November 2007

In This Edition

By Anthony Dix, PHR,
GMA SHRM President

Board Member Profile

Legal and Legislative Update on Employment Law
- By Bob Gregg, Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field LLP

New Proposed Regulations for Section 125 Plan for Cafeteria Plans

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

Domestic Violence in the Workplace

- By Shannon Barry, MSSW, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services

Website of the Month: 2008 Presidential Candidate Health Care Proposals

One of the Best-Kept Secrets in Business Today
By Lori L. Silverman

What's Cool in HR: Sourcing a Seasonal Workforce
By Meg Arneson, SPHR, Duluth Trading Company

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

- We Can Make a Difference

- How You Can Make a Difference Today - DAIS Adopt-A-Family Program

- WISHRM State Conference Team Seeks Committee Members

- SHRM Foundation Regional Scholarship Winner

- Volunteer Position of the Month

- Welcome New Members

- In Transition

- Movin' Up

Click here to see the full GMA SHRM Event Calendar

- November 13th Chapter Meeting
Operationalizing Servant Leadership: Creating a Dynamic Organization at US Cellular
This Program Sponsored by: GMA SHRM Gold Partner - Lee Hecht Harrison
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

- December 12th - Special Event
Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over: Using Stories to Drive Results
With Special Guest Presenter: Lori Silverman
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
This Program Sponsored by: GMA SHRM Gold Partner - Melli, Walker, Pease & Ruhly, S.C.

- World at Work, Certification Course and Exam
T1: Total Rewards Management
March 25-27, 2008


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!


This past month I had the opportunity to attend the WI State SHRM Conference in La Crosse. It was an exciting three days with several opportunities to learn and network with the 650+ attendees at the event. The conference included learning tracks for the HR executive, future trends and forecasting, employment law & labor relations, employee benefits, diversity, compensation, motivation & rewarding performance, and certification. It was an overall success thanks to the leadership of Mark Glahn and Sue Horne of the La Crosse SHRM Chapter.

In addition to the conference, we had a fabulous silent auction that took place during the conference with proceeds benefiting the SHRM Foundation. SHRM Foundation is a not-for-profit affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The Foundation funds research, publications and education to advance the HR profession and enhance the effectiveness of HR professionals. The support provided to the SHRM Foundation is vital to the continued growth and success of our profession and GMA SHRM is proud to be a significant contributor each year.

The SHRM Foundation maximizes the impact of the HR profession on organizational decision-making and performance by promoting innovation, education, research, and the use of research-based knowledge. Their objectives include:

Objective 1: The SHRM Foundation will be a preeminent broker/source of valued research knowledge.

Objective 2: The SHRM Foundation will broaden the understanding and application of research-based knowledge and techniques to the HR professional.

Objective 3: The SHRM Foundation will make research-based knowledge accessible and actionable for the HR profession.

Objective 4: The SHRM Foundation will develop and nurture funding sources for the Foundation's work.

I hope to see several of you at the November events we have scheduled. If not, h ave a great month and I hope you share a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with your family and friends!

Best Regards,

Anthony Dix, PHR, MBA
GMA SHRM Chapter President

GMA SHRM Board Member Profile - Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR, GMA SHRM President Elect

Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR

What is your current work job title and what is the focus of this position?
I am a Talent Management Consultant at American Family Insurance, where I serve a consultative and facilitative role in identifying, assessing, and developing leaders in the organization.

How long have you been in the Human Resource field?
My background blends over 10 years of human resources, business, and information technology consulting in various industries.

What is your current GMA SHRM volunteer position job title? What are the primary responsibilities of this position and what are your goals within this role?
I currently serve as the Greater Madison Area (GMA) SHRM President Elect, and was formerly the Director of Marketing and Communications. My goals for the role of President Elect are primarily to learn from and serve as a backup to President; monitor, complete, and submit the Chapter Achievement Plan (CAP); submit the Pinnacle Award nomination; champion succession planning for the chapter; and serve as a point of contact for members with careers in transition.

