March 2007



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2007 Corporate Partners

American Family Insurance
Lee Hecht Harrison
Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.
Right Management

Fidelitec, LLC
Klaas Financial

Higgins Hemb Insurance Group
Neider & Boucher, S.C.
Payroll Data Services
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Stark Company Realtors
UW-Madison Executive Education
Winterthur North America / General Casualty

Thank you!


ark Your Calendar

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

March 20 - Chapter Meeting

Key Legal Developments: EEO-1 Reporting, Background Checks and Legal Issues for Wellness Programs
Legal Update

Program Details


Save the date!
2007 Human Capital Conference
Investing in the Profession, Investing in You

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Marriott Madison West

Join over 200 of your friends and colleagues for this 2nd annual full day conference! Nine breakout and 2 keynote speakers have been selected to benefit you professionally and personally.

Sponsorship opportunities filled fast last year so reserve your opportunity now. Click here for sponsorship opportunities.

2006 - 2007 GMA SHRM Professional Scholarship

All qualified GMA SHRM members are eligible for this $1000 scholarship.

Examples of covered eligible programs include:
• Attendance at a National/State SHRM conference
• Post-secondary degree in business or human resources related discipline
• Support of certification or re-certification (PHR, SPHR, GPHR, CCP, CEBS, etc.)
• Certificate programs in business or human resources related discipline

Click here for more information including eligibility requirements. Click here for the application.

Application deadline is March 23, 2007.


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

- SHRM National news  
- State Council news  
- Committee announcements  
- View 2006/2007 GMA SHRM Board of Directors  
- New members  
- Job line See the latest job postings!
- Office News  
- Partner Program Learn more about our Corporate Partner Program and other Sponsorship Opportunities
- Certifications  


Printable version

By Sue Estes GMA SHRM President

Late in February I had the privilege of volunteering at the State HR Games which were held in conjunction with the annual Student SHRM Conference. This was my first time at the HR Games and I was impressed with the competitive spirit and camaraderie of the participants. Listening to some of the more historical questions that were posed in the Jeopardy style game, I found myself thinking about how far the profession has come. I have to say that celebrating our Chapter’s 50 th Anniversary must have been on my mind as well!

HR Magazine celebrated their 50 th Anniversary in 2005 and authors Paul Salvatore, Allan Weitzman, and Daniel Halem summarized their thoughts on this subject this say: “Fifty years ago, most employers did not yet view human resource management as a core business function, and few aspiring executives viewed HR as a desirable career path. Things certainly have changed. Today, most organizations consider HR professionals indispensable to their enterprise. HR officers, who often hold graduate degrees in human resource management, business or law, occupy the highest levels of management in most of the country’s largest employers.”

The students we met at the HR Games are bound to have great opportunities in their chosen profession because of the paths paved by those who came before them. Those of you who have been in HR for awhile can probably think of what you personally have had to do to influence how HR is viewed by the organizations you serve or have served in the past.

What else has changed over the past 50 years? Five decades of labor and employment law have definitely impacted the profession. For an interesting history lesson take a closer look at the HR Magazine article, “How the Law Changed HR,” which can be found at

Keeping up with the latest labor and employment law can be a real challenge. One of your GMA SHRM member benefits includes programming that will help keep you up to date. This month’s Chapter Meeting (March 20th) will provide both a workshop and keynote on legal issues. The morning workshop will be Key Legal Developments: EEO-1 Reporting, Background Checks and Legal Issues for Wellness Programs (with presenters Lauri Morris from the law firm Quarles & Brady, and Jennifer Mirus from Boardman Law Firm) an d the lunch keynote will be our Annual Legal Update (presented by Jennifer Mirus from Boardman Law Firm). Be sure to register for this important chapter meeting. (For more information on the program and to register go to

Before I close, I would like to acknowledge Board Member John Komosa , along with the Student Relations Committee Members and Student Chapter leaders , on their work to make the HR Games and Student Conference such a success. In addition, I would like to thank the many GMA SHRM members who volunteered their time (on a very snowy Friday night and Saturday) to help with the event serving as judges, timekeepers, and conference presenters. If you have never attended the HR Games, I would highly recommend it. Not only will you get a glimpse of our future HR professionals, it just may make you reflect on the past too!

And finally, in celebration of our chapter’s 50 th anniversary, here is this month’s blast from the past …this time from 1977 . The Time Magazine article (January 1, 1977) is titled “Start When You Please” and is about a new concept in the workplace called “Flextime”.,9171,712363,00.html

Isn’t it interesting that this concept is still so popular!

