September 2010

HR InTouch

In This Edition

President's Message

By Dave Furlan, PHR
GMA SHRM President

Government Affairs

Legal Update - The Fair Labor Standards Act

Compensation Benefits

Health Care Reform - A Renewal Season Survival Guide
Benefit Survey Results Coming Soon

Employee Relations

When Domestic Violence Enters the Workplace

Learning Development

PHR/SPHR Certification

Recruitment Staffing

September 21, 2010 – GMA SHRM Summit - Employment Branding: How Can You Build Your Brand to Stand Out from the Crowd?

SHRM News/Announcements

October 6, 2010 GMA SHRM HR Resource Group - Development: It's More Than Just Sending Someone to Class

Volunteer Opportunities

Pay It Forward Membership Program

GMA Membership Poll

GMA SHRM Member of the Month

GMA SHRM is LinkedIn


Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

September 21, 2010 - GMA SHRM Summit - Topic: Employment Branding:  How Can You Build Your Brand to Stand Out from the Crowd?
Program Details
This program is sponsored by GMA SHRM Gold Partner Calibra

October 6 , 2010 - GMA SHRM HR Resource Group
Topic: Development: It’s More Than Just Sending Someone to a Class!
Location: M3 Insurance
Program Details

October 19, 2010 - My GMA SHRM Toolbox -  Topic: HR Documentation: Tips and Techniques
Location: City Center West
Program Details
This program is sponsored by GMA SHRM Gold Partner The Payroll Company.



Printable version


President's Message

2010 Corporate Partners

Gold Level
American Family Insurance
Boardman Law Firm
Career Momentum
Galaxy Technologies
The Payroll Company
Right Management
Wisconsin Rx

Silver Level
Lee Hecht Harrison
Venturini Business Consultants, LLC
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Cottingham & Butler Employee Benefits

Bronze Level
Melli Law, S.C.
Bunbury & Associates
Express Employment Professionals
QBE The Americas
Stark Company Realtors
Higgins Insurance Group
Edgewood College
The Alliance
Unity Health Insurance
UW Credit Union

Thank you!


Let me start this month with a big thank you to the Philanthropic Committee and their work on this year’s golf outing. Held at The Oaks on August 3, the event raised $1,680 for Second Harvest Foodbank. I’m very proud of our chapter for making a contribution to such a worthy community organization. Thanks also to our sponsors and golfers whose participation made this a fun and worthwhile event for everyone. Great job! (Click here to view the Golf Event page and the link to the photo gallery.)

The month of August also brought the annual State Leadership Conference presented by the Wisconsin SHRM State Council. The conference brings together student and professional chapter leaders from throughout the state. The speakers and breakout sessions teach leadership skills and organizational concepts to help run a successful local SHRM affiliate. Chapter leaders at the conference also attend networking events with their counterparts throughout the state and discuss ideas and resources to improve upon what we deliver to our members and community.

The leadership conference had record attendance this year and several of our local GMA SHRM Board Members participated. Here is what they had to say about their conference experience:

“The state leadership conference as always is a great chance to network with other chapters and compare best practices. The breakout session on workforce readiness gave some great insight on the WC Connections program and how it has successfully been implemented with employers, community organizations, and schools in the Green Bay area. The social media presentation also had some great ideas on how we can connect with others in the HR profession to share ideas, events, and the like.”  Melissa Wieland, Director of Workforce Readiness and Diversity

“I thought the WISHRM Leadership Conference was an excellent opportunity to network with volunteers from throughout the state of Wisconsin.  I was able to gather some new ideas on how we can facilitate more networking opportunities for our members at future meetings.  I also enjoyed seeing and hearing from several of the UW Madison and UW Whitewater students who attended the event.  They made some outstanding contributions and I look forward to working with them in the near future to help attain our mutual goals!”   Kari Lauritsen, Past President

