July 2008

In This Edition

By Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR,
GMA SHRM President

Is Diversity Rewarded in Your Workplace?
-Nominate an Organization for the Workplace Diversity Award
Deadline is July 15th!

Website of the Month: When Work Works

Leadership, It's All About Trust
-By Wes Pruitt, Presenter at the July 22nd GMA SHRM Summit

Workforce Readiness Committee Launches New Partnership


- GMA SHRM Volunteer of the Year: Dave Furlan

- 2008 WISHRM State Conference - Registration and Sponsorship Information

- Schedule of GMA SHRM Committee Meetings

- SHRM Foundation Regional $1000 Scholarships

- Jefferson County SHRM Chapter to Host Seminar on The Hiring Process

- Welcome New Members

- What's Cool in HR

- In Transition

- Movin' Up

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

- July 22, 2008 - GMA SHRM Summit - You Can Never Not Lead

- August 12, 2008 - GMA SHRM Golf Outing

- SHRM Learning System - Certification Prep Course Begins September 3.

Printable version


































Cassy Van Dyke , SPHR,
GMA SHRM President
2008 Corporate Partners

Boardman Law Firm
Lee Hecht Harrison
Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.

Fidelitec, LLC
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Right Management
UW Credit Union

Career Momentum
Edgewood College
Neider & Boucher, S.C.
Payroll Data Services
QBE Regional Insurance
Stark Company Realtors

Thank you!

It is with excitement and great honor that I step into my role as President of the Greater Madison Area SHRM Chapter. As I reflect on where the chapter has been, where we’ve come, and our vision for the future, I feel privileged to be part of the team of volunteers that contributes to our chapter’s success.

Please join me in thanking Anthony Dix for his leadership of our chapter over the past year. In his time as President he made many significant contributions to our chapter. Most notably, during his time as President, Anthony and the Programming Committee revamped our programming structure to ensure that we are offering top quality educational opportunities for our members. Anthony is now moving on to be our District Director on the WI SHRM State Council.

Please also join me in congratulating and welcoming our 2008-2009 GMA SHRM Board of Directors:

  • President Elect: Kari Lauritsen, SPHR
  • Immediate Past President: Anthony Dix, SPHR, MBA
  • Secretary/Treasurer: John Komosa
  • Vice President of Membership: Chris Berg Thacker, PHR
  • Vice President Programming: Zach Penshorn, PHR
  • Vice President of Communications & Marketing : Dave Furlan, PHR
  • Director of Workforce Readiness & Diversity: Melissa Perry
  • Director of Education and Development: Kris Schmitt
  • Director of Government Affairs: Mike Leibundgut, SPHR

In addition to Zach, Dave, and Melissa joining the Board, it is interesting to note that every one of last year’s Board members have assumed new positions. This rotation amongst leadership roles will offer diverse perspectives, development opportunities for our Board members, stronger leaders, and ultimately, enhanced services for our membership.

Lastly, I’d like to thank all of you for your active participation in our chapter. I encourage each of you to take advantage of the benefits our chapter has to offer you, including:

Thank you to those of you that completed the membership survey and gave us your feedback. That input will be summarized and shared in an upcoming HR InTouch newsletter.

In the meantime, if you have any feedback for the Board and/or if there is any way that we can better serve your membership needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 608-242-4100 x30150 or cvandyke@amfam.com.

I look forward to networking and developing with you in the upcoming year!

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

Return to Top

Is Diversity Cultivated in Your Workplace?
Nominate an organization for the Workplace Diversity Award
Sponsored by the Wisconsin-SHRM Workplace Diversity Advocate – Wisconsin State SHRM Council

Deadline is July 15th!

This award is presented in order to recognize those organizations and/or companies who foster an inclusive work environment in which all employees are inspired to contribute their best through their different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. Award an organization who has been a role model in their local community as a strong advocate for diversity. This award will be based on organizational achievements. The Workplace Diversity Award is presented to the recipient at our Wisconsin State SHRM Conference that is being held October 15-17, 2008, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Who is eligible ?
Organization/company nominated for this award should:

  • Have displayed diversity in their local community.
  • Be a role model for others in their advocacy of diversity.
  • Have demonstrated leadership in championing the cause of racial, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and other aspects of diversity within the human resources profession and community.
  • Be an organization, company, or division of an organization/company that is based in the State of Wisconsin.

