October 2009


In This Edition

By Kari Lauritsen, SPHR,
GMA SHRM President

Bizarre Laws: Railroads

2009 Healthy Families Act - Responses to the September Article
- Contributed by Tammy Barden

2009 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey

Staying Compliant in Changing Times
- Contributed by Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI, Director of Compliance Services, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services.

Reinforce Your HR House Against H1N1
Contributed by Michelle Venturini, SPHR, Venturini Business Consulting

October 20th My GMA SHRM Toolbox
Super sleuth techniques for recruiting in new markets or for unfamiliar roles.


2010 GMA SHRM Corporate Partnership Program

Volunteer Opportunity - Community Coordinated Childcare, Inc. (4-c) Seeks Board Members

GMA SHRM Member of the Month
- Christine Wittleder

- Want to Get more Involved

- Welcome New Members!

- In Transition

- What's Cool in HR

- Movin' Up

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar.

October 20, 2009 - My GMA SHRM Toolbox

Topic: Super sleuth techniques for recruiting in new markets or for unfamiliar roles.
Location: City Center West
Program Details

October 28, 2009 - Member Welcome and Orientation

Program Details



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2009 Corporate Partners

Boardman Law Firm
Galaxy Technologies
The Payroll Company

Hays Companies
Lee Hecht Harrison
Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation
Virchow Krause Employee Benefits

Melli Law, S.C.
Bunbury & Associates
Career Momentum
Stark Company Realtors
Gardner & White
Higgins Insurance Group
Liberty Mutual
The Alliance

Thank you!

Kari Lauritsen, SPHR,
GMA SHRM President


As school starts once again and the breeze starts to have that crisp and cool feeling, we all know fall is in the air. This year was my first experience with the true transition into the school year because my son began kindergarten. It has been quite the transition for both of us. We started with the shopping; looking for every item on his school supply list and then on to clothes and shoes. I actually thought this part was pretty fun; a great excuse to shop! Reality quickly struck, this transition proved to be more difficult for him (and me!) than expected. Each morning I can see the anxiety build on our short drive to school. Knowing how scared he is becoming, I start to get that sinking feeling it’s going to be a battle to get him to feel comfortable with leaving my side. I find myself hoping that a new approach to the sidewalk goodbye will leave him with a smile on his face (not to mention mine...).

I share this personal story to highlight that the anxiety my son and I have shared over the past month may also be shared by executives, managers and front-line employees in your organizations. These feelings may be due to a potential restructure, layoff, new position or opportunity. Mass layoffs or restructures can be viewed in some instances as a crisis to the individual and/or the organization. Even a transition into a new role, no matter if it is a promotion or a lateral move can also spur signs of anxiety. On another front, employees may have concerns for how their organization will support them through the potential H1N1 pandemic outbreak, yet another crisis facing us today. The underlying strengths of the human resources profession are that we offer the expertise to assist our organizations and employees with these types of situations/transitions.

As human resources professionals we must turn these challenges into opportunities by making a difference in our organizations.  Our chapter is here to help you every step of the way. As you have new situations arise, or new projects assigned to you please think about the resources you have at your fingertips with our chapter. If you are not sure what’s available, please ask one of our board members or chapter administration to help. We are only a phone call away and we will be sure you are connected with a resource that either has some experience or expertise to lend a hand!

If you are new to our chapter or haven’t been as involved as you would like to be, I would like to invite you to join us for our GMA SHRM Member Welcome and Orientation on October 28th, 2009. We will help you understand the resources we have available so that you can view today’s challenge as an opportunity!

Kari A Lauritsen, SPHR
GMA SHRM President

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GMA SHRM Board of Directors

Kari Lauritsen, SPHR

Dave Furlan, PHR
President Elect

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR
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

Jake Siudzinski

VP, Marketing & Communications


Melissa Wieland
Director Workforce Readiness & Diversity

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Bizarre Laws

Bizarre Laws -  Who knew there were so many WI laws related to railroad tampering. . .According to WI Statute 943.07 (2) "Whoever intentionally shoots a firearm at any portion of a railroad train, car, caboose or engine is guilty of a Class I felony".  Even under WI Statute 943.07 (3) just throwing a rock is a Class B misdemeanor!