Please share your educational background (including any certifications, designations, or other titles).
I am a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and hold a certification in Web page design. I have completed Bachelors and Masters-level courses at University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison Area Technical College, and Upper Iowa University. I have also participated in a wide array of professional, technical, and personal development activities.

If you could choose any job in the world, what would it be and why?
If I could have any job in the world, because of my passion for learning, I would own and operate a learning center and would be a national consultant, speaker, and author.

If you would like to share information about your personal life (i.e., family, hobbies/interests, and other volunteer activities) please do so.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, baby girl, and dog. I also enjoy movies, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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Legal and Legislative Update on Employment Law
- By Bob Gregg, Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field LLP

LITIGATION - Discrimination


$20 million settlement for systemic discrimination . Walgreens has settled a case brought by a class of African American retail managers and pharmacy employees alleging systemic discrimination in promotion, pay and assignments. The settlement payment will be made to 10,000 class members. The EEOC commended Walgreens for its prompt attention to the issues raised in the case and for working to reach the monetary amount and operational changes. EEOC v. Walgreens Co. (S.D. Ill., 2007).


No-fault attendance policy violates ADA . “No-fault” attendance policies often require discipline or discharge after one has a specific number of absences in excess of paid leave or FMLA. However, one should also consider disability-related absences. In Holly v. Clarison Industries LLC (11th Cir., 2007), the court ruled that a “no-fault” policy was discriminatory because it gave no room for the individualized assessment/reasonable accommodation required under the ADA. [This is an ongoing issue. “No fault” attendance policies have been highlighted by the courts and in this Update at least once a year. Yet, employers continue to use them improperly.]

Odor-free “perfectly sealed environment” is not possible. In Kaufmann v. GMAC Mortgage (3rd Cir., 2007), the court found that an employee’s demand for a completely odor-free environment was beyond the scope of reasonable accommodation. GMAC had made good faith efforts to accommodate the severe allergy disability by instituting a no-perfume rule, rearranging the office space several times, and installing special air filters. The employee still complained that there were allergen odors, and sued. The court ruled that GMAC had met its obligation for reasonable attempts at accommodation and that a “perfectly sealed environment” was not required or achievable.

Fear Firing: Manager’s unfounded fear resulted in termination of employee . A manager, while discussing an attendance issue, discovered that the employee had a bipolar and panic attack disorder. The manager then suspended the employee, demanding medical information as to whether the employee posed any potential danger to himself or others. The doctor responded that the employee was “stable and OK to work.” The manager was not satisfied without an absolute guarantee of no threat, and terminated the employee for attendance and possible risk. The court found that the manager was the one who may have had the “panic” reaction. There was no evidence that the employee posed any threat or was in a position to do so. Upon discovery of the bipolar/panic attack diagnosis, the manager’s “misplaced fear” escalated a simple attendance issue into a “direct-threat” assessment, without the proper foundation. Hatzakos v. Acme American Refrigeration, Inc. (E.D., NY, 2007). [For more information on the important distinctions between the ADA’s rules on direct threat vs. fitness for duty, request the article or seminar “Fear Firing” by contacting Bob Gregg at]


Employer is not required to fire or transfer sexual harasser . An employer promptly investigated a male employee’s complaint of sexual harassment and retaliation by his female supervisor. All improper action ceased. The employer also consulted with outside employment specialists to be sure its investigation and actions were proper. The conclusion was that the harassment was not severe enough to warrant discharge of the supervisor, and the company was too small to effectively transfer either the employee or supervisor. The employee resigned and sued. The court found that the supervisor had engaged in illegal harassment, but refused to award any punitive damages against the company because it had stopped the harassment and made reasonable, good faith efforts to assure a non-hostile environment after the complaint. Dominic v. DeVilbiss Air Power Co. (8th Cir., 2007).

