September 2008

In This Edition

By Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR,
GMA SHRM President

Legal and Legislative Update on Employment Law
-By Robert E. Gregg, Boardman Law Firm

SHRM Foundation News
- Implementing Total Rewards Strategies

Wisconsin's "Michelle's Law" Goes into Effect
- By Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI, Director of Compliance, Virchow, Krause Employee Benefits

Website of the Month: Get Out the Vote!
- SHRM Government Affairs Webiste

Wisconsin SHRM State Conference Registration Now Open

Board Members Attend WI State SHRM Council Conference
- By Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

2009 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition Dates Announced

Recruiting with a Retention Mindset
- Sarah White, Recruiting Solutions Director, The Management Association

- GMA SHRM Member Welcome and Orientation - October 28th

- Golfing for DAIS

- Volunteer Recognition: Education and Professional Development

- SHRM in the News in the Wisconsin State Journal

- 3rd Annual SHRM Foundation Silent Auction

-Schedule of GMA SHRM Committee Meetings

- Welcome New Members

- What's Cool in HR

- In Transition

- Movin' Up

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

- WISHRM State Conference, October 15-17

- October 21, 2008 - My GMA SHRM Toolbox - How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes When Dealing with Your Employees

- October 28, 2008 Member Welcome, Networking and Orientation

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

Boardman Law Firm
Lee Hecht Harrison
Melli Law, 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!

I hope you all have enjoyed your summer. It’s hard to believe that September is here, and we are entering into fall. In the spirit of the “back to school” season, I’d like to highlight some of the development offerings that GMA SHRM has upcoming:

- The September 16 GMA SHRM Summit is on Timely Legal Topics

- The October 21 GMA SHRM Toolbox is on how to avoid common mistakes in dealing with employees.

Both offerings above qualify for HRCI certification credit.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the WISHRM State Conference in Green Bay October 15-17.

Lastly, I want to reemphasize the value of volunteering through the chapter. Here’s what a few of our Board members had to say about what they value as a volunteer:

“The most rewarding thing about being a volunteer is working with such a dedicated group of professionals and helping to continually improve on an already great chapter!” – Kris Schmitt

“I have found the personal and professional development to be extremely beneficial in the time I have served as a volunteer. It has been an incredible opportunity for me and I look forward to three more exciting years!” – Kari Lauritsen

“I find it rewarding to be a part of the decision making and leadership team of a successful organization. We have the opportunity to set the direction, implement ideas, administer the needs and wants of our membership and see the results of those decisions. On top of the leadership rewards, I’ve met a great group of HR professionals throughout the Madison metro area who I can call friends and rely on for professional advice when needed.” – Mike Leibundgut

“I think it's important to serve our chapter based on my HR and previous committee experience.” – Dave Furlan

“I enjoyed being involved in GMA SHRM as a member and committee leader and wanted to be in a position where I could help influence others to get more involved.” – Melissa Wieland

“I would definitely say it’s the networking, meeting colleagues and the relationships that are developed as well as being in a service role providing benefits to our members. In other words, meeting and serving our members.” – Chris Berg-Thacker

“As an active member of the GMA SHRM Programming Committee, our team has made great strides in continuing to enhance the quality of our events to best meet the needs of our membership. Being on the GMA SHRM Board I am excited to help our chapter to enhance programming, engage and recruit more volunteers and grow our membership base; all of these focus areas present many opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally.

However, the thing that is most rewarding is having an opportunity to work along side and learn from so many knowledgeable HR professionals in the Greater Madison Area while accomplishing our strategic goals. I look forward to continue to work with this great committee and have an opportunity to provide top notch educational and networking opportunities for all members.” – Zach Penshorn

If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please contact anyone on the GMA SHRM Board. Thank you for your involvement in our great chapter. Have a great remainder of the summer!

