President's Blog

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  • 02/08/2024 8:28 AM | Andrew Erkonen (Administrator)

    I am so thankful that we made it through our cold January, and according to Punxsutawney Phil spring is on its way! I would like to extend a big thank you to the Programs Co-Directors and committee for our January speaker, Chris Czarnik. I am confident that we all took something new away from his presentation. What a great way to reset for 2024!

    Our February session will be on Leveraging the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Julie Younkin will be teaching us on how to leverage emotional intelligence by defining and decoding what EQ is and the four skills of EQ.

    Please be sure to complete the surveys each month after each event. Our vision is “To create a learning and networking environment that will inspire and develop Human Resources Professionals”. Your feedback helps us in aspiring to meet that vision.

    Just a reminder that our spring conference will be on March 26th, registration is now open. Treva Grave will be presenting on Mastering Confidence: Science-Baked Strategies for success.

    Please be watching for upcoming registration information for the State conference taking place in Pierre on April 30th.

    Thanks for all you do and have a great month!

    Monique Vanden Heuvel

  • 01/11/2024 8:27 AM | Andrew Erkonen (Administrator)

    Happy New Year! We hope you all had a joyful holiday season with family and friends! The SESHRM board will meet on 01/10/2024 for our Annual Strategic Meeting to determine our initiatives for 2024. We want to continue to focus on increased member engagement both in person and virtually, diversifying development opportunities being offered, working on creating a volunteer base, along with expanding our communication and outreach as our local member numbers continue to steadily raise. SHRM will also be showcasing some new initiatives, along with a new and improved website. Watch for more details soon!

    On January 16th, we will be holding our January half-day session with Chris Czarnik. He will be helping us start off the year right by presenting new ideas on recruitment, engagement, retaining & developing talent inside our organizations, along with giving us tools to take back to our organization to help implement some of these great ideas. Be sure to register today!

    We would like to remind you to follow us on all of our social media channels: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Slack. Slack is a great opportunity to network and start conversations with other HR professionals on topics or questions that are on your mind.

    Lastly, we would like to extend a special Thank You to our outgoing SESHRM Board Members; Christina Cota, Krysta Wildman and Sarah Hanson and extend a warm welcome to Lucinda Noronha, Denise Guzzetta and Tara Cox as our newest Board Members.

    Thank you for the opportunity to lead our wonderful SESHRM organization this year!  I’m looking forward to a fantastic year!

    Monique Vanden Heuvel

  • 12/08/2023 3:57 PM | Andrew Erkonen (Administrator)

    Just like that…it’s December! Where did the year go?!

    A sincere “Thank You” for the opportunity to serve as the 2023 SESHRM Chapter President. I am grateful for the many connections I have made this year and enjoyed working alongside such competent professionals to advance the SESHRM Chapter. It has been such a rewarding experience, personally and professionally!

    Sarah Hanson (Past President), Christina Cota (Programs Co-Director), and Krysta Widman (Certification Director), a BIG shout out to you all, as you move on from the board. You all have made a significant impact and your dedication and contributions are much appreciated!

    We are also very excited to be welcoming our new board members in January! Lucinda Noronha (President-Elect), Denise Guzzetta (Programs Co-Director), and Tara Cox (Certification Director). Can’t wait to work with you!

    We look forward to seeing you all at the social on December 12th at 3:00 p.m. Please remember to bring your donations for Dress for Success along with your holiday cheer. We will have games, appetizers and will be raffling off various baskets. All proceeds raised will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House. PREMIER will be graciously matching all funds raised at the event!

    Thank you again for this opportunity!


  • 11/09/2023 6:07 PM | Andrew Erkonen (Administrator)

    Hello SESHRM Members -

    Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and we want to give thanks to each one of you! Thank YOU for being YOU!

    As a reminder, we will be adding an additional SESHRM chapter meeting on November 14th where Gallegher will provide insight on the salary survey findings. If you did not participate but would like to purchase a survey, the link is: SESHRM - Online store product. This is invaluable data to ensure we are staying competitive in today’s market. We will host our monthly meeting on November 21st as planned and then wrap up the year with our Holiday Social on December 12th from 3pm to 6pm.

