President's Blog

  • 03/10/2022 4:41 PM | Anonymous member

    My daughter (6 years old) has been looking forward to March because that means spring is here. She was a bit disappointed to have it snow, but still made the best of it and was soaking up the sun while laying in the snow. I think we can all agree with her that we are excited for Spring to officially be here! Spring means more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and grass and flowers growing! Speaking of spring and growing - Be sure to GROW WITH US on March 15th to hear from Jennifer McClure and Ali Payne about Succession Planning and Talent Retention! This year’s Spring Conference is sure to give us tips and tricks to grow our retention plans in this dynamic talent market. 

    May 4th – 6th is the SoDak SHRM State Conference in Watertown. Registration is now open! We will also be giving away TWO registrations to the state conference during the Spring Conference. 

    Another way to grow yourself this month is to submit your application for the National SHRM Conference Scholarship! We are giving away TWO this year! The deadline is March 11th so don’t delay!

    Be on the look out for more ways to grow your network, career, and resources throughout the year! We have exciting things to come around Programming, Mentoring, and more.

  • 02/11/2022 8:58 PM | Anonymous member

    Hello Everyone!

    Wow that first month of 2022 flew by!  A big thank you to the Programs Co-Directors and Committee for our January speaker, Scott Welle. What a great way to start the year and focus on goal setting! Thank you all for sticking with us, virtually and in-person as we adjusted to our new facility in January.  We appreciate all the feedback you’ve shared with us! 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. 

    This month, our Member Resource Groups (MRGs) are kicking off. Thank you to all the Advisors, Facilitators, and Participants. We are excited to offer this extra benefit to our members. Also, this month watch for more information about our upcoming Spring Conference!  Be sure to follow us on your favorite social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack, Twitter) to see updates!

    We are excited to see you all on February 15th for our February Chapter meeting:  Building your Brand!


  • 01/10/2022 7:37 PM | Anonymous member

    Happy New Year! We hope you all had a joyful holiday season with family and friends!  The SESHRM board just met on our focuses for 2022 and our theme is GROWTH. We want to focus on increased member engagement both in person and virtually, diversifying in development opportunities being offered, and expanding our communication and outreach. Watch for more details soon!

    On January 18th, we will be holding our January half-day session with Scott Welle.  He will be helping us start off the year right by inspiring us to perform our best selves both personally and professionally. Be sure to register today! Don’t forget that our new venue is the Hilton Garden Inn South.   

    One last thing I’d like to remind you of is 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.

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

    Sarah Hanson


  • 12/10/2021 12:23 PM | Anonymous member

    Wow…. I really can’t believe this is the last newsletter of the year! I am very grateful for all of the support from the SESHRM Board as we continue to advance the SESHRM Chapter!

    A big shout out to several of the SESHRM Board Members that will come off at the end of year. Each of them has made huge impacts and shared valuable information. They are: Cindy Krekelberg, Past President; Jen Adix, Conference Director; Anna Mitchell, Marketing Director; Justin Rey, Treasurer; and Sheila Rozeboom, Secretary. They will all be missed but we know they won’t be far away.

    December is time for us to have some fun at our Social on December 14th at 3:00 p.m. We have a ton of fun activities and networking plans.

    Here is on the agenda:

    • Announce Professional of the Year and Workplace Excellence Awards.
    • Recognize all 2021 SESHRM Volunteers. Each volunteer will receive a complimentary raffle ticket to enter in the Basket give-away.
    • Recognize departing and incoming SESHRM Board Members.
    • Participate in the Annual Basket Raffle to win awesome baskets donated by various companies and/or people around the Sioux Falls area. All proceeds will go towards the Center of Hope – Sharing Christmas.
    • Bring business clothing for “Dress for Success”. Check your closets and see if you have business clothing that you would like to donate for a great cause. Each person donating will receive a complimentary raffle ticket to enter the Basket give-away.
    • Wear an Ugly Sweater for our 1st Annual Ugly Sweater Contest. Short Staff will be judging, and fabulous prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize.

    Remember…. January 2022 will be at our new location!

    Thank you to each of you for allowing me to serve as your 2021 SESHRM President. It has been an honor!

