July 2012

HR InTouch

The Monthly Newsletter of the Greater Madison Area SHRM

In This Edition

President's Message

By Melissa Perry GMA SHRM President

Government Affairs Update

The Paycheck Fairness Act

Supreme Court to Consider Who is a "Supervisor" Under Title VII.

GMA SHRM Social Media

FacebookTwitter & LinkedIn

Forward HR

GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

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

GMA SHRM Annual Golf Outing August 7, 2012

GMA SHRM Toolbox
August 21, 2012
Don't Get Burned: Hot Topics in the Legal Arena

GMA SHRM Summer Networking Event
August 23, 2012

GMA SHRM Strategic Summit September 18, 2012  The Oz Principle:  Strengthening Personal and Organizational Accountability at Work

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

GMA SHRM Announcements

One Day to Make a Difference

SHRM Foundation News: Student Scholarships 


GMA SHRM Member News

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!


For the past few months, many members have emailed me congratulations on my new role as the incoming 2012-2013 GMA SHRM President. I kindly reminded everyone that it wasn’t official until July 1st, and that Mike Leibundgut was still our fearless leader, I didn’t want to steal his thunder!  Now the time has come, and it is official (deep breaths).  I’d like to give many thanks to all of our past presidents and amazing volunteers that have made GMA SHRM such a successful and financially stable chapter, we are incredibly lucky and I am honored to step into this role. Volunteers make many of the things we do possible (such as this newsletter) and I encourage everyone to consider getting involved.

With that, please join me in congratulating our 2012-2013 GMA SHRM Board of Directors:
  • President Elect: Jake Siudzinski
  • Immediate Past President: Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Dawn Koopman, SPHR
  • Vice President of Membership: JoAnna Vanderpoel, SPHR
  • Vice President Programming: Jeff Russell
  • Vice President of Communications & Marketing: Tara Conger, PHR
  • Director of Workforce Readiness & Diversity: Michele Thoren
  • Director of Education and Development: Melissa Chadwick
  • Director of Government Affairs: Tammy Barden, PHR

On a personal note, who is your new President?  I started out my HR career as a temp in the HR department at Oshkosh B’Gosh, and not long after moved to Madison.  For 4 years I had the wonderful opportunity to be the first HR person ever hired at a local manufacturing company and was able to create the department from the ground up.  While doing so, I came to find The Payroll Company, my current employer, and went to work for my vendor and have been here since 2008. I feel incredibly blessed to have a job I enjoy, great family and friends, and able to call Madison home.

We have some incredible things planned for the upcoming year.  If you have a smartphone, you should start getting excited! I won’t spoil the surprise, so please stay tuned for details!  If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to continue to move our chapter forward, please feel free to contact me at 608-826-1122 or melissap@payrollcompany.biz.


Melissa Perry

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

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

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Government Affairs Update

The Paycheck Fairness Act
Contributed by Jason Gault, PHR 

The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220) stalled in the U.S. Senate when proponents failed to muster enough support on June 5, 2012, to end a filibuster of the measure.

The bill would have prohibited companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay disparities. In addition, the measure would have allowed workers to sue their employers for punitive damages if there is evidence of wide variances in salary levels when comparing the pay of male and female employees.
Supporters of the bill claim that the measure would help strengthen reforms enacted in 2009 with the Lilly Ledbetter paycheck law, which expanded the statute of limitations for filing equal-pay lawsuits.

Business groups had voiced their opposition to S. 3220, claiming that it would give the federal government unprecedented control over how private-sector workers are paid. In addition, opponents said the measure would open the compensation policy of every U.S. employer to endless court challenges and reviews requested by employees who are unhappy with their salaries.

