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What's Up With the Board of Directors?

    Welcome to our space featuring information from our Board.  Each month, we will highlight a different board member - their position on the board, something about them, maybe some HR tips and/or resources, and much more!  We hope you will enjoy this learning opportunity and consider joining our board when seats become available.

    If you'd like more information on joining our Board or about your fellow members who currently serve, check out our Contact Us - BOD tab on this website.  

    April 2024 - Lisa Wakeley. President-Elect

    Hi Everyone!

    I am new to the Board this year, but not to RRHRPA. I have been a part of this group for seven years and appreciate what it has done for me.  I am excited to give back and serve the team. As President-Elect, I know I will have big shoes to fill when Kendra's term is done and I am thankful she will still be available for support.

    For those I haven't met, I am a Dixon native, married and have two children in grade school.  We are a very active family who love taking trips, playing outside, yes, even in the winter, and are HUGE Iowa Hawkeye fans!  I have been around the HR Profession my entire life since my mom was an HR Manager for many years. She even served as President of RRHRPA.  I am happy I followed in her footsteps but believe it or not coming out of high school I thought I wanted to be an Accountant. What was I thinking?! I love what I do, even if I don't like it everyday. ;)  I'm sure most of you can relate.

    I look forward to getting to know you all and serving as your President-Elect. I would also love to hear your thoughts on what is going well and what you would like to see more and/or less of over the next few years!


    Lisa Wakeley, SHRM-CP

    March 2024 - Anita Carney, Workforce Readiness & Education Chair

    Hello everyone!

    I don’t know about you, but I am ready for Spring! I have a busy schedule planned for the next few months, and the warmer temperatures and sunshine will be a great asset to those plans!

    I am the Workplace Readiness and Education Chairperson in our RRHRPA group. I enjoy both roles and the networking and camaraderie the group brings. I am the Recruitment and Retention Manager at Sinnissippi Centers, where I have been for almost five years now. I love what I do each day and feel as though in my role, I am part of something much larger than just my job. Supporting the staff and outreach of Mental Health Services is so important; it truly gives meaning to my life.

    As I mentioned, our RRHRPA group provides a great networking platform. I am not a traditional HR person, but my staff are my clients, so my role is directly related to HR. So, even if HR is not your title, there is much to be gained from this fantastic group of professionals. Finding a group that supports you professionally and shares ideas, tips, and information to help you when you have questions is so refreshing.

    I make no excuses that my life goals and achievements are not career-driven but in my family. My husband and I live in Dixon and have four children. They are all growing up and becoming amazing adults; this is bittersweet! I love watching them flourish and sharing their many successes. When they say don’t blink – they mean it! Now, I find myself transitioning to a parent of adult children; I must say that being a grandparent to two granddaughters is such a blessing!

    I am looking forward to a great year with RRHRPA and everyone!

    Anita Carney

    February 2024 - Morgan Germann, Communications Chair

    Hello fellow RRHRPA members!  

    I hope your 2024 is off to a great start and if you made any New Year’s resolutions, I hope they’re holding strong! I don’t know about you, but I still can’t believe we’re in February already. At least the ground hog last week did NOT see his shadow so we should be expecting an early Spring, yay!!

    For those of you who may not know me, my name is Morgan Germann, and I am the new RRHRPA Communications Chair as of January 2024. I first joined this association back in 2022 (seems like that was just yesterday) because I heard about it through a couple of my clients in the area and with the intentions of simply being a resource to all of my fellow members as I specialize in employee benefits consulting with Holmes Murphy & Associates. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but the current healthcare landscape is very complex, and costs just seem to keep on going up and up! Did you know that according to the Milliman Medical Index, the average total annual healthcare cost for a family of four covered through an employer-sponsored PPO plan in 2023 was over $31,000? That’s more than the national average cost of a wedding or the MSRP of a brand new 2024 Subaru Outback. Talk about unsustainable! As a result, I am passionate about educating employers on why healthcare in America is in its current state and helping them strategize on new ways they can lower their overall spend. I just wanted to be able to put my passions to good use with an association that could benefit!! As for why I joined the board as the Communications Chair, it quite simply seemed like fun! I love being creative, networking, and sharing new ideas/resources with others. This board position lets me do just that! Not to mention, the women that serve on the board today are absolutely wonderful and could not be a better group to collaborate with. Special shout out to my mentor, Susan Swegle! Now that’s a rockstar.

    When I’m not working or serving on the RRHRPA board, you can usually find me at an Iowa Hawkeye sporting event or convincing my husband of the next place we need to travel. We spent two weeks in Italy and Switzerland over the summer. Lake Como, Italy will forever be my happy place and a must visit if you haven’t already! My husband and I are in for a wild ride here very soon though as we’re expecting the arrival of our first child in April! We’re having a baby girl and we could not be more excited. Any and all baby advice is welcomed!!

    As the new Communications Chair, I thought I would share with you all a couple of my goals for the position! 

    • Produce new content that will make our monthly newsletters even more beneficial/helpful for our members.  
    • Find new ways to communicate the benefits of being a part of our association to increase membership.