“I continue to get the most out of networking, meeting state SHRM members, and learning more about best practices in HR.  I got some ideas for the one day conference and a few of the speakers provided me with some new ideas and HR knowledge, especially the National SHRM website and where to find information.”  Mike Leibundgut, President Elect

“The biggest take-away for me was the chance to spend more time with my fellow board members. This conference gave a few of us a chance to do this and that was a big plus for me. Otherwise, I enjoyed meeting and talking with folks in other chapters – to hear about their members and their chapter practices (especially in relation to programming). ”  Jeff Russell, VP of Programming

“I learned the most for my role from Anthony Dix’s session on the financials.  He had a lot of advice and it’s important for me to understand it all.   As a leader, I gained more knowledge about the structure of SHRM at the state level and what support they have to offer.  I also have a better grasp on the size of the chapters around the state and realize we are truly lucky to have a large enough organization that we have the resources to offer great programming and benefits.  We have a great model going and we can keep it growing from here.”   Wendy Brendel, Secretary/Treasurer

Speaking of conferences, can you believe the State SHRM Conference is only a month away? If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late. Registration is still open on the Wisconsin SHRM website . This year the conference has 49 breakout sessions organized by track and offers strategic and international credits. There are also outstanding keynote speakers, executive sessions, early bird sessions, and late evening fun and networking -- something for everyone at one of the premier HR events of the year!

To your continued success,

Dave Furlan, PHR

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Dave Furlan, PHR
Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
President Elect
Kari Lauritsen, SPHR
Immediate Past President
Wendy Brendel, SPHR
Secretary Treasurer
Kris Schmitt
Director, Education & Development
JoAnna Vanderpoel, PHR
VP, Membership
Zach Penshorn, PHR
Director, Government Affairs
Jeff Russell
VP, Programming
  Jake Siudzinski
VP, Marketing & Communications
Melissa Wieland
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity

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Government Affairs

Contributed by Tammy Barden, Employee Relations Specialist, WPS Health Insurance

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child. This requirement extends for one year after the child’s birth each time such an employee has need to express the milk. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public for the use of nursing mothers.

DOL issued a fact sheet on the nursing mother’s provision that is available at:

Recently, SHRM met with DOL which is responsible for writing the guidance that employers will follow to implement this statutory requirement. DOL has asked for SHRM’s assistance in identifying effective practices used by SHRM members to accommodate employees who are nursing mothers. SHRM will share a summary of effective practices employed by members in the near future. Stay tuned for more information.

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Compensation and Benefits

Health Care Reform- A Renewal Season Survival Guide
Contributed by Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI, Director of Compliance Services, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services

The first wave of health care reforms is set to take effect as many employers are making their annual plan renewal decisions.  Employers need to consider how the reforms affect their plans when making choices for their next plan year.  Failure to take the new reforms into consideration could result in unintended consequences that could affect employers and their plans for the foreseeable future.


Current State of Health Care Reform

Despite numerous questions, health care reform continues to move forward.  Some twenty states are currently involved in litigation with the federal government over the legality of various portions of the reforms.  Although interim final regulations have been released regarding grandfathering, extension of dependent coverage, pre-existing conditions, removal of lifetime and annual limits, and the new external review/appeals process, further guidance is still needed to answer a host of questions.  In the meantime, employers are allowed to proceed in good faith compliance with existing guidance.

Survival Tip #1- Keep Your Options Open

One of the quickest ways to paint yourself into a corner is to ignore the implications of grandfathering on your plan.  While the Reconciliation Bill applies a number of reforms to grandfathered plans, grandfathering still offers value to plans.  A number of the consequences of losing grandfathered status will not affect plans until 2014 and later.

To view full article and other survival tips, click here .

Benefit Survey Results

Results from the 2010 benefit survey will be available soon.  Watch your email for release information!

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Employee Relations

When Domestic Violence Enters the Workplace
Contributed By Holly Bonnicksen-Jones, SPHR, HR Director, MRA- The Management Association, Inc.

