February 2010


In This Edition

By Kari Lauritsen, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

Bizarre Laws

The Gender Pay Gap - What's Happening One Year Later

New WI Dependent Age Law Creates Tax Implications

2010 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey

Workplace Basic Skills: Developing Opportunities for Staff and Your Company

GMA SHRM Professional Scholarship

2010 HR Certification

Pay It Forward Membership Program

2010 Workforce Readiness & Diversity Committee Dates

GMA SHRM Member of the Month
- Joan Provencher

February 25 , 2010 - GMA SHRM Winter Networking Event

GMA SHRM Membership Poll

- Welcome New Members!

- In Transition

- What's Cool in HR

- Movin' Up

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

February 16, 2010 - My GMA SHRM Toolbox
Topic: Hot Topics in Employment Law: Wage and Hour Compliance + plus Legal Updates
Location: City Center West
Program Details
This program is sponsored by GMA SHRM Gold Partner Career Momentum.

February 25, 2010 - GMA SHRM Winter Networking Event
The Coliseum Bar
This fun evening will provide you with a less formal opportunity to re-connect with GMA SHRM members and make new connections with HR Professionals in the Madison Area.

Program Details



Printable version


































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!



Kari Lauritsen, SPHR,
GMA SHRM President


In January, I recognized our board of directors for the work they are doing to support our chapter. Without the time, commitment, and energy donated by this group, we would not be able to continue all the programs, certification study groups, and other initiatives provided by the chapter for you, the members. They are a fantastic group of people and I look forward to working with them for another 6 months before our terms expire. I would encourage those volunteers or other individuals who are interested in getting involved with the chapter to reach out to any of us to discuss your interest. It is at this time of the year where we begin thinking about succession planning at both the board and committee levels. I am confident we can find a position within our organization that would be a great fit for the skills and attributes you offer, not to mention that it’s a great networking activity!

Following our January board meeting, our President Elect Dave Furlan led the board and several other members through our annual strategic planning session. I’m happy to report that we had the largest number of participants ever at our session! Having a diverse group of individuals brought such great discussion to our planning and will result in the bar being raised even higher in the years to come!

During our session the group took a look at our past year, the progress we have made and the gaps that may exist in our service offerings. We also conducted a SWOT analysis to evaluate our chapter’s current state. We then discussed the future and what it may bring in terms of change to our chapter direction. One of those items was the Chapter Achievement Plan which is used as a planning and reporting tool for local chapters. For 2010 SHRM developed a new Affiliate Program for Excellence which outlines the minimum requirements for chapters to remain in good standing. It also outlines additional goals and measurements that must be met in order for chapters to receive recognition and rewards from SHRM. All of this information was used collaboratively to develop the initiatives for 2010. We are in the process of shaping those initiatives and look forward to sharing them with our members in the near future!

Lastly, please remember to mark your calendar now for our annual Human Capitol Conference on May 11, 2010!

Kari A Lauritsen, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Kari Lauritsen, SPHR

Dave Furlan, PHR
President Elect

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
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

Jake Siudzinski

VP, Marketing & Communications


Melissa Wieland
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity

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Bizarre Laws

Next time you're going to the bars in La Crosse, leave the horse at home. It is unlawful to tie up your horse along Third Street in La Crosse. 

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The Gender Pay Gap – What’s Happening One Year Later
By Dave Furlan, PHR, GMA SHRM President Elect

A year ago our nation witnessed the arrival of a new administration in Washington, DC, and among the first few issues receiving attention was the gender pay gap. Not long after President Obama took the oath of office, Congress passed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, intending to restore basic protections against pay discrimination for women. Building on this momentum, several initiatives and proposed legislation followed with the intention to address, among other things, how pay practices impact women and families.

To view the complete article, click here .

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New WI Dependent Age Law Creates Tax Implications
Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI, Director of Compliance Services, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services.

The most recent Wisconsin budget included a new law that extended the age that children can stay on a parent’s benefit plan as a dependent. This law applies to fully-insured plans and self-insured health plans of the state or of a county, city, village, town, or school district.

This change to state dependent eligibility law create situations where employees may face tax liability for benefit plan dependents who do not meet the Internal Revenue Service ( IRS) definition of dependent. Employees providing benefits for domestic partners face similar tax challenges.

Health plan reimbursements for medical expenses incurred by the employee, the spouse and the employee’s dependents as defined under section 152 are excluded from the employee’s gross income. In order to be a dependent, an individual must fit the description of either “qualifying child” or “qualifying relative” under Internal Revenue Code Section 152.

On December 18, 2007, the IRS issued Notice 2008-5, which clarifies when an individual will qualify as a dependent under section 152. The Notice expands the definition of “qualifying relative” so children who live with and are supported by a non-parent taxpayer (e.g., an unrelated friend, grandparent, or domestic partner) may be eligible to receive coverage from the taxpayer’s health plan on a tax-free basis

To view the entire article, click here .

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2010 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey

Last year GMA SHRM partnered with Enetrix, a Gallup Company, to provide premier on-line surveys.  The 2010 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey is a comprehensive on-line survey that has the flexibility to produce reports based on revenue size, industry, type of ownership, and number of FTE’s.  The 2010 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey had over 100 companies of all sizes in the greater Madison area that provided salary information for more than 200 benchmarked jobs.  Our hope this year is to increase the number of participants.   Participating members receive a significant discount on the cost of the survey!

If you would like to participate, please go to http://gmashrm.enetrix.com.  Select “Click Here to Register” on the right to create an individual and company profile and create your username and password. If an individual from your company has already registered for an account, they will need to grant you permission to enter and review data for your company. Select “Participation” and follow the steps to enter your survey data.