    Do you have any ideas that could help us in these areas?! If so, don’t hesitate to reach out! You can always email or feel free to get ahold of me through my work email at

    Let’s have a great year everyone! Cheers!

    Morgan Germann, GBA, GBDS

    January 2024 - Kendra Hull, RRHRPA President

    Happy New Year!

    If you have not already heard, the RRHRPA Board is going to be making some BIG changes this year. 

    Effective January 1st:

    • Dianne Frye will be handing over her Treasurer duties to Rhonda DeWitte.
    • Rhonda DeWitte will be transitioning the SHRM Foundation position over to Alisa Wolf.
    • Susan Swegle will be stepping down from her position of Communications Chair and Morgan Germann will be taking over.

    Both Dianne and Susan have been cherished members of the RRHRPA Board and have shared their wealth of knowledge for many years. We will miss working with them!

    I will be beginning the second year of my term as Chapter President, which means that we will be needing a new President Elect in 12 short months!  Lisa Werstine is currently our President Elect and will be taking over for me January 1, 2025.

    This is actually my second time being RRHRPA President.  I love being involved with the Chapter and being Chapter President has helped me so much! It has made me step outside of my box. I wouldn’t say I am a shy person, but standing in front of a lot of people is not my cup of tea! 

    One of the responsibilities of the President is to be part of the Illinois SHRM Board. I have met so many people from all over Illinois and the United States who are involved with SHRM. If I run into a problem or have questions about something, I always have someone I can call. There are usually four Board Meetings a year. In 2023, three were virtual with only one being in person.

    The Annual IL SHRM Conference in Oakbrook Terrace is a required conference for the Chapter President. IL SHRM waives the conference fee, and in turn the President attends the in-person Board Meeting and also has a couple tasks to do at the conference.  Tasks usually consist of introducing a speaker or volunteering at the SHRM booth.

    This past November was my fourth time getting to go to Washington D.C. for the Annual SHRM Volunteer Business Meeting. SHRM has a Capitol Hill Day where volunteers get to meet with their House Representatives and Senators. If you are lucky, you can even go to the Capital Building and sit in (if they are in session). This is a FREE benefit as a Chapter President. SHRM pays for two nights at a really nice hotel (Marriott Marquis Downtown D.C. or Gaylord Resort, National Harbor – they switch every other year).  The Chapter pays for the flight and one night. I have to say, this is one of my favorite SHRM perks!

    I can honestly say SHRM has been the best volunteer position I have EVER had!! 

    If you are interested in becoming the next President Elect, let me know. I would love to talk to you!

    I hope you have a Safe, Healthy and Happy 2024!

    Kendra Hull, PHR, SHRM-CP

    November/December 2023 - Mandy Anderson, Membership Chair

    Season's Greetings,

    Hello, my name is Mandy Anderson and I am the Membership Chair for RRHRPA. I love this group; I love the fact that I have so many resources for all things HR. I have no idea how long I have been a member of the group but in true introvert style, it took me years to talk at a meeting. During the start of the pandemic, the Membership Chair position was open and I jumped at the chance to work with the board. 

    I signed up for the November/December bulletin board article because I love Christmas. As a child, I was blessed to have some Christmas' with twelve gifts under the tree, and others I was humbled to have only three gifts under the tree. I have always tried to make sure my children had a magical Christmas'; along with knowing the greatest gift we received!

    But, today has been a hard day. One of those days where you don't really understand what happened. When you question, is this where I am supposed to be?

    As I sit at my desk struggling to write something meaningful, I see it. It's a magnet on my filing cabinet that reads,

    Real Queens Fix Each Other's Crowns

    Each one of us possesses unique talents and attributes, but here I want to honor a few women who I've gotten to know on the RRHRPA Board.

    Susan Swegle has the gift of kindness. She will make a stranger feel like a friend.

    Kendra Hull has the gift of laughter. Just being in her presence makes your heart lighter and your smile bigger.

    Anna Garcia should be a makeup artist, I swear! Have you seen her makeup? She always looks beautiful!

    Rebecca Munoz-Ripley has the gift of fashion. Almost every time I see her, I ask where she got her outfit.

    Rhonda Dewitte has the gift of friendship. When I see Rhonda, I feel like I have a friend and ally.

    I chose just a few of the incredible women that I am honored to serve with and who I've gotten to know in my time on the board. I cannot wait for you to get to know ALL the incredible women and their gifts.

    My message is this, whatever your gift is, share it! The world needs more kindness, love, compassion, forgiveness, grace, thankfulness, and faith. Share your gifts and make this world a much better place.

    October 2023 - Dianne Frye, Treasurer

    Hello everyone,

    It was over 20 years ago, when my job duties changed at Dixon Public Schools, and I found myself dealing with a few human resource areas for the District. 

    It was Susan Swegle who encouraged me to join the Rock River Human Resource Professional Association, and I’m sure glad she did.  This group has been a wonderful resource for me, but mostly the members have become friends, and have always been very supportive.

    Now after 35 years in the District, and over 20 of those years doing benefits, workers compensation, unemployment, etc., I am closing in on retirement. 

