October 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

Compensation & Benefits

2010 GMA SHRM Benefits Survey


Partnership with SAIL

Employee Relations

Workplace Conflict

Learning & Development

GMA SHRM Student Scholarships

News & Announcements

GMA SHRM New Logo and Website

GMA SHRM HR Resource Group - Development: It's More Than Just Sending Someone to a Class!

GMA SHRM Toolbox - HR Documentation: Tips and Techniques

Member Welcome and Orientation - October 21st

OPEN Hosts Workplace Summit

GMA SHRM Government Affairs Summit - Working With the DWD

Membership Referral Program

2011 GMA SHRM Corporate Partnership 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!


The State of Wisconsin Office of Governor Jim Doyle has again this year issued a proclamation declaring a Human Resource Professionals Day. This year’s special day is Thursday, October 7, 2010.

The proclamation states:

The State of Wisconsin recognizes the importance of the Human Resources profession in the recruitment, development and retention of a qualified workforce for Wisconsin’s employers; and

Wisconsin’s Human Resources Professionals are trained and responsible for the strategic planning to put the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude to meet the needs of Wisconsin’s Consumers of goods and services; and

The Human Resources Professional has become a vitally important part of every organization in this country accepting ethical responsibility for promoting and fostering fairness and justice for all employees.

As I reflect on the meaning of this special day, I keep coming back to what I believe is a key strength of all of us in the HR profession -- a dedication to community. In almost all cases, we succeed in the HR role because we have a unique sense of how to bring processes and people together. When we walk into the office each day, we strive to create a productive and engaged workforce, even through the days bogged down with paperwork and unexpected challenges. We want workers to learn and grow and be fulfilled, both in the workplace and in their personal lives, and we want our companies and organizations to be successful enterprises.

It is quite evident to me that our GMA SHRM members extend this dedication to community through their commitment to our chapter workforce readiness initiatives. Our Workforce Readiness Committee has organized some excellent programs that allow HR professionals to offer their knowledge to the community outside of work. Our time devoted to these programs not only prepares individuals for successful careers but also connects employers to these workers.

Generally speaking our workforce readiness volunteers work with individuals in a lower economic demographic, but they also work with students in the Madison School District as well as companies that are going through mass layoffs. In the past the Workforce Readiness Committee has supported programs through the Community Action Coalition, the Department of Workforce Development, the Madison Area School District, the Wisconsin Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, AmeriCorps, and Commonwealth Development.

Our services include mock interviews, sessions on resume writing and cover letters, and job search workshops. Some programs offer one-on-one interaction with individuals and some involve teaching a class about a certain topic. Sometimes we help people starting out in a career and sometimes we work with displaced workers who find encouragement in our advice and support.

Last year, I volunteered to teach a session on cover letters at the Community Action Coalition, and I found it to be one of my most rewarding experiences as an HR professional. First, it allowed me to re-connect with some members on how to present the topic (it had been a long time since I dealt with cover letters!), but more importantly, I was humbled by the appreciation of the CAC participants and how strongly they desired to succeed in the workplace. Several stayed after the class to ask more questions and, impressively, to network!

I’m extremely proud of the work of our Workforce Readiness Committee, and they aren’t resting on their laurels either. They continue to organize programs with existing partnerships, and they are actively pursuing new relationships with organizations seeking our assistance to adequately prepare today’s workforce. The Workforce Readiness Committee keeps a list of GMA SHRM volunteers they can call upon when a program comes up. I strongly encourage everyone to contact the Director of Workforce Readiness, Melissa Wieland, and get on this list. Even if you can only help out with the occasional program, I know by doing so it will appeal to your dedication to community as an HR professional.

My best wishes to all of our members on Human Resource Professionals Day, and thank you for your commitment to our profession!

