SHRM Members!

November has always been a month of contradictions for me. Although I dislike the end of Daylight Savings Time – how it’s dark when we wake in the morning and early evening, I am excitedly looking forward to December and January – when our dance cards fill up with what I call the “high fives” - food, fun, family, friends, and festivities. November is also traditionally a time of reflection, especially on those items for which we are most thankful. Expressing gratitude has become more important to me over the past three years – I am blessed to have the health of myself and my family, a marvelous support system of wonderful friends, and an amazing group of work colleagues who continue to facilitate my learning, career growth, and make me feel valued. I also have the great honor of serving on our GMA SHRM Board of Directors and with it, the opportunity to shape the future of our Chapter by working with a fantastically diverse Chapter which contains the best and brightest human resource professionals I’ve come to know over the past twenty years. As one of the largest Chapters in the State of Wisconsin, we are only successful because of our Board’s leadership and the continued excellence of our committee volunteers who generously devote their enthusiasm, ideas, and time to create fantastic programming, networking opportunities, and other behind the scenes magic on behalf of our Chapter. Finally, we wouldn’t be able to perform any of the operational heavy lifting without the continued support of the chapter administration staff from Morgan Data Solutions, truly, the “wind beneath our wings.” The detail and dedication they provide working with us as partners is beyond awesome and I am thankful for all they do!
Did you know that it is because of the generous support of our partners and sponsors we are able to provide the majority of our professional development events at no cost to members? This continues to validate our Chapter memberships as one of the highest-value and lowest-cost professional membership options. During these times of escalating costs, I am very thankful for that opportunity! You might be surprised at how many local Corporate Partners and Sponsors are affiliated with our Chapter. Take a moment to visit our Corporate Partners page to view the list of generous organizations who make our success possible and remember to thank them if you see them in our community! 
Speaking of professional development, one November event you may wish to consider attending might be the Professional Development Summit (PDS) which will focus on Government and Legal Affairs and will be held at the Alliant Center on November 15th. The first session, which starts at 8:00 am, will cover calendar year 2022 changes to employment & HR laws and regulations and the impact on Wisconsin employers; the second session, which starts at 10:00 am, will concentrate on possible impacts to the Wisconsin workplace if we experience gubernatorial change. You may obtain more information on the program and register in advance here.

Also, if you haven’t already done so, please consider attending one of our HR Advice Network Roundtables! Several sessions will be held during the month of November virtually via Zoom and facilitated by a GMA SHRM member. Members meet to discuss emerging and real-time HR challenges in an open forum format by sharing information, seeking advice, providing support and tangible resources and exploring best practices. Advice Network Roundtable attendance is free to members, and more information and registration may be obtained here.  Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns and I hope to see you at one of our November events.

Lastly, one of the things I am always thankful for living here in the upper Midwest is watching the beautiful change of seasons. Currently, the leaves are the beautiful reds and yellows of fall.  By the end of this month, we will have turned the corner into winter and snowflakes will be more the norm. Stay warm!

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 – One Visa Option to Hire Foreign Professionals Fast

Submitted from Nikki S. Schram & Brian P. Goodman, GMA SHRM Programming Committee Members, and Attorneys at Boardman & Clark LLP, a Platinum Partner

Nikki S. Schram

Brian P. Goodman

Widespread labor shortages are causing businesses across the U.S. to struggle to fill open positions. Employers can expand the pool of qualified candidates by considering foreign workers. Sponsoring an employee through the typical H-1B visa lottery takes a minimum of 7-10 months, but employers can take advantage of the F-1 (CPT/OPT) visa category to hire certain foreign professionals fast and with little administrative burden.       

Foreign students attending U.S. universities in F-1 visa status are often highly motivated employees. Students are eligible to work in their major field of study for up to two years during and after their enrollment through the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs, and foreign graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields may extend their OPT for an additional two years, for up to four years of authorized employment. F-1 Students apply for CPT and OPT work authorization with the assistance of their university’s international student services (ISS) office, so the burden and cost of the visa application process does not fall on the employer. By targeting recruitment efforts at university ISS and career services offices 1-3 months before the end of a semester, employers can capture the best foreign talent with minimal effort.

Employers with questions about hiring foreign workers should reach out to legal counsel for assistance.  Boardman Clark is pleased to have recently launched an immigration practice group to continue to best serve our clients.

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Professional Development and Events


You’ve Got Possibilities: How do you uncover Your Unlimited Potential?

Phillip J. Martin, 2021 Human Capital Conference Speaker

Everyone has diamonds buried inside of them: big ones, little ones, ones that might brighten the world if they are allowed to get out. The trick is finding a way to dig them out, polish them up, and bring them forward so they—meaning you—can sparkle and shine. And when is the best time to do this digging and release your untapped potential, all your possibilities? Now.

Here are the top six ways that will help you turn your possibilities into positive realities:
  1. Discover who you are: Thoroughly inventory your strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of what you believe are your core values: what you will do and what you won’t do. Ask yourself, “what are my passions and how can I use them to create my own path?”
  1. Be open: Do not limit yourself, your thinking, or your actions. Instead, face change head-on and embrace it. Approach all challenges as opportunities. Remember that the Chinese character for ‘crisis’ is a combination of danger + opportunity. Be curious, passionately curious. The restraints and limitations you face are only there to make you think creatively.
  1. Invest in yourself: Work every day to better yourself, to improve yourself. Strive to begin each day at a better place than where you started the day before. Trust in yourself. Take educated risks. As actor Alan Alda said, “Nothing important was ever accomplished without chutzpah.” Every day when you head off to work, fill your pockets with chutzpah.
  1. Stay positive: Your positive attitude will allow you to better see the world around you and how you can use your unique gifts to make it a better place for all.
  1. Find a great mentor: How do you turn your goodness into greatness? With the help of a mentor, someone whom you trust, who has your best interests at heart, and who is excited to share their knowledge with you to make you a better leader, partner, and person.
  1. Take Action: The best way to uncover diamonds is to keep digging. Be persistent in the pursuit of your full potential. Of course, there will be failures and disappointments, but there will also be huge rewards and surprises. But those only appear when you take action.

