SRKA Updates Website, Sees Increase in Membership

At SRKA, we identified a need to have a comprehensive website that would manage our memberships, events, and serve as an electronic brochure for our Chapter.  We wanted one site to professionally brand our Chapter.  We needed a site to accept membership applications, renewals and event registrations.  We needed to be able to process credit payments on-line as a convenience to retain our Members and attract prospective members.  We needed to streamline membership management duties for our Board and have real time visibility to our numbers.

Our Chapter was struggling to manage membership applications and renewals.  Several Board Members were involved in the process leading to errors.  We relied on Excel spreadsheets for rosters and it was difficult to have accurate lists when needed.  Most applications and renewals were handled manually requiring trips to the bank and post office and delays in processing memberships.  New members were not added promptly to our email list and some were missed.  These efforts were time consuming and inefficient.

We were using Eventbrite to manage our events.  It was inefficient because we had to enter events there and on our website.  It was also the only place we kept our email list and the features for managing the list were not as robust as needed.

We evaluated various membership management/website providers including Wild Apricot and ultimately decided on Wild Apricot.  We established the site and enabled credit card processing with PayPal.  We transferred all of our membership records and email lists to the new site.

The new website and membership process has been a hit with our members.  Membership is up.  Our Board can now review accurate membership, event and financial information in real time.   This change has been well worth the minimal financial investment.

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Sheboygan Area SHRM Gives Back

The HR profession is often a connector to community involvement.  Community involvement is a great way to highlight the profession and show goodwill within our communities.  With the recent devastating hurricanes to TX and FL, Sheboygan Area SHRM has recognized the need to reach out and make some impact.   Our chapter sent out a plea of help to our Chapter members to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Jose.  The aftermath of those storms were devastating and hard for us to comprehend.

At our September chapter meeting, we collected contributions that will be donated to the American Red Cross.  We announced that in support of your contributions collected during the meeting, the Board unanimously agreed to contribute chapter matching funds, for this worthy cause. 

As a result of the generosity of our chapter members that were present at the September meeting, we raised $250, which was then matched by the Chapter for a total donation of $500. The American Red Cross was so appreciative of the money, which is needed to support the work they are doing to counter the effects of the devastation left by Harry, Irma, Jose, and Maria. We have a great group of chapter members who embody the mission of advancing the professional through community and professional involvement!

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“Keep Calm and Labor On” with St. Croix Valley SHRM

In September the St Croix Valley Employers Association offered a full day seminar titled, “Keep Calm and Labor On”.  In addition to four fantastic speakers we held a session titled, Keep Calm and Carry On:  Ask the Right Questions.  We decided to do a sort of Book Club for our seminar participants.

The book that we chose was titled, “Wait, What?  And Life’s Other Essential Questions” by James E Ryan.  Ryan is the Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.  We started out the session showing a clip of Ryan’s commencement address at the 2016 Harvard Graduate School of Education ceremony.

The clip can be found at

In the address Ryan asks the students to remember to these five questions throughout their lives:

Wait, what? | I wonder if… | Couldn’t we at least? | How can I help? | What truly matters?

He ends his address by telling the audience that by going through life asking these questions, in the end they will be able to answer the most important question of all, “And did you get what you wanted out of life, even so?”

Two of our board members, who had read the book and recommended it, focused on their favorite chapters and gave a brief synopsis of the material found in that chapter.  At the end of the session we gave away several copies of the book.  Our seminar participants loved the format and we plan to use the Book Club idea again in the future!

“Wait, What?” By James E Ryan is available for purchase on Amazon or at other book retailers.

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Sauk Columbia SHRM Chapter plans for a Great Year Ahead!

Sauk Columbia SHRM had a great summer with a fun golf outing for all members, as well as an excellent strategic planning session for the board.  A fantastic speaker line up was set for the programming year, and new plans and initiatives were decided upon.

We kicked off our first meeting with high attendance and a favorite speaker.  Jennifer Mirus entertained the group with current legal issues facing companies today.  The board purchased books from the HR Store at the WI State SHRM Conference last year, and is holding a drawing for a free book as a meeting closer each month.  This is in an effort to encourage attendance, and show appreciation for members.  Our first winner won a book on Employee Engagement. 

SC SHRM also held their annual Getting to Know You networking social in September.  A fun time was had by all attendees who enjoyed appetizers, drinks, and great company.  A drawing was held for a Sauk Columbia SHRM membership, as well as a VISA gift card.

Attracting student members is a new initiative for SC SHRM.  Our college relations chair is collaborating with area schools to offer two free memberships to college students going into the field of HR as long as they commit to attending 3 or more meetings.  SC SHRM is also proud to support area schools by offering three scholarships each year. 