According to a June 4, 2012, letter to Congress from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Paycheck Fairness Act would "expand remedies under [the Equal Pay Act] to include unlimited punitive and compensatory damages, significantly erode employer defenses for legitimate pay disparities, and imposes invalid tools for enforcement by the Labor Department," and it "would open up compensation and employment decisions to limitless review by courts and juries and would ultimately lead to an inefficient, cumbersome, and costly salary-setting process. In addition, the bill would modify existing rules concerning collective actions, making it easier for plaintiffs’ attorneys to mount class action suits."

Equal pay has been a topic on the radar of most HR departments for a long time, and remains at the forefront for some businesses and advocacy groups.  For a full text of the bill visit: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:s.03220 .

(Adapted from www.SHRM.org article written by Bill Leonard on 6/6/12: http://www.shrm.org/publications/hrnews/pages/paycheckactstalls.aspx?homepage=mpc )

Supreme Court to consider who is a "supervisor" under Title VII.
Contributed by Bob Gregg, Boardman & Clark Law Firm 

The U.S. Supreme Court has requested the U.S. Solicitor General to file an advisory brief on the issue of who is a "supervisor" for purposes of vicarious liability in harassment cases.  Vicarious liability means the acts or non-actions of the supervisor are seen as the actions of the employer and can create automatic liability (unlike the acts of lower level employees).  According to most lower courts, the definition is different under Title VII than under other labor laws.  One does not need authority to hire or fire; a "supervisor" is anyone with functional authority to direct others daily work.  Lead workers, often co-union members who are clearly not management under the labor laws, can still be considered "supervisors" for Title VII.  The court is hearing the appeal of the 7th Circuit ruling in Vance v. Ball State University, a racial harassment case.  The case revolves around whether one of the alleged harassers was a supervisor or just a co-worker with a bit more responsibility than others.  The decision may have a major liability impact for all employers.  

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GMA SHRM Social Media

Have you liked us on Facebook yet? Visit http://www.facebook.com/#!/
. Another great way to stay connected to GMA SHRM and your HR ‘friends’. 

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/#!/

Are you on LinkedIn? Come join our GMA SHRM Chapter group on LinkedIn!

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

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:
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.


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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Tuesday, August 7, 2012, Sixth Annual Golf Outing & Charity Event
Location: The Legend at Bergamont in Oregon

Join your HR friends for our 6th annual golf outing at The Legend of Bergamont. The event is a 4-person scramble, so all golfers at all skill levels are encouraged to participate. You can sign up as a foursome or as an individual and we will help pair you up with a group. Proceeds will benefit Operation Homefront Wisconsin.

Join us for a relaxing day of fun!

For more information and to register for this event click here.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012, GMA SHRM Toolbox
Topic:  Don’t Get Burned: Hot Topics in the Legal Arena
Location: City Center West

In this Toolbox program, we will review key practical lessons from the last year in employment law.  It is one thing to keep up with the latest developments, but it is as important to understand what these developments mean for your everyday practices.  We will address major “takeways” from the past year to help you sharpen your day-to-day HR administration and stay out of legal trouble.

In addition, we will address the latest rulings under state and federal disability laws following the enactment of the ADAAA.  We will also review the most recent and instructive cases on reasonable accommodation--an issue that HR professionals must stay on top of to ensure their organizations are taking proper steps to address.
You will learn:
            --How managers can complicate what should be clear cut employee terminations
            --Best practices in electronic discovery
            --How to avoid actions that will create personal liability
            --The expansive scope of disability coverage under the ADAAA
            --Practical pointers for dealing with potential disability issues
            --What issues and evidence determine the outcome of accommodation cases
            --What your key personnel need to know to properly assist in disability-related issues 

For more information and to register for this event click here.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012, GMA SHRM Networking Event
Location: Coliseum Bar

The GMA SHRM Membership Committee invites you to our Summer Networking Event!

Escape your normal weekday hustle and bustle and join us for an informal 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 Monday August 20th so we can better plan for the event.  Appetizers provided. Cash bar.

For more information and to register for this event click here.

See you there!


