June 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

Only in Wisconsin... Some Interesting State Laws

Criminal Background Check Guidance

EEOC Issues Age Discrimination Guidance

Employees and Social Media Comments

Compensation and Benefits

GMA SHRM Compensation Survey is OPEN - Participate Today

GMA SHRM Social Media

Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

Forward HR

GMASHRM is LinkedIn

GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

GMA SHRM Roundtable June 6, 2012
HR Technology

GMA SHRM Toolbox
June 21, 2012 
FMLA and Military Leave Update

GMA SHRM Strategic Summit
July 24, 2012
Diversity and Acceptance in the Workplace

Annual Golf Outing
August 7, 2012

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

GMA SHRM Announcements

Attention All Mock Interviewers!

SHRM Foundation News: The Masters Series at the SHRM Annual Conference 


GMA SHRM Member News

2012 Volunteer of the Year

2012 Professional Award Winner Selected!

GMA SHRM Member Spotlights

Welcome New Members!

Movin' Up

In Transition

GMA Membership Poll 


Printable version


President's Message

2012 Corporate Partners

Gold Level
Boardman & Clark 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,

It’s difficult for me to believe my year of representing our outstanding SHRM Chapter is coming to an end.  The past 11 months have gone by at Mach 3 for me!  What a ride it’s been!  I’ve experienced a variety of new opportunities and challenges such as writing a monthly message for the chapter newsletter, being the chair for our board meetings, providing opening comments at chapter events, attending WISHRM chapter meetings, signing checks as if I owned a company (this one was especially fun), creating a state of the chapter video, and being interviewed by a local magazine.  All great memories and experiences that I most likely wouldn’t have gotten an opportunity to collect if I didn’t accept this role. 

I’m also proud to report that we continue to be a financially strong chapter, ending our fiscal year in the black allowing us to save for future projects, new technology and programs.  We successfully completed many goals and tasks from our annual strategic plan.  Recently the board has met and created a new strategic plan for the upcoming year.   This new strategic plan is an extension of last year’s with new and updated tactical and operational goals and tasks...stay tuned for more progress.

I would like to take the majority of this month’s President’s Message to recognize the many volunteers who make this chapter what it is today.  First and foremost, all of you who attend our events, round tables, tool boxes, networking events, and one day Human Capital Conference (which was a huge success as usual).  For those of you who share your knowledge and experience by volunteering your time to help others, being active in GMA SHRM’s LinkedIn group, volunteer on a committee, chair a committee or simply share in any form you chose.   We have roughly 800 members and many of you remain active in the organization throughout the year.   Thank you so much for all you do.

Next I would like to offer kudos to our administrative team, Morgan Data Solutions, who have been with our organization for 9 years, directing, coaching, offering creative ideas, solving problems, supporting change and monitoring our activities making sure we are staying in line with laws, etc.  Yes, we pay for their services, but they go above and beyond what we “agree” upon each year; they truly care about our organization.  Christopher, Heather, Kurt and Leah are loyal partners of ours and deserve a significant amount of credit for our continued success.

Finally I would like to thank my fellow board members.  Dave Furlan, Melissa Perry, Jake Siudzinski, Jeff Russell, Tara Conger, JoAnna Vanderpoel, Tammy Barden, Michele Thoren, and Wendy Brendel.  These individuals spend their time coordinating, planning, solving problems, generating wonderful ideas, attending monthly board and committee meetings, contacting local vendors and professionals.  They volunteer for mock interviews, the Day of Caring, and local HR panels or presentations, link with local organizations to help spread the “HR” word…and the list goes on.   Even though my role has the title of President, no one person runs this organization, it’s a team effort and I can’t emphasize that enough.   Without this group of dedicated people, it would be impossible to have the success we’ve experienced in the years I’ve been on the board.  They are all incredible people and each of them brings a unique talent to the board.  I feel confident that next year’s board will build upon our success and learn from our challenges.  The chapter is in great hands!

In conclusion, thank you for allowing me to represent you and this fine organization.   I am honored to be part of a long list of Presidents who I watched and learned from; they handed me the reigns of a well oiled machine. 

For the last “written” time…Let’s inspire someone today! 

