April 2011

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 and Benefits

Non-discrimination Testing Still a Requirement for Self-insured Plans


There are Ways Other Than Hiring to Promote a Diverse Workplace

Employee Relations

Employee Engagement

Learning & Development

Professional Award Deadline Fast Approaching

Solo Practitioner Group Running Strong!

Community News

Volunteer Opportunities

News & Announcements

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, GMA SHRM Roundtable
Topic: Dealing with the HR Challenges of Managing Multiple Locations

Thursday, April 14, 2011, Member Welcome Orientation and Networking

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011, GMA SHRM Toolbox
Topic: A Different Type of Social Media Policy

SHRM Chapter Study

Peer Advice Network WINNER!

Local Student Chapters Take Top Honors at HR Games

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

2011 Corporate Partners

Gold Level
American Family Insurance
Boardman Law Firm
First Choice Dental Group
The Payroll Company
Remedy Intelligent Staffing
Wisconsin Rx 


Silver Level
Career Momentum
Cottingham & Butler Employee Benefits
Lee Hecht Harrison
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Ultimate Software Group


Bronze Level
The Alliance
Delta Dental
Edgewood College
Express Employment Professionals
Higgins Insurance Group
Hemb Insurance Group
Metro Transit
Melli Law, S.C.
Unity Health Insurance
UW Credit Union
The QTI Group
Wegner CPAs & Consultants


Thank you!


As I have mentioned in previous columns, GMA SHRM has been working on four strategic initiatives over the past couple of years. They are: (1) Community Outreach, (2) Member Engagement, (3) Operational Excellence, and (4) Effective Use of Technology. We’ve seen some exciting and inspiring chapter accomplishments as a result, such as the new website, the Pay It Forward program, the Peer Advice Network, and re-branding of our programming events.

One of the initiatives, Operational Excellence, has a three-year goal that states, “GMA SHRM will create a framework of processes and procedures to ensure the continuity, longevity, and long-term success of the chapter, especially during periods of leadership changes.” The concept behind the initiative is that we ensure GMA SHRM is a well-oiled machine for many years to come. We believe this is what our members should expect from any leading professional association or membership group. Yet the projects and tasks behind Operational Excellence may not always be as visible or exciting as a new website or enhanced programming. Let me assure you, though, that much has been accomplished in this area as well over the past year.

One goal of the Operational Excellence initiative is knowledge transfer and orientation of new volunteer leaders. Led by our Government Affairs Committee, GMA SHRM now has an on-boarding guide for new volunteers signing up for a committee. The guide features a great overview of SHRM – our local chapter, the Wisconsin SHRM State Council, and the global reach of SHRM. It also describes chapter demographics, our strategic planning process, our organization chart, and committee profiles. The guide will be online and flexible enough for each committee to supplement and adapt it to its needs. We will also leverage the on-boarding guide to better train incoming board members and will use it for our new member orientations. I am very proud of the effort put into the on-boarding guide and am certain it will be useful for years to come.

Another goal of our Operational Excellence initiative is succession planning. We’ve made great strides here as well. Our Board of Directors has incorporated a formal succession plan document that allows us to plan a path for future chapter leaders. We’ve brought this succession plan down to the committee level so that we are also ensuring strong leadership transition for committee chairs and project leaders. In addition, the succession plan allows us to identify up-and-coming leaders who are doing great work as part of our committees. We believe the talents and dedication of these individuals will continue to build the strength of one of the most successful SHRM chapters in the country. As I look toward my last quarter as your Chapter President, I am so confident about our future primarily because of the commitment to leadership change among our Board and committees.

Speaking of strengths, one of GMA SHRM’s best events is just around the corner. Registration is live for our 6th Annual Human Capital Conference, HR 2.011. Morning Keynote Speaker, Art Jackson, will be talking to us about how leaders can get the best out of their followers. Seth Mattison, our Afternoon Keynote Speaker, will engage us on how the millennial generation will rock the workplace. Among all that, conference participants will find breakout sessions on wellness, recruitment, coaching, human capital, legal updates, and much more. Another reason to attend? The conference has been pre-approved by the HR Certification Institute for 5.75 hours of re-certification credit, including 1.25 hours of strategic credit. I hope to see many of you there and to hear any thoughts or ideas you have for our chapter.

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 and Benefits

Non-discrimination Testing Still a Requirement for Self-insured Plans
Contributed by Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI, Director of Compliance Services, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services

Although fully-insured plan sponsors have been given at least a temporary reprieve from the health care reform requirement to conduct Section 105(h) testing, self-insured plans are still subject to non-discrimination testing.

What is Prohibited?
Self-insured medical reimbursement plans must comply with the discrimination tests found in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 105(h). Under Section 105(h), a self-insured medical reimbursement plan satisfies the requirements of this test only if the plan does not discriminate in favor of highly compensated individuals (“HCIs”) as to eligibility to participate; and if the benefits provided under the plan do not discriminate in favor of participants who are highly compensated individuals. Self-insured plans subject to Section 105(h) include: medical plans, dental plans, flex spending plans, and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). 

