April 2012

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 202

Compensation and Benefits

The American Health Care Dilemma

Professional Development

$1,000 GMA SHRM Professional Award

GMA SHRM Social Media

Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

Forward HR

GMASHRM is LinkedIn

GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

GMA SHRM Human Capital Conference

GMA SHRM Toolbox Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Topic:  Employee Engagement: Putting Common sense into Common Practice

Healthcare Resource Group: Kick-off Meeting
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

GMA SHRM Roundtable
June 6, 2012
HR Technology

Click here to see the full 2012 GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

GMA SHRM Member News

GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Welcome New Members!

Movin' Up

In Transition

GMA Membership Poll 


Printable version


President's Message

2012 Corporate Partners

Gold Level
Boardman Law Firm
Career Momentum
Celerity Staffing Solutions
Dean Health Plan

First Choice Dental Group
The Payroll Company
Remedy Intelligent Staffing


Silver Level
Cottingham & Butler Employee Benefits 

Smart Solutions

Bronze Level
AMPT Physical Therapy
The Alliance
Delta Dental
Edgewood College
Hausmann-Johnson Insurance Group
Hemb Insurance Group
Higgins Insurance Group
Ultimate Software Group
Unity Health Insurance
UW Credit Union
The QTI Group
Wegner CPA's & Consultants
Wisconsin Rx


Thank you!

Good Day Fellow GMA SHRM Members,

Spring is here, but with the unbelievably warm weather we had in March, it seems like it’s been here for over a month.  With the warmer weather and longer days, we all tend to get re-energized and excited, get more active and have fun.
Speaking of being more active and fun, the GMA SHRM Board of Directors has been busy working on strategic initiatives, budgeting for our next fiscal year and discussing succession plans.   As board members, it’s our responsibility to listen to our members, make responsible decisions, and ensure that the chapter is moving in a positive direction.  I believe we have met these expectations and continue to fulfill the plans and dreams of our predecessors. 

In January we met to update our Strategic Initiatives.  We removed those tasks and goals that have been met and added a few new ones.  In early March we began the process of creating our 2012-2013 budget.  We began by reviewing the 2011- 2012 budget - I’m thrilled to inform you that we’re financially healthy and poised for a successful fiscal year end.  We remained within our budget and were able to save a little for a rainy day.  This is our goal each year and meeting this goal ensures a strong chapter for years to come.

So far our initial review and plans for the 2012-2013 budget look bright.  We plan to create a balanced budget that is fiscally responsible yet continues to offer opportunities for learning, networking, access to relevant HR related information, the ability to connect with each other through social media and of course keeping our GMA SHRM website up-to-date.  All of our committees: Programming, Communications & Marketing, Membership Interaction, Philanthropic, Workforce Readiness & Diversity, Government Affairs, and Education & Professional Development have all weighed in to provide guidance and goals.  Our group of board members who represent each of these committees has done a wonderful job.  

Since succession planning is part of our responsibility each year, I think this an opportune time to mention that we will have the need for two new board members starting on July 1, 2012.  We will need a new Treasurer/Secretary and Education & Professional Development Director. If you’re interested in one of these great positions, please contact any current board member, the GMA SHRM administrative office at chapteradmin@gmashrm.org or visit our website at www.gmashrm.org for the volunteer opportunities section. 

Finally, as a reminder, please check out our upcoming events, especially the GMA SHRM Human Capital Conference. It will be held at the Alliant Energy Center on Tuesday, May 15th.  “The Evolution of Human Resources”, the theme of this year’s conference should provide wonderful learning opportunity for all of us. Check out the GMA SHRM website, newsletters, and weekly e-blasts for regular updates.  Don’t procrastinate, registration is now open!

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 202
Contributed by Jason Gault, PHR

Senate Bill 202 amends compensatory and punitive damage awards for violation of current Wisconsin Fair Employment law, specifically acts of employment discrimination and unfair honesty or genetic testing.

Senate Bill 202 has the potential to remove the compensatory and punitive damage awards that an individual could be awarded from a circuit court suit as it relates to a filed complaint with the DWD for violations of WI Fair Employment Law.

Currently, a person alleging discrimination in employment or unfair honesty or genetic testing may file a complaint with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) seeking actions such as reinstating the employee, providing back pay and paying costs and attorney fees. In addition, the current fair employment law permits the DWD or a person who has been discriminated against or subjected to unfair honesty or genetic testing to bring an action in circuit court to recover compensatory and punitive damages caused by the act of discrimination or unfair honesty or genetic testing after the completion of all administrative proceedings before DWD and the Labor and Industry Review Commission concerning the violation.