    Many years ago, I did one of those Career Aptitude/Personality tests, and the results showed that I needed a job where I deal with people.  I have always been kind of social, so that made sense.

    As I start to reflect upon retirement, I know that I am going to miss many things about being an HR professional.  One of those things is the people.  I know that we will all agree that sometimes dealing with people is not always sunshine and roses.  I have always tried to live by the motto – “Keep the Human in Human Resources”.   And the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s not always easy – is it?  Just ask my husband who listens to me when I get home and vent.

    I hope that all of you will find value in the Rock River Human Resource Professional Group and continue your participation in the group.  There is so much knowledge here and I have grown so much because of this group. 

    I don’t plan to go too far and hope to stay active in the group.  Best wishes to you all!

    With much love and admiration,

    Dianne Frye – current Treasurer of the RRHRPA

    September 2023 - Sally Hanrahan, Program Chair


    You know those catchy songs that make your toes tap and your head nod and you don’t even know you are doing it?  “September” is one of those songs for me.  That song shows up on my play list and, suddenly, I am singing along – loudly - without even caring that people are cringing around me.  My dance moves are awkward, too, but I don’t care.  For a few short minutes, my soul feels lighter. No problems.  Just grooving to “Ba-Dee-Ya, dancin’ in September”.

    Speaking of “September”, September is also the month RRHRPA will start planning our holiday party for December and our programs for 2024.  Did you know you can be part of the planning process?  It can be as simple as suggesting a program topic or recommending a speaker.  The best topics are those that appeal to the wide range of our membership and the best presenters are those who love what they do.  I’d love to hear your suggestions for 2024.  Please reach out to me directly or contact any of our board members.

    A little about me….I am the Youth Coordinator for BEST Inc. which is a non-profit job training organization.  My 33 years at BEST has flown by !  I help 16-24 year olds in Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, Carroll and Jo Daviess counties connect to job shadows, work experiences, careers and occupational training.

    I have two wonderful children and am delighted that I will be a mother-in-law in 2024!

    Looking ahead, David Cory, will present “The Emotional Intelligence Employee Development Blueprint” virtually at our September meeting and Heather Acerra will present information on “Stay Interviews” at our October meeting at SVCC.  Both are going to be wonderful so I hope you can join us.

    May 2023 - Rebecca Munoz-Ripley, Diversity Chair

    Hi! I am Rebecca Muñoz-Ripley the Executive Director of the YWCA of the Sauk Valley. I serve RRHRPA as the Diversity Chair. In 1996, I began my relationship with the YWCA when I became as an on-call volunteer for the Sexual Assault Program. I completed the 40-hour advocate training. This training allowed me to volunteer to answer the 24-hour hotline and respond to call outs to support victims at hospitals. My time volunteering at the YWCA was pivotal in my career. The connections I made during training and my experiences helped cultivate my passion for the YWCA and its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. I longed to be a greater part of the organization and was fortunate when a job opening arose. I began working at the YWCA in January 2005 as the Director of Marketing & Community Services and moved into my new role in 2017.

    At the YWCA, we strive to empower those in our community who are voiceless to find their voice. We utilize an empowerment philosophy through all of our services: domestic violence services, sexual assault services, immigrant outreach, career services, and girls empowerment groups. Our 24-hours hotlines are always available and offer free, confidential assistance.

    Personally, I am married and have 5 children, three dogs, and two grandpups! I love spending time with my family, reading, and baking. I do enjoy spending time outside, Neflix, a great mystery, and breakfast smoothies.

    Please remember that the YWCA is here for you. We can provide in-house training and in-services on sexual harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, immigrants and immigration, and diversity, equity and inclusion. If you ever run into a situation of encountering someone who many need our services, we are here. I can ever assist you in some way, please do not hesitate to reach and connect with me. The YWCA is here to serve the Sauk Valley.

    April 2023  - Susan Swegle, Communications Chair

    I love Spring!  Everything is new and bright and beautiful!  We’ve endured some nasty storms of late (really hope that everyone fared well through them), but you know, April showers bring May flowers – and some much earlier too!  My daffodils are starting to pop already!

    While I’m talking about new things, I’d like to reminisce a bit as well.  I have loved being a part of RRHRPA for the last 23 years.  It has certainly helped me expand my career and my knowledge of HR.  I have met some of the BEST people in the world – fellow HR professionals who, of course, are always the best!!  I’ve moved from the person asked to take on HR for the company I was working for (and yes, at that time I asked, “what’s HR?”) to my current position as Benefits & HR Training Manager of an entire university with seven people reporting to me.  I am grateful for all the assistance RRHRPA has provided to me and my career.  I hope that you find this as a member of this great group as well.

    This has been an amazing year for the Swegle family.  Our son and his wife gave us our first grandchild in August 2022 (she’s 8 months old already – so hard to believe) and she is just the best!  Our daughter gets married in less than two months and we are over the moon thrilled about it!  My husband and I just ‘snow-birded’ in Florida for two weeks in February and the sun and surf were fantastic and an awesome relief from Illinois’s coldest month!  Getting old(er) isn’t so bad, really! 