Have a great month and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Sue Estes

2007-08 GMA SHRM Board of Directors Nominations
By Anthony Dix, GMA SHRM President Elect

As a valued member of GMA SHRM, your participation in the selection of YOUR Board of Directors is critical to our chapter’s success. Therefore, the Nominations Committee respectfully seeks your assistance in identifying potential candidates for your Board of Directors.

The following are board positions (click here for job descriptions):

  • Director, Education & Professional Development
  • Director, Communications & Marketing
  • Director, Workforce Readiness
  • Vice President, Programming
  • Vice President, Membership
  • Secretary/Treasurer
  • President Elect
  • President
  • Past President

Criteria Used for Nominations:

  • Leadership and management experience
  • Verbal responses to questions posed during the interview process
  • Other considerations that indicate that a candidate is uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of Directors
  • Submit a letter of interest and a resume

All applications must be received by email ( ) or fax (608-821-4151) to Anthony Dix, PHR
no later than 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 21st, 2007.

Nominating Process:
The Nominating Committee will be recommending a "Slate of Candidates" to the membership. The committee will recommend one candidate per position to the membership. The elected candidates will take office on July 1, 2007.

The Board of Directors is made up of 9 members.  The 2006-2007 President, Sue Estes, will become the Past-President and 2006-2007 President-Elect, Anthony Dix, PHR, will be named the 2007-2008 GMA SHRM President.

If you are interested or would like to nominate someone else who would qualify for a role on the board, please feel free to contact anyone on the Nominating Committee (Sue Estes at, John Komosa at or me at ) no later than  March 21, 2006.

Serving on the Board is a rewarding experience.  I would encourage anyone that wants to play a larger role in the future of GMA SHRM to consider applying. It’s an opportunity not only to contribute, but also to work with a great group of leaders towards a meaningful mission.

Best Regards,

Anthony J. Dix, PHR
GMA SHRM Chapter President-Elect



National Membership Benefits: Executive HR Network

Senior HR professionals, take note. Your national SHRM organization and Harvard Business School Publishing have a program designed exclusively for you. The Executive HR Network is a series of summits intended to bring together forward-looking HR leaders to discuss critical challenges, exchange ideas and solutions, and interact with renowned experts in leadership, strategy and management.

The Executive HR Network has summits scheduled between April and September this year in cities through the U.S. Upcoming topics include HR and the New Accountability and HR and the Innovative Organization.

For more information, click here.


Manager’s Guide to Overcoming Resistance to Improvements
By Bill Griepentrog, MRA

Process improvements and work improvements are changes that are essential to any organization that wants to be competitive. Directing this change is one of the most important parts of every manager’s job. How can managers help overcome their employees’ initial resistance to change?

Here are six ways to help pave the way for those inevitable changes:

  1. Avoid Surprises. Whenever possible, give people advance notice on the change and the reasons the change will occur. Advance notice gives people time to think about the change and ask questions. Your answers can address issues from their perspective, round off information, and clarify misunderstandings.
  2. Make Your Change Their Change. People often resist being changed. They want to be involved in the process. Input can overcome resistance. Another benefit is that those closest to a process often are the ones that come up with excellent solutions.
  3. Promote Real Understanding. Address people’s fears up-front and replace them with what may be to their benefit as a result. Answer the questions “why” and “what’s in it for me.”
  4. Spot “Change Agents” Strategically. Look for people in key positions that can help pave the way for the change. These can be either formal or informal leaders. Getting opinion-makers firmly on your side may enable you to make a change which you alone could not pull off.
  5. Stand Ready to Pay the Price For Change—Mistakes. If management is overcritical of mistakes, change usually proceeds at a snail’s pace because employees will be less likely to recommend something new. Let your employees know that mistakes will occur. Then profit by having them take steps to see that they don’t happen again. Also, if skill is an issue, train people before the change takes place.
  6. Set the Stage for Change. The most powerful weapon in overcoming resistance to change is a positive attitude toward innovation that starts at the top. Let your employees know they are a part of a dynamic, changing organization at the outset. They will then expect changes, not fight them.

While changes in the workplace are rarely easy, continuous improvement is a way of life in today’s fast-paced, successful organizations. Managers can help pave the way for a smoother transition by helping employees deal with the resistance to change.