Click here for the full article.

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There Are Ways Other Than Hiring to Promote a Diverse Workplace
Contributed by Peter Gray, Executive Search Manager at The QTI Group

We live in an age of accelerating diversity. Look around:

America’s, Wisconsin’s and greater Madison’s populations are growing more diverse; the world is growing so small that even the smallest business can have global exposure; niche marketing rules; every generation accepts diversity more than the previous generation; and nimble reaction to new information can be crucial to business success.

In this context, embracing diversity in the workplace is not about altruism or regulatory compliance but about a simple question: If we fail to embrace diversity, what business upsides do we cede to our competitors?

Click here for the full article.

Employee Relations

Employee Engagement
Contributed by John F. Macek LCSW
Every HR professional knows that employee engagement is critical to organizational functioning. We have developed metrics for it as a way of proving its value, but I see little written about simple ways in which we can increase it. The value of engagement has been known for centuries, but the methods for enhancing engagement still rely heavily on intuition, imagination, and common sense. 
Money alone will not get the job done. Employee engagement has much more to do with how people feel when they leave for work each day. It’s a matter of workplace relationships, sense of belonging, feeling valued and respected, and being seen as playing an important role in the organization’s success. Engaged employees feel wanted and needed. They want to contribute to their coworkers’ success and experience rewarding human relationships.  
Click here for the full article.

Learning & Development

 Professional Award Deadline Fast Approaching!
2011 GMA SHRM Professional Scholarship 

The Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM) has established a professional award program to encourage the continual pursuit of education and professional development in the human resources field. The annual $1,000 award will be given to one GMA SHRM member to support his or her professional development. Application deadline is April 15, 2011.  

Click here for more information on the award and how to apply.  

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Solo HR Practitioner Group Running Strong!
Contributed by Tara Conger, Co-Chair Solo HR Practitioner Group

The Solo HR Practitioner Group was created in November, 2010 and has grown to 24 GMA SHRM members. The goal of the group is to build a network of colleagues from a variety of organizations and industries to share knowledge, seek advice, and to provide support and tangible resources for one another. At times it may not be the most time-efficient for a solo HR practitioner to re-invent the wheel when working on projects/strategies. This is where members can glean from their peers on best practices that work for their companies. 

The group meets the last Wednesday of every month from 8:30-10:00am at two locations (one west side and one east side) in which rotate each month. Each month a topic is picked to discuss and bring ideas to share; on occasion outside speakers/experts are brought in depending on the topic. If you are administering HR functions in a small to medium sized organization either as a sole practitioner or someone who is leading a small team, this group is for you! 

“I joined the SHRM Solo Practitioner Group with the hope of networking and got so much more than I ever anticipated. Our monthly meeting is a “must” attend – I will reschedule meetings/projects and vacation to make sure I can attend these meetings. The sharing of HR practices, policies, guidelines and programs is invaluable. You don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” or feel like you are going through an issue alone – someone in the group has done it or experienced it and everyone is more than willing to share. The time spent monthly with this group is a top priority for me.” Michelle Wallace, SPHR

If you are interested in joining the group and/or would like more information, please contact either: Tara Conger at (608)848-0828 or tconger@firstchoicedental.com or Jenni Peters at (608)316-6638 or jpeters@cascade-assets.com.

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Community Events

 Volunteer Opportunity!  

We have numerous volunteer opportunities coming up. Please contact the appropriate individuals directly if you are interested. 

Success Program Mock Interviews YWCA - 8-11 a.m.
Wednesday, April 6th
Wednesday, May 25th
Contact: The YWCA at thorenm@cintas.com

Omega School - Mock Interviews 
Contact: Michele at thorenm@cintas.com
We provide this interview sheet to Omega so their students can be prepared. If you do volunteer, please use this form. 
Omega School is located at 835 W. Badger Road and more information about this school is available at www.omegaschool.org. This is a school that helps adult receive their GED. The participants will include students that are already in the school and some who have graduated and looking for work. 

 Volunteer Opportunity! Looking for speakers

The Middleton High School (MHS) Parent Connection Program is putting together a program for both MHS parents and students on the "ins and outs/do's and don'ts of the job market for teens" for our upcoming Parent Connection Meeting on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. The meeting would take place at Middleton High School from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. We would like parents and students to come away with an understanding of the following:

• Age requirements for getting a job and the permit process
• How to go about finding a job
• How to improve your chances of getting a job through the job application process
• Putting your best foot forward in a job interview
• How to be successful on the job

If you are interested in being a speaker for this program, please contact Nancy Gunder, MHS Parent Connection Chairperson Parent Volunteer at 847-902-2293 (cell) or 608-836-9250 (home).

Volunteer Opportunity!

The Workforce Readiness & Diversity committee is looking for volunteers to participate in mock interviews for the Urban League from 9am-11am on April 27th and June 1st. Please contact Michele Thoren at thorenm@cintas.com if you are interested in participating. 