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR


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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
Melissa Perry
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

Only in Wisconsin…Some Interesting State Laws
Contributed by Tammy Barden, PHR, Sr. Employee Relations Specialist, WPS Health Insurance

It is well known that Wisconsinites love their cheese but did you know Wisconsin has the following laws specifically about cheese? At one time, state law made it illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without cheese. Also, a cheese maker’s license is required to make cheese but only a master cheese maker is legally allowed to make Limburger cheese. If you want to learn about more interesting laws in Wisconsin and elsewhere, this information was found at www.dumblaws.com

Criminal Background Check Guidance
Contributed by Tammy Barden, PHR, Sr. Employee Relations Specialist, WPS Health Insurance

An employer’s use of an individual’s criminal history in making employment decisions may be found to discriminate against protected individuals. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided guidance to better explain how employment discrimination may occur in this context. It is imperative employers understand this issue and create policies and practices that will not put them in danger of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The EEOC’s guidance focuses on employment discrimination based on race and national origin. Statistics show that African American and Hispanic men are arrested and incarcerated at rates disproportionate to their numbers in the general population. Discrimination against these groups may happen in a few different ways that employers need to be aware of. For example, disparate treatment has occurred when an employer rejects an applicant based on racial or ethnic stereotypes about criminality rather than qualifications and suitability for the position.

Disparate impact could occur when an employer’s neutral policy or practice has the effect of disproportionately screening out a protected group. This would only apply if the employer is unable to demonstrate the policy or practice is job related and consistent with business necessity. The courts have identified three factors relevant to assessing whether an exclusion is job related and consistent with business necessity:

1. The nature or gravity of the offense or conduct;
2. The time that has passed since the offense or conduct and/or completion of the sentence; and
3. The nature of the job held or sought.
This information was found at: www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm.

EEOC issues age discrimination guidance
Contributed by Bob Gregg, Boardman & Clark Law Firm

To conform with recent Supreme Court decisions, the EEOC has revised its ADEA guidance on interpreting the “reasonable factor other than age” (RFOA) defense to discrimination complaints.  It is now the employee’s burden to overcome the RFOA defense.  However, the EEOC will still examine the employer’s RFOA claim to see if:

1.      The factors claimed were designed for a reasonable business purpose;
2.      The factors were applied fairly;
3.      Supervisors were allowed too much “subjectivity” in decision making so as to incorporate personal biases;
4.      The employer attempted to assess whether a business practice had an adverse impact on older workers and attempted to reduce that harm in any way.

Employee’s private social media threatening comments cascade into the work environment
Contributed by Bob Gregg, Boardman & Clark Law Firm

An off-duty flight attendant used his personal blog to post angry insults and threats of physical harm toward people in the airlines scheduling department.  The airlines handbook warned that personal social media use, tied to the workplace, would not be considered private.  An arbitrator ruled that discipline and discharge were warranted in this situation; “privacy cannot be a defense for threatening fellow employees”.  The off-duty postings became part of the work environment when sent to other employees and the public.  Airtran Airways, Inc. v. Council 57, Assoc. of Flight Attendants (2012).


Compensation and Benefits

GMA SHRM Compensation Survey – Participate Today and Win!

Get the most current, local compensation data around through the GMA-SHRM Compensation Survey.  Our chapter partners with enetrix, a Gallup company, to conduct the Compensation Survey.  This survey is ‘evergreen’ meaning participants can update data on an ongoing basis throughout the year which you have access to in real time wage information.  The survey also provides tools to assist you in applying and trending the data results to meet your industry, demographic, and organizational needs. 

Participate today!  Participants not only receive a large purchasing discount, they also help to maintain the relevancy and validity of the data. Participate by June 15th for a chance to win one of three $50 gift cards!  Click here to participate, purchase or find out more.

Note:  The survey is not limited to GMA SHRM members. If you know of other organizations that would be interested in participating in the GMA SHRM Compensation Survey, please forward this message. Survey participants do receive a discounted price when purchasing the compensation survey, and GMA SHRM member participants receive even greater discounts.

Contact Missy Roth, Dana Denny, or Chapter Administration with questions.


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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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012, GMA SHRM Roundtable

Topic:  HR Technology
Location: M3

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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Thursday, June 21, 2012, GMA SHRM Toolbox 

Topic:  FMLA and Military Leave Update
Location: Olbrich Gardens

Confused by all the changes that have occurred within the realm of FMLA and military leave?  Mark your calendars to join us for a very special opportunity to meet with two of Madison’s premiere employment law attorneys to discuss FMLA and Military leave updates.  GMA SHRM members will have the opportunity to submit their questions or case scenarios in advance of the training and have those scenarios become part of the presentation. 