    As the RRHRPA Communications Chair, I love all the connections I get to make with our members.  But that getting old(er) part I just mentioned will bring me to my retirement very soon, and with that, the (hard) decision to slow down with RRHRPA as well.  I have held many board positions with this magnificent organization, but it is time to let someone else do it for a while.  My hope is that one of you will step up and train with me in 2024 as the Communication Chair-Elect (or take over if you are ready).  Then in  January 2025, I step away and let you fly free (if we even need that long).  Could that be you?  The position really fits the time you have to give.  I probably spend about 5-10 hours a month on it depending upon what needs to be done (that includes being available for board and chapter meetings), but that can certainly be adjusted based on the time you have available.  It is such a fun position for someone who loves to be creative and enjoys the social media end of things.  You get to create a monthly newsletter, monitor the Gmail inbox, manage the Facebook page, and run our website.  It’s also a great way to earn recertification credits (you can earn up to 9 for an entire cycle of recertification).  All very easy and trust me, if I’ve been able to do it, anyone else will be able to do it even better (and no one says you have to continue doing it the way I have – make your own with board guidance).  But most of all, you get to be on the board of one of the best HR organizations in the Rock River area!

    This is such an important role on our board, and I hope someone will decide that it sounds like the right place for them!  Contact me at or if you have any questions.

    Thanks for listening!

     Susan Swegle

    March 2023 - Anita Carney, Workforce Readiness and Education Chair

    Hello everyone!

    It’s March, and Spring is just around the corner! I am ready for outdoor activities and more sunshine in my days!

    I am the Workplace Readiness and Education Chairperson for our RRHRPA, and both roles fit my passion and work history. I have always worked in roles that support others with their Career endeavors. Before moving to Illinois in 2005 I worked in for a subsidiary of the State of Missouri as an HR Care Coordinator for individuals at risk and those facing adversities. So, when we moved to Illinois, I sought out similar roles that utilized this unique work experience. I was the Career Services Coordinator at SVCC for eight years and am now the Recruitment and Retention Manager at Sinnissippi Centers where I have been for almost four years.  I love what I do each day and feel as though in my role that I am part of something much larger than just my job.

    I joined the RRHRPA as a networking opportunity many years ago and it has been a great professional resource and support. Since I am not exactly in the field of “HR”, but in a closely related role, I wasn’t certain how I would fit in with this group. Let me tell you, even if HR is not your title, there is so much to be gained from this amazing group of professionals. It is so refreshing to find a group that supports you professionally and shares ideas, tips, and information to help you when you might have questions.

    My legacy in life is my family. My husband and I live in Dixon and have four children. They are all growing up and becoming these amazing adults, this is bittersweet! I love watching them flourish, but do miss the days of football games, dance competitions, golf tournaments, baseball games and everything else that filled our lives. Now I find myself transitioning to a parent of adult children; I must say that being a grandparent to two granddaughters is such a blessing!

    I am looking forward to a great year with RRHRPA, I hope to see everyone soon!

    Anita Carney

    February 2023 - Megan Kuhn, Secretary

    Greetings! I am your Chapter Board Secretary and the Director of Human Resources at Kreider Services.

    I became involved in RRHRPA around 2007 as a college student scholarship recipient. I was an intern at KSB Hospital HR department and Lisa Blackburn brought me along to chapter meetings. I returned to the area as an HR professional and joined the Chapter in 2014. I joined the Board as the SHRM Foundation Chair and eventually moved into the Secretary position that I remain in today. Occupying a board position has enhanced my experience with RRHRPA. I have been able to make deeper connections with HR professionals and have an opportunity to be creative with a group of like-minded, amazing individuals. HR can be draining. Surround yourself wonderful network who understand your struggles!

    I started with Kreider in 2015 have enjoyed most of my days since then. Admittedly I didn’t know much about Kreider before joining the team; I just knew it saved me 80 minutes in commuting each day.  Kreider serves over 220 individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Lee, Whiteside, and Jo Daviess counties. There are 26 group homes, a day training program, a program helping individuals with jobs in their communities, programs helping people live independently in their communities, early intervention, a children’s program, and services for families supporting individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It’s an impressive organization with a deep purpose. Our annual Gala is March 3rd at the Dixon Elks. Come and join a fun event!

    Aside from my professional identity, I am also a wife and mother to two sons. Our kids keep us very busy at swimming meets, baseball, karate, coding class, cross country meets and I’ve been asked to add soccer to the lineup by my youngest. As for my own interest I enjoy traveling near and far, reading, being outside and watching my children explore their world.

    January 2023 - Kendra Hull, 2023-24 RRHRPA President

    Happy New Year! 

    I hope everyone had a great holiday season!  This time of year, is a time for me to sit back, take a breather and start afresh.  The old year is behind me, and it is only a blank slate going forward.  Anything can happen!

    This year, it also means that I am the President of the RRHRPA Chapter again!  I couldn’t be more excited! 

