2019 Day on the Hill

February 13th - 14th, 2019
Premier Park Hotel - Madison, Wisconsin

Our Sponsors

WISHRM Day on the Hill Conference 2018


Registering before or by Friday, February 1, 2019 will help to ensure you are meeting with your legislator(s).
PLEASE NOTE: Legislator meetings cannot be guaranteed for registration after Friday, February 1st, 2019.

Become a Sponsor! CLICK HERE to download the Sponsorship Form (PDF).  

Conference Description

Join your HR colleagues from around the state at our 5th Annual WISHRM Day on the Hill event!  The Day on the Hill provides you the unique opportunity to travel to Madison, WI for a day of legislative insight and networking with colleagues and legislators. The event is scheduled in February to provide our attendees with the opportunity to make an impact at the start of a new legislative session.

Prior to the Day on the Hill event, online training on how to conduct an advocacy meeting will be delivered. The day of the event will begin with a review of SHRM advocacy efforts from Meredith Nethercutt, Director for Member Advocacy at National SHRM, and an overview of the Wisconsin State Government. We’ll receive information about pending reforms in areas that directly impact human resources professionals. Remaining presentations will include a visit from state legislators, a panel discussion on employer assisted student loan repayment, and an employment law update from Attorney Bob Gregg of the Boardman & Clark Law Firm. Sessions will be submitted for preapproval of recertification credits.

The day will conclude with scheduled meetings with your individual Legislators and/or Legislative staff members at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Legislator meetings typically last about 15 minutes, at which you will discuss current issues pertinent to the human resources profession. If you are a first time attendee and unsure of the legislator meeting process, just tell us on your registration form and we will ensure we have someone to attend your first meeting with you! Business attire is recommended for legislative meetings.

The Day on the Hill will provide a great opportunity for you to advocate on behalf of WISHRM and the HR profession, to learn more about the political process, and to have a real impact on the public policy debate in Wisconsin involving critical HR and business issues.

Also, join us at the Top of the Park on Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 7pm for a social/networking event.  Dress is casual.  If you are unable to attend the Thursday Day on the Hill event, but would still like to attend the Wednesday networking event, the cost to attend the networking event only is $25.

Cancellation Policy:
All cancellations must be in writing to:
A $40 administrative fee will be charged for conference cancellations received before January 31, 2019.  Requests for refunds after January 31st will be denied unless there are extenuating circumstances which prevent an attendee from finding another person to attend the conference in their place.  An extenuating circumstance may include an unexpected death in the family or medical emergency.  Proof of the hardship will be required.  These requests will be reviewed by members of the WI SHRM Executive Council, Day on the Hill Co-Chairs and the Conference Liaison Director on a case-by-case basis.


Event Pricing

SHRM Member
Non-SHRM Member
Student (Full Time - Undergrad)
Wednesday Networking Event Only

Certification Approval -
Credits Applied For


Location / Hotel Accommodations

Park Hotel - Downtown Madison
22 South Carroll Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
  • For Reservations, Call: (608) 285-8000
  • Reservation Code: WI SHRM Legislative Day on the Hill 2019
  • Rate: $129.00 plus tax
  • Room Block Deadline: January 13, 2019 - Rooms may still be available after this date.  Please call the hotel to inquire!
  • Hotel Cancellation Policy: Must be made 24 hours prior to the day of arrival


SHRM Activity Credits:  4 credits
HRCI  Activity Credits:  4.25 credits

*The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

Additional ways to earn Credit: 
›› Writing an HR-related letter or making a call to Congress/state legislature = 1 PDC per year
›› Participating in the SHRM Advocacy Team (A-Team) = 3 PDCs per year
›› Participating in Capitol Hill visits = 3 PDCs per year
›› Becoming an HR advocacy captain = 5 PDCs per year

Click here for more information!

Conference at a Glance

Wednesday, February 6, 2019: Preconference Webinar

Time Description
2:00 - 3:00 PM A Preconference Webinar is scheduled to assist those who have registered to meet with their legislators.  Preparation will include meeting etiquette, what to expect and how to make the most of your time at the Capitol.  This webinar will be hosted by National SHRM.  Connection information will be emailed to registered Conference attendees in advance.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019: Networking Reception

Time Description
5:30 - 7:00 PM Join us at the Top of the Park in the Park Hotel on Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 7pm for a social/networking event. Dress is casual.  If you are unable to attend the Thursday Day on the Hill event, but would still like to attend the Wednesday networking event, the cost to attend the networking event only is $25.

Thursday, February 14, 2019: Conference Day

Time Description
7:00 - 7:50 AM Registration / Continental Breakfast / Networking
7:50 - 8:00 AM Welcome & Opening Announcements
8:00 - 9:00 AM Advocacy Team and National SHRM Update
Presenter:  Meredith Nethercutt, Director for Member Advocacy, National SHRM
9:00 - 9:15 AM Under the Capitol Dome:  A Quick Overview of Wisconsin State Government
Presenter:  Jeff Palkowski, Director of Government Affairs, Greater Madison Area SHRM
9:15 - 9:30 AM Break
9:30 - 10:00 AM Legislative Update from the State Capitol
Presenter:  Chris Reader, Director of Health & Human Resources Policy, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
10:00 - 10:45 AM Wisconsin Government Insights

