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2006 Corporate Partners

American Family Insurance
Career Momentum
Lee Hecht Harrison
Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.

Mortenson, Matzelle & Meldrum, Inc.
Stark Company Realtors
Quarles and Brady LLP

ABR Employment Services
Higgins Hemb Insurance Group
General Casualty Insurance Companies
Neider & Boucher, S.C.
Payroll Data Services
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Right Management

Thank you!


By Sue Estes, GMA SHRM President Elect

Covenants Not to Compete - Are They Worth the Paper They Are Written On?
By David Friedman, Friedman Law Firm

Website of the Month: Executive Compensation

From the National SHRM Bulletin Board
Topic: Resume Preferences

- Committee Spotlight: Education and Professional Development

- Welcome New Members

- Your Foundation at Work: Collegiate HR Games

- 18th Annual Legislative Conference

- Community Events

- Movin' Up

ark Your Calendar

Click here to view the calendar of events and meeting notices.

GMA SHRM President Belinda Weber, SPHR
makes announcements prior to the February 21st meeting.

GMA SHRM members David Friedman, Don Higgins and Kevin Peternel.

GMA SHRM Gold Partner Clara Hurd Nydham from Career Momentum addresses attendees during lunch.

March 21 - Chapter Meeting

Work Life Balance: Great Companies Share Best Practices

Program Details

March 8 - Wednesday in the Park

From A to Z, Project Management - Deliver Results!

Program Details

April 6 - New Member Welcome and Orientation

Program Details

April 12 - 18th Annual State Legislative Conference

Program Details

Save The Date

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

GMA SHRM Human Capital Conference
Building Knowledge and Influence
Monona Terrace

A multiple session day of education and interaction at the Monona Terrace.


- Community activities Community Events
- Conferences


- Orientation Mark your calendars, the next Member Welcome and Orientation is Thursday, April 6, 2006, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m
- Certification Prep Information


News/Updates - for more information, click topic in left hand column

- SHRM National news  
- State Council news  
- Student Chapter news  
- PEG announcements


- Committee announcements  
- View 2005/2006 GMA SHRM Board of Directors  
- Open board positions  
- New members  
- Job line See the latest job postings!
- Question of the month Volunteers needed
- Office News  
- Partner Program Learn more about our Coprorate Partner Program and other Sponsorship Opportunities
- Certifications  

Printable version

By Sue Estes, GMA SHRM President-Elect

As we enter into the new year many of us reflect upon our accomplishments from the past year and think ahead to what we hope to accomplish in 2006. The SHRM organization does the same thing. Recently your GMA SHRM Board reviewed the accomplishments of our chapter as measured by the Chapter Achievement Plan. The CAP is SHRM’s recommended scope of work for affiliated chapters. The CAP must be completed and returned in order for our chapter to participate in SHRM’s Chapter Financial Support Program.

The value of the CAP goes beyond the financial support we receive from national SHRM. The Chapter Achievement Plan captures our chapter’s achievements and successes throughout the year. SHRM chapters which have achieved excellence in fulfilling their missions are recognized by SHRM with a designation of the Superior Merit Award or the Merit Award. Based upon the basic requirements and our additional accomplishments in 2005, we expect once again to be awarded the designation of the Superior Merit Award.

We’d like to highlight just some of the many areas of our accomplishment from 2005:

  • Chapter Operations
  • Chapter involvement in SHRM volunteer leadership positions (State Council and State Conference Planning Committees).
  • Chapter website redesign, including the development of an area for volunteer management and a section for committee members to share information and archive documents.
  • An enhanced Chapter Partner Program and the offering of multiple options for support outside of the partner program.

(Above and below) The GMA SHRM Board of Directors and Leaders meet at the Chapter Office during the Mid-Year Retreat in January.

  • Professional Development
  • Development of one day conference plans for May 2006.
  • Co-sponsored World at Work educational program open to members.
  • Awarded an HR professional scholarship to a chapter member and two scholarships for student chapter members.
  • HR Leadership in the Community
  • Chapter members served as a resource to the community or local media on HR issues.
  • Chapter provided guest speakers at a local Chamber of Commerce event.
  • Leadership Areas
  • College Relations Leadership
    • Provided guidance on HR awareness to student chapters or educational institutions (GMA SHRM supports UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater, and UW-Platteville student chapters and is working with Edgewood College students as well.)
  • HRCI Certification Leadership
    • Our Member Orientation now includes a separate presentation on HRCI certification options and resources.
    • Newly certified chapter members are recognized personally and in the chapter newsletter.
  • Workforce Readiness Leadership
    • Workforce Readiness Committee members and chapter volunteers have conducted mock interviews for the Dane County Job Center and also with at-risk high school students through the Common Wealth program.
  • Advance the Profession
  • Assisted MATC with marketing their needs assessment for MATC’s new HR program.

