July 2011

HR InTouch

The Monthly Newsletter of the Greater Madison Area SHRM

In This Edition

President's Message

By Mike Leibundgut, SPHR GMA SHRM President

Government Affairs Update

Senate Bill 93

Employee Relations

Transferrable Skills

The Gender Pay Gap - What's Happening Two Years Later

Talent Management 

Workforce Readiness - Why Is It Important?

Community Events

Urban League Mock Interviews

Success Program Mock Interviews YWCA

GMA SHRM Social Media

Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

Forward HR

GMASHRM is LinkedIn

GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 26, 2011, GMA SHRM Summit
Topic: Aligning HR Practices with Corporate Vision and Strategy

GMA SHRM Golf Outing – Tuesday August 2, 2011

GMA SHRM Member Networking Event
Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

GMA SHRM Announcements

Volunteer of the Year

UW Madison SHRM Student Chapter Receives Distinguished Award

GMA SHRM Member News

GMA SHRM is Seeking Your Expertise!

Welcome New Members!

Movin' Up

In Transition

GMA Membership Poll  


Printable version


President's Message

2011 Corporate Partners

Gold Level
American Family Insurance
Boardman Law Firm
First Choice Dental Group
The Payroll Company
Remedy Intelligent Staffing
Wisconsin Rx 


Silver Level
Career Momentum
Cottingham & Butler Employee Benefits
Lee Hecht Harrison
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Ultimate Software Group


Bronze Level
The Alliance
Delta Dental
Edgewood College
Express Employment Professionals
Higgins Insurance Group
Hemb Insurance Group
Metro Transit
Melli Law, S.C.
Unity Health Insurance
UW Credit Union
The QTI Group
Wegner CPAs & Consultants


Thank you!


Since this is my first month as your new 2011-2012 GMA SHRM President, I believe you have a right to know a little about me and my professional past. I’ve been on the GMA SHRM Board of Directors for the past 6 years and have thoroughly enjoyed each year, meeting many new and interesting HR (and other) professionals. I have roughly 22 years experience in the HR field starting as an intern at Swiss Colony working my way up to a Manager role. I then had a short stint at Famous Footwear as a HR Manager and finally I’ve spent the past 9+ years as the VP of HR at Park Bank. I acquired my SPHR certification in December of 2004 and have recertified twice since.

I’m a competitive, fun loving, goal oriented person who enjoys people and the social aspect of HR. Sports and people have always been the keystones of my life. Sports worked well with my competitive side and HR has blended well with my need to be around people. I guess I could also be considered a little bit “old school.” I was brought up to believe that you don’t get anything unless you work for it. My parents both worked full time and weren’t able to give us too much beyond the basics so this “work hard to get what you want” theory made a lot of sense.

A few years back, I opened a fortune cookie which provided some wisdom that I felt complemented my parents’ words. ”The harder you work, the luckier your get.” I’m proud to say, I’ve worked hard and have been very lucky, especially with the team of GMA SHRM board members and numerous volunteers I’ve worked with over the past 6 years. Now I have the opportunity to work with and introduce those who will lead this organization for the next 12 months. Please join me in welcoming your new GMA SHRM Board of Directors:

• President Elect – Melissa Wieland
• Immediate Past President – Dave Furlan, PHR
• Secretary/Treasurer – Wendy Brendel, SPHR
• Vice President of Programming – Jeff Russell
• Vice President of Membership – JoAnna Vanderpoel, PHR
• Vice President of Communications & Marketing – Tara Conger, PHR
• Director of Education & Professional Development – Jake Siudzinski
• Director of Workforce Readiness & Diversity – Michele Thoren
• Director of Government Affairs – Tammy Barden

As the new President, I would be remiss if I didn’t give appropriate kudos to my predecessor, Dave Furlan. Dave has been an excellent mentor and leader for the past year. He is one of the most dedicated board members I’ve experienced in my career. He’s intelligent, considerate, supportive, creative and stands his ground when necessary. I sit here writing this message thinking, “How do I possibly fill the shoes that Dave has left me?” The answer is I don’t, I fill the shoes I have on and learn from, and build upon Dave’s legacy. Dave has been outstanding and leaves me with a well run administrative team, a vision that is clear and reachable, and most of all, a strong group of board members; the future looks bright!

