October 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

Dental Fillings and the Interactive Process

GMA SHRM Social Media

FacebookTwitter & LinkedIn

Forward HR

GMA SHRM Upcoming Events

GMA SHRM Toolbox
Thursday, October 11, 2012  Topic: November’s Elections: What to Watch For

GMA SHRM Member Welcome Orientation and Networking
Thursday, October 25, 2012

GMA SHRM Roundtable
Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 
Topic: Leadership in Small and Mid-Size Companies

GMA SHRM Strategic Summit
Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 
Topic: Finance Made Easy for HR Professionals 

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

GMA SHRM Announcements

GMA SHRM New Student Membership

GMA SHRM 2013 Partnership Opportunity

Volunteer Opportunities

Job Boot Camp Review

Certification Study Group


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!


Happy fall!  September 22nd officially marked the first day of fall, and looking at the weather forecast for the upcoming week, I think it’s safe to say summer is officially over.  I’d like to give special thanks to a few of our committee who have done an amazing job with some of our recent events.

On Friday, September 7th our Workforce Readiness & Diversity committee partnered with Urban League and Madison College to hold a half-day Job Boot Camp to help prepare participants for their upcoming job fair.  There were over 60 participants from the community, along with 25 volunteers from our chapter.  The day included a key note speaker from the DWD, mock interviews, resume writing, and educational booths set-up to get additional info from various educational institutes and the local food bank. One participant commented that the program "gave her hope".  It was a great day for participants and GMA SHRM volunteers.  Thank you to all who participated!

On Tuesday, September 18th, Yvon Wagner with Partners in Leadership presented on The Oz Principle: Strengthening Personal and Organizational Accountability at Work.  We had a record breaking attendance for a Summit of 156 attendees!  After listening to Yvon present, I’m sure everyone that was in the room understood why. Our Programming committee and chapter administrators, Morgan Data Solutions, put in a lot of work to make this event as successful as it was and I’d like to give them a huge thank you!

In the event no one took time to wish you Happy HR Professional’s Day on October 4th, consider this your belated notice!  Governor Scott Walker once again declared an annual HR Professional’s Day to recognize all of the great work those dedicated to the profession do day in and day out. Give yourself a pat on the back if you haven’t already!

As a reminder, October 25th will be our next Member Welcome and Orientation held at The Coliseum Bar.  Visit www.gmashrm.org to register today! 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.

Stay Warm,
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

Dental Fillings and the Interactive Process  
Contributed by Bob Gregg, Boardman & Clark Law Firm

Numerous dental fillings created mercury toxicity causing severe damage to a nurse's throat and vocal chords.  She lost her voice and had to use an electro-larynx device to speak.  Her employer, the Department of Veterans Affairs, gave her a choice of disability retirement or medical termination.  She claimed she had the ability to continue working, with accommodation.  She was then medically terminated.  In the ensuing case, the employer claimed that the nurse never submitted the proper reasonable accommodation request form, therefore it had no obligation to discuss accommodation with her.  The court found the employer had failed its obligation to engage in the required "interactive process" before forcing the employee out of the job.  No special form is required.  The employee had made numerous communications to management regarding her condition and accommodation requests; the employer clearly knew or should have known.  The court ruled:  "A written request is not required.  An employee may ask for an accommodation in plain English and need not mention the ADA or the Rehabilitation Act or even use the phrase 'reasonable accommodation.'  The notice merely 'must make clear that the employee wants assistance for his or her disability.'"  Pierce-Mato v. Shinseki (W.D. Pa., 2012).

Be aware that simple refusal to sign is not enough.  The court warned that the employer has to clearly (in this case in writing) inform the person that signature means only receipt; it does not mean admission or agreement with the charges.  The employer should inform the employee of the right to disagree and have a written disagreement and employee's version of the situation placed into the personnel file.  