Bill Griepentrog is Director of Organizational Development at MRA. He brings over 25 years of management development/organization development experience to MRA and also has leadership experience in operations, customer service and sales in the for-profit arena. MRA provides over 2300 member organizations the talent, tools and training to effectively harness the power of their workforce:; 800.488.4845.


Website of the Month: Wikis

A recent Newsday article in the Tech section of The Capital Times described the growing movement of “wikis” within the business community. Most of us know about wikis through the popular site, which offers collaborative information on almost any topic you would typically find in an encyclopedia.

The business community has begun to discover wikis as an excellent way of maintaining a company knowledge base. Developing and organizing this knowledge base has long been a challenge for human resource professionals. A company wiki can help with knowledge transfer, succession planning, new hire orientation and even basic HR policies and benefits information. Even if your employees are all in one location, the wiki can build a history of problem-solving that sometimes is lost when employees leave. The wiki can also save time when similar future projects and initiatives come up.

To get started on a wiki for your company, you may want to visit the Wikipedia site and check out the open source software or even a list of the most popular wikis and how they are designed.


50th Anniversary Thoughts and Memories
Past President Reflections - Q & A with Tim Seifriz, SPHR

Q: What is the most significant change that you’ve seen in the Human Resources profession?

I think the growing use and reliance on numbers, statistics and/or other objective data to evaluate alternatives and measure the success of various HR initiatives is one of the more significant and potentially most exciting developments in the Human Resource field.

HR is no longer fighting for its “place at the table” - in most organizations there is a clear expectation that HR be able to fully function as a strategic partner. To be a credible, successful and influential leader requires working knowledge and a comfort-level with key internal measures reflecting financial, operational and customer service results.

As key HR “thought-leaders” develop more relevant and recognized measures of overall human performance within organizations, I expect that HR professionals will become even more skilled at using data to influence key corporate decisions.

Q: In what ways have you benefited from being a GMA SHRM member?

I have benefitted from my membership in GMA SHRM in several ways.

(1) My attendance at the various workshops and keynote sessions offered by GMA SHRM, has assisted me in learning new functional and behavioral skills.

(2) Membership in GMA SHRM also has provided me with a large, accessible “peer” group, willing to share their perspective and experience as I have encountered, what for me, were new or especially challenging situations.

(3) My volunteer leadership role within GMA SHRM, helped me develop my presentation, leadership, project management and business skills.

(4) Finally, and perhaps most importantly, my membership in and participation in GMA SHRM events has given me the opportunity to meet and work with people that I otherwise might not have met. In fact, some of my closest advisors and mentors are people who I have met through my membership in GMA SHRM.

Q: What do you think the future of the Human Resources field will look like?

I see nothing to suggest that the trends of globalization and increasing competition will go away; in fact, they are likely to further escalate. As a result, organizations will continue to need “expertise” on a broad variety of human performance related initiatives. The end result may be fewer “in-house” HR-generalists, but an explosion in the number and type of specialist/consultant and project HR-roles that will be available. For those of us, with grey and/or thinning hair (or both!), it may require a re-thinking of the “traditional” career path within an organization. However for those just entering the field or those with the flexibility to embrace new models of how work gets done, the options for building highly “personalized” careers with tremendous personal satisfaction will be greater than ever.


Committee Spotlight: Education and Professional Development

The GMA SHRM Board of Directors focused its Committee Spotlight in April on Education & Professional Development. The Education and Professional Development Committee focuses on the following areas College Relations, HR Certification, Student and Professional Scholarships and LocalNet.

As part of our College Relations focus, we serve as a resource to the UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater, and UW-Platteville student chapters in selecting speakers, identifying internship and job-shadowing opportunities, and assisting with the HR Games at the State Student Conference. This year the committee awarded two student scholarships to student chapter members at UW – Whitewater.

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.

LocalNet is your peer information resource. LocalNet puts you in touch with members who have expertise in specific human resource areas and have volunteered to share their experience with other members. GMA SHRM members interested in acting as a peer resource identify areas of HR related expertise and agree to serve as an information resource for other GMA SHRM members. By identifying areas of expertise, peer resources are NOT obligated to provide free services to other GMA SHRM members. Simply, peer resources indicate areas of expertise where the peer resource might be able to help other members.

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

Student Scholarship Recipients

The Student Relations Committee is very happy to report the results of the 2006 GMA SHRM Student Scholarship. This year’s recipients are two students from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Melissa Ann Polito and Nicole M. Hegy are both seniors who are graduating in May with degrees in Human Resources Management. They are both very eager to dive into the HR field and are going to bring great enthusiasm to their roles. You will be able to congratulate them in person at the Volunteer & Student Recognition night on April 17th.