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR

Kari Lauritsen, SPHR
President Elect

Anthony Dix, SPHR, MBA
Past President

John Komosa
Secretary Treasurer

Kris Schmitt
Director, Education & Development

Chris Berg Thacker, PHR
VP, Membership

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
Director, Government Affairs

Zach Penshorn, PHR
VP, Programming

Dave Furlan
VP, Marketing & Communications


Melissa Wieland
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity



Legal and Legislative Update on Employment Law
This is material extracted from a Legal and Legislative Update written by Robert E. Gregg, Boardman Law Firm

Reminder: Bob Gregg will be presenting Timely Legal Topics at the September 16th Summit at the Alliant Energy Center. Click here for program details.


50% increase in wage and hour cases.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Federal Courts, in the last 12 months the number of FLSA cases filed in federal courts has increased over 50% from the year before, from approximately 4,500 in 2006-2007 to 6,786 in 2007-2008. The biggest category is class actions, alleging failure to properly pay overtime.. . .

Perhaps the reason is . . .

Administrative interaction―DOL found lax in enforcement of wage and hour laws .
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has criticized the Department of Labor for faulty and inadequate investigation of complaints. There was a 37% decrease in investigations during the current administration, from 47,000 eight years ago to just 25,584 in 2007, and an “infrequency” of enforcing remedies or assessing penalties against employers. The GAO’s report concluded the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division “inappropriately rejected complaints, failed to adequately investigate or neglected to investigate. . . .” Even in some instances where an employer admitted owing back wages, the WHD failed to follow up and collect on behalf of the complaining workers and advised people to file a private lawsuit (thus increasing the costs for both claimants and the employers).

Bob Gregg , a partner at the Boardman Law Firm in Madison, Wisconsin, has been professionally involved in Employment Relations and Civil Rights work for more than 30 years. He litigates employment cases. A recognized educator and trainer, Bob has conducted over 2,000 seminars throughout the United States and authored numerous articles on practical employment issues.

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

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SHRM Foundation News Implementing Total Rewards Strategies

Enhance your organization's performance and employee morale with a well-thought-out and skillfully implemented total rewards program. This new research-based report provides a concise overview of the total rewards implementation process including the four key phases: assessment, design, execution and evaluation. Click here to download full report


Wisconsin's "Michelle's Law" Goes into Effect
By Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI     
Director of Compliance, Virchow Krause Employee Benefits

On November 28, 2007, Governor Jim Doyle signed into law A.B. 280, known as "Michelle's Law", named after New Hampshire college student Michelle Morse who couldn't reduce her course load while she battled cancer because she would lose her health care coverage.  Zach Grun, a University of Wisconsin-Marinette student, also influenced the creation of the law in Wisconsin after losing health insurance coverage while he dealt with a serious illness.

The State of Wisconsin's version of "Michelle's Law" student medical leave continuation became effective July 1, 2008. 

What has changed?
The new law applies to every fully-insured medical policy in Wisconsin that offers dependent coverage and also to every self-funded health plan of the state or a county, city, village, town, or school district within Wisconsin. 

Most medical plans require dependents over a certain age to be full-time students in order to remain eligible for coverage.  The new law creates coverage continuation that begins when the person submits documentation and attending physician certification of the medical necessity for the leave of absence. The coverage must continue only until the person:

  • becomes employed full time;
  • marries and is eligible for coverage under his or her spouse's health care plan;
  • obtains coverage under another health care plan;
  • advises the policy or plan that he or she no longer intends to return to school full time; or
  • reaches the age at which coverage for a full-time student as a dependent would otherwise end.

Additionally, if the coverage of the plan member through whom the student has dependent coverage is discontinued or not renewed, the student's coverage ends.  If none of these events occurs and the student has not returned to school full-time, the student's coverage may end one year from the date on which the coverage continuation began.  Plans may offer leave that is more generous than the law requires.

When is this effective?
The law became effective July 1, 2008.

What do employers need to do now?
Employers should review their medical plans now to determine if Michelle's Law applies to their medical plan.  If it does, then the employer must add the new leave benefit to their plan. 

Website of the Month: Get Out the Vote!

