October 2007

In This Edition

By Anthony Dix, PHR,
GMA SHRM President

Board Member Profile

New ICE Rule Increases Risk to Employers, But Court Delays Enforcement
- By Jennifer S. Mirus, Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field LLP

Medicare Part D Notice Reminder

- By Adam P. Jensen, JD, CEBS, FLMI, Virchow Krause Employee Benefits, LLC

The Pathway to Becoming the Employer of Choice

- By Bonni Yordi, Ph.D., MRA and Mieke Craven, MRA

Website of the Month: Suspicious Email/Phishing

Festive Professional Development!
2007 Wisconsin State SHRM Conference has it all…

- What's Going On in HR in Your Workplace?

- 2008 Marketing Opportunites with GMA SHRM

- Volunteer Position of the Month

- Welcome New Members

- In Transition

- Movin' Up

- Community Events and Programs

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar

- Small HR PEG
When Violence Comes Into Your Workplace
November 2, 2007

- New Member Welcome
November 8, 2007

- December Special Event
Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over: Using Stories to Drive Results
With Special Guest Presenter: Lori Silverman



Printable version


































Anthony Dix, PHR
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!


Fall is officially upon us! As many of you know, we do not have a monthly chapter meeting planned for October. As a member of the conference committee, I would like to encourage all of you to consider attending the 21st annual WI State SHRM Conference in La Crosse October 10 th-12 th. The Wisconsin Society for Human Resource Management Council and our host chapter, the La Crosse Area Society for Human Resource Management, are honored to host this conference for HR professionals and to provide the opportunity for education and networking with peers and vendors.

The conference is designed to celebrate our profession through peer networking, dynamic speakers, and topical breakout sessions that offer a wide variety of timely information about HR issues and the business climate in which we all work. This is an opportunity to refresh and re-energize ourselves as HR professionals by allowing us to step back from day-to-day concerns and focus on the many important roles we play in our organizations. There’s a lot of learning to be had in a few days, and 14 HRCI credits available.

Conference participants are encouraged to visit the exhibit hall and support our vendors. Our sponsors and vendors represent a wide range of services and products designed to help HR professionals achieve their organizational goals. I look forward to a truly rewarding conference and I hope you’ll consider spending some time in La Crosse with your colleagues.

Last but not least, Governor Jim Doyle declared October 10, 2007 as Human Resources Professionals Day. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the value you add to this wonderful profession.

Click here to view the declaration!

Best regards,

Anthony J. Dix, PHR
GMA SHRM President

GMA SHRM Board Member Profile - Mike Leibundgut, SPHR, Director of Communications and Marketing

Mike Leibundgut, SPHR
  1. What is your current professional position title? Vice President of Human Resources.

  2. What is the focus of this position? Oversee all HR related functions, focusing on Recruitment, Employee Relations, Employment Law, Strategic Planning, Compensation, Benefits and Management Training.

  3. What is your current GMA SHRM volunteer position job title? Marketing and Communications Director.

  4. What inspired you to become a GMA SHRM volunteer? The opportunity to meet HR professionals, enhance my background and increase my HR knowledge. Although I’ve been a GMA SHRM member for many years, I finally decided to get more involved and acquired my SPHR. This introduced me to the Workforce Readiness volunteer opportunities, and I eventually became part of the committee. I was asked to serve as Co-Director of the Workforce Readiness Committee for the 2006-2007 term. Then, as positions opened up on the Board, I was asked to serve as the Director of Marketing and Communications for 2007-2008.

  5. What are the primary responsibilities of this position and what are your goals within this role? My role is to offer strategic direction to the Committee and act as the conduit between the committee’s ideas, actions, needs, and the GMA SHRM Board of Directors. Because I’m new to this committee, my first and primary goal is to get acquainted with the details and responsibilities of the committee. I would like to assist in continuing the great services the committee has provided in the past and enhance the relationships we have with the various Madison area Chambers of Commerce and community.










  1. How long have you been in the Human Resource field? I started in May of 1989 which officially gives me 18 years experience.

  2. Please share some of your employment experience. I’ve worked for Park Bank in Madison for nearly 6 years. Previously, I was employed at Famous Footwear as an Employee Relations Manager and Training Manager for a short period of time. Before that, I worked for Swiss Colony as an Employment Manager over 10 years. I’ve also been a chef, landscaper, and “jogger” in a printing company.