LITIGATION- Family and Medical Leave Act

Clear notices win case . A corrections officer was fired after exceeding his FMLA leave for care of a family member. He alleged that the employer had not given him notices that specifically spelled out how his FMLA was being calculated. However, the court found that he had received clear notice that his FMLA leave had all been used. He then received notice that he was in excess of FMLA, using non-protected leave. He was fired after taking leave well in excess of FMLA. He could show no prejudice to himself or how the specific notice he wanted would have made any difference. The court dismissed the case. Coker v. McFaul (6th Cir., 2007).

Give employees some slack in emergencies . Common sense could have prevented this case. A construction carpenter got a call about a family emergency (father’s heart attack). He informed his supervisor, left work, and traveled home to another state. He then informed his supervisor of the situation status and his expected date of return to work. He did not, however, follow the company’s specific FMLA procedure or fill out the proper forms. He was called by the corporate office and told not to return. The court had no problem in finding a prima facie case of an FMLA violation. There was ample supervisory knowledge of a situation that fit within the FMLA. The company should not have used a strict interpretation of its procedure in this circumstance. Morgenson v. OK Interiors, Inc. (S.D., OH, 2007).

FMLA does not guarantee pay rate during light duty . The FMLA guarantees leave from one’s regular position for up to 12 weeks. The “leave” can either be time completely off work or time worked in another light duty position. FMLA does not require pay for time off of work. In Hendricks v. Compass Group USA, Inc. (7th Cir., 2007), the court ruled that time worked in an alternative light-duty job does not have to be at the pay rate of the regular position. Light duty can pay less (in this case $3.23 per hour less) as long as the person is restored to their regular job and regular pay at the end of the FMLA leave. [Be aware that this ruling was for a consolidated leave. The FMLA regulations are different for “intermittent leave.” Placement of an employee in an alternative position due to intermittent leave does require maintaining the same pay level.]

Robert E. Gregg
Attorney at Law
Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field LLP
Phone: (608) 283-1751

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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New Proposed Regulations for Section 125 Plan for Cafeteria Plans
- By Adam P. Jensen, JD, CEBS, FLMI, Virchow Krause Employee Benefits, LLC

New Proposed Regulations Issued

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued updated Section 125 plan regulations for cafeteria plans, updating and consolidating proposed regulations dating back to 1984. The full text of the new proposed regulations is available at: Here are the highlights of the new proposed regulations.

Overview/Summary of new proposed regulations

  • Basic principles governing cafeteria plans remain the same
  • Includes new guidance that reflects changes in tax law
    • New definition of dependent
    • Adoption assistance added to cafeteria plans
    • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) which may be funded through cafeteria plans
  • Clarifies others issues that were previously the subject of informal guidance
    • Forfeitures belong to employer
    • Cafeteria plan is the exclusive means by which an employer can offer employees a choice between taxable and non-taxable benefits
    • Long-term care insurance may not be paid through a cafeteria plan (may be paid by an HSA that is funded by cafeteria plan)
    • New elections and revocations or changes in elections can be made electronically
  • Overall effective date of January 1, 2009, but good faith compliance in the meantime
  • Section 1.125-3 rules regarding FMLA remain unchanged (previously finalized)
  • Section 1.125-4 rules for changes in status also unchanged (previously finalized)

Who may participate in cafeteria plans?

  • Follows the updated Section 152 definition of a Dependent
  • Benefits for Non-spouse, Non-dependents may be paid through cafeteria plan, but taxable to employee at “fair market value”
  • Only “employees” may participate
  • Plan may include laid off or retired employees, but must be primarily active employees
  • 2% or greater S-Corp Owners, sole proprietors/self-employed, partners, non-employee directors of corporations not allowed to participate