Who can nominate?

  • Nominations may be submitted by a member of the Wisconsin State Council of SHRM (e.g., SHRM Chapter Presidents, Functional Directors, Regional Directors, or Officers)
  • Nominations may also be submitted by a Chapter Diversity Advocate/Chair from a Wisconsin SHRM Chapter (Local Chapter Members and Chapter Board Members may prepare nominations for submission by their SHRM Chapter President or Chapter Diversity Advocate/Chair).
  • An organization can self-nominate by submitting the application to the board of their local chapter or directly to the Wisconsin State Council Diversity Director.

Click here for complete nomination information and application!

Return to Top

Website of the Month: When Work Works

By Dave Furlan, PHR

This website, created by the Families and Work Institute and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, features great tips and case studies on workplace flexibility. Equally important, the site devotes an area on research with compelling data about how workplace flexibility improves the bottom line. Site visitors can also read about award winners of the Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility.

With report titles like 2008 Guide to Bold Ideas for Making Work Work and Tips for Companies – A Guide to Flexibility, there is an abundance of information on the site. Some reports are quite lengthy (up to 90 pages) and are in PDF format. Given the nature of the topic, some may find it easier to print off a report, take it home, and kick back on the couch to see how a little flexibility in a work schedule can go a long way.

Leadership, It’s All About Trust

By Wes Pruett, Presenter at GMA SHRM Summit on July 22, 2008.

Click here for program information.

Leadership, elusive and complex, yet we all know it when we see it and we especially know it when it is absent. Becoming a good leader is achievable but may take an entire career. As leadership skills increase, good leaders come to realize that the job is never fully complete. The good news is that leadership is comprised of distinct parts and each of these parts can be learned. There is ample and convincing evidence that we are not born as leaders but each of us has the capacity to develop and grow our leadership skills.

If there is one characteristic that is absolutely essential to great leadership, it is trust. Now, most, if not all of us would describe ourselves as trustworthy. But when we think of those we work with, often they fall short of the mark. Quite frankly many of us would rate ourselves higher on the trustworthy scale than others would. Why is that?

Part of the issue is the emotional value we place on the word trust. If I said I didn’t trust you, there is a good chance you would be offended. That is because you equate the word with fundamental moral values like cheating, lying, stealing, or an intentional desire to do harm. These are not the issues we usually deal with in the workplace.

The more common issue is reliability. That is, can you be relied on or trusted to do what you say you will do? Reliability and dependability are often what employees are referring to when they say there is a trust issue. We may perceive ourselves as being trustworthy but most of us could be more reliable, dependable, and timely. A leader with low trust ratings may not have a moral problem but there is a good chance they will lack credibility. Reduced credibility will lead to a myriad of problems not only with your personal image but also with the effectiveness of business relationships. One cannot lead effectively without the mutual belief that people will meet their commitments.

How many times have you said, “I’ll get right back to you.” or “I’ll have that on your desk by Monday.” or the message on your phone says, “Leave a message and I will return your call.” And do you follow through with these commitments one hundred percent of the time? Most of us don’t. We may intend to but busy work lives have intervening factors. The problem is that the people we make the commitment to may not know or care about our overloaded lives.

The reality is that people tend to keep score on each other rather like a bank account. We make deposits when we meet our commitments and withdrawals when we don’t. The size of deposits and withdrawals vary too. We can score big points when we not only do what we say we will do but also when we put our colleague’s interests ahead of our own. On the other hand, some withdrawals can critically and irreparably damage relationships. If a coworker believes that you willfully acted to harm them or betrayed a confidence, your trust bank account may become overdrawn and the relationship may go into bankruptcy. Leaders cannot afford to let this happen.