The Chapter Achievement Plan provides other great ideas for the work we can accomplish as a chapter. We’ll be using the CAP as a tool as we conduct our strategic planning for the coming year. One thing we have to all remember, though, is that these accomplishments don’t just happen. It takes our chapter’s many volunteers and active chapter members to produce our good work. We would like to thank all those who helped make 2005 a year we can be proud of. We look forward to achieving new goals and hope to work with more of you as volunteers and active chapter members in 2006.


Covenants Not to Compete - Are They Worth the Paper They Are Written On?

By David Friedman, Friedman Law Firm

No company wants its former employee competing against it by using the information the employee gained while working for the company. In order to prevent this from happening, companies often have employees sign a non-compete agreement usually as part of the hiring process. Many of us have heard various things about the validity of non-compete agreements or a restrictive covenant in an employment contract. So just how valid are these type of documents?

The first place to look is in the statutes. In summary, the statute provides that a covenant not to compete after termination of the employment relationship is valid within a specified territory and during a specified time only if the restrictions imposed are reasonably necessary for the protection of the employer. The statute goes on to state that “any covenant . . . imposing an unreasonable restraint is illegal, void and unenforceable even as to any part of the covenant or performance that would be a reasonable restraint.” (Emphasis added). See, Wis. Stat. §103.465.

Contained in the law is a unique feature. This statute mandates that if there is one illegal provision, the entire agreement if invalid even if the other provisions are legal. This is the opposite of how most contracts are interpreted. Normally contracts contain a severability clause that allows the remainder of the contract to continue even if a provision is invalid.

Before looking at how the courts have interpreted the statute, there are two main points that need to be kept in mind. First, the statute generally applies where there is an employer – employee relationship. Second, the courts have established the following canons of construction of restrictive covenants: (1) These restrictions are prima facie suspect; (2) they must withstand close scrutiny to pass legal muster as being reasonable; (3) they will not be construed to extend beyond their proper import or further than the language of the contract absolutely requires; and (4) they are to be construed in favor of the employee.

A valid restrictive covenant must: (1) be necessary to protect the employer; (2) provide a reasonable time limit; (3) provide a reasonable territorial limit; (4) not be harsh or oppressive to the employee; and (5) not be contrary to public policy. The wrong answer to any one of the questions invalidates the agreement.

What does the court look at in deciding whether the covenant is necessary for the protection of the employer? This is one of those questions for which there is no specific answer. The court has said that the employer has the burden of proving the necessity of the covenant, and whether the covenant is reasonably necessary to protect the employer depends on the circumstance.

Generally, the courts have found that enforcing a covenant that prohibits the employee from using the company’s list of customers is not necessary for the protection of the employer. If the company can show that it is trying to protect trade secrets, as defined by Wisconsin statute, then the company has a better chance of prevailing.

The test for establishing a reasonable period of time has been pretty well answered. As a rule of thumb, a two year time limit is considered reasonable. However, the company must still be able to justify the particular time limit.

The third consideration is whether there is a reasonable territorial limit. The first thing we think about is a geographical limitation. The Wisconsin courts have upheld both a 20 and 50 mile radius from the employer’s principal place of business. However, in another case, the court held that the city of Milwaukee was too broad an area for restricting an employee whose work location was the Milwaukee airport.

There is also another way to view the territorial limit and that is by barring the employee from soliciting clients the employee serviced while employed by the company. If the time limit is reasonable, using the customers who the employee serviced might be a valid means of imposing a territorial limit. But once again, there is no firm rule.

The fourth area is that the covenant cannot be harsh or oppressive to the employee. In this area, the courts look at the employee’s ability to find similar employment. A provision that does not allow an employee to work in the type of employment for which the employee has the particular skills, ability and experience will likely fail.

