The Dodge County Society for Human Resource Management recently won its second Pinnacle Award — the highest honor given to SHRM chapters for notable contributions to the human resource profession.
Created in 1991, the award is the most prestigious achievement SHRM state councils and chapters can attain, and it honors programs that exceed the standard activities of SHRM local networks in enhancing the creation of effective HR management.
SHRM entities from Arizona, Guam, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Wyoming were presented with the Pinnacle Award during SHRM’s annual Volunteer Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C.
Mary Vogl-Rauscher, Dodge County SHRM chapter president, says she was ecstatic and emotional when the awards were announced.
“We won our first Pinnacle Award in 2015 because of how quickly we made our chapter better. We had so few members in the past that we were talking about folding. But then we became the little chapter that could. We got a great group together and the chapter exploded; in four years’ time we went from eight professional members to 80. I never expected to win another Pinnacle — that just doesn’t happen.”
The group won this year’s Pinnacle Award for showing exceptional HR leadership through its innovative chapter program, “The Value of Joined Forces.”
The chapter joined with several other organizations to support the hiring of veterans. The initiative not only brought together partners, employers and veterans, but it also created personalized opportunities for veterans to obtain meaningful employment within the region, receive free careers counseling and connect with community resources available to them. Along with its partners, the chapter organized a Veterans Hiring and Resource Event, which brought in more than 50 percent of its employer members who assisted, coached and hired student and community veterans. All veterans who attended the event had positive feedback. As a result, awareness of the value of veterans and of Dodge County SHRM increased in the community
“The award we just received dealt with our veterans project, but it was really more about collaboration,” Vogl-Rauscher said. “Our whole philosophy is ‘How can we work together to better serve the community, the residents and the businesses?’”
Vogl-Rauscher said SHRM is thankful for the encouragement of Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen. “She supported us and flew out to Washington D.C at her own expense for the awards,” Vogl-Rauscher said.
Glewen said she enjoyed being at the awards ceremony and feels it is important to celebrate groups that make things happen.
“It’s all about relationship-building and partnering,” Glewen said. “All the effort that Mary puts into everything she does has to do with building relationships. We’re stronger as a community because of groups like SHRM. They are an asset; everyone works together for the greater good of our community to make it a stronger, better place.”
Vogl-Rauscher shared a couple initiatives on which Dodge County SHRM has collaborated, one being the hiring of two nonprofit executive directors in Beaver Dam. Rich Zieman, the board president for both Green Valley Enterprises and Church Health Services, reached out to SHRM for assistance because those organizations do not have HR departments.
“We were very pleased with their willingness to help recruit and screen for these two very important positions,” Zieman said.
Vogl-Rauscher said the group focuses on cooperation. “We ask, how can we partner with people?” she said. “How can we do more with less resources?”
Another initiative SHRM has helped with involves collaborating with the Manufacturing Businesse Alliance.
“We are helping young people recognize that the manufacturing industry can offer good jobs; the manufacturing of 40 years ago isn’t what manufacturing is today,” Vogl-Rauscher said. “Right now, more people live in Dodge and Jefferson counties and work outside of those counties. Our members’ needs are very much the hiring and staffing of employees.
Vicki Pratt, Jefferson County Economic Development director, said she contacted Dodge County SHRM to aid with a labor availability analysis.
“SHRM has been awesome,” she said. “We were invited to a meeting to explain what data we were looking for. They have gotten the word among employers that we need a true multi-county wage and benefit survey.
“Cohesively and collaboratively, public and private partnerships are needed to think about issues in a bigger footprint.”
Vogl-Rauscher said working together creates results and she credits the Dodge County SHRM board and members for winning the Pinnacle Award.
“I have a phenomenal board and a dedicated group that is very supportive. We’re trying to pull in more people from the community. We’ve put in term limits so nobody gets burned out,” she said. “We are growing new leaders. We are making Dodge County and, more specifically, Beaver Dam a better place to live.”