    For those who do not know me, I work at Lee Ogle Transportation System (soon to be Reagan Mass Transit this summer).  I started at LOTS in January of 2022, after working at Sinnissippi Centers, Inc., for 30 years.  HR has been a part of my life for over 26 years now and it seems like there is always something new to learn.  I am also certified as a PHR and SHRM-CP. 

    While HR is my career, my family is a bigger part of my life.  I have been married to my husband, Jason, for almost 24 years.  We have two boys – Spencer (age 19) and Levi (age 12).  We are big Marvel enthusiasts, love a good concert and road trips.

    I have been a CPR and First Aid Instructor for over 19 years.  It is my belief that everyone should be certified, or at least trained in this.  You hope to never use it, but you will be so thankful you have been trained if something happens.  I have attached an article below about “7 Reasons Why Workplace CPR Training is Essential for Managers?”  If you would like more information on setting up a class for your employees, you can contact Teresa Strum, RN, MSN, AHEC Center Director/ Training Center Coordinator @ KSB.  815-285-7859;

    I am looking forward to getting to know you all better. 

    Kendra Hull, PHR, SHRM-CP




    7 Reasons Why Workplace CPR Training is Essential for Management

    By CPR Select

    July 5, 2022

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 5,000 Americans die annually of workplace-related injuries.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is mandated to ensure safety at the workplace by encouraging managers to undergo workplace CPR training with their staff.  According to the OSHA Act, employers must comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards.  The law also requires employers to ensure that the workplace is free from recognized hazards likely to cause severe harm or death.

    Why CPR Training is a Must for Managers?

    Cardiac arrest is one of the most common medical emergency situations in the workplace.  The victim can die within minutes if CPR is not performed in time.  Every second that goes by with the victim unattended reduces the chances of survival by the time that Emergency Medical Services team arrives.  Unfortunately, the number of CPR-certified people is below the recommended ratio.  Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the electrical signals of the heart malfunction and the victim’s heart stop beating.  As a result, the victim will collapse and stop breathing.

    How CPR Can Save Lives of Workplace Employees?

    Chest compressions aim to maintain the circulation of blood.  The body can die without an oxygen supply.  When prolonged major body organs can fail or undergo permanent damage.  The brain, which controls major body functions, will die without an oxygen supply.  CPR certification courses provide skills and knowledge on the performance of CPR. Workplace CPR certification courses are also available online, which is more convenient.  Online CPR certification offers the same levels of life-saving skills at lower costs.  The course can be taken anywhere, anytime with only a computer and internet.  Here are 7 reasons why safety managers should acquire CPR skills.

    1.            CPR Skills are Helpful Anywhere

    CPR skills are lifesaving skills that can be used anywhere when needed.  The knowledge offered in the first training programs is immense and applicable in other areas of life.  In first aid training classes, you learn different things that widen your mind.  For example, you can apply the information to promote your health and educate those close to you.

    Health emergencies can occur anytime and to anyone when we least expect them.  For example, whenever a loved one suffers from sudden cardiac arrest, their survival depends on the speed with which CPR is performed.  Unfortunately, emergency response teams will not always arrive in time to save the life of our loved ones.  For this reason, everyone should make an effort to acquire CPR skills.

    2.            Improves the Value of the Employee

    CPR and first aid certified staff are crucial to any organization.  In an emergency medical, the availability of a CPR-certified safety manager could make the difference between life and death.  Saving the life of a colleague suffering from cardiac emergencies could make the individual indispensable.  Employers are more likely to hire a first aid certified person.  Your first aid certification could make the difference between you and the next person in a job interview.  Some jobs, such as security guards, police officers, and lifeguards, require the person to hold first aid certification.  Persons interested in these jobs will find it prudent to take a first aid certification.

    3.            Workplace CPR Helps save lives

    CPR is a critical first-aid procedure for the survival of cardiac arrest victims.  It is estimated that about 1,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest in America every day, with only 10% survival rate.  The survival of cardiac arrest victims depends on how fast CPR is performed.  Unfortunately, most people who experience out of hospital cardiac arrest don’t receive CPR. 

    The Workplace CPR certification course gives the individual a deep understanding of the science behind CPR and how it saves lives.  The American Heart Association places emphasis on the quality of CPR in saving lives.  High quality CPR should achieve the objective of the whole procedure by keeping the victim alive.  It’s a training requirement for a rescuer to effectively perform CPR, making the training critical for safety managers in organizations.  Everyone expects the safety manager to provide the necessary emergency care whenever a health emergency occurs.

    4.            Learn How to Use an AED

    Workplace CPR certification also covers the use of the Automated External Defibrillator.  For example, it would be impossible to revive the heart of a cardiac arrest victim without using the Automated External Defibrillator device.  Unlike chest compressions, the AED requires more skill and training to operate and safe a life.  The training will help you understand the differences in how the device is used for infants and children arrested adults.  Every organization should have a working AED device to access this to everyone.  Knowledgeable safety managers will ensure that their organization has the necessary equipment in an emergency.