This training presentation will cover the two types of “military family leave” – qualifying exigency leaves and military caregiver leave, who is covered, eligibility requirements, etc.  FMLA is ruled by timelines for giving and receiving information – participants will leave with a good grasp of timing rules as well as how to monitor other key areas of FMLA usage to prevent abuse and fend off litigation.

Michael Westcott and Leslie Sammon from Axley Brynelson will be our featured speakers.

Questions and case scenarios may be submitted to Holly Thompson by May 10 to be considered for the training.  We hope to see you there!
For more information and to register for this event click here.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012, GMA SHRM Strategic Summit

Topic:  Diversity and Acceptance in the Workplace
Location: Alliant Energy Center

Even though it may be considered an ‘Employer’s Market’, it is still crucial to develop the right culture in your workplace.  Diversity and acceptance is a critical piece in developing that crucial company culture and ultimately, keeping your employees.
This summit will take a look at diversity and acceptance from a couple of different angles.  Both from an inspiring perspective of an individual who has gone through several hardships in her life, and knows all about acceptance.  Then from the perspective of a company that has been so successful in their diversity and acceptance culture building, that it is simply part of their everyday business. 
Our presenters:
1.  Theresa Gilliland, author of “In a Moment”, shares her positive attitude and how it helped her survive three life changing events: going blind, her husband’s traumatic brain injury, and her son’s brain cancer.  With her bachelor’s degree in psychology, she has developed a variety of educational, motivational, and inspirational sessions to help others adjust to or become aware of disabilities.
2. Helen Taylor is a diversity and inclusion consultant at American Family Mutual Insurance Company.  She leads and oversees a multi-dimensional diversity and inclusion strategy.  Helen began her career at American Family in 1996.   She has held several roles, including:  field training analyst, process improvement specialist, organizational effectiveness (OE) consultant in HR, OE manager, managed the talent management unit in HR and eventually transitioned into the field of diversity and inclusion, which has been her focus for the past four-and-a-half years.  She was instrumental in the development of American Family’s overall diversity strategy and spearheaded the collaborative formation of the company’s integrated strategic diversity plan, including Business Resource Groups, and a people of color retention study.
For more information and to register for this event click here.


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Annual Golf Outing & Charity Event

Mark your calendars and sign up today! Tuesday, August 7th GMA SHRM will have their annual golf outing at The Legend at Bergamont in Oregon, WI. It’s always a great time! You won’t want to miss it!

Click here for more event, registration and sponsor information!

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GMA SHRM Announcements

Attention all mock interviewers!

Omega School is looking for mock interviewers on 8/15 from 9-11.  Please contact Michele Thoren at thorenm@cintas.com if you are available to help.  It is a great opportunity to help alternative students receiving their GED practice interviewing.
Hope to see you there!
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SHRM Foundation News: The Masters Series at the SHRM Annual Conference

Sponsored by the SHRM Foundation, the Master Series during the SHRM Annual Conference are high-level and thought-provoking sessions designed specifically to challenge senior-level HR professionals with advanced business techniques. These in-depth learning sessions feature internationally know experts in the field of management science, with a focus on timely and provocative issues that affect your career and industry.

This year’s session topics and speakers include: The Progress Principle; Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, Teresa Amabile; Healthy Organizations Win: How to Harness Your Organization’s Full Potential, Patrick Lencioni; and Shock of Gray: The Aging of the World’s Population and How It Pits Young Against Old, Child Against Parent, Worker Against Boss, Company Against Rival, and Nation Against Nation, Ted C. Fishman.   Click here for more information about the 2012 Master Series Sessions.

For more information on Foundation-sponsored educational programs, visit the SHRM Foundation website, www.shrmfoundation.org.

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GMA SHRM Member News

2012 Volunteer of the Year!

First of all, the GMA SHRM board would like to thank all of its volunteers. Without you the chapter would not be the great organization that it is!  This time of year the chapter recognizes someone in particular who has given that extra something to the chapter. And this year’s winner is……. Shaun Thomson! Shaun has been an integral part of planning the One Day Conference for multiple years.  In addition, he has been an active member on Marketing & Communications Committee, ensuring that our sponsorships are sold out every year, securing new partners when openings occur, and bringing a wealth of historical knowledge to the committee each year.  One of his biggest contributions is the relationships he has built and the strong foundation for GMA SHRM’s partnership program. He is always willing to do whatever it takes to make our chapter a success!  Congratulations Shaun as GMA SHRM’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year!

The board also wants to recognize a few other volunteers who have made a significant impact on the organization over the past year.