SHRM Governmental Affairs Website

With the November elections fast approaching, SHRM's Governmental Affairs has developed this Get Out the Vote! (GOTV) 2008 website, providing information useful for HR professionals interested in helping with Voter Education for the upcoming 2008 elections.

This website is a non-partisan effort intended solely to get more Americans to exercise their constitutional right to vote in November's elections. Get Out the Vote is designed to help HR professionals motivate co-workers to register and vote this coming November. It is not intended to advocate in favor of any particular candidate, political party, or ballot initiative. Rather, we hope it will help to increase voter participation this fall, and we know we can count on you to share these sentiments with your family, friends, and coworkers.

Wisconsin SHRM State Conference Registration Now Open

Sign up now for the 2008 Wisconsin SHRM State Conference being held in Green Bay, WI on October 15-17, 2008! 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:



Board Members Attend WI State SHRM Council Conference

By Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

In early August, some of the GMA SHRM Board members had the opportunity to attend the WI State SHRM Conference. During that conference, the WI SHRM Council unveiled the new website, which is now live at:

Below is what some of the Board members had to say about the conference:

“The Path 4 Summary page was very interesting and useful for our board members. I found knowing a little more about how each of us ‘tick’ can play a positive role in how we assign tasks, communicate, and make decisions. This could be a great team leadership tool.

Milton Perkins’ presentation – his idea on how we can become more diverse in our chapter and at the Summits – ‘bring someone completely different than you to a chapter gathering, meeting or social networking’. I thought if we did this, we might have some fun with it and get more members.” – Mike Leibundgut

“I had a great time at the conference and I thank GMASHRM for sending us. I found the entire conference very valuable as a SHRM Board member, as a Committee Chair and as an HR professional. I think one of the key take aways for me was the information from the Right Path survey. I think the data provided me with a better understanding of myself and how I relate to others. As HR professionals it is critical for us to realize and accept that everyone is different so that we can all work effectively together. The exercise where we formed three rows and were standing based on our scores proved that we need people at every level to be most effective. I also received valuable information on increasing and maintaining membership, succession planning, and offerings by SHRM National that I was not aware of. Finally I learned how to dance to music that is not rock & roll!” – Chris Berg-Thacker

“From my perspective, the most valuable aspect of the conference was the chance to meet and share ideas as well as best practices with other chapters. By collaborating we are all able to research and implement new programs or services that will benefit our members.” – Kari Lauritsen

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

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

Recruiting With a Retention Mindset
Sarah White, Recruiting Solutions Director, The Management Association

I recently had the opportunity to sit in on a focus group with HR leaders from southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois companies where the topic was the impending loss of baby boomers in the workforce. Very quickly the subject matter shifted from the boomers that were leaving to the Gen Xers and Yers that will replace them over the next decade. More specifically, the subject was on keeping them once they came onboard.

There is no doubt in that employee longevity has changed since the 1950s and 1960s when an individual started with a company and stayed until retirement. It is not uncommon now to see employees change jobs every three to five years for better advancement opportunities, quality of life, or compensation. That has created a much larger issue for our human resource departments and recruiting teams as hiring the right person does not end with a newspaper ad or the extension of an offer—it continues as long as someone is employed at the organization. From a business perspective, employers will have to start recruiting with a retention mindset not only to attract the right people to fill the job, but also to get the right people to stay for the long term.

To recruit with a retention mindset, consider following this three-prong approach—Empower, Entice, and Engage.

Empower – A key component to recruiting with a retention mindset is to ensure those doing the recruiting in the organization have been empowered to have a clear understanding of why people leave the organization and where the organization is headed in the future.

Entice – If you want to hire the right people, you need to entice them to leave their current companies to come to work for you. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is through a strong corporate careers section on your Web site, as well as having interviewers who are trained to make people want to join your company while getting the information they need.

Engage – Engaging your current staff is a vital part of the process. If you have a solid recruiting program but do not carry through after someone joins the organization, you will have a much tougher time retaining the employee. Some strategies to boost employee engagement include having a shared succession plan in place, providing a professional development program, and continuing to re-recruit your current employees.