    Mary Jo Vance, SHRM-SCP

  • 11/10/2021 1:48 PM | Anonymous member

    Each year the SESHRM Board reviews the potential venue options for our monthly meetings.  After careful consideration, we have made the decision to make a move in 2022.  We will be moving to the Hilton Garden Inn at 5300 S. Grand Circle. In addition, we have also made the decision to invest in some technology equipment to ensure we can continue with our in-person and virtual meeting options. See more information on the link in the newsletter!

    Our November meeting will be one that you won’t want to miss! Steve Schad, President of Optima Advisory, LLC will be presenting on the New Approach to the Labor Shortage. Businesses are confronting unprecedented labor shortages that only dramatic shifts in either demographic trends or immigration policies will change. Be prepared to learn some different approaches to the labor shortage.

    Bring your CASH for the November meeting as we will be holding our annual SHRM Foundation 50/50 Raffle. The SHRM Foundation's mission is to mobilize the power of HR and activate the generosity of donors to lead positive social change impacting all things work.  By doing this raffle, SESHRM can help with their mission.

    Have a nice November and Thanksgiving!

    Mary Jo Vance, SHRM-SCP

  • 10/15/2021 12:11 PM | Anonymous member

    How in the world is it the last quarter of 2021?? I am thankful for these nice fall days and hope they will continue.

    I do have some sad news to share….Millisa “Missy” Anderson passed away on Thursday, September 23rd.  Missy had been a fellow SESHRM member since 2014. She was the Employee Experience Manager at First National Bank in Sioux Falls. She leaves behind her husband, John and two children, Jackson and Chloe. Please keep them and her co-workers at First National Bank in your thoughts and prayers.

    Our annual SESHRM membership will start at the beginning of November so be watching your e-mails. We continue to strategize on how we can work on our Mission:

                  Advance the Human Resources profession, empower our members, and serve the community.

    And 2022 will be no different with relevant monthly meetings to include a ½ day session in January, a Spring Conference and much more. In addition, we will continue with our Member Resource Groups which give our members additional networking opportunities. 

    In addition, we will be holding our annual Board Elections in November as well. There are 8 open Board Positions for 2022….so if you have an interest please let Sarah Hanson know ASAP! 
    Her e-mail is:

    You won’t want to miss our October Meeting when Attorney’s Jean Bender and Reece Almont with Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith LLP speak about the intricacies of Workplace Investigations. This will be great information.   And remember we are offering the meeting in-person at Ramada and also virtually for those that aren’t able to attend.

    Mary Jo Vance, SHRM-SCP

  • 09/20/2021 4:22 PM | Anonymous member

    The State SHRM Conference was held September 15th to 17th in Sioux Falls, I hope you were able to attend. Planning for this conference has been in the works since February 2020.  A huge shout out to Jen Adix and Lisa Schenk for being co-chairs for this event and to ALL the volunteers that step up to make this a successful conference.  A lot of time and energy goes into planning the State Conference which was multiplied by planning during COVID.    

    Salary Survey:

    On a bi-annual basis SESHRM partners with Gallagher to complete a local salary survey. That data is collected and compiled by Gallagher and then shared with the participants at no cost.  The SESRHM Salary Survey has been sent to all SESHRM members that participated in the survey.   If you didn’t participate but would like to purchase a survey the cost is $300 for SESHRM members and $400 non-SESHRM members.     

    Here’s the link to purchase the survey:

    Workforce Excellence Awards:

    Do you work for an employer that has made significant strides in employee practices to establish a highly desirable work environment and to recognize them for the leadership, culture, and best practices?   NOW is the time for you to receive the credit for your company’s hard work by nominating your company for our annual award.  

    Here’s the link to nominate your company:

    Professional of the Year Awards:

    Do you know someone that has made significant contributions to the Human Resource Management and represents “the best” in the Human Resource profession?  They are strategic business partners - individuals who serve as role models for the profession, who are 'leaders' rather than 'followers', who set standards for others and the profession, and who apply their professional expertise outside of their organizations.    You can self-nominate or nominate one of your peers!   Go to under the News tab. 

    Have a great September!