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Dodge County SHRM is Using Social Media to Grow their Chapter

Over the last few months the use of our social media accounts has become lax. With the new membership year coming up for Dodge County SHRM, and the change in our Social Media/Website Coordinator, we are going to use social media to help grow our chapter even more than it has in the last few years.

Social media has become the way to get information out to millions of people at one time and an easy way to promote, not only business for large companies, but to recruit people to join non-profit organizations. With the use of social media Dodge County SHRM will have the opportunity to promote  our chapter to not just those living in the area, but to people around the world. Of course the goal is for more area professionals to join our chapter, benefit from our monthly meetings, and  to share their knowledge and experiences with others in our group, who in turn will do the same.

Dodge County SHRM has used Facebook and LinkedIn in the past, and we are  adding Twitter and Instagram to the mix as well. Using all of these platforams to promote our chapter and the activities that we are involved in will make it fun and interesting for everyone to read and look at, even if you are not a member. Using all of these accounts will allow us to share meeting announcemnets, articles on importanat HR changes, photos of events we are part of, and so much more.

When area professionals that are not yet a part of our chapter see the fun that we have and the extensive knowledge that many of our members share with us, they will want to become part of Dodge County SHRM.

Want to join in on the fun? Follow us on:

LinkedIn –
Twitter –
Facebook –
Instagram –

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MMSHRM – Striving to be the Absolute Best for its Members!

At Metro Milwaukee SHRM, we’ve experienced our share of success (and failure), but it’s around this time of year that we face the realization that we haven’t met the expectations of all of our members.  That’s a painful realization, perhaps even more so because of our successes.  We thought we were doing great, but then a member chooses not to renew (our membership cycle is July 1 to June 30).  Why would they not renew?

Of course there will always be some people who don’t renew because they have left the profession or left the area, but there are plenty of others who leave for reasons that, we think, are more in our control. Somehow, we didn’t deliver on the promises we made or those promises were for things the member didn’t really value.

We send exit surveys, but history suggests that the response rate won’t be good and even then, we’re not sure we’re getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  People tend to select answers from among the options we provide them, but they don’t go much deeper.  And why would they?  They’re leaving the organization, so what’s the return on their investment of time and energy?

So we looked to our members, who do have a vested interest in giving us insights into what they value and how we can exceed their expectation.  In June, a survey was sent to our members and our response rate would be considered excellent by most measures.  Some of what we heard we were already discussing.  As a group, our leaders are representative of the membership as a whole, so we expect them to be tuned in.  But there were some things that surprised us too.

The result of this input was a meeting of our leadership group and we painstakingly reviewed the results, looking for the little nuggets that could help us move from good to great.  For one, our members told us that they wanted more information about HR’s strategic role.  To that end, we are in the process of working on a second HR Executive Insight program when a panel of senior HR leaders from the area share their insights in a moderated panel discussion.  Another point that members made is that we do a lot of programs on the HR body of knowledge, but that we don’t do a lot with what we are calling professional development, but here the focus isn’t on the HR body of knowledge but broader themes on leadership, time management, and more.

Our members also told us that they had plenty of problems on their desks already and what they wanted were more solutions.  In response, we created a Facebook Group to serve as a platform for members to share problems and solutions.  We also reworked our Fall educational conference to be a legislative, regulatory and judicial review but to use case studies as the foundation for learning, partnering our attorney members with HR professionals to present real-world scenarios and real-world solutions.

Our Spring Conference keynote, Ryan Estis, told us that great organizations disrupt themselves and are constantly asking the question about whether or not they are better as an organization today than they were the day before.  Thanks to our member input and the decisive action by our leadership group, we think we can say we are, but tomorrow’s another day.  And tomorrow, we’ll be better still.  There’s no destination on our journey toward success, but there is a goal:  To serve the professional and to advance the profession.  And to provide unparalleled value to our members in all that we do.

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FVSHRM Board Inaugural Board Retreat & Strategic Planning