Overall, this approach can work in any size company and have immediate as well as long-lasting effects on your organization. You can be ahead of the curve for the impending loss of 78 million baby boomers from the workplace over the next decade by making some simple changes to your recruiting and hiring process now.

Sarah White is the Recruiting Solutions Director for MRA. Sarah brings more than 10 years of diverse experience aligning talent with business strategy. Sarah specializes in recruitment strategy and process analysis and design, selecting and integrating technology to improve recruiting/retention efforts, and working with organizations on generational issues. Web:


GMA SHRM Member Welcome, Networking and Orientation

All GMA SHRM members are invited to attend the Tuesday, October 28th GMA SHRM Orientation held at Boardman Law Firm. This is an excellent opportunity for new members to meet existing members over food & drink in a casual environment.

In addition, all in attendance will learn about opportunities GMA SHRM offers right here locally, some for no cost and yet, hours of continuing HRCI education credits!! You will also learn more about GMA SHRM committees, networking, getting involved and much more.

Click here for program details and registration.

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Golfing for DAIS
By Sue Estes, Past President

Fifty-one GMA SHRM members and friends enjoyed “Golfing for DAIS” in spite of a change of plans when a very wet June forced a date change for the event. Several others joined us as sponsors and later in the day for the social networking event. The 2 nd Annual GMA SHRM Golf Outing was held on August 12th at The Bridges Golf Course in Madison. It was a perfect day for the event – bright blue skies and pleasant temperatures.

Click here for photo gallery.

Coming out on top this year at the golf outing was the fabulous foursome from The Payroll Company, including: Melissa Perry Wieland, Eric Schroeder, Neal Anderson, and John Longseth. Several others won other prizes in recognition of their efforts. All in attendance, no matter what their score, enjoyed the day of golf, networking, door prizes, and a great bar-b-que meal.

While the golf scramble was a lot of fun, it was the cause GMA SHRM supported that also brought golfers and sponsors out. This year the designated group that benefited from the GMA SHRM Golf Outing proceeds was DAIS, the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, a Madison, Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing peer support and shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their children in Dane County, Wisconsin. The charitable work GMA SHRM has done with DAIS in the past year has extended beyond the golf outing, including announcing volunteer opportunities for our members, Adopt-A-Family program participation, having a collection box at each meeting for donations of clothing and household items, and a cell phone drive. In turn, DAIS offered GMA SHRM members educational opportunities through a programming event and newsletter articles on the issues of domestic violence and how it impacts the workplace.

Sponsors for this year’s GMA SHRM Golf Outing included the following companies:

Gardner & White
Hausmann Johnson Insurance
Bunbury & Associates
Celerity Staffing Solutions
Godfrey & Kahn
The Park Bank
The Payroll Company
The QTI Group
Thermo Fisher
Virchow Krause

Thank you to all our sponsors and the many other companies who generously donated prizes for the event! As a result of the event’s success, GMA SHRM was able to donate $1461.37 to the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services.

The Chapter also thanks the volunteers from DAIS who helped out at the outing as well as the GMA SHRM members who worked on a committee to organize the event: Cindy Schmelzer, Shane McPeak, Mike Leibundgut, Sue Estes and Christopher Dyer.

Planning for next year’s GMA SHRM Golf Outing is already underway! Be sure to watch the event calendar so you can come out to enjoy the fun next year as well as the opportunity to get to know more or your GMA SHRM friends!

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Volunteer Recognition: Education and Professional Development

The Education and Professional Development Committee focuses on the following areas: College Relations, HR Certification, Mentorship/Coaching, LocalNet, and other chapter initiatives. 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.

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.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of the volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the committee. Those individuals include: Tricia Perkins, Brandon Butzler, Jake Siudzinski, Susan Herman, Stacy Argue, Ed Hooke, Lisa Davis, John Komosa, John Palmer, Melissa DuBois, Rebecca Tome, Angela Schraufnagel, and Mary Bjorklund.