Some of you may have observed an employee whose attendance and performance has deteriorated, when at work, the employee acts anxious and may even wear long-sleeved and high-necked clothing, even in hot weather. The employee’s spouse may call every day, interrupting your employee’s work. And although, invited out the employee always has an excuse why she can’t attend. These are all signs that your employee may be a victim of domestic violence. Some human resource professionals believe domestic violence is a personal matter and look the other way. It is a personal matter, but it is also a business matter. If you don’t provide some help to employees like this and implement certain measures at work, it may result in lost productivity for your company and other employees may be exposed to potential workplace violence, raising security issues.

According to a survey conducted by Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, out of 1,200 surveyed workers, 21 percent reported they currently were or had been a victim of domestic violence. Forty-four percent indicated they have experienced the impact of domestic violence in the workplace.

How can you help employees experiencing domestic violence? According to Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, serving southern Wisconsin, you can:

To view the full article, click here.

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Learning and Development

PHR/SPHR Certification

Are you going to be studying for the upcoming PHR/SPHR certification exam? Are you looking for a study partner? If so, look no further! GMA SHRM is putting together a study group for interested individuals. The study group will be once a week for 10 weeks and will begin mid-September. Time and place TBD.

Please contact Michelle Kern ( if you are interested.

Recruitment and Staffing

September 21, 2010 – GMA SHRM Summit
Topic: Employment Branding: How Can You Build Your Brand to Stand Out from the Crowd?

Branding is just as important today in attracting and retaining top employees as it is for attracting and retaining customers. In fact, the right employment message attracts the best candidates over and over again; candidates who could help your company reduce costs, improve productivity and increase revenue. It is important for companies to learn how to examine HR through the branding lens.   During this Summit, Amanda Shewmake of NAS Recruitment Communications will lead a discussion on what employment branding is, why it is so important now, and how HR goes about building it. 

Additionally, Todd Straub from American Family Insurance and Jenny Medeke and Brenda Phebus from TDS will share with you their brands and the journey they took to get started!

To view more information or to sign up for this event, click here.

This program is sponsored by GMA SHRM Gold Partner Calibra

This program has been pre-approved by HRCI for 2.5 hours general recertification credit.

Click here for important information about HRCI pre-approval.

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SHRM News / Announcements

October 6, 2010, GMA SHRM HR Resource Group
Topic:  Development: It’s More Than Just Sending Someone to a Class!

Development plays a key role in employee engagement.  So what are you doing to help develop your employees? Especially in tough economic times, where every dollar matters, and turnover is lower providing fewer opportunities for upward mobility?   Employees who survive layoffs, reorganizations, budget cuts, and hiring freezes aren’t satisfied with just hanging on. They want and need a meaningful future with satisfying career development opportunities.

And, we’ve all been there….. a manager comes to you frustrated with an employee or team, and suggests the solution to “fix them” is to “send them to a class.”  

In this lively, interactive session, you will walk away with a model to assist you in working with managers to help determine if training is the solution, or if it’s something else. In addition, you’ll go back to work with many usable ideas on how to more effectively develop your employees. 

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

Volunteer Opportunities

The Workforce Readiness & Diversity committee is planning for the fall workshop series at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. If you are interested in leading a workshop (materials are already prepared), please email Melissa Wieland at .

Workshop Dates:

  • Tuesday, September 14 th – The Process of Networking and Job Explorations & Exploring Various Resumes and Applications.
  • Thursday, September 16 th – Cover Letters, Thank You Notes, and References, & Pre-Employment Testing, Interview Preparation
  • Thursday, September 23 rd – Individual Mock Interviews

All workshops are from 2:00pm – 4:00pm at the Dane County Job Center.