Beyond the core group of board members are dozens of hard working committee volunteers. These are the many committee chairs and volunteers that “get the work done” each and every day while balancing their “real jobs”, personal lives and challenges of everyday life; I can’t thank you enough for your efforts. For those of you who may have been thinking about becoming more active in the organization, I challenge you to step forward and join in on the fun. Volunteering could be as little as an hour a month. Most committees don’t require much more but it ultimately depends on what each volunteer is comfortable giving. Volunteering has been the most impactful part of my HR career. I have learned so much more by being involved in this organization than any seminar, book or webinar could offer.

Not too many months ago our Communication & Marketing committee, along with our Administration team, updated our website. I would ask that you check out the GMA SHRM website and view all the great upcoming events such as: the GMA SHRM Strategic Summit on July 26th or the, always fun, GMA SHRM Golf Outing and Charity Event on August 2nd. We are proud to say we’re embracing numerous social media options such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. If you’re into using these new and exciting tools, please visit our sites and get involved.

In an effort to offer our members more value, our Programming committee has done an outstanding job of getting events planned, scheduled and out on our website earlier than ever before. This allows us to plan our work weeks/months in conjunction with GMA SHRM events. I would encourage you to take a look at the newly created Peer Advice Network (formally the Local Net) and consider updating your profile by checking those areas of HR in which you have experience and are willing to share with others in our organization.

In conclusion, it’s important to toot your own horn once in a while. In my travels to state and national SHRM events, I have quickly become aware that GMA SHRM is among the best chapters in the country. We are strong, active and professional. When comparing our chapter activity to the standards of National SHRM, we are above and at times, leading edge. This is something to be very proud of.

If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas or concerns, I invite you to email me at mleibundgut@parkbank.com or call (608-278-2872). I look forward to carrying the torch those before me have carried so high.

Let’s inspire someone today!

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
Melissa Wieland
President Elect
Dave Furlan, PHR
 Immediate Past President
Wendy Brendel, SPHR
Secretary Treasurer
JoAnna Vanderpoel, PHR
VP, Membership
Tara Conger, PHR
VP, Marketing & Communications
Jeff Russell
VP, Programming
Jake Siudzinski
Director, Education & Development
Michelle Thoren
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity
Tammy Barden
Director, Government Affairs

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Government Affairs Update

Senate Bill 93

The Wisconsin Senate and Assembly have passed a bill, allowing WI residents to carry concealed weapons. Last minute amendments to the bill require people obtain permits and provide proof of firearms training, which could include completing a firearms safety course, a state hunter's safety course or documentation that an applicant is participating in a shooting competition.

Under the proposal, the state Department of Justice could charge permit applicants up to $37 plus $13 for a background check, and would maintain a database of license holders. Police could access the database only to confirm if a CCW license is valid, determine if a person who claims to have a license actually does or if a person lied to obtain one.

Human Resources professionals will want to consider how this might impact their current policies regarding firearms and/or violence in the workplace. We would like to hear from you so please answer our poll question on the home page of the GMA SHRM website: Does your company currently have a no firearms policy?

To view this bill in its entirety, go to: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/related/enrolled/sb93 .  

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Employee Relations

Transferable Skills
Contributed by John F. Macek LCSW
Our traditional method of defining skills and position fit no longer meet today’s needs. New college graduates can expect to work in as many as six different occupations between graduation and retirement, many of which do not currently exist. What skills must HR professionals recruit to meet needs yet to be discovered?
While academic training and work experience still have their place, as in professions licensed to protect public safety, companies will need creativity and flexibility, what I am calling “transferable skills.” Too many individuals are promoted until they reach their “Peter Point,” where they no longer feel successful and are unhappy with their work. We need people who have the ability to grow successfully with every new position.
Successful performance depends upon two variables: subject-matter knowledge and skills.