    At the Holiday Social, we will be announcing the winners of the HR Professional Awards and the Workplace Excellence Awards. We are seeking donations of baskets for our Charity Fundraiser and sponsors for the event. All proceeds generated from the basket raffle will be raising funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

    If you’re interested in providing a basket for the raffle or sponsoring the event, please reach out to Monique Vanden Heuvel.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

    Julia Disburg
    SESHRM Chapter President

  • 10/11/2023 12:14 PM | Anonymous member

    Hello SESHRM Members -

    Hope you all have enjoyed the beautiful weather and last quarter planning is going smoothly.

    Although it’s a busy time for most, please consider nominating a peer for the HR Professional of the Year awards and/or an organization that has taken an intentional approach to encourage diversity, community involvement or their culture for the Workplace Excellence awards. This is a great way to celebrate the hard work of a colleague and/or your company! Deadline is October 20th.

    If you are interested in one of the SESHRM Board vacancies for next year, President-Elect, Programs Co-Director and Certification Director, please reach out to me or Monique Vanden Huevel for additional information. This is a phenomenal opportunity for self-development and networking.

    Lastly, October kicks off our membership renewal season!  Renew your membership by 12/31/2023 to be eligible to attend the January Half Day Workshop for FREE!

    Be sure to watch for additional announcements regarding the December SESHRM Social Event!

    Enjoy your week!

    Julia Disburg

    SESHRM President

  • 09/14/2023 11:51 PM | Anonymous member

    Hello SESHRM Members -

    Fall is upon us which means pumpkin spice lattes, football, crockpot recipes and lots of SESHRM happenings! We encourage you to participate in one or several of the upcoming events.

    ·        Salary Survey – Thank you for those that participated! There were 79 surveys completed by HR professionals in various industries. This is an excellent tool to ensure your organization is staying competitive in todays market. If you did not participate but would like to purchase a survey, the link is: SESHRM - Online store product

    ·        The board is working with Gallagher to provide a virtual training session to walk through the findings of the survey. More to come!

    ·        Board Elections - SESHRM will have four upcoming vacancies this year on our board, President-Elect, Programs Co-Director, Marketing Director and Certification Director. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact me or Monique Vanden Huevel for additional information. This is a phenomenal opportunity for self-development and networking.

    ·        Mentorship Program – The SESHRM Board is re-igniting this program as it has had significant success in the past and we know what value it can provide our members. If you are interested in being a mentee or a mentor, please reach out to Alyssa Bainbridge by October 31st. This is such a phenomenal opportunity to grow personally and professionally!

    ·        Student Chapter Meetings – If you have a passion for mentoring upcoming HR professionals, please reach out to Alyssa Bainbridge. This is an excellent opportunity for members to share their professional experiences and skill sets by presenting at a Student Chapter Meeting or mentoring a student member.

    ·        Do you know a standout HR professional that has made significant contributions to the HR profession AND/OR do you know an organization that has made intentional efforts to provide a desirable work environment? We are now accepting nominations for the Workplace Excellence of the Year and HR Professional of the Year Awards.

    ·        In addition to the monthly September meeting, SESHRM will be hosting a workshop on September 25th. This workshop will focus on practical tips and ideas on how to create an inclusive workplace for all employees. Such an important topic! See you there!

    A sincere ‘Thank You’ to the 191 of you that participated in the Chapter Survey and for the constructive feedback. 93% of members are satisfied with their SESHRM experience. There are some opportunities with the website and communication. We appreciate the feedback and will work to improve.

    Make it a great September!

    Julia Disburg

    SESHRM President

  • 08/09/2023 8:17 PM | Anonymous member


    SESHRM is excited to announce Julie Ohlsen, Talent Manager at First Bank & Trust and Trish Heng with the South Dakota Air National Guard as the scholarship recipients for the SHRM certification and prep course. Kudos to the both of you for investing in your career development. We look forward to celebrating your accomplishment. Happy Studying!

    We are looking for your participation!

    1. The SESHRM Board is eager to hear how we can improve your chapter experience. A survey will be emailed to you next week requesting your thoughts and opinions on various topics. We encourage you to complete the survey and to provide honest thoughtful feedback as we want to do better! Your responses will remain anonymous and as an incentive to participate, once you complete the survey you will be eligible to enter in a drawing for one of three $50 gift cards.
    2. SESHRM will have three upcoming vacancies this year on our board, President-Elect, Programs Co-Director and Certification Director. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact me or Monique Vanden Huevel for additional information. This is a phenomenal opportunity for self-development and networking.

    Mark your calendars! SESHRM and Pathways to Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces are excited to partner and present a two (2) part workshop on September 19th from 11:30am-1:30pm and September 25th from 8:30am-10:00am.