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2009 Healthy Families Act – Responses to September Article
Contributed by Tammy L. Barden, Employee Relations Specialist, WPS Health Insurance

In response to last month’s article “Status of the 2009 Healthy Families Act”, we received some feedback from GMA SHRM members. The responses indicate many of our members are in opposition to this pending bill. Here are some comments that were submitted:

“Our organization has 500+ employees who work on a temporary and occasional basis as care workers for families. If we were required to provide paid sick leave for these temporary employees, this would have a direct impact on the direct service hours that we could provide to families. Our clients, who have disabilities themselves, would receive less service so that the employees could have maybe a few hours of paid sick leave. Our organization would NOT receive additional funding to provide this paid sick leave…not only would the services we provide be eroded by the paid sick leave requirement, but the administrative cost of tracking and awarding sick leave to so many temporary workers would increase our costs and reduce our services further.”

“This bill will have no effect on our company as we already provide at least 96 hours of sick leave per year to full time employees. However, personally, I am opposed to the bill. I feel that the passing of this bill will put undue hardship on employers who are already struggling financially and for those who already have attendance abuse without allowing paid sick time. If anything, the number of days should be cut in half. I know very few, if any, full time employees who are actually sick 7 days per year.”

“I don’t support this bill because I think it could have a damaging effect on small employers and possibly even employees. Small employers who currently may not offer sick or vacation time would have to provide full time employees with sick leave. This could really take a toll on a small business who not only would have to pay the sick time, they may also have to pay overtime or bring in temporary help to meet their immediate business demands while someone is out sick. In addition, this could negatively impact employees by forcing employers to reduce the number of days accrued in their existing vacation and PTO policies to accommodate this new requirement.”

“Even though our company already provides paid sick leave for employees, this bill would have a negative impact on our company. This change, if implemented, would interfere with our collective bargaining agreement, which has stipulations on how sick time may be used. This is in place to help curb attendance abuse and the act would force the company to change our current sick leave policy. In addition, we may have to provide paid sick leave for some part time and limited term employees, which we currently do not. This would be another added cost for our company’s already generous benefit package. It may trigger a decision to reduce or eliminate limited and part time positions because there would no longer be a savings in benefits for those positions.”

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2009 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey

Last year GMA SHRM partnered with Enetrix, a Gallup Company, to provide premier on-line surveys.  The 2008 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey is a comprehensive on-line survey that has the flexibility to produce reports based on revenue size, industry, type of ownership, and number of FTE’s.  The 2008 GMA SHRM Compensation Survey had over 100 companies of all sizes in the greater Madison area that provided salary information for more than 200 benchmarked jobs.  Our hope this year is to increase the number of participants.   Participating members receive a significant discount on the cost of the survey!

If you would like to participate, please go to http://gmashrm.enetrix.com.  Select “Click Here to Register” on the right to create an individual and company profile and create your username and password. If an individual from your company has already registered for an account, they will need to grant you permission to enter and review data for your company. Select “Participation” and follow the steps to enter your survey data.

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Staying Compliant in Changing Times
Adam Jensen, JD, CEBS, GBA, FLMI, Director of Compliance Services, Cottingham & Butler Consulting Services.

Since the fall of 2008, numerous changes in the world of health and welfare plans have made it increasingly challenging for employers to remain in compliance.  Complying with many of these new and amended laws will require employers to take action, or at the very least, check with their third party administrators or insurance carriers to make sure that their plans are updated to comply.  Employers must also continue to comply with other existing benefit plan requirements.  Added to this is increased compliance enforcement by the federal government.  Click here for a summary of some of the major compliance concerns for health and welfare plans.


Reinforce Your HR House Against H1N1

Michelle Venturini, SPHR, Owner of Venturini Business Consulting, LLC

H1N1 has turned the tables on the classic tale of the 3 Little Pigs. Instead of being on the inside, H1N1 (incorrectly but commonly referred to as “Swine Flu”) is on the outside and threatening to blow businesses down this fall and winter.

Click here to read more information on preparing for H1N1.

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October 20, 2009 - My GMA SHRM Toolbox

Topic: Super sleuth techniques for recruiting in new markets or for unfamiliar roles.

As talent acquisition professionals, you are bound to encounter what is affectionately called the “Purple Squirrel” role. Either this is one that is new to your organization, a new market, new to you as a recruiter, or just plain difficult to fill (hence have you ever seen a purple squirrel?).

So where do you start your recruitment marketing strategy? This GMA Toolbox session is geared to help recruiters develop an effective planning, research, sourcing and candidate management process to help fill challenging positions on time and within budget.

Bonus Presentation: 2009 Compensation Survey Overview, New Report Features and Q&A

For more information or to register for this event, click here.

