District Directors

District Director Bios

District Director - Northwest
Sonya Ganther, SHRM-CP, PHR
Rick Schemm, SPHR Bio:
Sonya is Director of Human Resources at the School District of Onalaska (SDO). SDO employs over 400 people and serves the PK-12 population.  Sonya bears responsibility for the District's human resources functions, including recruitment, employee relations, employee benefits, and personnel policies and practices.  Sonya enjoys providing guidance to employees related to their performance, growth, development needs, and interpersonal relationships with peers and/or supervisors.  Sonya has worked in the human resources field for the past 20 years, most recently in the education sector beginning in 2011.  She holds a Bachelorís of Science in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a SHRM-CP, PHR certification.  She has served as the Communications Director for the LASHRM Chapter, President, Vice President, and Treasurer of the Winona MN SHRM Chapter and was a member of the 2013 WISHRM State Conference committee.
District Director - Southwest
Sue Estes
Sue Estes

Sue Estes has been active in SHRM since 2000, serving most recently as WI SHRM State Membership Director. Sue is a Past President of GMA SHRM, as well as a former VP Membership for the chapter.  She continues to serve her local chapter as an active volunteer on the Membership Committee. In addition to her work with SHRM, Sue has served as VP Membership for the WI Chapter of SOCAP, an organization for customer care professionals.  Sue balances her volunteer work with her position as Manager of Business Development for Celerity Staffing Solutions, where she consults with HR professionals, hiring managers, and business owners on their recruiting and staffing challenges.  Sue holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. A mother of two young adults, Sue resides in Middleton with her husband John and their West Highland Terrier named Teddy.

District Director - Southeast
Maureen Gavahan

Coming Soon...  Email:

District Director - Northeast
Melanie Bruins
Melanie (Mel) Bruins joined Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc. in February of 2014. She has worked as a human resources professional in Southeastern Wisconsin in a variety of different industry settings including Oshkosh Corporation and Mercury Marine. 

Working in health care was a career-long aspiration which Mel has fulfilled as Chief Talent Officer of BDCH. She is a Certified Sherpa Executive Coach, Certified 360 Facilitator through the Center for Creative Leadership and is a Just Culture Certified Champion.

Mel received her Bachelorís degree in Business Administration and Human Resources Management from Winona State University in Winona, Minn., and her MBA from UW-Oshkosh. She serves as the District Director for the Wisconsin Society for Human Resources Management and as a Board Member for the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin. 
Mel and her husband Scott enjoy spending time with their extended families, playing golf and keeping up with Wisconsinís college and professional sports teams.  
District Director - Northcentral
Kristi Toner, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Kristi Toner, SPHR

Kristi has her Bachelorís degree in Business/Human Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as well as 15 years of experience working in the HR field.  She has served in HR roles in several different industry sectors, including manufacturing, insurance and banking, most recently serving as the Director of Employee Development for Nicolet National Bank.  Kristi has served on her local Central Wisconsin SHRM chapter Board since 2009, in the roles of Secretary, President-Elect and most recently, President.  She is excited to assist the Wisconsin State Council of SHRM with further educating the local chapters in her region on the role and structure of the council as well as helping define what resources are available to chapters through the council.  Email:


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