If the circuit court finds that a defendant has committed an act of discrimination or unfair honesty or genetic testing, the circuit court must order the defendant to pay to the person discriminated against compensatory and punitive damages in an amount that the circuit court finds appropriate, subject to certain limitations, as follows:

   1. If the defendant employs 100 or fewer employees, $50,000.
   2. If the defendant employs more than 100 but fewer than 201 employees, $100,000.
   3. If the defendant employs more than 200 but fewer than 501 employees, $200,000.
   4. If the defendant employs more than 500 employees, $300,000.

This bill would eliminate those extra monetary damage payments, but would still allow the DWD to award back pay, costs and attorney fees to someone who was found to have been discriminated against, or subjected to unfair honest or genetic testing.
For the full text of the bill, along with amendments, fiscal estimates and timeline of action on the bill, please visit http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/proposals/sb202

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Compensation and Benefits

The American Health Care Dilemma
Contributed by John F. Macek LCSW

Given the vigorous debate on health care and health care costs, this article attempts to give HR professionals an understanding of issues that go into maintenance of health, how health care practice in the US differs from other developed countries, and the impact that has on our global competitiveness.  

As a nation we are passionate about technology and have used it to good advantage.  Millions of unskilled and semiskilled positions have been replaced by powerful and more efficient materials handling equipment, more accurate and reliable robotics, computer simulation versus test modeling, world-wide interactive video conferencing, RFIDs to track transit, bar codes that track pricing and inventory, information systems that track inventory and arrange just-in-time delivery. We fix problems and find newer and better methods for just about everything.  We have applied technology with good results as well to our health care system.  We have spent massively on high tech equipment to diagnose and treat disease and shorten hospital stays. 

For people with life-threatening conditions, there is no nation better equipped than the US.  Yet somehow, our sophisticated treatment processes have proven a double edged sword.  While we can treat previously incurable illnesses we leave some with no health care at all. The life span of Americans is decreasing compared to other developed countries though we pay, on average, twice as much per capita. How can that be?

The answer to this question is that we are focusing in the wrong area for maintaining the health status of our personnel.  Instead of keeping bodies sound in the first place, we look to hospitals to make things right. This paradigm is costing us dearly.

Click here for the full article.

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Professional Development

$1,000 GMA SHRM Professional Award


GMA SHRM has established a professional awards program encouraging continuing education in the human resources field. The annual $1,000 award will be given to one GMA SHRM member to support his or her professional development.

Examples of covered eligible programs include:
• Attendance at a National/State SHRM conference
• Post-secondary degree in business or human resources related discipline
• Support of certification or re-certification (PHR, SPHR, GPHR, CCP, CEBS, etc.)
• Certificate programs in business or human resources related discipline

Eligible applicants for the GMA SHRM Professional Awards Program must meet the following criteria:
• GMA SHRM Member
• Currently working in an HR related field
• Current GMA SHRM Board Members are not eligible

Application deadline is April 20, 2012.

Click here to learn more.

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GMA SHRM Social Media

‘Like’ us on Facebook

Have you liked us on Facebook yet? Visit http://www.facebook.com/#!/GMASHRM. 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!  http://twitter.com/#!/gmashrm

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.

Forward HR

Want to know what’s going on in HR for the other areas of Wisconsin?  WI SHRM has a new blog, Forward HR. Click here to take a look.

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GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

GMA SHRM Toolbox
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Topic:  Employee Engagement: Putting Common sense into Common Practice
Location:  City Center West


Do you want to:
  1. Become even more keenly aware of the impact of dealing with others in a positive way?
  2. Discover valuable tools for engaging others at any level of an organization?
  3. Learn to use time-tested principles to coach, build and work with others?
Please join Terry Siebert: President of Siebert Associates, Inc., and your peers Tuesday April 17th to explore what drives high performance teams, as well as the opposite. More often than not, it is the habits, “the way we do things around here,” that will determine whether the workplace fosters team synergy or a lack of teamwork.
Time-tested principles will serve as the foundation for building and maintaining positive business relationships. You will be reminded that it is usually a very good idea to put more common sense into common practice. Not only will you learn, this session should be lots of FUN!
For more information and to register for this event click here.
GMA SHRM Healthcare Resource Group:  Kick-Off Meeting