Calling all volunteers!
The Education & Professional Development Committee is looking for individuals to speak to the UW-Whitewater, UW-Madison, and UW-Platteville student chapters. Topics of interest include:

  • Employee Relations
  • Transitioning into the Workplace
  • Downsizing & Retention
  • Marketing Yourself
  • Hiring Strategies
  • Ethical Issues in HR
  • Career Planning
  • HR in Public vs Private Sectors
  • Social Networking in the Workplace
  • Email Etiquette
  • Alumni Panel Discussion

If you are interested in speaking to the student chapters on one or more of these topics, contact Robyn Berth at BerthRL08@uww.eduto be added to the speaker list.

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Pay It Forward Program Expands to Help Recent Graduates

The GMA SHRM chapter is excited to announce that it is expanding the Pay It Forward program to include recent graduates who do not have HR positions. The chapter believes that expanding the program will help those recent graduates that want to connect with the local chapter through programming, events, and networking will have the opportunity without the financial impact. The Pay It Forward Program provides unemployed members a one-time opportunity to extend their membership for up to one year – at no cost in exchange for donating 10 volunteer hours for the chapter or one new member referral.

For additional details, visit the GMA SHRM website (link to website and click on the Pay It Forward link.

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GMA SHRM Member Poll

Visit the GMA SHRM home page to participate in the 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 Jake Siudzinski at

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GMA SHRM Member of the Month

Tara Conger, PHR

Where do you currently work?
First Choice Dental Group

What is the focus of your position?
Human Resources Manager - I oversee employee relations, strategic planning, compensation and benefits, performance management, employee engagement, recruiting, staffing, operations, benefit plan administration, payroll and wellness programming.

How long have you been in the Human Resources field?
I have been in my current role at First Choice Dental for 3 years. Prior to this my focus was working in management, marketing, and sales for sports organizations. My Bachelor Degrees are in Human Resource Management and Marketing with a Master's Degree in Sports Administration.

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest?
There are actually two that come to mind. When I was first hired at First Choice Dental, I worked very hard to create an emphasis of wellness as part of the company culture. Through this I implemented a company wellness program that has a 92% participation rate over the last 3 years, and has actually decreased our health insurance rates by 1%. We are getting healthier and it's paying off! The second one that comes to mind is when I was the Assistant Athletic Director of Management and Marketing for the State University of New York. I was the team liasion for men's lacrosse and in 2006 we won the national championship!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I actually have the sticky note on my computer from my father. It's 4 things to live by: POSITIVE attitude, belief, passion and expectation! This couldn't be more true.

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
After receiving my PHR and being a part of national SHRM, I felt that it was important to become involved locally. I went to a toolbox session and absolutely loved it! I am now a member of 3 of the committees and really enjoy giving back. I love to meet new people and GMA SHRM is a great way to do this. I also enjoy learning so the resources and programming opportunities that GMA SHRM provides are very beneficial.

If you’d like to be featured as the Member of the Month in an upcoming issue of HR InTouch, please e-mail Dawn Koopman at .

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GMA SHRM is 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 and keyword search GMA SHRM Chapter.

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Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in July of 2010!

Amber Schoenenberger

Corporate Liaison

Ashford University

Sarah J. Stormer

HR Generalist

Stoughton Trailers, LLC

Movin' Up

Congratulations to Jake Siudzinski who recently joined the QTI Group as a Corporate Development Manager.

Congratulations also goes out to Karla King who recently took the position of Human Resources Consultant with the Office of State Employment Relations.

Congratulations to Angela Keelan-Martinez who recently received her PHR certification.  Thank you Angela for continuing to advance 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.

What’s Cool in HR in the Greater Madison Area?

What’s going on in HR in your workplace?

Have you…

  • completed a major project,
  • implemented something new,
  • managed a change,

Is there something…

  • your company/dept does really well,
  • interesting about your company culture
  • that makes your company an employer of choice

We want to hear about it! Share it with your HR colleagues in HR InTouch. Send us an e-mail

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 .