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
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

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Compensation & Benefits

2010 GMA SHRM Benefit Survey
The 2010 GMA SHRM Benefits Survey is now available for purchase.  This comprehensive survey is conducted every two years.  The 2010 data was collected between May and July of this year.  An amazing 64 Madison area businesses participated in the survey.
The 2010 Benefits Survey provides data on how Dane County employers are building and customizing their benefit packages.  The survey questions cover wellness and reward programs, PTO programs, and traditional benefits such as medical and dental.
Findings for the 2010 Benefits Survey include:
  • 21% of the total payroll cost is spent on employee benefits.
  • Domestic partner coverage increased 8.5% from 2008 (32.1%) to 2010 (40.6%).
  • High deductible plan offerings have increased 8.2% from 2008 (19.2%) to 2010 (27.4%).
The results were compiled from survey questions developed by enetrix, a Gallup company, and distributed to companies in all business classifications.  Businesses and organizations interested in purchasing the survey may do so by visiting http://gmashrm.enetrix.com/.

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Partnership with SAIL

The Workforce Readiness & Diversity committee is in the beginning stages of a partnership with the MMSD program called SAIL (alternative school program). This alternative setting serves 30+ students, many of whom have been labeled with behavior and learning disabilities. Many have also been suspended from their regular school settings.

The purpose of the program is to work toward more positive post school outcomes (e.g., high school diploma, enrollment in college, employment) for high school students who receive special education. One idea currently on the table is to implement a community-based mentorship program.

At present there is no mentorship program at SAIL, yet mentoring is one of the strongest research-based, effective ways to help youth and young adults develop career and life trajectories. We are going to attempt to strengthen connections between this school program and the community by beginning this dialogue with the instructors in the SAIL program, and a staff member from the UW.

If you are available and interested in discussing the possibilities of implementing a community-based mentorship program at SAIL, please contact Melissa Wieland at melissaw@payrollcompany.biz. In doing so, you are not committing to be a mentor or to be directly involved with the program as this is only a first step in getting started.

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Employee Relations


Workplace Conflict
Contributed by John F. Macek LCSW

There is hardly a workplace that does not experience conflict from time to time. Instead of producing goods and services, the conflicting parties wage war. What can an employer do to control this problem?

The causes of a conflict can range from simple misunderstandings to deep-rooted psychological issues. Conflicts can originate within the workplace or be brought in from outside sources. Following are some guidelines for dealing with this issue. Click here for full article.

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Learning & Development

GMA SHRM Student Scholarships

The Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM) has established a student scholarship program to encourage the continual pursuit of an education in the human resource field. Two nonrenewable $750 student scholarships will be awarded this year to students from our affiliated student membership chapters at UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater, and UW-Platteville.

Applications are due December 3, 2010 and scholarships will apply to the Spring semester.

Click here to learn more about eligibility requirements and application instructions.

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News & Announcements

GMA SHRM New Logo and Website

We’re live! Our web committee has been working hard to bring you a site designed to help you get to important information faster, and network better. Be sure to check it out!

Also coming soon are enhancements to our member to member connections (formerly known as LocalNet) and member demographics!

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Wednesday, 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 .

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010, GMA SHRM Toolbox
Topic: HR Documentation: Tips and Techniques

Are you confident your HR files will hold up to scrutiny should problems arise? Do you know what to keep and what to throw away? And are you keeping your records in the right place?

This session will be beneficial to those individuals who are responsible for keeping records in order and HR compliance.

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

This program has been pre-approved by HRCI for 1.5 hours of general recertification credits. Click here for important information about HRCI pre-approval.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010, GMA SHRM Member Welcome and Orientation

Register now for the upcoming Member Welcome and Orientation meeting on Thursday, October 21st. This is a great opportunity to get to know other HR professionals and learn more about the chapter. We would like to invite all new members as well as members who have never attended orientation.

Registration will begin at 3:30. From 4:00 to 5:00 pm you will learn more about membership benefits and the organization of GMA SHRM. We will also have hors d’ oeuvres and beverages and hope you take full advantage of the social hour from 5:00 to 6:00.