Very few are born great, but we are all born with the potential to become great.

Exploring the Power of People

Phil is a published playwright and song writer and an award-winning television writer for the Nashville Now show on TNN. He has spent 30 years as a college professor, most recently in the Department of Theatre Arts at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. He has presented at colleges, universities, conventions and symposiums across the country. In addition to writing 13 musicals, Phil has written two books: Play Hard-Have Fun: A Philosophy for Life and the soon-to-be completed Take the Stage: Leadership Lesson from Theatre. Phil believes that achieving personal and professional success requires the challenge of creative and innovative thinking, that you succeed by choice, not chance.

You succeed by choice, not chance.
Every decision you make shapes your future

Contact and Booking Information


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November 15th Professional Development Summit - Legal and Legislative Update

Alliant Energy Center

Session 1: Legal Update
Session 2: Elections Matter - What to Expect Now

Join over 100 of your HR colleagues to learn about the latest legal updates and precedents impacting HR.   We'll also get an inside look at what may be on the horizon post election.

Program Details and Registration

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Workforce Readiness, Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity Committee Updates

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

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

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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 


  • National Native American Heritage Month​
  • National Adoption Month​
  • Military Family Month
  • U.S. Marines Birthday: Nov 10​
  • Veterans Day: Nov 11​
  • International Men's Day: Nov 19
  • National Child's Day: Nov 20​
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance: Nov 20
  • National Adoption Day: Nov 20​​
  • Thanksgiving: Nov 24
  • International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Dec 3
  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: Dec 7​
  • Human Rights Day: Dec 10
  • Hanukkah: Dec 18-26​
  • Christmas Day: Dec 25​​
  • Kwanzaa: Dec 26 - J​an 1
Use these observances for team engagement! Have fun, celebrate diversity, and take this opportunity to share stories and learn more about your teammates.


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GMA SHRM and Member News

Committee Spotlight: Social Media Team

Submitted from Sarah Hart, VP of Communications, and Employee Services Partner with Cengage Group

Happy Fall! The Social Media Committee has been hard at work making sure our members and the general HR community is up to date on what is going on with GMA SHRM and the HR industry through social media and this very newsletter. From event reminders and informational posts to board member and volunteer spotlights, we try to cover it all.

Be sure to follow us on our GMA SHRM LinkedIn and Greater Madison Area SHRM Facebook pages. Like, comment, and share to help us spread the word! We are also always looking for members to help us brainstorm new content as well as making posts – you don’t have to be a social media expert to help!  If you are interested in joining the committee, please reach out to our Director of Social Media, Carrie Falk at

Shout out to all of our committee members – Amanda Tetzlaff, Andrea Wyant, Gail Johnson, and Alyssa Merten.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Alyssa Merten

Submitted from Alyssa Merten, SHRM-CP, Newsletter Coordinator, and HR Specialist at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP

How long have you been a member of GMA SHRM?
Since March of this year!

How long have you been a volunteer with GMA SHRM?
I have been volunteering as the Newsletter Coordinator since August of this year.

Why do you volunteer with GMA SHRM?
I decided to volunteer with GMA SHRM because I was very involved in UW-Whitewater’s SHRM Chapter, serving as the Director of Administration and later Vice President, and I knew I wanted to continue my involvement with SHRM once I graduated and after I gained some real life work experience.

What would you say to others who are unsure about volunteering with GMA SHRM?
It is so fulfilling! There are so many different committees that you can volunteer with, and you can find one that really speaks to you, and you get to help further the chapter as a whole.

What’s been the biggest “surprise” to you since being a member of or volunteer with GMA SHRM?
I would say how warm and welcoming everyone has been. I was intimidated at first, being new in the HR field and surrounded by experienced and successful HR professionals, but I have continued to feel welcome and valued as both a member and volunteer of GMA SHRM.

What’s been the biggest “reward” for you since volunteering with GMA SHRM?
Making so many great connections in a new area (born and raised in Menomonee Falls, WI) and learning what’s going on in the chapter first hand!

In addition to volunteering with GMA SHRM, I am adjusting to my new role (7 months strong!) as the HR Specialist for Stafford Rosenbaum LLP. I am the first person in this new positon for the firm, and have loved every moment learning all the different hats HR gets to wear. I graduated in May 2021 from UW-Whitewater in three years with my BBA in Human Resource Management and was able to obtain my SHRM-CP certification prior to graduation (I took the exam the morning after my 21st birthday – that was rough). Outside of work, my partner Matt and I recently bought our first house out in Jefferson so most of my free time at the moment is unpacking and fixing our broken dishwasher/garbage disposal. When I am not moving, I enjoy reading classic literature (Sherlock Holmes is my favorite) and playing with our dog, Arlo.


Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in July 2022!
Ambar Aguirre Sanchez Hometown Pharmacy
Stephen Colleton   Student - UW-Madison
Grace Flavin   Goodman Community Center
Jennifer Genske PHR, CCP Insperity
Julian Goudy   Fastest Labs of Madison
LaDonna Steinert SHRM-SCP, SPHR UW Credit Union
Kristen Suttle-Ebert SHRM-CP Beacon Technologies Inc
Antonia Turnquist   Zendesk
Lisa Weberg   ETC
Jeanie Witt   Oakbrook Corporation
Jessica Yager   Oakbrook Corporation


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 .

Don’t forget to add us on Social Media to see updates, events, general HR knowledge, and more!
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