  3. Please share your educational background (including any certifications, designations, or other titles )? I possess a Bachelors degree in General Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. I’m certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. I’ve completed the Graduate School of Banking program for Human Resource professionals.

  4. If you could choose any job in the world, what would it be and why? Although it would be politically correct to say I love what I do now…but, if I had my dreams come true, I would love to be a professional golfer. The game allows you to play a game and get paid for it (if you’re good), and travel the world visiting the best courses on the planet! Oh…. and it’s a lot of fun!

  5. If you would like to share information about your personal life (i.e., family, hobbies/interests, and other volunteer activities) please do so. I’ve been married for 6 years to my wife Shelly, and we have a 5 year old son Austin. I’ve been involved in the sport of Curling for 13 years and served on a club Board of Directors for two years. I like to golf (you might have guessed) and play most any sport or card game known to man. No pets yet, but I love dogs… Austin will be pushing for one soon! I enjoy landscaping as a hobby. I really like to go to Badger and Packer football games when I can find tickets.


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New ICE Rule Increases Risk to Employers, But Court Delays Enforcement
- By Jennifer S. Mirus, Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field LLP

As you may be aware, on August 10, 2007, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published a new rule requiring employers to take action in response to receipt of a social security mismatch letter.

The new rule, scheduled to become effective on October 14, 2007, establishes "safe-harbor" provisions that specifically describes what an employer should do if it receives a mismatch letter. An employer who fails to follow the new guidelines is susceptible to an I-9 violation and possible fines in the event of an audit or ICE workforce raid.

This is a significant change from the current law. The current law leaves unclear an employer's appropriate course of action upon receipt of a mismatch letter. While many employers have been advised to take some type of action to address the mismatch, the mismatch letter itself cannot serve as grounds for which the employer might terminate the employee. At the same time, the mismatch letter alone cannot be used as the basis to find that the employer knowingly continued to employ an unauthorized worker in violation of Federal I-9 law.

The new ICE rule clarifies employer obligations and liabilities. It requires an employer to do three things in response to receipt of a mismatch letter. First, the employer must ensure that the mismatch was not the result of either a clerical error or the failure of the employee to provide an accurate record. Second, if the record can be corrected, the rule requires the employer to verify the corrected data with the Social Security Administration. Third, if the mismatch cannot be corrected within 90 days of the receipt of the mismatch letter, and if no other means of resolving the mismatch are available (such as having the employee complete another I-9 that does not reference the invalid social security number), the employer must either terminate the employee or risk a finding that it has "constructive knowledge" that the employee is an unauthorized worker. Such a finding places the employer in violation of the Federal I-9 laws under the Immigration Reform and Control Act.

However, implementation of the new rule has been put on hold. A recent lawsuit brought in federal court by the AFL-CIO raised questions as to the legality and enforceability of the new rule. On August 31, 2007, in response to the AFL-CIO's concerns, a U.S. district court in California issued a temporary injunction blocking the Social Security Administration from implementing the new rule. A hearing on the group’s request to permanently enjoin the implementation and enforcement of this rule is scheduled for October 1, 2007. In the meantime, the future of the new rule is uncertain.

Jennifer S. Mirus
Attorney at Law
Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field LLP
Phone: 608-283-1799

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.

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Medicare Part D Notice Reminder
- By Adam P. Jensen, JD, CEBS, FLMI, Virchow Krause Employee Benefits, LLC

The annual open enrollment period for Medicare Part D’s prescription drug coverage is approaching. This means that plan sponsors need to make sure that they have distributed the appropriate Certificates of Creditable or Non-Creditable coverage to all Medicare-eligible persons on their health plans prior to November 15, 2007. Medicare-eligible individuals will be able to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan between November 15, 2007 and December 31, 2007 for the 2008 coverage year.

Creditable or Not?
The first step in the process is to determine whether your plan’s prescription drug coverage is “creditable” or “non-creditable”. Benefits offered under creditable coverage are as good as or better than the coverage offered under Medicare Part D. Benefits offered under non-creditable coverage are not as good as the coverage available under Medicare Part D. There is no penalty for having non-creditable coverage; the goal is to help Medicare-eligible plan participants make an informed choice of whether or not to enroll in Medicare Part D. Medicare-eligible participants with creditable coverage can choose not to enroll in Medicare Part D with no penalty. Those without creditable coverage who fail to enroll in Medicare Part D when first they are first eligible are subject to a permanent penalty in the form of increased premiums. In order to determine whether their prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable, employers should ask their insurance carrier or pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) if they have a self-funded plan.