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News & Announcements

Wednesday, April 6, 2011, GMA SHRM Roundtable
Topic: Dealing with the HR Challenges of Managing Multiple Locations


What are the unique challenges of managing employees at multiple locations? What are some effective strategies used by local HR professionals to manage employees who are located at international sites? April’s HR Roundtable provides an opportunity to hear about some of the ways that area HR professionals have used to help manage personnel at multiple locations, telecommuting employees, and employees working at international sites/offices.
This Roundtable session provides you an opportunity to share your issues and explore solutions with other area HR professionals about how to effectively manage these unique challenges. Please join your peers to share and gain insight at the GMA-SHRM roundtable discussion on Wednesday April 6 at M3 from 8:00 am – 10:00 am.

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

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Thursday, April 14, 2011, Member Welcome Orientation and Networking

What a great opportunity to get to know other HR professionals in our organization and learn more about our chapter! During this event you will hear about GMA SHRM, benefits of being a member and opportunities about how you can get involved.

We would like to invite all new members as well as current members who are interested in learning more about GMA SHRM. Although this is a free event we would like you to register ahead of time so we can be better prepared for the event size.

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

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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011, GMA SHRM Toolbox
Topic: “A Different Type of Social Media Policy”

A good social media policy starts with a sound understanding of the risks to be addressed, but it doesn't end there. George Blomgren, Director of Business Systems with The Management Association (MRA) will start with a quick overview of sound corporate policy, and address the most common mistake businesses often make. He will then share "next generation" social media policy ideas, and the training and cultural issues that best create a foundation for effective corporate use of social media. No matter where you are on the social media learning curve, you will walk away with some new ideas. Attendees of the program will learn:

• Learn the basics of sound corporate policy governing employee use of social media
• What should a social media policy cover?
• Discover who should drive social media policy development
• Discuss recent NLRB case settlement
• Recruiting & social media – pro’s & con’s
• Explore the fundamental mistake many businesses make in trying to mitigate the risks associated with social media

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

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SHRM Chapter Study

SHRM Chief US Membership Officer, Pamela Green, SPHR, is leading a chapter study whose purpose is to “conduct a comprehensive assessment of the membership population, specifically those members who are highly engaged such as our chapters, panel members, and state councils in order to establish a member engagement strategy.” GMA SHRM members who are also national SHRM members may be contacted by SHRM for a survey as part of the chapter study.

For more information, please visit the Chapter Study section of SHRM’s Volunteer Leaders’ Resource Center (VLRC).

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The Peer Advice Network WINNER!

Thank you to all those who have updated their demographic information and volunteered themselves to be a contact in our Peer Advice Network.

GMA SHRM was holding a contest for those who updated their information by February 28th. The prize was a $50 gas card. The winner of this prize is ….. Todd Holman from Goodwill. Congratulations!

Thank you again! And please continue to update your information as needed.

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Local Student Chapters Take Top Honors at HR Games

Congratulations to the UW-Madison and UW-Whitewater student chapters for placing 1st and 2nd respectively at this year’s HR Games competition at Marian University. The UW-Platteville also participated this year. There were 12 competition teams that participated and awards were given to the top four teams. Kudos to the local student chapters for participating in such a great event! Keep up the good work! Next year’s games will be March 2nd and 3rd, 2012.

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GMA SHRM Member Spotlight

Melissa Simon

Where do you currently work? 
Globe University-Madison West

What is the focus of your position?  
Career Services

How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
7+ years

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest?
Obtaining my current position as Director of Career Services with Globe University. I joined Globe in November 2010 after a 7 year career in recruiting. Working in Higher Education has been a long time dream of mine and my current role allows me to fulfill my passion of working with students while continuing to build and maintain relationships in the community.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve received a lot of great advice…one piece of advice that comes to mind is ‘Always practice what you preach.’

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM?
To learn and network with HR professionals in the Madison area.

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 February of 2011!


Charlain V. Andres
Professional Development Mgr.
Baker Tilly
Tanya M. Brake
HR Representative
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
Heather Charest
Senior Consulant
Beacon Performance Group
Celeste A. Derozier
Director of Career Services
Globe University
Richard L. Duval
Quality & HR Director
EVCO Plastics
Debra L. Edwards, SPHR
Benefits & Payroll Specialist
Capitol Indemnity Corp.
James Fikes
JLF Consulting
Jane C. Frederick
Education & Development Manager
Care Wisconsin
Jeffrey Lamp
Lamp Enterprises
Jamie S. Meise
HR Cordinator
State Collection Service
Pam L. Peterson, SPHR
Director of HR
UW Credit Union
Julianne Potter-Mical, SPHR
Director of HR
The Madison Concourse Hotel
Susan M. Thomson
CEO, Partner & Coach
ActionCOACH Business & Executive Coaching
Christine E. Verstegen
HR Manager
Jeff K. Wachter
Field Staffing Support Technician
American Family Insurance

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 .


Amended Amended