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2010 GMA SHRM Corporate Partnership Program

Is your organization looking for strategies to promote its products or services to the Madison-area HR community?  Then consider the opportunity to reach out to area HR professionals through the Greater Madison Area Society for Human Resource Management (GMA SHRM)!  The GMA SHRM chapter is one of the largest in the United States.  It is comprised of a diverse group of over 820 professionals representing more than 500 employers. 

Currently we are offering Corporate Partnerships for 2010. We have a variety of Partnership levels to suit your budget. Click here to see the benefits of becoming a Corporate Partner. Sign up now through November 13 th to secure your spot!

Volunteer GMA SHRM members will be following up through October on our time-sensitive annual opportunities.  We encourage anyone with interest to contact Missy Roth ( mroth@milios.com ) or Shaun Thomson ( SThomson@dcpcinc.org ) to sign up for your Partnership spot for 2010.

We offer other advertising options throughout the year as well. View our chapter's expanded marketing opportunities.

Some highlights include:

  • Opportunities are available throughout the year on a limited basis (first come, first-served).
  • Web site advertising
  • E-blast sponsorship
  • Displays at meetings
  • Meeting sponsorship
  • Annual Human Capital Conference Sponsorship.  This annual, day long event in May is a great opportunity to reach local HR professionals.  

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

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Community News -

Volunteer Opportunity - Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc. (4-C) is part of a network of accredited, non-profit Wisconsin Child Care Resource & Referral agencies providing advocacy and support services for child care in Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson and Sauk Counties and the Ho-Chunk Nation. The agency strives to advocate for the well-being of children in early childhood care and education and to assist parents and providers in creating quality care.

The mission of 4-C is to ensure that every child has access to high quality early care & education through integrated support and expertise.

The Board of Directors is composed of consumers (parents or persons utilizing child care services), child care providers and community representatives. The Board sets goals and policies for 4-C and evaluates program operations and the agency’s impact on children’s services.

At this time, the Board is seeking to add 1-2 new members to its Board that have professional Human Resources experience to assist the agency in evaluating employee programs, policies, management practices, etc.

Interested candidates are encouraged to visit the 4-C website www.4-c.org to learn more about the agency. To learn more about becoming a Board member, please contact former GMA SHRM Chapter President Tim Seifriz at (608) 206-6425.

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GMA SHRM Member of the Month

Name: Christine Wittleder

Where do you currently work? UW Hospital & Clinics

 What is the focus of your position? Compensation

How long have you been in the Human Resource field? 7 years

Which of your career accomplishments makes you proudest? Taking on tough projects and getting results.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Always act with urgency as if it was due yesterday.

Why did you decide to join GMA SHRM? I joined GMA SHRM to engage in a group of professionals where I could both contribute and learn.

If you’d like to be featured as the Member of the Month in an upcoming issue of HR InTouch, please e-mail Kate Karre at KKarre@parkbank.com.

Volunteer Opportunity

Want to get more involved?

The Workforce Readiness Committee meets at The Park Bank Support Center located at 1815 Greenway Cross. Please contact Rhonda Schemm at rhonda.schemm@nettechnology.com if you’re interested in attending either of the following meetings.

Wednesday, October 21 st 8:00a.m.-9:00a.m.
Wednesday, December 9 th 8:00a.m. - 9:00a.m.

GMA SHRM is LinkedIn

 Come join our GMA SHRM Chapter group on LinkedIn! What is LinkedIn? It’s a business-oriented social networking site that can be used to connect with friends (old and new), find or post jobs and get information. In order to join, sign in at www.linkedin.com and keyword search GMA SHRM Chapter.

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Welcome New Members!

GMA SHRM welcomes the following members who joined our chapter in July of 2009!

Cheryl L. Beiersdorff

Director of HR

Attic Angel Place

Laura Ingalls, SPHR

Talent Management Consultant

Career Momentum

Emily M. Lyle, PHR

Manager, Human Resources


Pam L. Rogers

Human Resources Assoc. Rep.

Metavante Corporation

Tina M. Wallace, PHR

Staffing Specialist


Lynn M. Weber

Director of Operations


Jenny L. Wohlfert, PHR

Human Resource Manager

Metavante Corporation


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.

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


Movin' Up

Teresa Perlman, Payroll & Benefits Specialist at Saris Cycling Group, Inc. recently earned her PHR certification.

Congratulations Teresa!

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/

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