Plan Operations

  • Employees who fall below fulltime status may pay COBRA premiums through cafeteria plan
  • Severance pay may be used to pay COBRA premiums through end of plan year only
  • Employer may limit FSA enrollment to persons enrolled in medical plan
  • Failure to follow the rules can result in plan disqualification, adverse tax consequences
  • Plan must be in writing and all terms must apply uniformly to all participants
  • Plan year must be 12 continuous months, but short plan years allowed for valid business reason
  • Employer contributions allowed subject to uniformity and non-discrimination rules
  • Prior Run-Out and Grace Periods Period rules retained

Individual Health Policies

  • Individual accident and health policies can be paid pre-tax through cafeteria plan (but not through the health FSA portion)

Substantiation of Expenses

  • All expenses must be substantiate or the plan can be disqualified
    • Substantiation may be via co-pay match, certain recurring expenses, or “real-time”
  • Terminated employees may spend down remaining dependent care funds if expenses are otherwise eligible

Changes to Imputed Income for Group Life Insurance

  • Only the Table 1 cost of group term life insurance exceeding $50,000 is includable in employees’ gross income (previously was the greater of actual cost or the Table 1 cost)


  • May be electronic, but you must keep a record
  • Only an employee can make an election or revoke or change his or her election
  • Employer may allow new employees 30 days after hire to make elections
    • Does not apply to employees termed and re-hired within 30 days
  • Changes to HSA elections may be made at any time, up to once per month
  • Employer may have default for new employee elections

Deferred Compensation

  • Deferred compensation still generally prohibited
  • IRS recognizes ability to pay for January benefits with December payroll
  • Exceptions for:
    • LTD policy paying benefits over more than one plan year
    • Reasonable premium rebates or policy dividends
    • Certain two-year lock-ins for dental and vision plans
    • Reimbursement of 213(d) expenses for certain durable medical equipment
    • Exception for advanced payment of orthodontia
      • Ortho claims considered to incurred when paid

 Paid Time Off Rules

  • New single category of “paid time off” for sick days, vacation days, and personal time off
    • Employees may purchase additional PTO or receive cash in lieu of PTO (“Buy/Sell”)
  • Prior ordering rules apply
    • Non-elective time must be used first, then elective
    • PTO remaining at the end of the year must be cashed out or forfeited (no grace period)

FSA-HSA Interplay

  • Cannot contribute to an HSA if covered by an FSA unless it is limited purpose or post-deductible

Debit Card rules

  • Prior rules retained

New Non-discrimination rules

  • News rules for highly compensated employees resemble those for qualified plans
  • Permissive disaggregation allowed for employees with less than three years of service
  • Testing now mandatory

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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Domestic Violence in the Workplace
By Shannon Barry, MSSW, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services

For many years, the topic of domestic violence has not often entered into the general discourse when communities have talked about public safety. Perhaps it is because many of us still hold on to the belief that domestic violence is a “family” issue or a private issue between intimate partners. Perhaps it is because many of us still believe that it is the victim’s fault if she stays in the relationship (even though she is 7 times more likely to be killed by her abuser when trying to separate than at any other time). Whatever the reason, recent homicides across the state this year which have included innocent bystanders (such as the shooting in Crandon or the multiple murders in Delavan) have made it apparent that we all need to be aware of how this issue impacts all levels of our community including the work place.

Domestic violence can have huge repercussions for the work place both in terms of employee safety and in terms of the “bottom line” for a business. Domestic violence has been showing up more frequently in the work place through such things as threatening or unwanted phone calls to a victim while she is at work, unwanted and unexpected visits from the abuser, and actual incidents of violence which may not only impact the victim but result in injury and fear for other workers who are bystanders to the incident. Domestic violence victims may also miss work due to injuries sustained by physical or sexual battery. In addition, an abuser may use resources at his own work place to terrorize the victim such as using his company’s phone to call the victim and harass her, using company e-mail to send threatening messages to the victim, or using a company car to stalk and harass his victim. All of the aforementioned outcomes likely hinder productivity at work for both victims and abusers.