The Gender Pay Gap – What’s Happening Two Years Later
Contributed by David Furlan, PHR, Operations Manager, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services
Over two years ago our nation witnessed the arrival of a new administration in Washington, DC, and among the first few issues receiving attention was the gender pay gap. Not long after President Obama took the oath of office, Congress passed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, intending to restore basic protections against pay discrimination for women. Building on this momentum, several initiatives and proposed legislation followed with the intention to address, among other things, how pay practices impact women and families.
Halfway through President Obama’s term, the spotlight has dimmed on the gender pay gap issue as the nation has focused on health care and job growth. Nevertheless, the issue remains important and is gaining more attention as part of our economic recovery. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that women still earn $.78 for every dollar earned by men. While this is nearly a $.30 improvement since the 1970’s, the ratio has remained nearly flat since the 1990’s and has even slightly dropped from a few years ago. Today women make up a growing share of our workforce. In addition, they are becoming more often the head of household, especially since their rate of job loss has been lower than men during the recession. For these reasons, many forward-thinking business leaders and human resource professionals have recognized the long-term potential of equal pay for women and have focused the past couple of years on diversity programs and company pay practices and policies.

Talent Management

Workforce Readiness – Why Is It Important?
Contributed by David Furlan, PHR, Operations Manager, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services
Over the past few years, business owners and human resource professionals have likely noticed a lot of attention paid to workforce readiness and career planning for our nation’s youth. There are several partnerships between school districts and businesses on the local level, and our elected representatives often talk about the importance of preparing the workforce of the future.
But what does “workforce readiness” mean? And why is it important? In this article, we will examine the purpose behind workforce readiness initiatives and determine why businesses should get involved to ensure their success.
First and foremost, workforce readiness has been about skills training in light of labor market needs. Do we have enough students entering and completing degree programs in fields that will be in high demand in the future? These are fields that will be critical to support our society and allow us to remain a strong competitor in the global market. Nurses and engineers are often good examples. There has been significant funding dedicated to these areas to make sure our schools have enough faculty to teach students and to make sure financial aid and other programs allow students to remain in school and finish their degree without unnecessary interruptions or delays.

Community Events 

Volunteer Opportunity!
We have numerous volunteer opportunities coming up. Please contact the appropriate individuals directly if you are interested.
Urban League Mock Interviews 9:30-11:30
Wednesday, July 13th
Contact: Vernon Blackwell at vblackwell@ulgm.org
Success Program Mock Interviews YWCA – 1pm-4pm
Wednesday, July 27th
Contact: Michele Thoren at thorenm@cintas.com
Interview guides are provided for the mock interviews and both organizations do a lot of prep work so interviewees come prepared.
These are great opportunities for those of you who may be Pay It Forward members.
Thank you in advance for volunteering!
 GMA SHRM Social MediaGMA SHRM Social MediaGMA SHRM Social MediaGMA SHRM Social Media 

GMA SHRM Social Media

‘Like’ us on Facebook!

Do you have a Facebook page? Be sure to search for Greater Madison Area SHRM and “like” our page! Another great way to stay connected to GMA SHRM and your HR ‘friends’.

Please note - By “liking” the Greater Madison Area SHRM page you will not be sharing your personal Facebook page with the other users that “like” GMA SHRM.  If you have your settings set to friends only, only those you “friend” will see your page.

Follow us on Twitter!

Do you tweet? Maybe you are a Twewbie (Twitter newbie) and are looking for organizations to follow. Whatever your tweeting experience, you can now follow GMA SHRM on Twitter too!

Forward HR

WI SHRM has a new blog, Forward HR. Click here to take a look.

GMA SHRM is LinkedIn

Are you on LinkedIn? Come join our GMA SHRM Chapter group on LinkedIn! What is LinkedIn? It’s a business-oriented social networking site that can be used to connect with friends (old and new), find or post jobs and get information. In order to join, sign in at www.linkedin.com and keyword search GMA SHRM Chapter.

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GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 26, 2011, GMA SHRM Summit
Topic: Aligning HR Practices with Corporate Vision and Strategy

What does the future hold for HR in your organization? How can you most effectively contribute to the changing landscape of your industry and the changing dynamics of your workforce? In today’s unpredictable markets, gaining an edge is assuredly more important and more difficult than it’s ever been. While the concepts might be regenerated, reconfigured and redrawn from times before, the approaches, the mediums and the players themselves have different perspectives and preferences. No doubt, the workforce is growing more complex, offering position for HR to be at the forefront of linking organizations’ people and business strategies. This is the time for HR to take on a new level of importance.

