December 2010

HR InTouch

The Monthly Newsletter of the Greater Madison Area SHRM

In This Edition

President's Message

By Dave Furlan, PHR
GMA SHRM President

Government Affairs

Make Your Voice Heard

Compensation & Benefits

GMA SHRM Benefits and Compensation Surveys

Health Care Reform Featured as Topic at January 18th Summit

Employee Relations

Workplace Bullying - Part 2 of 2

Learned Helplessness

Learning & Development

Certification Orientation

PHR / SPHR Certification Exam Study Group

Community News

Volunteer Opportunity

News & Announcements

Membership Referral Program

GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

GMA Membership Poll

GMA SHRM is LinkedIn

Welcome New Members!

Movin' Up

In Transition

What's Cool in HR


Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.


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!


I am very pleased to announce that GMA SHRM was selected as a finalist for the SHRM Pinnacle Award this year. The annual Pinnacle Award is designed to recognize outstanding achievements in chapter/state council development and contributions to the advancement of effective human resource management. For several years, the GMA SHRM Board has seen the achievements of other chapters across the country recognized through the Pinnacle Award, and we knew our chapter was accomplishing so many wonderful things that certainly deserved the same recognition. So, this year we took the extra effort to gain this recognition by submitting a Pinnacle Award application for our Pay It Forward program.

Developed in 2009, the Pay It Forward program pays one year of chapter dues for a member in transition. In return, the chapter member “pays it forward” by volunteering for the chapter or referring a new chapter member. The volunteer commitment includes both helping with internal chapter projects and with workforce readiness and community requests for assistance from HR professionals. Pay It Forward was initially offered to members in transition at the time of membership renewal. We have since expanded the program to HR professionals seeking employment who either have dropped their GMA SHRM membership since 2008 or are recent graduates of our supported student chapters.

On October 6, GMA SHRM was notified that we were one of 20 finalists for the 2010 Pinnacle Award. The winners of the award would be announced at an Awards Dinner during the SHRM Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, on November 19.

Although not selected as a winner this year, I am very proud of our chapter for recognition as a finalist. Pay It Forward demonstrates how the dedication and collaboration among chapter leaders and committee volunteers can provide meaningful support to HR professionals during perhaps their greatest hour of need. Furthermore, as a Pinnacle Award finalist, our program will be published among a compendium of other Pinnacle Award applications this year, so the hundreds of SHRM chapters across the country will now know about GMA SHRM’s Pay It Forward program and perhaps use it as a model for their own communities.

Three board members attended the SHRM Leadership Conference this year, and here are their comments about GMA SHRM’s representation at the Pinnacle Awards Dinner:

“Although we didn’t win one of the seven chapter pinnacle awards, I was still very proud that we were among the 20 finalists being considered. We had a wonderful idea which I believe the other 600+ SHRM chapters across the country will latch onto and try themselves. Because of this, I believe our Pay It Forward program will have long term impact beyond our chapter and community.” Mike Leibundgut, President Elect

“I was so proud to represent the GMA SHRM Chapter at the Pinnacle Awards. Although it is always a compliment to make it as a finalist for such a fantastic award, it really hit me when I walked into the conference hall the night of the awards. There was a sea of people that represented the 600 + Chapters and State Councils, and we had the honor of making it as one of only 20 finalists in the country. It became even more clear to me the caliber of the members, volunteers, and leaders of our chapter.” Jake Siudzinski, VP of Communications & Marketing

“Being that our Pay It Forward program made it to the list of finalists, we already received quite the compliment. To me, it was amazing to hear the programs that chapters have put in place, mainly in response to tragedies in their communities or areas where resources lack.” Wendy Brendel, Secretary/Treasurer

I am immensely proud of our many volunteers who have worked so hard over the years in a variety of ways to make GMA SHRM one of the most successful chapters throughout the country. As a finalist for the Pinnacle Award this year, I believe SHRM has recognized our chapter not only for the Pay It Forward program but for the cumulative results of what GMA SHRM delivers to its members and the community everyday and every year.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season,

Dave Furlan, PHR

Return to To Top


GMA SHRM Board of Directors

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

Return to To Top

Government Affairs

Make Your Voice Heard

Wisconsin State Governor – Elect, Scott Walker, recently published a new website asking for issues concerning the business community that he should focus on during his administration. Make your voice heard by going to and completing the form in the “Open for Business” section or “Citizen Suggestions” section.


Return to To Top


Compensation & Benefits

2010 GMA SHRM Benefit and Compensation Surveys
In this changing world of work, where hiring and retaining top talent is more important than ever, companies must understand how to gain the competitive advantage. Is your organization positioned to be the employer of choice?
Now is the time to evaluate how you compare to other local organizations. Click here to participate or purchase this valued resource.


Return to To Top

 Health Care Reform Featured as Topic for January 18th GMA SHRM Summit  

The health care reform debate in the United States has been a political issue for many years, focusing upon increasing coverage, decreasing the cost and social burden of healthcare, insurance reform, and the philosophy of its provision, funding, and government involvement.

The presentation will detail the key provisions of the law and the effective dates (what needs to be changed and when); what does it mean to have a grandfathered status; what resources are available to assist HR leaders with this process; explore means to ensure health coverage in the future for all employees; political pressures on health care reform; possible scenarios for repeal, modification, or non-funding of health care reform; possible long-term scenarios for health care in the U.S.

Participants will learn:
• Goals of health care reform
• Effect on employer plans & effective dates 
• Potential ways to cope with recent and future changes
• Future challenges for health care in the U.S.

Click here for more program information and to register.