We are ALWAYS seeking additional volunteers for the committee. If you are interested please in learning more about the committee or joining, please contact Kris Schmitt or check out the Volunteer Opportunities section on the GMA SHRM website.

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SHRM in the News in the Wisconsin State Journal

Attorney Bob Gregg, a frequent author for this newsletter, and Anthony Dix, former SHRM GMA SHRM President, are both quoted in this article, talking about relationships that cross over between business and personal lives, setting some ground rules, and how to make it work. To read more, visit the archived article online at

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3rd Annual SHRM Foundation Silent Auction

It's once again time to begin plans for the SHRM Foundation event for the State Conference in Green Bay. Last year, we had 26 items up for bid in our silent auction. All told, the SHRM Foundation received a total of $4,225.00 in donations from attendees at the conference. That is a $1,200 increase from 2006 and exceeded the goal of $4,000. This year, I have set a goal of $5,000. How close we get to that goal is, in part, dependent on you.

All money raised will support the SHRM Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that operates as the research and development arm of the HR profession. The Foundation advances the profession and enhances the knowledge and competency of HR professionals through its funding of research, publications, and educational programs. If you would like to learn more about the Foundation and how funds are utilized, visit the website at

We are asking SHRM members, along with local businesses to support the foundation by donating item(s) for the silent auction. In addition to a silent auction, we will set aside a few items for a drawing to anyone who makes a $60 donation to the SHRM Foundation. During the SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago, the SHRM Foundation launched Club 60­an opportunity for individuals to financially support the SHRM Foundation with a donation of $60 or more, in recognition of SHRM’s 60th anniversary in 2008. A similar goal is to raise $600 with the Club 60 promotion (this is an excellent opportunity for State Council members to support the Foundation...hint hint). You’ll become a member of Club 60 and get a pin. Your donation is tax-deductible, and supports all of the SHRM Foundation’s programs – academic research grants, scholarships, educational programs and practitioner resources.

Some examples of items that have been donated in similar silent auctions include: company services, gift baskets, wall hangings, pottery, artwork, food items, gift certificates, and hotel stays. No item is too small and your donation is tax deductible whether it is an individual, company, or organization donation.

If you or the company you work for is able to give, please complete the attached Silent Auction Donation Form. You can print the attached document and mail it to Matthew Stollak at St. Norbert College, 334 Cofrin Hall, 100 Grant Street, De Pere, WI, 54115 or fax it to 920/403-4098. You may also complete the document and e-mail it to Click here to download form.

All completed donation forms must be received by Wednesday, September 24, 2008.
Please indicate whether you will be delivering the donation or if you require a pick-up.

Thank you in advance for your support of this event. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to contact Matthew at (920) 403-3490 or

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Schedule of GMA SHRM Committee Meetings:

Programming Committee will meet on November 20th For that meeting, each group should bring a specific topic and potential speaker for all assigned programs.  Our goal is to have speaker information and marketing materials for all programs ready for HRCI credit approval and marketing by January!!!
 We welcome you to join us on 3 pm - 4:30 pm at the Boardman Law Firm

Marketing & Communications Committee will meet at Barriques on Monroe St. in Madison on Friday, October 3 rd from 8:30 am to 10 am. New committee members are always welcome! Contact Dave Furlan at

Workforce Readiness Committee November 6 th at the Park Bank Support Center from 8 am to 9 am.

Check the GMA SHRM Calendar of Events at :


Welcome New Members

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in August 2008.

Keri S. Cavitt

Operations Manager

Greater Madison CVB

Katey L. Chronister

Staffing Supervisor

Celerity Staffing Solutions

Todd G. Holman

Director of HR

Goodwill of South Central WI

Chad Dustin Mayfield

HR Generalist


Bruce R. Newell

Corporate Recruiter

QBE Regional Insurance

Beth A. Quinn

Associate Professor

Montana State University

Christine M. Wittleder, PHR

Compensation Analyst

UW Hospital & Clinics

Beth E. Wolf

Business Manager

Prairie Technologies, Inc.


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

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 .










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Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818

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