February 2009

In This Edition

By Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR,
GMA SHRM President

"Badger Choice" Proposal - ALLY or FOE?
By Mike Leibundgut, Director of GMA SHRM Government Affairs Committee

Legislative Update
- By Meg Vergeront, Stafford Rosenbaum Law Firm

GMA SHRM Benefits Survey Now Available

Information on WorkSource Wisconsin
Contributed by Michael Meulemans, WorkSource Wisconsin Co-Project Manager, Pathways to Independence

SHRM Foundation News: Research on Human Capital Challenges

Jefferson County Human Resource Management Association Event

Save the Date: 61st Annual SHRM Conference and Exposition - New Orleans

GMA SHRM Workforce Readiness and Diversity Committee

- Community Events

- Winter Networking Event

- Speaker Proposals Accepted for State Conference

- Kudos to Corporate Partnership Program Volunteers

- Welcome New Members!

- In Transition

- What's Cool in HR

- Movin' Up

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

- "My GMA SHRM Toolbox" Program - Professional Habits for Success: Managing Your HR Career

-GMA SHRM Winter Networking Event - February 26, 2009

- World at Work Certification Course, March 3-5, 2009

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Cassy Van Dyke , SPHR,
GMA SHRM President
2009 Corporate Partners

Boardman Law Firm
Galaxy Technologies
The Payroll Company

Hays Companies
Lee Hecht Harrison
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Virchow Krause Employee Benefits

Melli Law, S.C.
Bunbury & Associates
Career Momentum
Stark Company Realtors
Gardner & White
Higgins Insurance Group
Liberty Mutual
The Alliance

Thank you!

GMA SHRM members,

2009 is already off to a successful start for our chapter! Our January GMA SHRM Summit on ADA and FMLA changes drew 115 attendees. Thank you to all who attended and helped to coordinate this event.

Our programs would not be possible without the contributions from our volunteers. Volunteering is a great way network, learn, and give back to the local HR/business community. If you are interested in helping coordinate one of our educational programs OR helping coordinate our May conference, please contact Zach Penshorn via email or call him at 608-273-0655.

Please visit our 2009 event list and mark your calendars for upcoming educational programs, including:

  • February 17: How to Manage Your HR Career
  • February 26: GMA SHRM networking event
  • March 3-5: World at Work course
  • March 10: focus on benefits.

And a special thank you to our 2009 corporate partners, without whom our programs would not be possible:


Boardman Law Firm

Galaxy Technologies The Payroll Company

Hays Companies

Lee Hecht Harrison

Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation Virchow Krause Employee Benefits
Bunbury & Associates

Career Momentum

Gardner & White

Higgins Insurance Group

Liberty Mutual

Melli Law
Stark Company Realtors

The Alliance

May 2009 bring each of you happiness, health, and much success!

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
GMA SHRM President


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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR

Kari Lauritsen, SPHR
President Elect

Anthony Dix, SPHR, MBA
Past President

John Komosa
Secretary Treasurer

Kris Schmitt
Director, Education & Development

Chris Berg Thacker, PHR
VP, Membership

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
Director, Government Affairs

Zach Penshorn, PHR
VP, Programming

Dave Furlan
VP, Marketing & Communications


Melissa Wieland
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity


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“Badger Choice” Proposal – ALLY OR FOE?
Contributed by Mike Leibundgut, Director of GMA SHRM Government Affairs Committee

Governor Doyle is considering, as a part of his budget bill, a proposal, known as Badger Choice, which would provide a mechanism for the State of Wisconsin to take over the small group health insurance market in Wisconsin. Badger Choice, or Phase III, would expand BadgerCare into the Private Sector Small Group Health Insurance Market, which will put everyone into the Medicaid System. Small group is defined as 50 or fewer employees.