Safe Harbor
If your insurance carrier or PBM cannot tell you whether or not your plan design is creditable, employers can hire an actuary to perform the necessary calculations or they can simply use the approved Safe Harbor. In order to spare employers the expense and hassle of hiring an actuary, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a four-part Safe Harbor for prescription drug plans. A simplified creditable coverage determination is available at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CreditableCoverage/Downloads/CCSimplified091506.pdf. Creditable prescription drug plans must meet the following criteria: provide coverage for brand and generic prescriptions; provide reasonable access to retail providers and, optionally, for mail order coverage; be designed to pay on average at least 60% of participants’ prescription drug expenses; and have no annual benefit maximum benefit or a maximum annual benefit payable by the plan of at least $25,000 (or meet one of two other approved deductible/maximum benefit combinations).

A common temptation is to provide certification only to employees who are over the age of 65. The Medicare Part D certificates must be provided to every Medicare-eligible person covered by the medical plan. This includes employees, spouses, and dependents who are either of Medicare-eligible age or who have disabilities that could make them eligible for Medicare. In order to minimize the risk of not providing a certificate to a plan participant who is entitled to one, we suggest that employers provide a certificate to every employee on the medical plan.

The certificates can be mailed or provided as a memo or payroll stuffer. New rules published in February of 2007 also allow employers to distribute the Medicare Part D certificates electronically, using the same rules as for Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs). Model Creditable and Non-Creditable Coverage certificates are available at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/CreditableCoverage/10_CCafterFeb15.asp#TopOfPage .

CMS Certification
Once the certificates have been provided, the employer must complete a certification with CMS on their website within 60 days of the renewal day of your medical plan. The CMS certification web address is: https://www.cms.hhs.gov/CreditableCoverage/45_CCDisclosureForm.asp.

Medicare Part D and its requirements are here to stay and must become an established part of the Human Resource professional’s annual compliance calendar.

Adam P. Jensen is a Senior Consultant with Virchow Krause Employee Benefits, LLC and has worked in the insurance and employee benefits industry since 1986. Adam specializes in providing regulatory compliance and plan design services for health and welfare plans and qualified retirement plans. He also advises executive clients on non-qualified deferred compensation issues.

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The Pathway to Becoming the Employer of Choice

- By Bonni Yordi, Ph.D., MRA and Mieke Craven, MRA

The idea that a company can become an employer of choice has gained momentum over the past several years. Though its increased popularity has made the term “employer of choice” somewhat of an industry buzzword, truly becoming an employer of choice is much more than just terminology.

A company that can call itself an employer of choice is a company that, because of the reputation it has built, is a place where people want to work. And once they do work there, it’s a place where employees will be engaged and choose to truly commit to the company’s success. There are many benefits for an organization that achieves it.

Working to become an employer of choice requires an investment of time and resources. The long-term benefits of being a place where people want to work, however, far outweigh the costs. The results of becoming an employer of choice can include decreased turnover, increased productivity, and less focus on recruiting—which in turn all lead to more successful business outcomes. With these crucial aspects of the business under control, companies can spend a greater amount of their time and energy on growing their business.

MRA views employer of choice as both a model and process that helps an employer continuously evaluate and benchmark its human resources practices, polices, and ways of conducting business to consciously position itself as a place where individuals want to work. The model at right shows four broad elements that work together to make a company a great place to work.

There is not a magic formula or a single path a company can take to become an employer of choice. What makes a company a great place to work for some people will not be great for others. A company that is an employer of choice, however, will consider this in their hiring process, showing as much interest in a candidate’s fit with the organization as in his or her level of talent.

The pathway to becoming an employer of choice is also a process, with these key steps:

  • Gather metrics and benchmarks about how your company stacks up with other companies on the key elements that your company has chosen to emphasize from the model above.
  • Gather metrics about how your own employees view your company and benchmark these findings with other companies.
  • Develop a vision of what strengths the company wants to emphasize as an employer of choice.
  • Armed with the metrics gathered in the first three steps, do a gap analysis to determine where the company is compared to where it wants to be. What are your current strengths? Where do you need to do further development?
  • Finally, develop a plan based on the metrics, the company vision, and the gap analysis. Identify priority action projects that will establish your company as an employer of choice with the type of employees you want to attract and retain.