    5.            It Gives Hope for Recovery

    CPR and other first-aid procedures are aimed at saving lives.  Sometimes, when first aid is not performed, the victim can develop complications that can slow down the recovery process.  Workplace CPR, for instance, increases the chances of survival for the victim.  Whenever CPR is delayed, the victim can suffer permanent brain damage, which could be life-changing for the individual and their loved ones.  The victim does not require further or specialized treatment whenever some first aid procedures are done.  First aid saves not only lives but also resources.  However, everyone should prepare for different emergencies by taking first aid certification.

    6.            Lowers the Number of Workplace Accidents

    Most accidents that occur at the workplace can be avoided.  First aid online training courses provide life-saving skills on how most emerge happen and how to prevent them by ensuring safety in our environment.  Accidents at the workplace can be costly to the organization in cases where lawsuits are involved.  Health emergencies that occur at the workplace can have a significant impact on the image of the organization and its profitability.

    Employees are more comfortable working in a safer workplace environment.  Safety managers have the task of ensuring that the environment at work is safe and free from health hazards.  Employees are more relaxed and productive in a safe environment as they don’t have to live in fear of sustaining an injury.  Whenever the required measures are met, the organization can attract a new and even more qualified workforce boosting the overall productivity.  Some organizations will opt to have all their employees CPR and first aid certified.  Given the advantages of Workplace CPR certification, this is one of the best ways to keep your employees motivated.

    7.            Helps in Self-Protection

    Workplace CPR and First aid training program offers skills on personal safety.  When offering first aid, the rescuer needs to safeguard their health.  First aid training provides safety skills in performing specific procedures that help protect oneself from cross-infection when attending to victims.  Some of the processes involved in life-saving such as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, could lead to the transmission of illnesses.  Injuries involving blood and body fluids from infected persons could also result in infections.  As a rescuer, you will most often be involved in rescue missions with unknown victims you are unaware of their health status.  First aid training offers life-saving skills to handle the victims while keeping yourself safe from the risk of infection.

    Workplace CPR and First Aid Programs entail the Following:

    You learn the causes of different injuries and health emergencies and how to treat them.

    The courses also cover the different types of injuries and health emerge and their signs and symptoms.

    You acquire knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of emergency responders and how to work in teams.

    Workplace CPR certification covers skills in the procedure for CPR.  You also learn how to recognize a case of cardiac emergencies in good response time and how to act.

    Both first aid and CPR certifications provide skills on the chain of survival.

    The use of the AED is covered under Workplace CPR certification.


    First aid skills are critical in everyday life, especially for emergency responders and medical professionals.  Working people spend most of their waking hours at work.  Health emergencies occur in the line of duty when least expected.  Safety managers are mandated to the prevention of the occurrence of injuries at the place of work.  Even with utmost precautions, accidents and other health emergencies still occur.  Managers in charge of employee safety are always answerable.  The senior management should implement preventive measures and develop an action plan in case such incidents occur.  Workplace CPR and first aid certification courses are among the most critical programs for safety managers.  Without these first aid skills, managers would be incompetent.

    Workplace CPR and First aid online training have no age or educational limitations.  They are open to persons of all ages with whichever educational background.  With all the benefits offered attached to the first aid skills, there is no reason why anyone wouldn’t want to take up the courses.  The registration process is relatively straightforward, and the course is affordable.  Online CPR/First Aid certifications are accessible anytime and anywhere, and the certificate is instant.  For people with busy schedules, taking online first aid classes is quite convenient. 


    November-December 2022 - Mandy Anderson, Membership Chair

    Hello RRHRPA,

    For those of you who I have not had the pleasure of meeting, my name is Mandy Anderson and I am the Membership Chair for RRHRPA.  I am the Director of Human Resources for Serenity Hospice and Home.  We are a non-profit hospice located in Oregon, IL who serves patients and families in nine counties.  We also have an eight-bed facility to care for patients who cannot remain in their home.  I happen to love my job and I know it is because of the team I work with.

    I wonder if any of you are like me….Is anyone else wearing their Christmas PJs already?  Has anyone else ordered 3 new Christmas shirts only to have your husband hand you Christmas shirts from last year you forgot you had?  My husband happens to like Halloween, so I have to hold off all things Christmas until November 1st each year.  Christmas is a magical time for my family and myself.  We love the excitement and joy the holiday season brings.  We have many Christmas family traditions that we engage in each year.  I do understand that not everyone feels this way.  For some, this time of year brings with it painful memories, loss and/or loneliness, financial hardships, and a host of other issues.

    An important part of the Christmas magic is spreading love and kindness to others.  Yes, we should do this throughout the year, but especially at Christmas.  My work family donates gifts to a local nonprofit organization.  They send us a list of gift ideas, age ranges for a family in need, and we have fun shopping and wrapping the gifts.  Several of my family members donate monetarily to charities instead of giving gifts.  We volunteer our time to help at church and local food pantries. f you are looking for a way to give back this holiday season, RRHRPA has an opportunity for you.  At our Holiday Lunch on Wednesday, December 7th we will be collecting items for the following:

    YWCA Sauk Valley- Winter clothing for all ages

    Whiteside Co. Health Department- Career clothing for adults

    Project Vital- Children’s Books

    We hope to see you all there, please remember to RSVP before November 29th!