If this plan is successful, it will:

  • Put every Wisconsin citizen on a government run Medicaid-like program
  • Take away your choice of plans for yourself and your employees
  • Cause the premiums to rise for approximately 66%of all existing small employers
  • Add to the more than $5 billion deficit in the state budget

In addition, it may cause physicians and hospitals to discontinue accepting patients with this coverage because the reimbursement levels will be so low.

For those of you with more than 50 employees, consider this: Our Medicaid system is broken due to inadequate provider reimbursements. Expanding Medicaid could cause providers not to accept Medicaid patients because of the inadequate reimbursements. In addition, this shortfall in provider payments has led to higher costs in the private market (i.e., cost shifting). Expanding Medicaid will only make the cost shifting to the private sector (those employers with more than 50 employees) even worse.

If you would like to take action on this topic:

How To Contact your Legislator

  1. Go to Legislature’s web page. Click on “Who Represents Me?” Once you enter your voting address, you will be provided with the contact information for your legislators.
  2. To contact the Office of the Governor, call 608-266-1212, or email the Governor by going to their website.

Note: If the above-embedded links do not work, type:

http://www.legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx into your browser to get to the Legislature’s web page or http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/contact.asp?locid=19 to reach the Governor’s web page.

The opinions expressed or implied are those of the author and may not represent the official position of GMA SHRM. This article is intended for general information purposes and highlights developments in the area of government affairs.

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Legislative Update
By Meg Vergeront, Stafford Rosenbaum Law Firm

Washington is moving fast on a couple of high-profile employment-related laws.

The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law by President Obama on January 29, 2009. The Act eliminated previously existing time limits for filing many employment discrimination charges and will expose employers to open-ended lawsuits by allowing plaintiffs to file discrimination claims long after an alleged violation. It can be read to be broad enough to permit anyone who is "affected" by discrimination to sue, opening employers up to damage claims brought by family members of an employee who claims to be a victim of discrimination. The Act also applies to any alleged discriminatory employment practice that has an effect on “compensation,” which could include almost every element of the terms and conditions of employment, such as promotions, transfers, work assignments, terminations, vacation benefits, health care, pensions, life insurance, etc. Moreover, the Act will be retroactive, applying to all claims of discrimination in compensation that are pending on or after May 28, 2007. The application of this Act will have an extremely broad reach.

The Paycheck Fairness Act
On January 9, 2009, the House of Representatives passed its version of the Paycheck Fairness Act and it is now pending in the U.S. Senate. The Paycheck Fairness Act would dramatically expand the existing Equal Pay Act by, among other things, providing for unlimited punitive and compensatory damages and limiting employer defenses against claims brought under the Fair Pay Act. It would also amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to prohibit employers from barring most employees from discussing pay with other employees. Finally, the Act would re-impose pay banding and other methods to detect systemic compensation discrimination, re-impose the EEO Survey that had previously been used, and give government agencies more power to collect pay data from employers.

Meg Vergeront is a partner at the Stafford Rosenbaum law firm. For over 14 years, she has consulted with employers on a regular basis to help address specific issues relating to discipline and discharge, working closely with them to find common sense resolutions to the issues. Ms. Vergeront also litigates employment cases in state and federal forums.

The opinions expressed or implied are those of the author and may not represent the official position of GMASHRM. This article is intended for general information purposes and highlights developments in the legal area. This article does not constitute legal advice. The reader should consult legal counsel to determine how this information applies to any specific situation.

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The Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management and its survey partner, enetrix, are pleased to announce the release of the 2008 Benefits Survey! This new on line report compiles statistical ly meaningful benefit data from over 50 different GMA SHRM membership organizations in the Dane County area. A special thank you goes out to all our participating employers for their invaluable input and assistance in compiling this data.

Expanded Statistics in an Easy to Read Format!

Our new survey report breaks down the data by employer size and type of industry in an easy to read format. Expanded statistics range from traditional survey topics such as premiums, health insurance plan design, and retirement benefits to wellness, cost containment features, and PTO programs. The 2008 Survey provides HR Professionals like you with the authoritative data to evaluate and tailor a total compensation package that recruits and retains top talent in an increasing ly competitive marketplace.