The final criterion will come into play if the covenant passes the first four tests. Because this rarely occurs, this final criterion is infrequently used. However, it must be remembered that public policy favors the free movement, mobility and personal liberty of the employee.

So are these non-compete agreements worth the paper they are written on? The answer is not predictable when the covenant is signed. If a company wishes to proceed with a non-compete agreement, the agreement must be carefully tailored based on the unique facts and circumstances of the company and the employee. A blanket non-compete agreement will surely fail.

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.

Website of the Month: Executive Compensation

In the world of executive compensation, the degree of creativity and nuance is often extensive, so in setting up an executive package, a compensation professional might want to know how the IRS would analyze the package for tax purposes. Fortunately, the IRS has some guidance in this area. Click here for a link to their site with information on topics such as non-qualified deferred compensation, fringe benefits, and stock compensation.


From the National SHRM Bulletin Board…

Topic: exercise balls for office chairs?

Posted: 2/21/2006 2:42:49 PM

Post: I have just had an employee come into my office and inquire if we would object to them trading in their office chairs for their exercise balls. As this employee indicated exercise balls help with posture, toning, etc. They felt this would be a good optional thing for people to do to improve their health.
My initial inclination is to say let's give it a try. My concerns include:
1. Safety - someone losing balance and falling. (although could be humorous if no injury occurred)
2. Height of the ball compared to the work station. I do not want to run into people asking for their desks to be put at a different height or other accommodations regarding workstations to be made.
Is anyone else doing this or heard of it? What are your thoughts? Would you allow it?

Number of Replies: 16 by 2/21/2006 3:52:17 PM

Posted Reply 1: I've not had anyone ask me yet. But last week at my Dr's office, the receptionist had one. She said that is actually easier to sit on than a regular chair, and balance isn't an issue. She says it's easier on her back than a chair. I didn't ask about desk height, but it looked normal height to me. Or at least it wasn't noticeable at the time.

Posted Reply 2: We have several employees who have use physio balls as a chair. They keep their regular desk chair as most switch between the two. We had their workstations check for ergonomics so that they can adjust their equipment accordingly. Worry about "falling off the ball" - probably no more risk that falling out of a chair! People who use as desk chairs are usually pretty well adjusted to them.

Can you imagine the executive conference room?!?

 Committee Spotlight: Education and Professional Development

The GMA SHRM Board of Directors focused its Committee Spotlight in February on Education & Professional Development. The Education and Professional Development Committee focuses on the following areas: College Relations, HR Certification, Mentorship/Coaching, and LocalNet.

During the year, the College Relations group is a resource to the student chapter committees at UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater, and UW-Platteville in selecting speakers, identifying internship and job-shadowing opportunities, preparing for the HR games at the Student Conference, and planning for other student chapter events. College Relations awarded two scholarships to student chapter members and are involved in Student Recognition night. This group is also working with Edgewood College to gauge interest in starting a student chapter.

The HR Certification group coordinates activities that support individual chapter members in obtaining and retaining professional certification. To promote and educate chapter members on the value of certification, this group conducts orientation sessions twice a year. This group coordinates and organizes informal study groups, secures volunteer facilitators and coordinates their facilitation materials, coordinates the official recognition of members who successfully certify, and communicates periodic education and promotional announcements.

The Board tasked the Mentorship/Coaching group with evaluating alternative methods for providing mentorship and coaching opportunities. The group is examining alternative ways to deliver an easy and rapid approach to professional development, enhance networking opportunities and facilitate technical discussions using email and Internet discussion boards. By using simple assistive technology, we can help our members more effectively access each other to find information, help, support, and inspire by leveraging our professional community to facilitate professional growth.

We are actively seeking members for College Relations, HR Certification, and Mentorship/Coaching. If you are interested please contact John Komosa.

Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in January.

Kathryn T. Blattner

Human Resources Manager


Julie Buchanan

Marketing Communications Manager

Mortenson, Matzelle & Meldrum, Inc.

Mike Farren

Regional Director

ABR Employment Services

JoAnn M. Hart


Chris Landes

Director of Finance

RHS Companies Inc

Margaret Leitinger

Norrell Services/Spherion

Sean Whinnery

Physicians Plus Insurance Corp.