There are ten key points to remember that will help you build and maintain trust.

  • Do what you say you will do. If you make a commitment keep it.
  • If you can’t keep a commitment, let the other person know what happened and why, then fulfill it as soon as possible.
  • Volunteer regular updates so that people know that you haven’t forgotten about a commitment. If someone asks you for an update it may be a sign that you waited too long to communicate.
  • Regularly ask for feedback and ask coworkers and direct reports how you are doing. Better yet, implement a 360-degree feedback system.
  • If you are a manager, remember that you are held to a higher standard than your direct reports. Your job is to set the bar, so never expect others to be more reliable than you.
  • If you are disorganized, sometimes late, or tend to forget things, chances are there are reliability (trust) issues. Get some help to build systems to improve.
  • You have to trust to be trusted. It involves risk but you cannot expect others to trust you if you don’t reach out and trust them first.
  • Be aware of an inclination to tell people what they want to hear just to avoid conflict. These are commitments that are easy to forget. People prefer the truth even if they don’t like the message.
  • Under promise and over deliver. The old service maxim applies to trust too. Think of your co-workers and direct reports as customers and your leadership will improve.
  • Good intentions don’t matter. We all intend to do what we say but ultimately it’s what we do that counts.

None of us will be perfect in our reliability score but with a little effort we can be better. The payoff can be huge. High levels of trust will improve your image and credibility. People will see you as someone who gets things done and direct reports will be more likely to come to you with issues and concerns rather than find ways to work around you. A trusting work environment paves the way to increased productivity and a higher probability of fulfilling your organization’s mission. Trust is really as simple as doing what you say you will do.

Best of success on your leadership journey.

Click here for more information on the July 22nd program You Can Never Not Lead

Wes Pruett is owner of HR Advisors a consulting firm that provides coaching, training, and HR compliance services. www.HRadvisors.biz. Thanks to, Leadership Challenge 4 th Edition by James Kouzes and Barry Posner for some material and concepts.

Workforce Readiness Committee Launches a New Partnership
By Melissa Perry, GMA SHRM Director of Workforce Readiness &
Diane Kraus/ Dane County School Consortium/Director School to Career Program

Greater Madison Area SHRM Workforce Readiness Committee has launched a new partnership with Wisconsin Careers Connection (WC-Connection) to further the mission of volunteerism and enhance the diversity of the community. By bringing members’ experience and expertise in Human Resources as well as interest in having a positive impact on the community, this partnership will expand the reach of the resources developed and offer additional opportunities to influence the future workforce.

The WC-Connection (www.wc-connection.org) is a web-based tool that connects schools and job seekers to business through the WisCareers website (www.wiscareers.wisc.edu.). It is a pilot project launched through the Dane County School to Work program and South Central Workforce Development Board in 2007. It links business information and employment opportunities to students and job seekers. It also creates a database of volunteers from local businesses to be used to locate volunteers for career education and job seeking activities.

GMASHRM Workforce Readiness Committee has developed a training series that speaks to these issues. Current partnerships already exist with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation where GMA SHRM members offer a series of training to assist with job preparation and career exploration. Training can be applied to needs of educators, counselors and administrators and expand the audience for SHRM to students and educators in K-12, at the University and Technical Schools. We encourage all GMA SHRM members and their employers to register with WC Connection.

This is a very unique opportunity to utilize the expertise of a group of professionals who have experience and passion. The idea behind WC Connection is at the heart of what Workforce Readiness is all about – linking our volunteers with community members to prepare them for today’s workforce.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities with the GMASHRM Workforce Readiness Committee, please contact: Melissa Perry, Director of Workforce Readiness at 608- 826-1122 or melissap@payrollcompany.biz, or Rhonda Schemm, Workforce Readiness Committee Chair at (608) 827-6700 ext 1007 or rhonda.schemm@nettechnology.com.


To get your business directly involved in WC-Connections contact Sonja Patterson/WC-Connection Coordinator, 232-2867 or spatterson@dcsc.org.