National research indicates that among battered workers, 96% of them experience problems at work due to abuse. 74% of victims are harassed while at work by their abusers, 56% are late to work, 28% leave work early, and 54% miss entire days of work (American Institute of Domestic Violence). In addition, it is estimated that employers lose between $3 and $5 billion each year in absenteeism, lower productivity, higher turnover, and health and safety costs (American Institute of Domestic Violence). According to the Centers for Disease Control (2003) 8 million days of paid work are lost by victims of domestic violence each year. This is equivalent to 32,114 full time jobs.

There are things that employers and companies can do to mitigate the impact of domestic violence on their employees and their businesses. According to Robin H. Thompson of the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence, there are 9 “nuts and bolts” steps that employers can use to address domestic violence in the workplace. Detailed information about these steps can be found at Briefly, Thompson’s recommendations include the following:

  • Adopt a policy that specifically addresses domestic violence. This should be a policy in addition to company policies addressing general work place violence.
  • Train all employees on the policy. Additional training may be needed for managers.
  • Be consistent and vigilant in implementing and enforcing such a policy. Consistent enforcement improves victim safety and abuser accountability.
  • Comply with all local, state, and federal laws. Be aware that federal laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Occupational Safety Health Act can be applicable to domestic violence cases. Managers should work closely with employees who are victims, EAP, security, and local law enforcement to create safe environments and to be able to respond quickly to a violent incident or threat.
  • Audit your personnel policies to insure that the domestic violence policy is consistent with other personnel policies.
  • Refer employees to the Employee Assistance Program. The manager should refer employees to the EAP and allow the EAP and local domestic violence programs to undertake the responsibility of safety planning and victim advocacy.
  • Make benefits and policies that are victim/employee friendly.
  • Protect confidentiality. Employees may not come forward and talk to their supervisors about abuse unless they understand the limits of confidentiality.
  • Link with community programs. A significant part of the domestic violence workplace policy should be liaison between the EAP and the local domestic violence program.

(From: “Domestic Violence in the Workplace” by Ed Neunlist, United States Attorneys’ Bulletin, November 2005).

It is important that employers and businesses become a part of the community response to domestic violence in order to promote victim safety and hold batterers accountable. Domestic violence is a crime which has a far reaching impact for us all and we all must be a part of the solution.

For more information about services available in Dane County visit Information about domestic violence programs throughout the state of Wisconsin can be found at

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Website of the Month: 2008 Presidential Candidate Health Care Proposals

The Kaiser Family Foundation has put together a website tool to analyze the health care proposals among the 17 presidential candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties. You can view all of the proposals at once for either the Democrats or the Republicans. An even handier feature allows you to click on two or more candidates and compare their proposals, allowing a comparison between a leading candidate in both parties as well as any other number of comparisons within or across parties.

Click here to check it out.

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One of the Best-Kept Secrets in Business Today
By Lori L. Silverman

In recent years, organizations have used a variety of cost cutting measures to address the downturn in business. This has resulted in far fewer workers being pushed to work harder and longer hours, and to produce more than ever before. It is no surprise that employee stress and frustration have greatly heightened.

Imagine the impact this is having on their ability to learn, retain, and recall critical information. Information they need to make important decisions. Information they need to respond appropriately to customers. Information they need to follow through quickly on key strategies.

What if I told you there is a communication approach whose benefits far outweigh the singular use of spreadsheets and reports showcasing data and statistics and lists of do’s and don’ts? What if I told you it is woefully underutilized, except by enterprises who know its benefits, such as Rush-Copley Medical Center, Microsoft, Kimpton Hotels, Lands’ End and Verizon? What if I told you that it costs next to nothing to use? Would you want to use this approach at work?

Read full article…

Lori Silverman will be our special guest presenter at the December program meeting. Her topic will be Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over: Using Stories to Drive Results.