Those companies that have been formally recognized as “best places to work” have confirmed that this is an ongoing process and not a one-time event. Rather than resting on their plaques and awards, they work continuously to maintain the position they have achieved and to respond to changes in the marketplace—work that is well worth the investment because of the gains they have seen in their ability to attract and retain great talent, enhance customer satisfaction, and improve the bottom line.

Bonni Yordi is Director, Surveys and Business Research for MRA. She is responsible for the Survey Department, which provides members with compensation, benefits, and other HR-related surveys. She has over 30 years of experience as a manager in a major corporation, a business owner, and a department head at a university. She has given numerous presentations, published articles, and served as a team member on seven national research projects addressing issues of strategic planning, quality, and cost-effectiveness. Phone: 800.488.4845, web: www.mranet.org.

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Website of the Month: Suspicious Email/Phishing

Security breaches and email scams have once again made the headlines. SHRM reported on a recent IRS statement about several new schemes aimed at stealing taxpayer identities. If you’d like to learn more, the IRS has a webpage devoted to suspicious emails and phishing. There are descriptions of several typical schemes aimed at taxpayers, including sample phishing emails. The page also tells you how to identify a phishing website and how to report a suspicious email to the IRS.

To view the page, go to http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=155682,00.html.

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Festive Professional Development! - 2007 Wisconsin State SHRM Conference has it all…

“This year’s conference offers the opportunity once again for attendees to grow professionally with top programming, but will offer a unique experience for networking that only Oktoberfest in La Crosse can provide!” Conference Liaison, Kristine Hackbarth-Horne.

“There’s something for everyone, from the student entering our profession, the new professional, as well as the senior practioner.” So says Sue Horne, co-chair of the 2007 Wisconsin State SHRM Conference to be held October 10 - 12 in La Crosse. She explained that a major objective for the conference was “To serve the profession with creative programming for all attendees with a special emphasis on the senior track, bridging the gap for students, and creating value for all attendees”. They will deliver on this through nationally known keynote speakers, concurrent breakout sessions with timely, relevant topics, plus, pre-conference Legal, Executive, and Diversity sessions.

Sue Horne and Mark Glahn, conference co-chairs are both very excited about the conference’s keynote speakers. “I’m looking forward to hearing John Miller talk about Personal Accountability. I’ve attended one of his seminars. He does a fantastic job keeping the audience involved and having fun. He provides a different perspective when it comes to Personal Accountability in business and in our personal lives.” Sue Horne is confident that “We’ll all leave the conference Friday inspired by the works of Steve Uzzell”.

Just as important as the conference offerings are what festive La Crosse, its hosting city has to offer. La Crosse, nestled between the bluffs and the Mississippi River, is beautiful especially in autumn. The conference site – The La Crosse Center, is in historic downtown. Sue and Mark introduced some of the terrific opportunities La Crosse has to offer:

  • Great restaurants (The Freight House, The Waterfront, Piggy’s, Buzzard Billy’s, and Three Rivers’ Lodge – just to name a few)
  • Unique gift shops, coffee shops and great ice cream
  • A walk along the Mississippi river
  • Night-life – pubs, dance clubs,
  • The World’s biggest “6-Pack” at the local brewery

See you there!

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What's Going On in HR in Your Workplace?

What’s Cool in HR in the Greater Madison Area?

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

2008 Marketing Opportunites with GMA SHRM

Is your organization looking for strategies to promote its products or service to Madison-area HR professionals?  Then consider the many opportunities available through GMA SHRM.

For 2008, our chapter continues to offer a variety of options for any size budget.  Some highlights include:

  • Annual opportunities including Corporate Partnerships and Membership Directory advertising for 2008.  Sign up available now through November 9.
  • Year-round opportunities available on a limited basis (first come, first-served), such as website advertising, e-blast sponsorship, displays at meetings, and meeting sponsorship.

The GMA SHRM chapter is one of the largest in the United States.  It is comprised of a diverse group of over 750 professionals representing more than 500 employers.  View our chapter's expanded marketing opportunities.

For the Corporate Partnerships and Membership Directory advertising, the chapter will contact past participants and potential partners and advertisers by email in September and will follow up through October on these time-sensitive annual opportunities. If your organization has not received the email about the 2008 marketing opportunities, please contact Tara Cassady or Dave Furlan, Communications and Marketing Committee Co-Chairs.

We appreciate your consideration of these opportunities and look forward to another successful year with our corporate partners and advertisers.