    The regular monthly meeting on September 19th will be extended by an extra half hour to start the important discussion on inclusivity and belonging in the workplace.  This session will include a brief overview of the topic and an interactive panel discussion comprised of several Human Resources professionals from various industries.  Our goal is to provide real life examples of how we can best support our employees in the workplace and offer some little changes that can create big results within your organizations.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer!

    Julia Disburg

    SESHRM President

  • 07/12/2023 8:23 PM | Anonymous member

    Happy July!

    I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and enjoying this incredible weather.

    If you are looking for a way to get involved in SESHRM/SoDak SHRM, we have some opportunities just for you.

    • SESHRM will have three upcoming vacancies this year on our board, President-Elect, Programs Co-Director and Certification Director. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact myself or Monique Vanden Huevel for additional information. This is a phenomenal opportunity for self-development and networking.
    • Central SHRM and the State Council have started the planning process for the 2024 State Conference, and volunteers are needed to help with vendors and speaker selection. The 2024 State Conference will be held on April 30th-May 2nd in Pierre. Please reach out to myself or Tammy Loos, if you are interested.

    In the near future, you will see communication from the board regarding Workplace Excellence Awards, HR Professional of the Year and Emerging HR Professional of the Year. Be thinking of who you can nominate!

    There are still spots available for next week’s meeting on ChatGPT. Ellie Highstreet will provide some tips and tricks for staying ahead of the technology curve. Look forward to seeing you all there!

    Julia Disburg

    SESHRM President

  • 06/15/2023 2:36 PM | Anonymous member

    It’s been a busy start to the summer! 

    I hope those of you who attended the National SHRM Conference were able to bring back some new ideas and a fresh perspective to your organizations (and had a little fun too!).

    Our Programs Co-Directors and Committee are putting the finishing touches on the programing for the remainder of 2023. Be prepared for some great speakers and topics. We have also received some requests and interest in having another workshop. Thanks for your feedback! We hear you and hope to provide another workshop this fall. More to come on that soon!

    David Kroon, Managing Director and Attorney at Woods Fuller, will be providing Federal and State Employment Law updates at our June meeting. There are only a few spots left so reserve your spot soon if you are interested in learning what is new on the legal side!

    Lastly, congratulations to the SoDak State SHRM for earning the 2022 Platinum Excel Award! This is the highest award that can be achieved by a State Council within SHRM. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in Chapter/State Council operations and a commitment to providing meaningful programs and services to their members/HR professionals. It also is recognition of their continued growth and development as a business leader, capable of developing strategies that lead to business success! 

    Have a great month!

    Julia Disburg, SHRM-CP, PHR 

    SESHRM Chapter President

  • 05/11/2023 9:48 PM | Anonymous member

    Kudos to all of you that volunteered and/or attended the SD State SHRM Conference in Yankton last week! What a great experience! It was nice to see some familiar faces and meet some new connections as well. The conference had a wide variety of HR related topics. My personal favorite was the session held by Julie Younkin, Decoding Emotional Intelligence. She outlined what it takes to be an emotionally intelligent leader:

    • Develop genuine curiosity
    • Be more curious about others than yourself.
    • Become a great listener
    • When you listen, you are able to ask better questions and foster a more meaningful relationship.
    • Demonstrate empathy
    • Give grace! Continue hold accountable but come from a place of understanding.
    • Love people
    • Genuinely and intentionally find something you like about someone and compliment them.

    Julie was engaging, relatable and presented information that was actionable in the workplace. Great Session!

    Monique Vanden Heuvel, President Elect, is working with the Salary Survey Committee to ensure we are offering some valuable salary information in a continued tight labor market. Thomas Cummins from Gallagher Consulting has sent out the link to participate in the survey. By participating, you are able to receive the results at no cost. The deadline to submit your information is May 31st.  We look forward to receiving all of your submittals and hope the results will be available for distribution by September!

    In addition, Gallagher Consulting will be our May speaker on the latest compensation trends and their impact on our organizations. Timely, as the labor market continues to be increasingly challenging for all industries.

    I look forward to seeing you at next week’s meeting and wish all of you a Happy May!

    Julia Disburg, SHRM-CP, PHR 

    SESHRM Chapter President

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Sioux Empire SHRM is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. | PO Box 1302 | Sioux Falls, SD 57101 | Chapter #217

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