These changes also pose special challenges for HR. I’m sure you are often asked: What can we do with our HR programs to maximize dollars and stay ahead of the curve? While I am sure you know there are many different options and opportunities even in today’s environment, you should carefully choose the approach that is the best fit for your organization, based on your company’s current business climate, mission, vision, values and objectives. Balancing short and long term review of past and future performance forecasts as well as short and long term plans signal that HR’s ability to survive and succeed is directly related to the ability to connect the dots, show insight and communicate well with others. Business leaders, no doubt, are demanding more value from HR – let’s step up to the challenge!! 

Well-known HR expert Dave Ulrich and his co-authors in HR Transformation, state: “When HR transformation connects to the context of the business, it is more likely to be sustained because it responds to real needs. This means linking HR efforts directly to the business strategy and to the environmental factors that frame the strategy.” When we make a conscious effort to learn new things or new ways of presenting the same things – our own professional development happens organically. Applying these principles then to day-to-day interactions supports the most effective growth. And with growth comes impact – keeping HR at the table!

This session will feature two area experts:
Claudio Diaz - Chief Human Capital Officer at Wipfli LLP’s.
Deborah Schultz - Strategic Human Resource Services Director at MRA

This session is pre-approved for 3 Stategic credits!

To learn more about the event or to register, click here

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  GMA SHRM Golf Outing – Tuesday August 2, 2011

Register today! The GMA SHRM Golf outing is right around the corner!

Register today for the Fifth Annual Golf Outing at the Oaks Golf Course on Tuesday, August 2nd. Proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. (Be sure to bring canned food items to exchange for mulligans!)

You can sign up to play with a specific foursome or as an individual and we will pair you up with a group! The event is a 4-person scramble, so all golfers at all skill levels are encouraged to participate. We are playing for fun!

The cost of the event is $89 ($99 Non-GMA SHRM Member) and includes 18 holes of golf with a cart and GPS, continental breakfast, practice facilities, and a cookout reception after golf.  Registration and practice will be open from 7:30 to 8:45am and play will begin at 9:00am with a shotgun start.

Sponsorship Opportunities Still Available
Remaining sponsorship opportunities are sponsoring a golf hole ($100), driving range ($150) or continental breakfast ($150). 100% of sponsorship dollars will go to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Hole prizes and logoed items for player gifts are also needed! Whether one prize (suggested $30+ value) or several logoed items for golfer goody bags, your donated item(s) will help make this event a success!

We look forward to seeing you there!

To learn more about the event or to register, click here

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 Tuesday, August 23, 2011, GMA SHRM Networking event

The GMA SHRM Membership Committee invites you to our Summer Networking Event to be held on Tuesday, August 23rd at Jimmy’s American Tavern, 5957 McKee Road, Fitchburg.

Escape your normal weekday hustle and bustle and join us for an informal, relaxing opportunity to re-connect with other GMA SHRM members and make a few new connections with HR Professionals in the Madison Area. The event will be held from 4:30-6:30. Registration is free but we do request an RSVP. Please RSVP by Friday August 19th so we can better plan for the event. Appetizers provided. Cash bar.

See you there!

To register click here

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GMA SHRM Announcements 

Volunteer of the Year

Our Chapter is very fortunate to have so many dedicated, talented members making lasting contributions each day and all year long. Due to so many outstanding achievements in 2011, the GMA SHRM Board of Directors agreed to select three honorable mentions in addition to the Award winner. Our honorable mentions include:

Tara Conger for her contribution to the Programming Committee, launching the Solo Practitioner Resource Group and her work on the Membership and Communications & Marketing committees.

Karla King for her Event Coordination Chair role on the Programming Committee as we worked to re-brand and re-think our programming schedule for 2011 and also for her significant involvement in the Membership Committee.

Dawn Koopman for her leadership as Chair on the Membership Committee, her involvement with the Solo Practitioners Group, her work on the Communications & Marketing committee and her steadfast commitment as editor of our monthly newsletter-HR InTouch.