Return to To Top

Employee Relations

Workplace Bullying – Part 2 of 2- Appropriate Responses to Workplace Bullying and Proposed “Healthy Workplace” Legislation (Assembly Bill 894)
Contributed by Dan Stahl

In last month’s column, I described:
• what constitutes bullying
• some reasons why people bully others
• how it affects most people and organizations
• actions to prevent bullying in the first place, and
• what bullying looks like and some warning signs

As a brief review, there is not currently any legal definition of bullying, but it is generally described as “repeated, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) directed towards an employee (or a group of employees) which is intended to intimidate and creates a risk to the health and safety of the employee(s).”

There are many potential reasons for one person bullying another, but triggers can include a feeling of incompetence in handling his or her own job, a feeling of being threatened by a highly competent or popular colleague, a personality clash, and personal problems that make the individual feel insecure and inadequate.

Click here for full article.

Return to To Top 

Learned Helplessness
Contributed by John F. Macek, LCSW

HR Managers are frequently approached by supervisors frustrated over passive employees who act fearfully and are resistive to trying anything new. These people are not shy, a genetic trait that can be identified in infants as young as six weeks of age. They are exhibiting “learned helplessness,” a self view of being a loser, unable to win for losing.

The most powerful influence in shaping people’s attitude about themselves and the world around them comes from their experience with caretakers and family of origin. A second powerful influence is supervisors who foster helplessness and hopelessness among their staff. In order to be of help, HR professionals must understand the origins of staff behavior.

Click here for the full article.

Return to To Top 


Learning & Development

Certification Orientation

Certification Orientation, Wednesday, January 19th 2011 at 6:00pm located at the Lower Level Boardroom at One Financial Place located at 8215 Greenway Boulevard, Middleton, WI 53562

Everything you wanted to know about the importance of being certified, credentials offered and how to become certified.

To RSVP contact Michelle Kern at

Return to To Top

PHR/SPHR Certification Exam Study Group

Prepare for the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), Professional in Human Resources (PHR), or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification examinations by joining the PHR/SPHR study group offered by Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resources Management Chapter.

In the study group you will interact with fellow HR professionals who are also looking to advance their career by preparing to take the PHR/SPHR Study Group.

Methods used in the study group include group discussions, answering practice questions and opportunities to discuss the test taking experience with HR Professionals that have successfully passed the examination.

The study group sessions last 10 weeks and are held in both the fall and spring.

For more information please contact Michelle Kern at


Return to To Top

Community Events

Volunteer Opportunity!

The United Way of Dane County is seeking Volunteer Consultants with a Human Resources background to assist some projects at their partner agencies.

Through the Volunteer Consulting Service, agencies will be matched with a volunteer consultant to help with identified organizational needs. Projects are to be short-term (e.g. they should take no more than approximately 10-20 hours to complete) with clearly defined goals, timelines and responsibilities of the volunteer and agency outlined and agreed upon at the beginning of the project.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Kathy Martinson, 246-4356 or

Return to To Top 

News & Announcements

Membership Referral Program

GMA SHRM is proud to announce its new Membership Referral Program! It’s easy to participate, simply encourage your colleagues, students, customers, vendors, and others to join GMA SHRM and enjoy the same great benefits you do!

As a GMA SHRM member you already know that our organization offers support, resources, and opportunities to network with other human resource professionals in the greater Madison area. Now is your chance to be rewarded for sharing that enthusiasm for our organization and let your colleagues see for themselves that a GMA SHRM membership is an invaluable resource for their profession.

To find out more about this program click here.

Return to To Top 


GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Becky Jeglum

Where do you currently work?
UW Hospital and Clinics

What is the focus of your position?

How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
Just over a year

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest?
I passed the PHR exam a month after graduating college. Now I'm just waiting to get my two years of experience to start using the credentials. One down, one to go!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A lot of people go into HR because they say they are a "people person," however, the HR professional is the "fun limit." You always have to be prepared to deal with conflict and will sometimes be viewed negatively by many. You will sometimes be held to higher standards by employees than other people in positions which hold similar levels of responsibility. You have to be willing to accept all of this if you are going to be a successful HR professional.

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
I was very active in the UW-Oshkosh Student SHRM chapter during college, so I wanted to continue to be involved in SHRM through a professional chapter. Of course, I also want to meet and network with other HR professionals in the area and stay current/up to date in areas of HR that I may not work in on a daily basis.

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

Return to To Top

 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

Return to To Top


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.

Return to To Top

Welcome New Members!

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


Tamara Bartow
HR Generalist
Chelsea Daley
Amanda Day
HR Assistant
Research Products
Angela Ewing
HR Program Officer
WI Depr of Natural Resources
Amanda Harris
HR Assistant
Clasen Quality Coatings, Inc
Lauren Jessessky
HR Administrator
QBE Insurance
Kristin Kallies
Sr. HR Specialist
Wipfli LLP
Jennifer Kvistad
HR Director
UW- Madison, Div of Info. Technology
Marilyn Leccese
Christine Lick
VP Employee Services
WPS Health Insurance
Brian Musser
HR Coordinator
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Leslie Neviaser
Barbara Patterson
Sr. HR Representative
Federal Industries
Amanda Wood
Direct Hire Consultant
Adtec Services, Inc.

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!

In Transition

Marilyn Leccese is a new member of GMA SHRM. Originally from southern Wisconsin, Marilyn currently lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri (near Kansas City) and is looking for her next professional opportunity in the Madison area. As an accomplished Human Resources professional, she has specific expertise in leadership and management development, employee engagement, talent management, management coaching, and working with teams to improve their culture, climate and productivity. She has worked in a variety of industries including financial services, healthcare and contract research organizations and is looking for a position where she can contribute to improving people practices to positively impact business results.

Marilyn is also working to develop her professional network in Madison and would appreciate any opportunities to talk with other GMA SHRM members.

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 .