Dave Furlan is GMA SHRM’s Volunteer of the Year!
By Mike Leibundgut

The volunteer of the year award is meant to honor a GMA SHRM member who makes unique and meaningful contributions to our membership and community through volunteer services. We consider these criteria when choosing a winner:

  • Degree to which the member served the mission of GMA SHRM by “serving the professional and advancing the profession”.
  • Degree to which the member demonstrates GMA SHRM values
  • Level of engagement/contribution
  • Length of Service

Dave Furlan has been an active, engaged member of SHRM since 1998 sharing his knowledge, organizational and planning skills, along with his time without ever asking for recognition or acknowledgement. He works hard to always know what is going on with all of SHRM and has served on or assisted with multiple committees. David is actively engaged by Co-chairing the Marketing and Communications Committee as he had done for the past six years. He’s acted as the Editor of HR InTouch and treated our GMA SHRM partners as if they were family.

Like many of our dedicated volunteers, Dave Furlan is an excellent representative of GMA SHRM and fully deserves this award for all he’s done over the past six years. On a personal level, Dave and his wife have lived in Madison for 11 years and have three children, ages 12, 10, and 7.

As the winner of this award, Dave received paid registration to the state SHRM conference along with two nights hotel accommodations – Yeah!

 Return to Top

2008 WISHRM State Conference - October 15, 16 & 17, 2008

Sign up now for the 2008 Wisconsin SHRM State Conference being held in Green Bay, WI on October 15-17, 2008!  Early bird registration is open, with early bird discounts available through August 1.  Join fellow colleagues and "go for the gold" at the annual conference.  Highlights include relevant and comprehensive HR programs, great networking activities and an enjoyable night at Green Bay's famous Lambeau Field. To learn more about the conference, please visit: www.wishrm.org/conference

 Return to Top

Schedule of GMA SHRM Committee Meetings:

Workforce Readiness Committee will meet on Thursday, July 17th, from 8am - 9am at the Park Bank Support Center on Greenway Cross.  Members interested in attending should RSVP to Melissa Perry melissap@payrollcompany.biz

Programming Committee: We welcome you to join us on August 21, 3 pm - 4:30 pm at the Boardman Law Firm to weigh in on the topics and presenters as we finalize our 2009 programming calendar. One of the areas we're looking to continuously enhance is our programming offerings.  Your feedback is vital to help us improve our programs!

Marketing & Communications Committee will meet next at Barriques on Monroe St. in Madison on Friday, July 11 from 8:30 am to 10 am. Among other topics, we will be planning for the 2009 Corporate Partner Program. New committee members are always welcome! Contact Dave Furlan at dfurlan@virchowkrause.com.

Check the GMA SHRM Calendar of Events at : http://www.gmashrm.org/website/calendar/index.asp.

Return to Top

SHRM Foundation Regional $1000 Scholarships - Application Deadline is July 15

The SHRM Foundation Regional Scholarship Program will award a total of $100,000 to working SHRM members this year. We would like to acknowledge the generous support of the J. J. Keller Foundation in underwriting this program for 2008.

The awards program is designed to assist HR professionals in meeting their career goals. Individuals may apply for either a $1375 education scholarship or a $750 certification scholarship. A total of 100 scholarships will be awarded.

Application Deadline: July 15, 2008

Eligibility: National SHRM professional, general and associate members pursuing a college degree or working towards PHR, SPHR, GPHR or California certification are eligible to apply. SHRM student members and local-only members are not eligible for these awards. Chapters and state councils may also apply for scholarship funds to support certification training programs.

Awards: 60 certification scholarships of $750 each and 40 academic scholarships of $1375 each will be awarded. Applications will be judged in the following five groups:

  • Northeast Region
  • Southeast Region (includes former Caribbean Atlantic Region)
  • North Central Region
  • Southwest Central Region
  • Pacific West Region (includes former Asia Pacific Region)

Each region has a total of $20,000 to distribute which guarantees that there will be 20 scholarship winners (12 certification awards and 8 academic awards) in each group.