GMA SHRM Social Media



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

Thursday, October 11, 2012, GMA SHRM Toolbox
Topic:  November's Elections - What to Watch For
Location: Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Have all of the political ads and hoopla made your head spin?  Would you like to gain insight into how certain legislators, if elected (or reelected) may have an impact on human resources issues? Our October Toolbox will help you understand what legislative seats to watch this November. We will also provide updates on some of the bills in this current legislative session that were not signed into law and share insight on which legislators were in support of those bills. This educational program is intended to help our members make informed decisions when they vote in November and also to provide ideas for how to contact legislators to voice opinions and concerns.

For more information and to register, click here .

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Thursday, October 25, 2012, GMA SHRM Member Welcome Orientation and Networking

Location: Coliseum Bar

Calling All Members!  This event is focused on bringing new and existing members together to educate and update them on what the Greater Madison Area SHRM Chapter has to offer.
Check-in will begin at 4:30pm at the Coliseum Bar. The program will be from 5:00 to 5:30 pm with a social hour from 5:30 to 6:30pm (hors d’oeuvres and beverages available).

Top 5 Reasons to Attend:

1. Learn about numerous Committee volunteer opportunities
2. Learn about professional resources available to you
3. Learn about professional development opportunities
4. Meet and network with your area peers
5. We are a fun group . . . who doesn’t like to hang out with HR people?

Don’t forget! We will be having our semi-annual drawing for the member referral program for a $50 gift certificate! For more information, see GMASHRM Referral Program webpage.

To register for FREE, click here.


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012, GMA SHRM Roundtable

Topic: Leadership in Small and Mid-Size Companies
Location: M3 Insurance

Leadership in small to mid size companies: it’s important to do it consciously! Being a strong leader and having a strong culture facilitate strong organizational clarity.  Some small to mid size business owners may consciously decide to wait to develop an infrastructure until the company is larger but studies show that as much as 15% of a company’s profitability and performance comes from the people strategy and that the associated human resources programs can affect the success of a company by as much as 22%.

Join us for this interactive discussion on how small to mid size companies have been successful in consciously leading and developing their strategic vision, developing infrastructure, engaging in quality hiring processes that impact retention, exude strong decision making abilities, outstanding communications and the overall efforts of having a competitive advantage.

For more information and to register, click here .

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012, GMA SHRM Strategic Summit

Topic: Finance Made Easy for HR Professionals
Location: Alliant Energy Center
Could you use a crash course in using the numbers to make a business case for your initiatives? If so, then attend this Strategic Summit to gain an understanding of how to interpret accounting and financial performance data. This program will give you the confidence to use the language of financial analysis to communicate more effectively with your financial peers and to clearly define the strategic direction of your organization.
Our presenter, Wade Huseth, CPA and Partner with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, is experienced in the preparation of benchmarking and trend analysis tools and analysis and design of equity compensation programs.
For more information and to register, click here .

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GMA SHRM Announcements

GMA SHRM New Student Membership

GMA SHRM believes fostering a relationship with local students will provide them an opportunity to connect with HR professionals while creating opportunities to assist them in their future job search and increase their learning of the HR profession. Effective immediately, GMA SHRM is providing a discounted membership to students enrolled in full-time HR programs at an undergraduate or 2-year community or technical college. The onetime membership fee is $20 and covers Student Membership thru anticipated graduation date.
What a great opportunity for students to connect with the HR profession!
For more information, click here
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GMA SHRM 2013 Partnership Opportunity
Now is your chance…..to partner with GMA SHRM for a year-long opportunity to reach out to over 800 HR professionals representing more than 500 employers!
A few really important reasons to partner with GMA SHRM…
  • 93.2% of GMA SHRM member survey respondents currently use our present partners for services (59.4% use 2 to 4 partners and 16.4% use 5 or more).
  • 71.9% of GMA SHRM survey respondents estimate to spend $5,000 or more with   our current partners.
Here’s what our current partners have to say…

“I’ve never questioned the benefits associated with partnering with GMA SHRM.” Clara Hurd Nydam, CEO & Chief Talent Officer

“The School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Edgewood College and GMA SHRM share the critical goal of promoting life-long learning in our communities. Sponsorship of GMA SHRM provides us with the opportunity to connect with the dedicated HR professionals in the Madison area and to demonstrate how Edgewood College can help them meet their own professional goals as well as those of the staffs they serve in their businesses and organizations.”  Tom Bartelt, Marketing Coordinator for Online Programs, Edgewood College

If your organization is looking for strategies to promote its products or services to the Madison-area Human Resources community, you’ll want to reach out to HR professionals via the Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM)! Our chapter is one of the largest in the United States.