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012, GMA SHRM Strategic Summit
Topic:  The Oz Principle: Strengthening Personal and Organizational Accountability at Work
Location: Alliant Energy Center

Register for The Oz Principle Today and Your President/CEO/COO Attends Free!

The Oz Principle is coming to Madison! To help promote workplace accountability and highlight the role that both leaders and human resources play in building individual and organizational accountability, GMA SHRM is offering a special deal for our members. Register to attend The Oz Principle Strategic Summit on September 18th and an executive officer from your company attends at no extra charge!
Creating an organizational culture that supports and sustains individual and organizational accountability takes a focused effort at all levels. HR can’t do it alone. It helps when your top leadership understands what they need to do to ensure that people are held accountable at every organizational level. For this reason we thought that enabling your company president, CEO, COO, CFO or other executive officer to attend this event at no extra charge would help ensure that your company’s message of personal accountability is reinforced at the top.

Sign up today for The Oz Principle on September 18th and then follow the directions on the website to have an executive officer from your company attend at no extra charge. It’s GMA SHRM’s way of saying “thanks” to the organizational leaders who support your membership in the chapter.

Want your entire executive team to attend this session? After you register and identify one executive officer to attend for free, other leaders at your company can attend at the GMA SHRM member rate.  Follow the directions on the GMA SHRM website for details about how to take advantage of this special offer.

See you (and your executive officer!) at The Oz Principle on September 18th!  For more information and to register for this event click here.

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GMA SHRM Announcements

One Day to Make a Difference
Contributed by Dave Furlan, PHR, Past President

A big thank you to GMA SHRM members who volunteered at this year's One Day to Make a Difference on June 8th and 9th.  The Wisconsin State SHRM Council has organized this event over the past three years as a way for HR professionals to come together and give back to the community.  The initiative was recognized nationally by SHRM with a Pinnacle Award in 2010.  Each Wisconsin chapter selects a charitable cause or organization to support every year, and this year GMA SHRM sent volunteers to Habitat for Humanity.

Our team on Friday worked on a construction project in Middleton, and the Saturday team worked on a project in Fitchburg.  Despite the warm weather and broken caulk guns, our GMA SHRM volunteers had productive days in helping homeowners who are supported by Habitat for Humanity.

Friday team members pictured at right included Tammy Bartow, Stephanie Kachur, Kathy Konichek, and Scott Wieland.  Saturday team members included Tammy Barden, Matt Chadwick, Melissa Chadwick, Pat Estes, Dianna McNall, and Matt Nechodom.  Special thanks to Stephanie Kachur and Tammy Barden for leading our teams on each day!

GMA SHRM's philanthropic efforts will continue with our 6th annual Golf Outing coming up in August.  The event will support Operation Homefront Wisconsin.  Check e-blasts, social media, and the website for details and to sign-up.
Lastly, having finished my term on the GMA SHRM Board, I want to extend one last appreciation to all volunteers in our chapter.  I recently told another member it never ceases to amaze me the dedication within this chapter.  Back in 2001, I volunteered for the Communications and Marketing Committee and at that time was privileged to be a part of a team with both great ideas and the ability to execute.  I learned a lot, and it gave me the confidence to take on bigger projects and leadership roles. Through all of it, I met so many talented and enjoyable individuals, all of whom I count as friends and colleagues to this day.
So, while GMA SHRM was part of One Day to Make a Difference again this year, I also appreciate the difference all of us have made to our chapter every day over the past several years.
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SHRM Foundation News: Student Scholarships

The SHRM Foundation supports the next generation of HR leaders through a variety of awards programs for students and educators.
Each year, the SHRM Foundation awards $50,000 in scholarships to SHRM student members.  In addition to education scholarships, this year the Foundation will offer scholarships of $200 each for students taking the new Assurance of Learning Assessment.

The SHRM Foundation recognizes the important work of SHRM student chapter advisors by supporting the annual Advisor of the Year Award. 

