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What's Up With the Board of Directors?

    Welcome to our space featuring information from our Board.  We started this a couple of years ago, but when we were hit with a world-wide pandemic, everyone got busy and we lost our momentum.  Well, we're back and hope you enjoy hearing about and from our Board members.  

    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.  

    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!

    Mandy

    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 sally_hanrahan@best-inc.org.

    A trending topic of conversation right now is “Quiet Quitting”.  I came across this article in a newsletter by Joyce Gioia,  Quiet Quitting (hermangroup.com) 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 ! 

    Sally

    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 Regulations.gov 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

    agarcia@steelriversystems.com

    815-516-1696

     

    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 -  https://smile.amazon.com
    • 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 rrhrpa@gmail.com.  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 (hbr.org, 4/26/2016).