How to Apply: Visit Regional Scholarship Program to print out an application or learn more about the scholarships.

Return to Top

Jefferson County SHRM Chapter to Host Seminar on The Hiring Process

August Half Day Seminar – The Hiring Process
August 5, 2008
Presented by Bob Gregg- Boardman Law Firm
At the Jefferson County Workforce Development Center 

Hiring is the most important function of any organization. You are blessed with good selections; you are haunted by bad hires, and often end up in litigation over the hiring process or the later discharge of poor selections. Learn to avoid the pitfalls. Understand the legal and practical elements of a good process. Among the issues covered are the legal framework of hiring, illegal areas of inquiry, developing interview questions, validation of selection criteria, questions and benchmarks, reviewing candidate qualifications, interviewing procedures, reference checks and documentation. Approved for 3.75 HRCI credits! Click here for more information.

Return to Top

Welcome New Members

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in May and June 2008.

Donna M. Baker Controller & HR Manager Wisconsin Capitol Management
Stephanie R. Ball, PHR Peopleclick, Inc.
Sarah Barber UW-Madison School of Business Career Center
Laura Barden Talent Management Technician American Family Insurance
Andrea M. Barnes HR Representative Danisco USA Inc.
Jenna M. Becker Provider Services Representative UW Medical Foundation
Jason W. Bergh, PHR Employment & Training Specialist Employment & Training Association, Inc
Tom M. Blackbourn VP Human Resources Manager Badgerland Farm Credit Services
Jim H. Blakeslee, SPHR VP of Human Resources Uniek, Inc.
Jeff D. Bowles Financial Advisor Merrill Lynch
Gayle H. Broksieck Koltes Do-It-Best
Sandy Christopherson, PHR Intervarsity
Lynelle K. Clary, PHR Occupational Skills Instructor Employment & Training Association
Emily M. Custer HR Coordinator Roche NimbleGen, Inc
Laura C. Despins Division Manager The QTI Group
Harper Donahue, IV Civil Rights Recruitment Specialist City of Madison - DCR
Bonnie Eastman Sr. HR Consultant Madison Gas & Electric Co.
Patricia L. Gill HR Business Partner Dean Health Plan
Penny S. Heineck Accounting Assistant/HR CPM Marketing Group
Ashley K. Herritz HR & Payroll Administrator Smart Motors
Christie L. Hill Civil Rights Coordinator City of Madison
Lisa Hintz HR Administrator Safe Bridge Solutions
Thomas Mark Jacobson UW Credit Union
Connie L. Johnson HR Administrator Wick Buildings Inc.
Connie A. Kielty Senior Manager, Corporate Compensation CUNA Mutual Group
Rita L. King Learning & Development Specialist Alliant Energy
Candy Land HR Specialist Mental Health Center
Angela D. Mikkelson Account Executive Client Solutions OC Tanner Co.
David M. Muehl Financial Advisor Merrill Lynch
Jami L. Noble HR Assistant ACS, Inc.
Jessica R. Sabroff HR Coordinator III Charter Communications
Nicole R. Sachse Recruitment Administrative Assistant Dean Health Plan
Barbara E. Schlaefer President JC Rose Associates
Paul C. Skoraczewski HR Manager Four Winds Manor
Jan D. Somerfeld Executive Director Bunbury & Associates
Nancy H. Studt, PHR Case Coordinator WI-Dept Workforce Development
David A. Styles Controller Humane Manufacturing Co. LLC
Richard A. Thompson Financial Advisor Morgan Stanley
Melissa R. Turk Payroll & Benefit Specialist Mental Health Center
Jennifer A. Wagner Relocation Director Coldwell Banker Success
Jeff Westra Career Services Director Herzing College
Alise Wozniak Branch Manager Adecco
Andrea L. Zacharias HR Specialist Home Health United


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


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.

Movin' Up

Melissa Perry is serving in a new role as Account Development Manager with The Payroll Company in Madison. She was previously serving as Human Resources Manager with American Printing.

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/

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