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Workplace Basic Skills: Developing opportunities for staff and your company

Contributed by Jeff Burkhart, Executive Director, Literacy Network

Do you have good employees who seem to need a little extra help with reading and writing to make them even better on the job? Those employees who have problems reading and communicating in the workplace may contribute to lower productivity, have higher accident rates, or may show a lower product quality than other employees. Some employees may require more hands-on assistance from their supervisors and may contribute to higher operating costs.

To read more of this article, click here .

2010 GMA SHRM Professional Scholarship

The Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM) has established a professional scholarship program encouraging continuing education in the human resources field. One $1,000 non-renewable scholarship will be awarded to a GMA SHRM member to support their professional development.

Click here for application instructions.

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2010 HR Certification

Hello GMA SHRM membership! Below is a GREAT article provided by the HRCI regarding certification. Please take a minute (or two) to read this very helpful information. Especially if you or someone you know is thinking about getting certified in 2010.

Help Your Members Get Certified in 2010
By Gayle Dahlman, HR Certification Institute

Make sure your chapter members know that there are only two exam-testing periods left before the eligibility requirements for the PHR, SPHR and GPHR change – May-June 2010 and Dec. 2010-Jan. 2011.

Currently, applicants must have two years of professional (exempt-level) HR work experience to be eligible but beginning with the 2011 May-June testing period, applicants will have to demonstrate a combination of work experience and education to be eligible.

Following are the new eligibility requirements for each certification exam.

PHR Eligibility

SPHR Eligibility

GPHR Eligibility

• 1 year of demonstrated professional (exempt-level) HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher
• 2 years of demonstrated professional (exempt-level) HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
• 4 years of demonstrated professional (exempt-level) HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree

• 4 years of demonstrated professional (exempt-level) HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher
• 5 years of demonstrated professional (exempt-level) HR experience with a Bachelor’s degree
• 7 years of demonstrated professional (exempt-level) HR experience with less than a Bachelor’s degree

• 2 years of demonstrated global professional (exempt-level) HR experience with a Master’s degree or higher
• 3 years of demonstrated professional (exempt-level) HR experience (with 2 of the 3 being global HR experience) with a Bachelor’s degree
• 4 years of demonstrated professional (exempt-level) HR experience (with 2 of the 4 being global HR experience) with less than a Bachelor’s degree

The fees to take the exams have not changed and national SHRM members still receive a discount.

The application for the 2010 May-June exam period opened on Jan. 11. The regular deadline is March 12 and the late deadline is April 16.

Webinars for your Members
The HR Certification Institute also conducts webinars for the general public. We encourage you to spread the word about these informative one-hour sessions to your members. The next webinar will be held February 10 at 2 p.m. ET where we’ll discuss the benefits of obtaining PHR, SPHR and GPHR certification.

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Pay It Forward Membership Program

What is the Pay It Forward Membership Program? GMA SHRM provides active members who are unemployed at the time of their membership renewal a one-time opportunity to extend their membership for up to one year – at no cost. GMA SHRM believes this continued affiliation to our loyal members will help transitioning members stay current on the issues impacting the HR profession and provide them with the needed resources to assist them in their job search.

Click here to see if you qualify or to complete the request form.

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2010 Workforce Readiness & Diversity Committee Dates

 The Workforce Readiness Committee would like to announce their 2 new co-chairs, Kristina Kaker from Teamsoft and Jeff Westra from Herzing University. The committee meets at The Park Bank Support Center located at 1815 Greenway Cross. Please contact Jeff Westra at jwestra@msn.herzing.edu if you’re interested in volunteering or attending any of the following meetings.

Wednesday, March 3 rd 8:00a.m. – 9:00a.m.
Wednesday, May 5 th 8:00a.m. – 9:00a.m.

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February 25, 2010 – Winter Networking Event

The GMA SHRM Membership Committee invites you to come in from the cold and warm up at the Winter Networking Event to be held on Thursday, February 25th at the Coliseum Bar.

This fun evening will provide you with a less formal opportunity to re-connect with GMA SHRM members and make new connections with HR Professionals in the Madison Area.

To register for this event, click here.


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 Jake Siudzinski at jsiudzinski@starkhomes.com.

GMA SHRM Member of the Month


Name: Joan Provencher

Where do you currently work? I own a Human Resources consulting firm, J.Provencher HR Services, LLC.

What is the focus of your position? I provide HR management for small companies. Small companies cannot afford full time HR expertise, so I work on-site with them for the number of hours per week that meets their unique needs. I become a part of their team, on an outsourced basis.

How long have you been in the Human Resource field? 23 years

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? Most of them have to do with successfully helping organizations in transition--start-up companies, spin-offs, mergers and department reorganizations. Honest and effective communication is critical at these times, to try to make the transition as seamless as possible for the affected employees. In these and other assignments, I also like to focus on systems and policies. I like to make HR processes efficient and easy to understand, and I use technology as much as possible to simplify administration.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? To get my MBA. This has helped me to think beyond the realm of HR--to look at the big picture and how HR fits into the overall strategic goals of an organization.

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM? It has always been a great source of support and a network for sharing ideas. I currently serve on the Marketing Committee which I really enjoy.

 If you’d like to be featured as the Member of the Month in an upcoming issue of HR InTouch, please e-mail Kate Karre at KKarre@parkbank.com.


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 November of 2009!

Brandon R. Johnson

HR Supervisor

Griffin Electric, Inc.

Dan Kamien

Talent Acquistion

TDS Telecom

Todd B. Vandeberg

HR Generalist

Trek Bicycle Corp.

Matthew S. Weidenfeller

Sr. Technical Recruiter

TeamSoft Inc.

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

Teresa Perlman, Payroll & Benefits Specialist at Saris Cycling Group, Inc. recently earned her PHR certification.

Congratulations Teresa!

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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