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Topic:  Challenges of being an HR Practitioner in the Healthcare Industry

Location:  M3 Insurance (3113 West Beltline Highway Madison, WI)

Group Co-Facilitators: 
   Nicole Terry, PHR – previous consulting projects for Central Wisconsin Center, Midwest Home Care, and Mercy Hospital 
   Pam Lokken, SPHR – Human Resources, Ingle Living Communities

Have you felt that generic industry advice just doesn’t cut it for the Healthcare industry?  Would you like to meet other Healthcare HR practitioners to discuss your challenges and to share ideas and solutions for an industry that has very unique needs?  Then look no further than the NEW Healthcare Resource Group!

April’s Kick-Off Meeting is your opportunity to be a part of a Madison’s only network of trusted peer advisors, who together will explore some of the unique challenges and opportunities presented by being an HR practitioner in the ever-evolving Healthcare industry.
This group will provide Healthcare HR practitioners with the opportunity to share knowledge, ideas, strategies and lessons-learned, as well as practical tips, tools, and techniques for an industry with needs and challenges very different than most others.  There are many topics, questions or instances where brainstorming as a group or partnering with other companies comes in handy and can be a great mutual benefit without having to sacrifice any competitive advantages.  This is where colleagues can glean from their peers on best practices that work for their companies, and this is one of our objectives for this group.    
If you are administering HR functions in the Healthcare industry, this Resource Group is for you!  HR practitioners at every level and with varying degrees of education/experience/certification are encouraged to attend.  All attendees must either be a current GMA SHRM member or in the process of joining GMA SHRM. 
Registration is not required or currently available online, but an expression of interest would be appreciated.  Please reach out to either:  Nicole Terry at nmterry22@gmail.com or Pam Lokken at plokken@ingleliving.com if you are interested in attending the meeting and being part of the Healthcare Resource Group.   If you are unable to attend this meeting but would like more information on the Healthcare Resource Group, please contact either Nicole or Pam at the contact information above. 

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GMA SHRM Roundtable Event
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Topic: HR Technology
Location:  M3 Insurance

HR Technology is a broad subject, but we hope to narrow it down to a few specific areas where technology can help us out in our day to day lives in HR.  In today’s world, you either have to keep up, or get run over.  But it’s even more about being efficient in your role. 
What we hope to accomplish in this roundtable, is to bring people together and share what we all do HR Technology wise.  We have several different areas that we will discuss, including:  On-line Applications and Applicant Tracking Systems, HRIS,  Electronic employee files, Social Media usage for recruitment as well as any other topics that the group is interested in.
Please join Dave Miller, Madison College HR Generalist, and your peers in an interactive exchange of thoughts, ideas, and best practices.
For more information and to register for this event click here.

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GMA SHRM Member News

GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Heather Becker

Where do you currently work?  
I have been employed by Sub-Zero Wolf, Inc. since 2007

What is the focus of your position? 
I am a Human Resource Manager at the corporate office in Madison, and oversee the HR functions for our six distributor locations in the U.S.

How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
10 Years

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? 
Three years ago we transitioned to a new HRIS/Payroll software that put all of our department’s separately managed documents and files on one shared server.  We had a very aggressive implementation and were successful at bringing nine companies on board at once.  Since then I have managed the HRIS portion and our team continues to make improvements in efficiencies through the use of the system and its available modules.  The system grants visibility to our employees of their personal information and pay history which they didn’t have before.  We also placed most of our commonly asked for forms and company information online as well, and the best part is that our employees are able to access this from home as well.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
Make the rest of your life, the best of your life.  Today is another day to do even better!

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
I’ve been a member for almost 10 years and found it a great networking opportunity as well as a go-to resource to keep up to date on local and national trends in HR.  I received my PHR Certification 7 years ago and GMA SHRM has always done a great job of providing seminars and conferences that are eligible for recertification credits. 

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Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in February of 2012!


Managing Partner
HR Generalist
Care Wisconsin
HR Intern
State of WI Investment Board
Director of Career Services
Globe University
Senior Compensation Consultant
Alliant Energy
Executive HR Specialist
Wisconsin Office of State Employment Relations
Foley & Lardner LLP
DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C.
Dedicated Consultants
Executive Coordinator
Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District

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Movin' Up

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!

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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.

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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@pjpower.com

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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 .