Your Foundation at Work: Collegiate HR Games

Since the first national championship in 2000, the SHRM Foundation has been a major sponsor of the national HR Games collegiate competition. The competition brings together teams of undergraduate students from SHRM student chapters to compete in a series of Jeopardy-style matches. The matches feature human resource questions drawn from the PHR exam body of knowledge. The HR Games is an excellent way for students to prepare for certification, network with professional members, and enjoy some friendly competition. Don't miss the state championship in February at Alverno College, and the national championship at the SHRM Annual Conference in June! The HR Games is just one way the SHRM Foundation is supporting the next generation of human resource professionals. For more details on the HR Games, visit

The SHRM Foundation: Investing in Your Future as an HR Leader.

18th Annual State Legislative and Legal Conference

Don’t miss this year’s conference on April 12, 2006, at the Boardman Law Firm, 1 S. Pinckney Street, Madison. Get an update on recent legislative developments and legal issues on the state and federal level. The Wisconsin State SHRM Council is hosting this conference as an opportunity to inform and involve HR professionals. More details will be coming soon. Go to or contact Brian Gohlke at or at (608) 757-7773.

Community Events


 Issues Roundtable, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, 4-6:30 pm, Hyland Park Apartments, 5440 Caddis Bend, Fitchburg. Do you have questions about how to more effectively manage your business? This program allows you to sign up for three short small group discussions facilitated by an industry expert. You can choose from six different business management topics: managing employees, business plans, legal issues, time management, strategic planning, and managing conflict. Phone: 443-1954, email:, web:


International Happy Hour, International Professionals U.A., 5-8 pm, Grape and Company, 745 North High Point Road, Madison (off of Old Sauk). International Professionals serves to create a social network in the Madison area for international professionals, their families, and those interested in meeting people from other countries. Social events provide an opportunity to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and build more ties to the international community. For more information, go to


 New Faces. New Places, Downtown Madison, Inc., 5-7 pm, Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel, 220 W. Gilman Street. Come for appetizers, refreshments and a tour of the new Chapel and Student Center, including a beautiful new sanctuary, a student activities center, cozy hearth rooms, and a fellowship hall showcasing 14 faceted glass windows from the old building. Please reply with a courtesy RSVP by Tuesday, March 7th if possible. RSVP: John Cerniglia, Director of Programming, 443-1972 or Questions: Call or email Melissa Meyer, 443-1977 or


Employment Law and Safety Clinic, Sauk County Personnel Association Local Chapter #633, 8 am to 4:15 pm, Howard Johnson-Antigua Bay, Wisconsin Dells. Join this Wisconsin SHRM chapter for a seminar designed to provide information on some of the most common employment law and safety related questions. Presenters include Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, S.C., The QTI Group, the Department of Labor OSHA, GE Healthcare, Davis & Kuelthau, S.C., and the Wellness Council. Learning sessions include OSHA compliance, employee involvement with health and safety, worksite health promotion as well as several legal topics. For questions, contact Konya Harrison, President SCPA, at (608) 524-9559 or


 The 2006 ATHENA Award, The Business Forum, 5:30pm reception, 6:30pm dinner, 7:30pm program, Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The ATHENA Award honors a person who exemplifies excellence in his or her profession, gives back to the community, and actively helps women realize their professional and personal potential. This ninth annual community networking and fundraising event showcases the nominees for and recipient of the Dane County ATHENA Award. Register at

Movin’ Up

Rachel Frautschy DeMuth has joined Career Momentum, Inc. as a Leadership Development Consultant.  With an M.A in Social and Organizational Psychology and a forthcoming Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, her expertise includes the research, design, and application of assessment measures for the purpose of training, selection, career assessment, performance evaluation, and team facilitation.

Rachel has consulted for union apprenticeship programs and the city of Rockford, IL, developed custom measures for a large test design firm, and has worked as a university researcher and a retail and customer service manager.  She is a published writer and a member of Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP), Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and the Milwaukee chapter of the Human Resource Management Association (HRMA).

Career Momentum, Inc., a Wisconsin-based talent management firm, provides talent management services including performance improvement coaching, executive coaching, pre-employment assessment, team building, outplacement, spousal relocation, and career and retirement planning. The woman-owned company is a Career Partners International firm.  Career Momentum's offices are in Madison and Janesville. The Madison office is located at 6441 Enterprise Lane, Ste. 115, Madison, WI 53719.  Phone (608) 274-2430.

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 .







Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc.
2830 Agriculture Dr.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818

© 2004; Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc. All rights reserved.