    Looking forward to celebrating the holidays with you all!


    October 2022 - Sally Hanrahan, Program Chair

    Hello !

    A fun fact about October is that every year, October ends on the same day as February.  So….February 2022 ended on a Monday and so will October. 

    Now that you’ve pulled out your planner or phone to check out this fun fact for yourself, I bet you also realized that Monday, October 31, is Halloween.  I’ve always enjoyed Halloween – the orange lights, the creative costumes, and the game of picking out just the right amount of candy for trick-or-treaters.  But, seriously, would it really be that bad if there was leftover candy at the end of the night?

    I have been a Career Advisor for 16-24 year olds at BEST Inc. for 32 years and love that I get to help young people become mechanics, welders, nurses, cooks, programmers, engineers, stylists, teachers, and more.  I was invited to attend an RRHRPA chapter meeting by a colleague many, many years ago and am so grateful I joined the chapter.  I became more involved by becoming a Program Chair several years ago.

    Speaking of programs…..Did you attend a great workshop?  Meet someone who made you think here-is-someone-other-people-should-know? Need a brush-up on an HR topic?  Wish you better understood how to handle a specific situation? Please reach out to me or to anyone on the board with suggestions for topics or presenters.  I can be reached at

    A trending topic of conversation right now is “Quiet Quitting”.  I came across this article in a newsletter by Joyce Gioia,  Quiet Quitting ( and thought you might find this quick read interesting as you continue to recruit and retain your employees. 

    See you at the October 26th Chapter Meeting at SVCC ! 


    September 2022 - Anna Garcia, Legislative Chair

    Hello my HR friends!

    I’m beyond excited to share that my son, and only child, is getting married on September 22nd in Jamaica. It will be a small ceremony on the beach with a few family members and I cannot wait.

    For those that don’t know me, or know me well, I’m the Legislative Chair for RRHRPA and I’m the Director of Human Resources and Compliance at Steel River Systems, LLC. in Rock Falls, IL.  Our company has two divisions; one that’s currently working in-office and one that is hybrid including full-remote located in multiple states. This structure poses unique challenges with unemployment reporting, tax reporting, and ID document verification.

    I’d like to share some information I’ve been reading on Form I-9 compliance that can be helpful if you’re in the same boat with remote employees.

    Form I-9 Fun Facts:

    • In the past, we were required to physically examine, with the employee being physically present, each document present to determine if it reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the employee presenting it. Reviewing or examining docs via webcam was not permissible.  An authorized representative or notary public could be used, adding time and steps to the already cumbersome process of onboarding new hires.
    • The policy to allow virtual verification was first issued in March 2020 due to the pandemic (and has been extended 12 times). This allowed a temporary exemption from the physical inspection requirements and allowed us to examine documents remotely via e-mail, fax, video link, secure upload, etc.
    • According to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the federal government has moved to permanently allow employers to review Form I-9 documents remotely. If finalized, the rule would create a framework that could implement permanent flexibilities upon a specific determination as to level of security, including, but not limited to fraud risk. Additionally, the agency proposed a change to Form I-9 that would have an employer indicate whether it inspected the documents remotely.

    Now, here’s where we can get involved and have our voices heard: the agency has requested input on several questions, such as ways to reduce fraud risk, avoid discrimination in the process and protect privacy. For example, it asked whether employers should be required to retain copies of documents inspected remotely, or whether the remote-inspection option should be limited to employers that use E-Verify.  We can review the proposed regulations and comment on them at for 60 days using code ICEB 2021-0010.

    Enough work, I’m going back to planning for the wedding!

    Hope to see everyone at our next meeting.

    Reach out if I could be of help to you!

    Anna Garcia

    Steel River Systems, LLC.

    405 W Rock Falls Rd.

    Rock Falls, IL 61071



    May 2022 - Rhonda DeWitt, SHRM Foundation Chair

    Here's a note from Rhonda:  Happy Spring! I see sunshine out the windows today!  I am one of those who just turned off their furnace this morning and will probably have my A/C on later today. : )   I am not going to complain.  So ready for the warmer weather! 

    I attended the career fair at Sauk Valley Community College last month. It was great to be out among my colleagues again and seeing their smiling faces!!! The WACC CEO class visited Astec last month; always good to have them stop by and tour. I also just met with some students from Milledgeville last week to talk about Essential Skills for starting their next chapter after high school. Whenever possible, get out into the community, spread the word about your company and help support the future work force in the Sauk Valley. It is so rewarding.

    As the SHRM Foundation Chair, I want to remind everyone about the Foundation’s mission and how you can help. SHRM Foundation works to empower HR Professionals in so many ways (inclusion, scholarships, training, education). You can donate:

    • Directly to the SHRM Foundation - SHRM Foundation
    • Through Amazon’s Charities page -
    • Bring your loose change to any of our monthly meetings. We are Champions for Change!!!