2007 HRGames

Congratulations to the University of Wisconsin – Madison for winning the 2007 Wisconsin HRGames. Not only did the Badgers play hosts to fifteen other teams from around the state, the UW-Madison team of Susan Mohr, Lauren Krzywda, and David Siverling also put their tremendous HR knowledge on display.

The HRGames are a fun way to motivate and prepare students for PHR certification. The HRGames consist of a one- or two-day series of game show style matches, between teams of up to three undergraduate students from various colleges and universities. The questions for the matches are divided into categories similar to those used in the PHR certification exam (i.e., Management Practices; Selection & Recruitment; Training & Development; Compensation & Benefits; Employee/Labor Relations; and Health, Safety & Security). In each round, students select points and a category of questions. The question is read twice and the teams have 15 seconds to supply the correct answer. After a series of initial matches, teams with the best records participate in the championship rounds for first and second place.

Winning teams at the state level earn the right to compete at the regional competitions. Although the advancement format varies by region, teams typically compete on the state level first. Regional winners go on to compete against other regional champions at the SHRM Annual Conference.

There are many benefits to the HRGames. The HRGames are an event that offers the opportunity to bring professional chapter volunteers, students and student chapter advisors together in a meaningful way. The effort it takes to plan and conduct the games is worthwhile and beneficial to the professional members as well as the students. The volunteers conducting the games get a refresher course in the body of knowledge required of a human resource professional as they listen to the students answer questions. The students receive an opportunity to network with other students and showcase their knowledge to HR practitioners.

GMA SHRM would also like to recognize all of the UW – Madison students and the volunteers from around Wisconsin that made this event possible. We would also like to thank our Chapter members who served as presenters: Lori Gibson (UW Health UW Hospitals & Clinics), Loren Kuzahara (UW Madison), Stacy Grunnet (UW Medical Foundation), Cassy Van Dyke (UW Medical Foundation), Maureen O’Neil (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation), and Matt Shefchik (QTI Consulting).


Welcome New Members!

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

Brian L. Anderson, CEBS

Benefits Attorney

DeWitt Ross & Stevens, S.C.

Leslie A. Cherry

District Manager

Kelly Services, Inc

Maureen Crombie

Employee Relations Specialist

Wisconsin Physicians Service

Carol A. Fontanez

Learning & Development Manager

Alliant Energy

Sharon A. Frank

Employee Relations Manager


Chris Hansen

Payroll Data Services, LLC

Amanda Hanson

Staffing Supervisor

Kelly Services, Inc

Jeffery N. Jensen


Axley Brynelson, LLP

Amy J. Kingsland

HR Manager

Dane County Employee Relations

Erin A. Lundy

HR Assistant

Attic Correctional Services

Nancy Luther

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dave Massey

Higgins Hemb Insurance Group, LLC

Jessica E. Menaker

Employment Services Rep

UW Medical Foundation

Lisa Neumann

Physicians Plus Insurance Corp.

Suzanne M. Oliver, PHR

HR Manager

OSI Outsourcing Solutions, Inc

Gary F. Praznik

Group Manager


Casey S. Reilly, CFE

Managing Partner

Fidelitec, LLC

Lynn M. Rynearson

HR Manager

Mental Health Center

Nancy Schmidt

General Casualty

Rob W. Summers


Keller Williams

Andrea Weller


Kate Wesselink

Tru Pay Corporation

Tracy A. Zwahlen

Sr. Employee Relations Specialist

WPS Health Insurance


Movin' Up

Heather Marr, PHR, has accepted a position as Human Resources Generalist at Sub-Zero Freezer Company, Inc. / Wolf Appliance Company, Inc. She previously held a position as Human Resource/Payroll Manager at Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc. Congratulations, Heather!

Maggie Blake Kudick joins American Family Insurance as a Talent Management Consultant to help implement a corporate-wide Talent Management initiative for 2007-08. She has a background in facilitation/presentation skills, career management consulting, and coaching at all levels including managers, emerging leaders, and executives in the areas of professional development, career management, interpersonal communication and change.  Maggie has a M.A. in Organizational Communication and a B.A. in Communication. She also volunteers on the GMA SHRM Communications & Marketing Committee. Great job, Maggie!

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.