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What’s Cool in HR: Sourcing a Seasonal Workforce
By Meg Arneson, SPHR, Duluth Trading Company

A new career opportunity with a small, but fast growing catalog internet retailer, The Duluth Trading Company, brought with it a new professional challenge – planning and executing a recruitment program to build a seasonal workforce. As the hiring season wraps up, I can call it a gratifying experience for a couple of reasons. First, Human Resources and Operations worked together and achieved our hiring goals – Yeah! Just as importantly, I was able to tap into the expertise and support of SHRM colleagues who have or currently facilitate this exercise in support of their organization’s business model.

DTC is a rapidly growing catalog and internet retailer of hardworking clothing, tools and accessories, located just outside Madison. We regularly employ a workforce of two hundred operations and corporate office staff. This year we added approximately 350 seasonal employees in our Call and Distribution Centers. A key element to our success at DTC this peak season is what Kate Adametz-Jenkins, HR Coordinator at UW Credit Union, (previously with Land’s End) refers to as an “all hands on deck” mentality – “displayed by organization leaders and HR alike, with hiring managers who are invested and engaged in the process”.

While previously with Land’s End, Kate Adametz-Jenkins, collaborated to hire seasonal workforces ranging from 1,000-3,000 people. She explained that “The planning and preparation was year-round, but the hiring began in July and continued through October”. “It calls for great creativity.” She conveyed that, “This requires determining which employment propositions to tout, which may involve developing a different combination of rewards than are in place for regular non-seasonal employees.” Next, getting the word out through a variety of channels – radio, web, newspaper, employee referral incentives, etc. From there, it’s making the process as quick and easy for applicants as possible, all the while ensuring quality of hires and a compliant process.

Jane Monahan, Sr. HR Manager at Swiss Colony, headquartered in Monroe informs that by year end, they will hire over 5,000 seasonal employees throughout facilities located in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. She emphasizes that the seasonal workforce is viewed as an intricate part of their business model. “The seasonality of our business requires a versatile or flexible workforce. Hiring models based on historical predictive data ensure we generate the number of applicants to support our hiring needs.” Recruitment strategies are tailored to the idea that the demographics at Swiss Colony consist of the person that is not looking for year round employment such as the stay at home spouse, retirees, students or second jobbers. Jane explained that nearly two-thirds of Swiss Colony’s seasonal workforce is returning employees. She believes that is due to in part to the fact that “once we hire our employees the focus turns to employee retention, which involves a strong emphasis on training leadership staff on skills such as training, mentoring and motivating”.

As we know, practicing Human Resources can look very different from industry to industry and organization to organization. I hope with the help of colleagues working in organizations with similar business models, I’ve illustrated the challenges and rewards of a recruitment function in an organization requiring a seasonal workforce. So, what’s really cool about Human Resources in your organization?

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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

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We Can Make a Difference
By Sue Estes, Immediate Past President, GMA SHRM

As part of our strategic plan to reach out to our community, GMA SHRM will support charitable organizations by bringing awareness to our members of the causes the organizations support, the services they provide, and the volunteer opportunities available to us. With our involvement, we can make a difference to these support organizations and our community.

A committee consisting of two Board members and two chapter members was formed to define the selection criteria, review prospective charitable organizations GMA SHRM might support, determine ways to get involved in the organizations, and find tie-ins with our Chapter education/programming. The recommendations by the committee included the following criteria:

  • Charity must be somehow related to HR and/or related to improving the work environment
  • Charity must be a 501(c)(3) charity
  • Charity must have a chapter member who is a champion for that charity
  • Charity must meet one or more of the following financial criteria –
    • Low revenue and/or in need of funds
    • Fledging/new organization
    • Low level of community awareness regarding the charity
    • Efficient with funds raised
    • Local

This year we will be supporting Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS). Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, located in Madison offers a 24-hour crisis line, a 25-bed safe house for women and their children, legal advocacy, support groups, information and referrals. DAIS is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. For more information about DAIS, please visit Bonnie Wendorff is our local GMA SHRM member who is the “Chapter Champion” for DAIS and who helped identify how GMA SHRM could support DAIS.