    This is my second go round with RRHRPA, and it never disappoints. I was out of the HR field for several years but since being back, I am here as a member again.  I am so appreciative of the support from this group. Sharing ideas, policies and best practices!!! Some of us compete for workers, but still support one another.

    You all are awesome! Thank you!

    Rhonda DeWitte

    HR Manager – Astec Industries

    April 2022 - Julie Hoak, Certification Chair

    Julie Hoak has been on our board for many years in different capacities.  She is the HR Manager at Sterling Federal Bank and our organization's Certification Chair.  She works diligently every month to obtain re-certification credits from SHRM and HRCI for our programs and we appreciate her very much.  

    Julie wants to share this article with you this month from SHRM's Winter 2021 magazine HR Ethical Dilemmas: How should HR professionals respond if company leaders ask them to do something illegal or unethical?

    March 2022 - Amanda Jacinto, President

    Greetings, I hope this finds you enjoying the warm rays of the sun. I am pleased to see that the Midwest is beginning to thaw and we are starting to see real signs of Spring! The grass is turning green, flowers are starting to sprout, and the birds are returning home. I can’t help but be encouraged by the new beginnings of creation that surround us daily.

    Graduation and wedding invitations are starting to arrive in the mail. There is excitement in the air as we celebrate these life changing events and return to what some would call normalcy. I encourage you to grasp the excitement of upcoming graduations and share our scholarship opportunity with your friends and family.  This is great way for someone majoring in HR or Business to get a little help with those college costs.

    Speaking of invitations please consider this your personal invitation to attend the Networking session schedule for March 23rd. This has been a very popular session in the past, and we need your participation to continue that.

    Our annual member appreciation meeting will take place in May, and we will share more details in the near future.

    Best Regards, Amanda

    February 2022 - Dianne Frye, Treasurer

    Dianne Frye has been with the Rock River Human Resource Professional Group (RRHRPA) since 2003.  At that time, she took on some new duties at her workplace which entailed handling benefits for employees.  It was Susan Swegle who suggested that she join this group and it was the best suggestion she ever received.  This group has allowed Dianne to connect with other HR professionals and allowed her to grow in her position.

    Dianne became the Treasurer of the group in 2004 and continues in that position today.  She also took on the Membership Chair position for a couple of years until the group could find someone to take this position.  She has enjoyed getting to know many of the members by holding these positions.

    Dianne states, “I read somewhere in one of the SHRM publications, that you should always keep the ‘Human’ in Human Resources.  I strive for that every day.  Sometimes that is hard, especially now when dealing with so many issues during a pandemic.  I hope that we can all remember to keep the ‘Human’ in Human Resources, as you may not know what that person is going through or what struggles they are having.  They may just need a sympathetic ear.”

    Dianne suggests that if you have ever considered serving on the RRHRPA Board of Directors, you should do it.  You reap so many rewards and benefits and you can’t find a better group of people to work with who have such a passion for HR.  She also suggests joining SHRM as there are so many great resources that you can utilize in your position.

    January 2022 - Susan Swegle, Communications Chair

    Susan Swegle has been a member of RRHRPA since 2000 and on the Board since 2004 in many different capacities (Certification Chair, Secretary, Vice-President, President (2007-2009), Communications Chair). As our Communications Chair, she is responsible for email blasts, the maintenance of our website, and she also heads up the writing of our Bulletin Board.  She often says that she wouldn't be where she is today with RRHRPA.  "The leadership abilities and the monthly and summer programs I have been afforded have given me training beyond my imagination.  This board has always been a great bunch of people to work with and I always look forward to what we may do next."

    Susan recently read an article in the winter 2021 SHRM Magazine called What You Need to Succeed: Five essential traits HR professionals must have right now. "It talked about what the pandemic (and other recent events like the Great Resignation) has done to HR and what skills we have to develop as professionals to continue to be on top of our game: Empathy, Diplomacy, Ingenuity, Data Literacy, and Integrity.  I would argue that we have always needed these, but I definitely see how empathy and diplomacy are even more critical in this new world we are navigating."  If you are a SHRM member, you can read the article for yourself.  If you aren't, you should consider joining because the wealth of information at your finger tips is worth every dollar.

    February 2020: we have two entries this month because everyone was so excited to participate.  President-Elect Amanda Jacinto offers some great tips she used for Wellness in the Workplace:

    January is typically a month centered on new beginnings and setting of personal goals. Often times we find ourselves losing momentum not too far into the first quarter of the year. As HR professionals, we know how important it is for our employees and their families to be healthy.

    I recently found a few low cost platforms for running internal wellness events. The first is Challenge Runner and the second is I Resolve. Financial struggles can have a large impact on our employees and their ability to focus and work safely. One month we did a BINGO challenge (click each word for a separate page of this example) promoting healthy financial choices. Do you have any wellness resources you care to share with the group? If so, feel free to email us at  We'll be happy to share it with everyone.

    February 2020: this article was provided by Diversity Committee Chair, Rebecca Munoz-Ripley.  If There's Only One Women in Your Candidate Pool, There's Statistically No Chance She'll Be Hired (, 4/26/2016).