To purchase this survey, just follow this link: https://gmashrm.enetrix.com/psitep/!stmenu_template.main?complex_id_in=236464.242303..242303.cat and click on the Purchase option at the top of the page. Participating members receive a significant discount on the cost of this survey.

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Information on WorkSource Wisconsin
Contributed by Michael Meulemans, WorkSource Wisconsin Co-Project Manager, Pathways to Independence

WorkSource Wisconsin serves Wisconsin businesses as a technical resource center on employment and disability providing them free resources on Human Resource Management, Employment Law, Job Accommodations and many other issues to aide employers in accessing a large ly untapped workforce in people with disabilities.

WorkSource Wisconsin was formed in 2006 through input and research from Wisconsin’s employers to fill a void in the availability of information to Wisconsin employers. With information compiled by employers, for employers, WorkSourceWI.com provides access to a resource unlike any other available in the state. To compile this information, Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute partnered with employer associations from around the state.

“WorkSource Wisconsin through its website and technical assistance hotline (866-460-9602), provides information on all facets of employment available in one place,” said Cheryl Fine, a representative of WorkSource Wisconsin. “By providing these resources in one convenient place, we hope to make the process of recruiting and retaining employees with disabilities easier for employers.”

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SHRM Foundation News: Research on Human Capital Challenges.

In 2007, the SHRM Foundation released a study that concluded that the most critical challenge facing America’s chief executives and their organizations is finding and retaining the best talent, particularly in top leadership positions.

The research consisted of three parts: a comprehensive literature review, phone interviews with a select group of C-Suite executives, and a detailed online survey. The research concluded that the five most significant future challenges facing companies (regardless of size, location, or industry) were:
1) succession planning;
2) recruiting and selecting talented employees;
3) engaging and retaining talented employees;
4) providing leaders with skills to be successful; and
5) rising health care costs.

The final report is available online here. The results of this study are being used by the SHRM Foundation to design tools and resources to help organizations address many of the identified challenges.

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Jefferson County Human Resources Management Association (JCHRMA) is pleased to invite GMA SHRM member to a half-day event being held on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 . Presentations will be Investing in Human Capital (presented by Mike Milstead, VP of Client Services at Right Management) and Critical Changes to the ADA and FMLA (presented by Attorneys Bob Gregg and Jennifer Mirus, both from Boardman Law Firm). Registration deadline: January 30, 2009. Click here for more details about this half-day event!

SHRM 61st Annual Conference & Exposition - Save the Date!

The SHRM 61st Annual Conference & Exposition will be held on June 28 – July 1, 2009, in New Orleans, at the Morial Convention Center. Tom Brokaw and Lee Woodruff have already been confirmed to be keynote speakers at this exciting and informative event! To learn more, visit: www.shrm.org/conferences/annual.


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The GMA SHRM Workforce Readiness and Diversity Committee volunteers with a variety of local organizations providing resume workshops, mock interviews, and trainings on a variety of topics. Every quarter, workshops are scheduled at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) through partnerships with the DVR and Dane County Job Center. Given the economic times, we may see an increased need for these seminars. Please keep your eye on the week ly e-blasts for dates and times. If you know of another organization that may benefit from our committees involvement, or would like to be on our volunteer email list for future opportunities, please contact Melissa Wieland via email.


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Community Events

  • Robert Toomey, Conference Coordinator for 8th Annual Wisconsin State Training Conference: “Leading The Way” is pleased to announce that the conference will be held on Thursday, February 26, 2009, at the Exhibition Hall at Alliant Energy Center, Madison. View the announcement or the conference web page for more information.

GMA SHRM Winter Networking Event

  • This event will be held on Thursday, February 26, 2009, at The Coliseum Bar, 4:30 – 7:30 PM. All GMA SHRM members are invited to attend. For more information, click here for additional details or here to view the flyer.