    Mary Jo Vance, SHRM-SCP

  • 08/12/2021 8:50 PM | Anonymous member

    The last time SESHRM members met in person for a monthly meeting was February 2020.   It’s crazy to think of the impacts COVID has had on our personal and work lives.  The SESHRM Board has made the decision it’s time to come back and enjoy the networking that really only happens in person.  As I mentioned last month, you are able to attend virtually if attending in person doesn’t work.    It will be our first real test drive so please be patient with us. 

    Our August meeting will be presented by Rachel Gackle, Employee Benefits Consultant with Marsh & McLennan Agency.   She will discuss the importance of effectively managing out benefit packages.  And to do so we need to keep a pulse on current business trends and advancements in the health care delivery system, and how this impacts our employers. As health plan costs continue to outpace inflation, strategies shift toward cost containment: Uncertainty appears to be at an all-time high—about the ACA, about COVID and vaccinations, about access to health care and affordability. What are some smart ways for employers to contain health care costs? How can technology and digital health be used to improve access and drive down costs? 

    Keep in mind….there will be no monthly meeting in September because of the State Conference being held in Sioux Falls on September 15th – 17th.  I am super excited for all of the keynote and breakout sessions!   Get registered today!

    I hope everyone is having a nice summer and have had a chance to take time with your family. 

    Mary Jo Vance, SHRM-SCP

    SESHRM President

  • 07/11/2021 9:21 AM | Anonymous member

    The decision has been made…..we will do our first ever in-person/zoom meeting for our monthly meeting in August. Our monthly meeting attendance during the last year of being virtual has been strong so our thought is that members like the flexibility of attending from their home/office. However, we also believe there are members that want to attend in-person. The one ask the SESHRM Board has is to be patient with us! During our first month we may experience some bumps but we won’t know if it works unless we try it! Watch for more details in the next few weeks!

    The State Conference is being held in Sioux Falls on September 15th – 17th. The registration link is on our home page. Be sure to get registered because we have a great variety of speakers, vendors and a chance to network with HR professionals from all over the state!

    And even though this year State Conference hasn’t even been held yet, the Watertown Chapter has started planning for the 2022 State Conference. They are in the process of forming subcommittees, and need representatives from each chapter to sit on the speaker and vendor committees. If you are interested in being a part of this, email me at  

    The July Monthly Meeting will be packed with great information on “Reinforcing the Basics of Compensation”. The meeting will be facilitated by Alternative HRD, LLC Consultants Karen DeLange, Julie Nelson, Kayla Johnson and Sarah Meusburger where they will outline:  Compensation Philosophy, Job Classification, Wage Analysis and Compensation Systems.

  • 06/14/2021 8:49 AM | Anonymous member

    June is here but it feels more like a Hot July! As I mentioned last month, SESHRM has a lot going on behind the scenes. This month we were able to host a New Member Orientation. This is a great way for our members to hear more about SESHRM and “meet” other new members. Especially since they have not had the opportunity to meet any of us in person. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for that.  And that’s one of the items we have been working on. Currently trying to work through the technology issues of having a Zoom call and in person event at the same time for our monthly meetings. I should have a solid update for you next month. Thanks to J.R. Rowenhorst and the rest of the Technology Sub-committee for moving this forward.

    Thanks to everyone that expressed an interest in the SESHRM Board Positions. I am excited to announce that we have filled both positions.

    Christina Cota has accepted the Co-Programs Director position. Christina has worked in Human Resources for over 20 years. I have had the pleasure of being on a few Spring Conference Committees with her and know she will bring great ideas to the group! I want to take this time to thank Kayla Johnson from Alternative HRD who has been in this position since the beginning of the year. She quickly jumped into things and has brought some great energy.

    Ashley Donley has accepted our newly created Communications Director position! Ashley has been working in Human Resources the last several years and is currently the HR Director at South Dakota Innovation Partners, LLC. She is already thinking about new and creative ways to communicate to our members and I know will make a great addition to our SESHRM Board. Please help me welcoming both of these ladies!

    The State Conference will be here before we know it…. September 15th to 17th. I am on the speaker committee and we have a great line up for everyone! Be watching for registration information soon.

    Our June meeting is an Employment Update with Nicole J. Mohning, Partner with Cutler Law Firm, LLP in Sioux Falls presenting. She will be providing some important legal updates which is always helpful for our members. Have a great month!

    Mary Jo Vance, SHRM-CP

    SESRHM President

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

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