In addition, the SHRM Foundation  partners with the HR Division of the Academy of Management to present four $5,000 awards to promising doctoral dissertation students. 

These are just a few ways the SHRM Foundation is investing in the future. And it's all made possible with your generous donations.   For more information on SHRM Foundation awards please visit www.shrm.org/foundation and select "Scholarships and Awards".

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GMA SHRM Member News


GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Name: Amy Herek

Where do you currently work?  
Meriter Health Services

What is the focus of your position? 
I manage the Physician Services team of the Meriter Medical Group. We are involved in every step of the process of bringing physicians and allied health professionals on board as well as supporting them once they are here.  This could be anything from medical practice development to HR related items.  We are a very young Medical Group, so the variety that comes my way provides a great challenge, which makes me enjoy it all the more.
How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
7 years
Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? 
My recent promotion into my current position has made me very proud-bringing my early HR career in health care ‘full circle’ to this point where I’m using that experience along with the my other experiences to lead our team. A specific accomplishment that stands out to me involves two employees who worked together for nearly twenty years and whose relationship had degraded to the point that they literally felt they could no longer work within the same space together. I used communication and listening skills, patience, and persistence to get them to a place where within a month’s time they left a meeting with a true understanding of where the other was ‘coming from’ in their communications (and lack thereof).  After the meeting, I had told a colleague of mine that the only way the meeting could have gone better would have been if they would have gotten up and hugged-turns out they did, once they got back to their work area!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 

“That’s them, not you.”  I was actually given this advice from my Aunt Elaine while she was teaching me to ice skate when I was about 5 years old.  I was watching those around me fall on the ice, and by paying attention to them, I would start to lose my balance. She was reminding me to stay focused and not get distracted by those falling beside me.  Those words come to mind every time I run into a situation where assumptions are being made, ‘group think’ or negativity is taking over, and some big picture thinking is necessary.  It’s surprising how often those words come in handy in the professional world!

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM? 
I’ve been a member of GMA SHRM since 2005 and a co-chair of the programming committee since 2009. I initially became a member because I was new in my career and wanted to network with HR professionals in the Greater Madison Area and also take advantage of the great Toolbox events.  Today, I still participate for the networking component and because I feel the programs we offer are very useful and often very timely to items that are top of mind to HR professionals in the workplace.  As my career has progressed, I find myself more drawn to other types of programming, such as the Roundtable events, for the consultative discussions that occur.

Name: Erin Pinnow
Where do you currently work?  
First Choice Dental
What is the focus of your position? 
In supporting over 140 employees in 10 offices in the Dane County area, Monroe and Beloit, I’m responsible for recruitment, benefits, compensation, professional development, legal compliance, employee relations, and wellness.
How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
10+ years
Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? 
I’d have to say that I’m most proud of where I am today. I think back of my career and see an enormous amount of growth both personally and professionally. I’ve worked incredibly hard to get where I am today and I’m so thankful for every past experience that has allowed me the opportunity to manage human resources for First Choice Dental.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
We do not get to choose how we die, but we do get to choose how we live.
Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
I’ve been a member of GMA SHRM for most of my HR career. I’ve found the membership to be most beneficial for networking within the Madison area in addition to providing opportunities for continuing education.

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Welcome New Members!

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

QBE Insurance
HR Business Partner
Madison College
Associate Dean
Telephone & Data Systems, Inc.
Administrative Coordinator
Telephone & Data Systems
Sr. Dist. Clerk
Landmark Services Cooperative
Executive VP Human Resources
JT Packard
HR Coordinator
Madison National Life Ins
HR Generalist
Landmark Services Cooperative
Didion Milling
HR Generalist
Landmark Services Cooperative
Recruitment & Compensation Manager
Agrace HospiceCare
Business Development Staffing Manager
EVP Corporate Services
UW Hospital & Clinics
Compensation Analyst
HR Manager

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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 .