As part of this philanthropic initiative, we’ll plan educational programs ( Shannon Barry, Executive Director, DAIS will speak at the Small HR PEGs November 2 nd program on Workplace Violence) and feature articles on the topic of domestic abuse in the HR InTouch newsletter. In addition, we’ll inform our members of the ways they can contribute their time and resources to support DAIS.

If you have a charitable organization you would like GMA SHRM to consider for future philanthropic support, please contact Sue Estes at (608)238-3410 or via email

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How You Can Make a Difference Today – DAIS Adopt-A-Family Program
By Sue Estes, Immediate Past President, GMA SHRM

The added pressure of the holidays can be extremely stressful for people who are dealing with issues related to domestic violence. A large percentage of DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) clients are low-income. Some of them are still in the relationship and may be so focused on day to day survival that it may be extremely difficult to buy holiday gifts for their children. Others may have recently left but needed to leave many possessions behind (or the abuser may have destroyed their possessions) so they are basically starting over from scratch. DAIS representatives feel that it’s incredibly rewarding to see the happiness and relief on consumers’ faces when they receive their gifts, as well as heartwarming to see how generous the community can be.”

What is the Adopt a Family Program?
People who have used DAIS services fill out a holiday gift wish lists. The wish lists are matched to donors who then purchase the gifts that are on the wish lists.

How much of a financial contribution is it?
The financial contribution depends on the size of the family you choose to be matched with. The estimated cost is approximately $40-$60 per person in the family, plus an additional $10 – $50+ for a grocery store gift card.

How can I (or my HR team or company) get matched with a family?
To participate you simply contact Karen Larson at DAIS indicating the size of the family you would like to purchase gifts for. Then, Karen will send you a wish list that fits the level at which you feel you can participate.


Karen Larson, DAIS Children’s Program Coordinator, for more details at (608) 251-1237 ext. 326 or via email

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WISHRM State Conference Team Seeks Committee Members

Our 2008 Conference Co-Chairs Kellie Dunn-Poggemann, SPHR and Jenny Lowe, SPHR need your assistance in identifying potential candidates for the 2008 State Conference Committee. The Conference will be held at the Regency Suites and KI Convention Center in Green Bay, WI on October 15 - 17, 2008.   Committee Members can come from anywhere in the state and/or can be affiliated with any local SHRM Chapter.

If you are interested, or know someone who is, you can find more information on the WISHRM website at this link


SHRM Foundation Regional Scholarship Award Winner

Congratulations to Cassy Van Dyke, SPHR recipient of a SHRM Academic Scholarship!

A total of 100 regional education and certification scholarships were awarded to SHRM members in 2007. Awards included 40 academic scholarships of $1,375 each and 60 certification scholarships of $750 each. Twenty awards were given in each of the five domestic SHRM regions. The SHRM Foundation received over 370 applications this year for the 100 scholarship opportunities. For more information about the SHRM Foundation’s regional scholarship program including a list of recipients, please visit

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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:

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

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 September 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

Michelle Scheffler, PHR has accepted a new opportunity as HR Director for Roche NimbleGen.   Roche NimbleGen, an international company, is a manufacturer and supplier of a proprietary suite of DNA microarrays, consumables, instruments and services.  She will be responsible for implementing and building the HR practices including recruiting, benefits, compensation, employee relations and training & development.  Her new contact information is

Have you started with a new company? Has your organization recently promoted you to a new position? Or do you want to recognize a new person or promotion within your department? If so, we want to hear about it. Send us an e-mail, and we’ll publish your good news in the next HR InTouch!

HR InTouch Guidelines

Article Writing:

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

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

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

Article length:

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


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

If you have questions, or to submit an article, contact GMA SHRM at .









Greater Madison Area SHRM, Inc.
2830 Agriculture Dr.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 204-9814
fax: (608) 204-9818

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