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

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OPEN Hosts Workplace Summit 

OPEN, the Out Professional & Executive Network is holding a workplace summit on Saturday, November 6, 2010 at CUNA Mutual. This is your chance to join in a conversation with the LGBT professionals in our community.

Taking the pulse of LGBT employees can be a challenge as many choose to remain anonymous. This event will provide an opportunity to check in with the LGBT community at large.

There will be a number of breakout sessions highlighting the best practices for building a creative culture that fully engages your employees. Results of a comprehensive survey addressing LGBT workplace issues will be shared in detail. How many LGBT people in our community are out, how many feel welcomed at work, and how many feel safe?

More information about this event and other OPEN events is available at www.openmadison.org.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010, GMA SHRM Government Affairs Summit
Topic: Unemployment Benefits: How to Make Your Case and Work with the DWD 

Have you struggled in the past with Unemployment Insurance responses and/or hearings? Now you will have the opportunity to obtain guidance and insight, and have your questions answered directly from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). For our annual Government Affairs Summit on November 16, 2010, GMA SHRM is pleased to announce our featured guests: Barbara Bohringer, Staff Development Coordinator, and Ann Marie Molitor, Sr. Administrative Law Judge. These subject matter experts from the DWD will speak about the Unemployment Insurance adjudication, appeals and hearing processes and address our questions and concerns.

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

We are giving GMA SHRM members the opportunity to submit their specific cases and questions ahead of time for discussion with our DWD guests at the November Summit. Please submit your requests to tammy.barden@wpsic.com by October 29, 2010. Identifying information will be removed from all inquiries to ensure confidentiality when your case or question is presented for discussion at the Summit.

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 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.

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 2011 GMA SHRM Corporate Partnership Program

Is your organization looking for strategies to promote its products or services to theMadison-area HR community?  Consider the opportunity to reach out to area HR professionals through the Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM)!  The GMA SHRM chapter is one of the largest in the United States.  By partnering with GMA SHRM, you will have a year-long opportunity to reach out to over 800 HR professionals representing more than 500 employers. 
We are currently offering Corporate Partnerships for 2011.  There are a variety of Partnership levels to suit your budget.  Click here to see the benefits of becoming a Corporate Partner.   Sign up now through November 12th to secure your spot! 
Volunteer GMA SHRM members will be following up through October on our time-sensitive annual opportunities.  We encourage anyone with interest to contact Missy Roth (mroth@milios.com) or Shaun Thomson (SThomson@dcpcinc.org) to sign up for your Partnership spot for 2011.
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.  This annual, day long event in May is a great opportunity to reach local HR professionals.  
Click here to learn more about these options.

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GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Clara Hurd Nydam

Where do you currently work? Career Momentum, Inc.

What is the focus of your position? Owner and Principal Talent Management Consultant

How long have you been in the Human Resources Field? 25 years

Which of your career accomplishments makes you most proud? Establishing Career Momentum and developing a reputation for offering a level of personalized talent management services that are not found with our large competitors.

What is the best advice you have ever received? Choose your battles carefully.

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM? When I moved to Madison in 1991, my first contacts were made by networking with SHRM members that I identified through my membership in the Twin Cities chapter. The first meeting I attended was a seminar lead by Bob Gregg and I was impressed with the quality of continuing education offered by the chapter.

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

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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 jakes@qstaff.com.

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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 www.linkedin.com and keyword search GMA SHRM Chapter.

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Welcome New Members!

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


Lisa Adkins
Administrative Services Mgr
Midwest Home Care
Pat Barone
Catalyst Coaching LLC
Melissa Buenger
OD Coordinator
UW Credit Union
Heidi Duss
HR Administrator
QBE Insurance
Suzanne Grundahl
Vice President
Qualtim, Inc.
Michelle Hauser-Wallace
HR/Talent Management
Aaron Leist
Organizational Development Spec.
UW Credit Union
Tiana Lundquist
Talent Specialist
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Melissa Ritchie
HR Assistant
Nord Gear
Jason Spurley
HR Representative
Conney Safety Products

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

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 chapteradmin@gmashrm.org .