This year’s winner, Tammy Barden, has been a constant and dependable GMA SHRM volunteer for the past two years. She has been instrumental in taking a leadership role and helping the Wisconsin SHRM Council with the State Legislative Conference in Madison, as well as agreeing to take on a two-year strategic initiative project and complete an on-boarding process for new members and volunteers. As a result, Tammy has become actively involved with the Board in educating herself on SHRM leadership and supporting liaison efforts between Government Affairs and the Board. In addition, Tammy has been a great chair for the Government Affairs committee and has been a frequent contributor of articles and educational information on Government Affairs topics for the GMA SHRM newsletter. Lastly, she also volunteered on the committee to organize our annual Human Capital Conference.

On behalf of the GMA SHRM Board of Directors, “Thank you” to each of our Volunteers of the Year! Congratulations!!

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Chapter click here.

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UW-Madison SHRM Student Chapter Receives Distinguished Award

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Alexandria, VA, has conferred the 2010-2011 Superior Merit Award designation to the UW-Madison SHRM Student Chapter for an exceptional job of providing opportunities for growth and development to its student chapter members.

“SHRM is pleased to announce our 2010-2011 Superior Merit and Merit Student Chapters. These chapters worked extremely hard this year. Their efforts to provide networking and educational programming to human resources students and to increase their exposure to the field of HR are evidence of their desire to achieve,” said Chuck Salvetti, SHRM’s Student and Young Professional Programs Manager.

A record 138 SHRM-affiliated student chapters participated in this year’s national merit award program. Chapters have the opportunity to earn an award based on the number of activities they complete during the merit award cycle, which ran from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011. For the 2010-2011 Merit Award period, 109 chapters received a Superior Merit Award designation, 17 chapters achieved Merit Award status, and 12 chapters received the Honorable Mention designation.

The UW-Madison SHRM Chapter’s most recent initiatives include developing partnerships with local businesses, increasing involvement with GMA-SHRM, as well as continue to grow our student chapter. For more information regarding chapter membership and contact information please visit our website at the link provided: http://shrm.rso.wisc.edu/

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GMA SHRM Member News

GMA SHRM is seeking your expertise!

GMA SHRM is continually looking for members who are willing to share their knowledge via our Peer Advise Network (PAN). In particular, we are looking for those members willing to be Media Contacts. These individuals may be asked to speak on behalf of GMA SHRM to the media or other groups looking for experts on specific topics. No experience with the media is necessary to be a Media Contact!

If you are interested, please go to our Peer Advice Network web page and sign up! And thank you for sharing your knowledge!


Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in May of 2011!


Martinque M. Barthel
HR Associate
Full Compass Systems
Ellen Bartkowiak
Associate Director
MBA Career Management Center
Ann Boland
Workforce Solutions Advisor
University of Phoenix
Kim Clynes
Vice President
Bernard Hodes Group
Michael J. Garbe
HR Analyst
QBE the Americas
Heidi L. Hoffman
HR Specialist
Duluth Trading Company
Tierney Jensen
The Alliance
Jody Lechner, PHR
Life Style Staffing
Helen Linder, SPHR
Duluth Trading Company
Jennifer B. Stoltz
Sr. Recruiter
Conner J. Verri
HR Recruiter
Stoughton Trailers, LLC
Jessica L. Wolfe

Movin' Up

Lori Gibson has launched her own consulting and training business. Her primary focus is on training design and facilitation and working with managers to increase their impact and influence. Congratulations Lori!

Congratulations Heidi Duss on your promotion to HR Analyst at QBE!

And congratulations Lisa Hirchert on your recently received SPHR certification!

Thank you all for your continued commitment to the HR profession.

Have you started with a new company? Has your organization recently promoted you to a new position? Or do you want to recognize a new person or promotion within your department? If so, we want to hear about it. Send us an e-mail, and we’ll publish your good news in the next HR InTouch!

In Transition

If you are a member who is in between jobs, or who is currently employed but seeking new positions or career paths, write us a brief description of your skill set, areas of expertise, what you’re looking for, etc. Send us an e-mail. We’ll publish your information in the next HR InTouch.

GMA SHRM Member Poll

Do you have a burning HR question that you’d like to see featured on our GMA SHRM Member Poll? If so, please submit your questions to Tar Conger at tconger@firstchoicedental.com

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 .