We are currently offering Corporate Partnerships for 2013. There are a three Partnership levels to suit your budget. Click here to see the benefits of becoming a Corporate Partner and to view the application form.
We offer other advertising options during the year as well. Highlights include:

  Opportunities throughout the year on a limited basis (first come, first-served):

  • Web site advertising
  • E-blast sponsorship
  • Displays at meetings
  • Meeting sponsorship
  • Annual Human Capital Conference Sponsorship.
Click here to learn more about these options.
Don’t miss it…November 9th is the deadline!
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GMASHRM Volunteer Opportunities!
DVR is looking for a speaker to talk about the importance of First Impressions during the interview process.  There is a PowerPoint speakers can use for the event that is already put together.  The event is October 19th. If you are interested, please contact Jesenia Rivera at Jesenia.rivera@dwd.wisconsin.gov.  Thank you in advance for volunteering.
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Job Boot Camp Review 
Contributed by Michele Thorne, VP Workforce Readiness

On September 7th, GMA SHRM hosted Job Boot Camp at the Urban League and Madison College.  We had over 60 participants and 25 GMA SHRM volunteers.  The Workforce Readiness Committee wanted a large event to invite several community organizations together to help the unemployed in the community.  The day included mock Interviews, resume writing, and a keynote speaker.  We also had informational booths about continuing education and information from the local food bank.  We had a survey at the end of the event and participants really enjoyed Seth (our keynote speaker from DWD) and the advice from our GMA SHRM volunteers.  The best comment on the survey was that the day gave her hope to keep looking for employment.  Thank you to all our volunteers for making this event possible.  We hope moving forward this can be an annual event!
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GMASHRM Certification Study Group

Each year GMA SHRM offers a study group for those preparing for the PHR or SPHR certifications.  This year the meetings will focus on having open discussion/dialogues for participants on topics in any of the modules as well as test taking skills.  The meetings will be held at the corporate offices of The QTI Group (702 East Washington Avenue, on the corner of East Washington and Blount Street).  The meetings will be held on the following dates beginning at 5:30pm:
  • Tuesday November 13
  • Tuesday November 27
  • Wednesday December 5
  • Wednesday December 12
Questions can be directed to Jennifer Lindberg, SPHR, at 608-258-5525 or jenniferl@qtigroup.com
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GMA SHRM Member News


GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Name: Halee Iskalis

Where do you currently work?  
Adecco, USA
What is the focus of your position? 
Full cycle recruitment for clerical and light industrial positions
How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
1 ½ years
Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? 
I am fairly new to my role. Therefore, my greatest accomplishment was successfully designing and executing a recruitment plan for a new client.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received? 
Create distinction to avoid extinction - doing the same thing as everyone else will not put you ahead of the pack.
Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
Last year, I attended the SHRM conference at Monona Terrace, where I was lucky enough to meet my current Branch Manager. That meeting led me to my current position.

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Welcome New Members!

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


The BenefitsWorks
Vacation Benefits Specialist
Anthon & Associates
Human Resources
Womens International Pharmacy, Inc
Human Resources Generalist
Landmark Services Cooperative
Exec. HR Specialist
Office of State Employement Relations
HR Generalist
Duluth Trading Company
Human Resources Director
Capitol Lakes
Cascade Asset Management
Senior Manager, Regional Human Resources
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
Human Resources Generalist
Oakbrook Corporation
Benefits Consultant
Johnson Insurance Services
Senior Manager

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Movin' Up

Congratulations to Cory Erickson as he begins his new role as President and Chief Operating Officer with Career Momentum, Inc!

Congratulations to Stephanie Giese on her PHR recertification!

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 .