Volunteer Position of the Month

The Workforce Readiness Committee is looking for several volunteers this fall to help with Employability Readiness Training sessions through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). All sessions will be at the Aberg Avenue Job Center on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm. Session dates are as follows:

October 3 rd – Job exploration and the application process
October 24 th – Resume writing
November 14 th – Cover Letters, Thank You Letters, References, Interview Preparation
December 5 th   - Mock Interviews (will need multiple volunteers for this one)
December 19 th – Preparing for 1 st day on the new job

Workforce Readiness has prepared the training materials. All they need is members like you to present them to DVR consumers. There will be a counselor from the DVR attending all of the sessions to observe their consumers and offer assistance if needed.  Workforce Readiness is looking for anywhere from 5 to 12 volunteers with no more than 2 volunteers/session.

To volunteer for this opportunity or to join the Workforce Readiness as a regular committee member, contact Melissa Perry at 608-271-6544 ext. 155 or mperry@americanprintingco.com.

There are always a variety of volunteer openings for GMA SHRM members with any level of experience or time commitment. To explore these opportunities, check out these resources:

GMA SHRM Chapter Volunteer Opportunities

GMA SHRM Chapter Volunteer Application

Welcome New Members

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in August 2007.

Emily A. Bradley

HR Associate

First Business Bank

Julie A. Enloe

Job Center Coordinator

Dane County Job Center

Lois V. Grimh

Employment & Training Specialist

State of WI-Job Service

Robert E. Halfmann, SPHR

Senior ER/LR Consultant

UW Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics

Cheryl A. Hoffman, SPHR

HR Specialist

Temperature Systems, Inc

Michelle A. Kipp

Human Resources


Tony S. Mennenga

Tax & Financial Advisor

Mennenga Tax & Financial Service

Judy L. Osman

HR Manager

Wisconsin Public Power, Inc

Sonja P. Patterson

Placement Specialist

Neway Directions, Inc

Megan E. Rose

On-Site Manager

QTI Group

Jennifer Tratnyek

Benefits Manager

QBE Regional Insurance

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

Jake Siudzinski joins Stark Company Realtors as the Business Development Director after working for Adecco Employment Services in recruitment and sales for nearly four years.  His experience in Human Resources and business development will be a great asset for the Relocation Department.  His positive energy, commitment to values, and focus on customer relationships will continue the Stark tradition.

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!

Community Events and Programs


Lunch with Gloria Steinem!12:00 to 1:30 pm, Monona Terrace Convention Center.  Help Domestic Abuse Intervention Services celebrate its 30th anniversary of providing outstanding services to individuals and families in Dane County by joining them for this extraordinary event.  Introduction by UW Men's Basketball Coach, Bo Ryan.  Call 251-1237 or visit www.abuseintervention.org for more information. 

HR InTouch Guidelines

Article Writing:

Do you have an interest in writing for the HR InTouch? We have an interest in learning more about your area of expertise!

Why should you volunteer? Top three reasons: 1) to share your knowledge and experiences to educate others; 2) to become more connected in the HR and Dane County communities; and 3) to contribute towards the advancement of GMA SHRM and the HR profession.

The first step is for you to choose a submission option: you can pre-submit an article to GMA SHRM at any time for us to use in any of the upcoming newsletters, you can sign up to write for a particular month, or we can put you on a list of people to contact in future months whenever we need articles.

Article length:

Because the HR InTouch is now in an online format, the size is flexible. The article should be engaging and hold readers’ attention. Include the core information in your article, and we will advise if it is too lengthy.


GMA SHRM is conscious not to allow solicitation through the articles, in an effort to protect the interests of our partners and members. The nature of the article should be educational (i.e., what are the business advantages of having a product like yours) or informational. Otherwise, if you truly are interested in advertising through the HR InTouch, you can work with our Marketing Committee. As a rule of thumb for article writing, if the submission relates to a for-profit event, or specifically markets your company (vs. your industry), it is an advertisement, and should be purchased. If it is a not-for-profit event that your company is hosting, or an announcement (i.e., a SHRM member recently joined your company), it is an acceptable addition to the HR InTouch content. If you have any questions related to the appropriateness of your submission, please contact us.

If you have questions, or to submit an article, contact GMA SHRM at chapteradmin@gmashrm.org .









Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc.
2830 Agriculture Dr.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818
Web: http://www.gmashrm.org/

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