Speaker Proposals Accepted for State Conference

  • In an effort to improve collaboration between the council and the conference planning committee I'm sharing some exciting conference information and asking for your help. The selection process for speakers at this year's conference is now underway and I'm sure you will be receiving more e-mails letting you know, but I wanted to be the first to ask for your help. You can help in a number of ways:

    • Consider presenting at the conference, submit an RFP on your own behalf. If you know of other engaging and talented presenters, please pass the word on to them that we are now accepting RFPs for this year's state conference presentations. 
    • If you are a Director of a Core Leadership Area, find a way to be sure we have at least one presentation from your area (World to Work, Diversity, Legislative, Certification, etc). Remember, your registration will be covered this year if you yourself are involved. Contact experts on your topic and ask them to submit an RFP so your area is represented.
    • Pass the word along at your chapter meeting this month or next month. Ask everyone to encourage good speakers to submit RFPs, Most likely your chapter board has had great speakers at your chapter meetings who would bring great value to the conference. Pass along the word to your chapter's programming chair or directly to those fabulous presenters!

    Our programming chairs will be sending e-mails out to past conference speakers but sometimes a personal invitation from a SHRM chapter member can give that little extra push. Below is the link to the Speaker Opportunity Area of our website. Feel free to pass this along as well. Otherwise, just directing them to www.wishrm.org will be a great help!
    The deadline for RFP submissions is February 27, 2009.

    This year's conference programming chairs are: Jodi Roesler (LaCrosse Chapter), Bob Gregg (Jefferson HRMA), and Mark Goldstein (Racine/Kenosha -SRKA).

    Feel free to contact any one of the programming chairs with speaker names or your interest in having your leadership area represented. We are also still searching for our second keynote speaker! They would love to hear any suggestions you might have! Thank you for your continuing support of our wonderful Wisconsin State SHRM Conference!

Kudos to Corporate Partnership Program Volunteers
Contributed by Dave Furlan, VP of Communications & Marketing

I want to recognize our chapter’s Communications and Marketing Committee for another successful year with the Corporate Partner Program. Not only did the committee surpass our budgeted goal for 2009, they also did it on time! Volunteers stuck to the deadlines and helped out in many ways to make sure we completed all of the details and follow up. In addition, both tenured and new committee volunteers have already jumped on board to serve as a contact person for this year’s corporate partners. As a contact person, the committee member will help corporate partners interact with the chapter and take advantage of partner benefits whenever possible throughout the year.

Special thanks go to Missy Roth and Shaun Thomson who served as project leads for the 2009 Corporate Partner Program. As new members of our committee in 2008, they demonstrated excellent communication skills and a dedication to understanding their roles throughout the entire process.

The annual Corporate Partner Program is one of the most important revenue sources for our chapter. Through the partnerships with regional and national companies, we are able to offset many of the costs of our programming, education, and community events that serve the professional and advance the profession. Thank you again to all our past and present partners for their ongoing support of GMA SHRM.

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Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter at the end of 2008.

Kristin A. Borre

HR Generalist

Home Health United

Linda J. Eby, PHR

HR Coordinator

Easter Seals Wisconsin

Lisa E. Gross

HR Recruiter

UW Medical Foundation

Michelle Kern


General Motors

Eric Mack, PHR

Human Resources & Safety Manager

Firestone Building Products

Jane M. Wachira, PHR

HR Representative


Claudio J. Diaz

Chief Human Capital Officer

Wipfli LLP

Chris Lauten


Galaxy Technologies

Alice T. Siewert



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


Movin' Up

Lisa Munnik was recently promoted from HR Assistant to HR Generalist for the American Red Cross after 9 months with our organization. Her organizational skills, ability to multi-task, and quick-learning skills make her an excellent asset to our organization! Contributed by Holly Thompson, SPHR, HR Manager at American Red Cross.

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!

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 .










Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc.
2830 Agriculture Dr.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818
Web: http://www.gmashrm.org/

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