Special Outstanding Volunteer
Missy Roth has been a solid contributor to the Marketing & Communications Committee for several years.  Missy’s initiative has helped build the committee with continued success in partnerships. Due to Missy’s contributions this was a record year for obtaining partnerships. Missy also helped create a GMA SHRM brochure which will be a great way to market the chapter. She is an integral part of not only the Marketing Committee but to the chapter as a whole!

Exceptional Volunteers
Dawn Koopman
Dawn has been an active volunteer for the Membership & Marketing/Communication Committees dedicating countless hours to support our chapter initiatives.  In addition to coordinating our monthly new member welcome calls and orientating new volunteers, Dawn is in charge of putting together the monthly newsletter, HR Intouch.  She always volunteers at networking events and the new member welcome. In addition, Dawn is also a liaison with some of our corporate partners. 

Kate Karre
Kate is our social media guru! She has helped single handedly build our social media base including the chapter’s Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter pages. In the past year we have nearly doubled our fans on Facebook and our connections on LinkedIn. Kate is always willing to help answer questions for members. In addition, Kate is also serving on our One Day Conference Committee!

Nicole Terry
Nicole joined the chapter recently and her enthusiasm for Chapter programming led to her being asked to research the benefits of a “Programming Package” for our membership. As a result of her efforts she produced a comprehensive report that the Board used to make an informed decision and is further pursuing this area.  In addition, Nicole expressed a desire to initiate a Health Care HR Resource Group for chapter members modeled on the very successful Solo Practitioner’s group. The kick-off meeting of this new group was held in April and was attended by 10 individuals with another dozen showing interest! 

Holly Thompson
In the short time that Holly has been involved with the Programming Committee, she immediately volunteered to both identify topics for the 2012 World at Work workshop as well as recruit members to attend this program. Holly’s efforts led to this year’s World at Work program being the highest attended World at Work Program and produced a significant financial benefit to the chapter. 

Thank you again for your continued effort to make GMA SHRM great!

2012 GMA Professional Award Winner Selected!

The Board of Directors is very happy to report the results of the 2012 GMA SHRM Professional Award. This year’s recipient is Kathleen Konichek, PHR. Congratulation Kathleen. We wish you the best in your continued professional development.
We would also like to thank the other applicants for their submissions for this year’s award and encouraging everyone to apply again next year. 

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GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Name: Kristin S. Johnson

Where do you currently work?  Profession Direction, LLC. Career Coach, Resume Writer, Social Media Consultant, Owner.

What is the focus of your current position? 
My mission is to help coach clients towards success and fulfillment in their careers, providing expert direction, social media help, and career documents.

How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
4 years

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? 
I have the privilege of helping job seekers and entrepreneurs on a variety of projects to propel their careers forward. There’s nothing better than seeing my clients become more confident in their job search after re-discovering the talents and successes they bring to a new employer.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
Reach out for advice from those you admire; whose expertise you value. Most people truly want to help others. Working with a mentor can change your life.

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
I have heard many positive comments about this group, and I wanted to be a part of a dynamic, current, & resource-rich HR group. I wanted to learn more about what HR leaders in our community value in good candidates and how my clients might connect best with local employers.

Name: Kate Adametz Jenkins

Where do you currently work?  
UW Credit Union

What is the focus of your current position? 
Performance Management and Leadership Development

How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
15 years

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? 
Bringing in an EPMS and serving as the organization’s first certified professional internal coach.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
My mom told me to ‘Find a way to do what you love and make a living at it.‘

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
It is very active, well organized, a valuable source of industry knowledge, provides useful ongoing education, and a great network of HR professionals.


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Welcome New Members!

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


Staffing Coordinator
ABR Employment Services
Overture Center for the Arts
Career Services Coordinator
Globe University
HR Manager
Wisconsin Management Company
HR Assistant
Capitol Bank
Dewitt Ross & Stevens S.C.
Overture Center for the Arts
Charter Communications
Profession Direction, LLC
The QTI Group
State of Wisconsin
Employee Relations Specialist
CUNA Mutual Group
VP of Administration
Wisconsin Realtors Association
HR Administrator
Applied Ecological Services, inc
Office Administrator
Hawks Quindel S.C.
HR Manager
American TV & Appliance, Inc.
Spectrum Brands
HR Coordinator
Parts Now
Sr. HR Manager
Spectrum Brands
Office of State Employment Relations
Promega Corporation

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Movin' Up

Congratulations to David Miller on his PHR recertification! Thank you 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!

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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 .