The companies for which we work spend lots of time and resources to develop a mission, vision, and then strategy to execute upon that both short term and long term.  Sometimes as HR professionals we have an opportunity to help develop this strategy, though we are usually an important component in execution of that strategy (since companies need people to create their product or deliver their service).  After having an opportunity at the recent Wisconsin State Council SHRM 2017 Leadership conference in Green Lake to provide input on Wisconsin SHRM’s strategic plan, we were energized.  Too often as volunteers we are guilty of getting the minimum done in order to move forward, but not spending the time on the larger mission, vision, and strategic plan.  Instead of “best practices” we wanted to take our chapter to the “next level.”  This is  a great vision, but as Henry Ford has said “a vision without execution is just a hallucination.”  So we set out to tackle a strategic plan.
We met outside of our normal board and chapter meeting on a Wednesday afternoon for a board retreat.  We had an opportunity to spend quality time together doing a boat tour.  Then we sat down for dinner and did a SWOT analysis of our own Chapter, similar to what we did at the State Council level in Green Lake.  With 12 out of the 13 board members, and dinner and drinks, we were able to just get through that at our retreat.  But we spent time communicating via email and tasked each board member to come to our next meeting prepared to discuss our mission.  Although updating our mission statement had been a priority for us all year, it came together relatively easy after we identified what we did well and were we had room for opportunity.  The mission of Fox Valley SHRM:  Inspire, Engage, and Advance the human resources profession in the Fox Valley community.
Once our mission was developed, and with our opportunities/challenges outlined before us, we were able to set forth our strategic initiatives for the next 3 years, which included improving communication strategies and providing value to the community, both geographically and to our profession.  As a volunteer-run organization, we understand that people have day jobs, but we also need to have accountability to move the process forward too.  Creating digestible tasks from our overall mission and strategic plan, and assigning ownership for those tasks will create accountability and more likely to ensure we execute on what we have set forth.
We are excited to see how far we can go when we work in tandem toward our strategic goals!
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GMA SHRM Volunteer Recognition Awards & Casino Night Recap

GMA SHRM started new volunteer recognition awards in 2017 to thank our members that have made a significant impact to our organization. We are fortunate to have so many volunteers that take time out of their busy schedules to give back to the Chapter. Without them, we would not be able to provide the wonderful programming and communications that support the Human Resources profession.
We have three award categories and we were pleased to announce the 2017 winners of
those awards at our August Casino Night – a unique & fun filled member networking event.  Casino Night was a hit & transcended the traditional “happy hour” experience – members mingled while betting big on black jack, roulette, and more. Card sharks and novice gamblers alike shared laughs and created connections – meaning everyone left as a winner!
Congrats to our 2017 Award Winners
Alicia Foulker & Clara Tavarez is this year’s GMA SHRM RISING STAR!
The GMA SHRM Rising Star award is intended for a volunteer who has been volunteering less than 2 years with the chapter and has made a big impact on GMA SHRM.  Alicia received this award for being very involved with Student Night out, taking the event from a small event on UW Madison’s campus and evolving it into a large, engaging event with keynote speakers and panelists.  Clara is also a deserving participant due to her involvement with our annual Human Capital Conference in May.  Clara also recently took over as newsletter chair for GMA SHRM which is a big undertaking and a monthly responsibility. Clara has been willing to jump in and lend a hand on multiple committees.
Cory Erickson is this year’s GMA SHRM AMBASSADOR!
The GMA SHRM Ambassador is for a volunteer or member who has been with
GMA SHRM for 3+ years and has always spoken highly of GMA SHRM and is always
advocating to the greater Madison Community about our chapter and what we offer.  Cory is not only a gold sponsor for GMA SHRM, but a great senior leader, mentor and
friend to many of our members. He volunteers with GMA SHRM, as well as other
organizations in the community, attends nearly every event and is a great ambassador for our chapter.
Kathy Wright is this year’s GMA SHRM CHAMPION!
The GMA SHRM Champion award is given to a volunteer who has been volunteering for 5+ years and is someone GMA SHRM has always been able to count on to help where  needed.  The GMA SHRM Champion is committed to the chapter and the greater Madison HR community.  Kathy has been involved with GMA for several years and has volunteered on nearly every committee. Though she has a demanding day job, she always finds time to support any initiative the committee has and dedicates herself to the activity.
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Member Driven Programming at Chippewa Valley SHRM This Year

At the beginning of the year, Chippewa Valley SHRM decided to give our members what they were asking for in programming through the year. Through survey results we have been able to give robust programs that cover leadership and HR topics that will help our members grow. We also wanted to keep things fun and maintain networking events for our members to get to know each other. This past July we held a Painting Party at Cheers Pablo that was a blast! In June and August we dove into the topics of Safety within our HR World and then Leading Change with Grit, Compassion and Humor.

This fall we look forward to having 2 sessions of our legal update, which always has a wonderful turnout and then some fun with our member appreciation party in October. We will hold our elections in November for open board positions and then end the year with an event that gives back to the community.   We look forward to then kicking off 2018 with another bang and continuing to grow our chapter with new and exciting programming.

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Fond du Lac Area HR Association Partners With Fond du Lac Works

The Fond du Lac Area HR Association has continued to focus efforts on strengthening its partnership with the local Association of Commerce.

Our chapter is now highlighted on the Fond du Lac Works website found here:

“Fond du Lac Works” is a city-wide initiative focused on attracting and retaining talent in the area.  The HR chapter provides information about our Board of Directors, Committees, scholarship opportunities, upcoming programs, sponsorship opportunities, and certifications here.  Additionally, we provide a “members only” page where paying HR Association members can learn more about the local wage and benefit survey, HR best practices and team building exercises.  Our goal is to continue to meet and exceed the needs of our members as well as the community at large.

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