About the Program: “United we stand, divided we fall” is the age-old saying.  Given the divided nature of state government, as a result of the November elections, hopefully this age-old saying does not play out.  That being said, we will have an opportunity to hear what the future may bring for Wisconsin employers and employees.  We will hear from the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (Caleb Frostman) as to the Governor’s priorities for Wisconsin from a labor and employment perspective.  Additionally, we will get a Legislative perspective from both Republicans and Democrats – Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (or his designee) will share the priorities for Republicans concerning Wisconsin employers and employees and Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz (or his designee) will share what Wisconsin Democrats intend to prioritize from a labor and employment perspective.  The presenters will all allow a brief opportunity for the audience to ask specific questions as well.
10:45 - 11:00 AM Break
11:00 - 12:00 PM Debt & Taxes:  Helping Employees Pay Off Student Loans
Presenters: Abigail Darwin, Esq., Quarles & Brady; Jeremiah DeGollon, VP-Relationship Development & Advocacy, Summit Credit Union; Scott Lopez, VP of HR and Organizational Development, Credit Union National Association; David Aronson, CEO, Peanut Butter, Inc.
12:00 - 12:45 PM Lunch and Networking
12:45 - 2:00 PM Legislative Updates
Presenter:  Bob Gregg, Attorney at Boardman & Clark Law Firm and Wisconsin State Council SHRM Legislative Partner
2:00 - 2:15 PM Legislative Meeting Preparation
Attendees will spend time on last minute meeting preparation and head to the Capitol together for a group picture before meetings begin.
2:15 - 4:30 PM Individual Legislative Meetings
Attendees will have an opportunity to engage their State Legislators in pre-scheduled discussions allowing for there to be open dialogue about who SHRM is, what we represent and the opportunity for Legislators to better understand how a future relationship with us can benefit them when workforce planning and employment related legislation is presented.


Featured Presenters

Featured Presenter,
Bob Gregg

Bob Gregg - Boardman & Clark

About the Program:  A new Congress!  A new Supreme Court!  A new Governor – same Legislature!  Things are about to change!  And some of the old issues continue to take on new life.  This is a time of confusion, and increased personal liability for managers – including you. Are “dinosaur executives” in danger of extinction?  Sometimes trying to be sensitive and do the right thing can backfire.  Are you being “caring,” “sensitive” or “discriminatory?”  You should know the difference and have some good advice on these and other recent legal developments. 
  • The new political scene – changes at the state.
  • Still up in the air.  Conflicting decisions on Age and LGBT – but our court switched!  So it’s now clear here! – for the moment. 
  • Supreme Court. 
  • Executive demise - #METOO and the Weinstein Clause.
  • The hiring crisis – time to reevaluate standards.
  • Beware of creating double standards. 
  • Strangest cases of the year
Bio:  Bob Gregg, Co-Chair of the Labor & Employment practice at Boardman & Clark LLP in Madison, Wisconsin, has been involved in employment relations for more than 30 years.  Bob’s practice has a special emphasis on documentation.  He trains managers and investigators in proper investigation and documentation practices.  In addition, he litigates employment cases, representing employers in all area of employment law.  His main emphasis is helping employers achieve enhanced productivity, creating positive work environments, and resolving employment problems before they generate lawsuits.  He has designed the workplace policies of numerous employers.  Bob has conducted more than 3,000 seminars throughout the United States and authored numerous articles on practical employment issues.  Bob is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the National Speakers Association, a National Faculty Member of the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity and serves on the Board of Directors for the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Foundation.

Featured Presenter,
Meredith Nethercutt
Meredith Nethercutt - SHRM

About the Program: Meredith will provide a brief overview on the engagement activity associated with meeting and advocating on Wisconsin SHRM’s behalf when engaging our state Legislators. She will discuss A-team initiatives at the National SHRM level, particularly as SHRM works with the 116th Congress.
Bio:  Meredith Nethercutt is the Director for Member Advocacy at the Society for Human Resource Management. Overseeing SHRM’s Advocacy Team (A-Team) network of volunteer advocates, Meredith facilitates relationships between SHRM members and lawmakers to strengthen the Society’s advocacy objectives in legislative districts nationwide. In addition, Meredith provides training and guidance to HR advocates on how to effectively communicate with lawmakers regarding workplace policies. A critical part of the Society’s enhanced advocacy initiative, the A-Team advances the HR perspective and agenda by leveraging the reach and knowledge of SHRM members through grassroots advocacy.

Prior to joining SHRM, Meredith served as director of public affairs and grassroots advocacy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), where she oversaw the complete association advocacy program branding and reorganization, as well as the construction of a strategic association-wide key contact program to leverage relationships between manufacturers and federal lawmakers. Meredith’s previous career experience includes advocacy positions with the International Franchise Association (IFA) and the National Restaurant Association, where she managed both association’s grassroots programs. She started her career in advocacy at Associated Builders and Contractors. 

Meredith received a Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University. She resides in Denver, CO.

Featured Presenter,
Jeff Palkowski
Jeff Palkowski - Greater Madison Area SHRM

About the Program:  Under the Capitol Dome:  A Quick Overview of Wisconsin State Government

There is a lot that takes place under the granite dome of the Wisconsin State Capitol. Whether you are a first-time or seasoned Day on the Hill attendee, this short refresher will help to prepare you to make the most out of your legislative visits.

Some topics that we will cover in 15 minutes or less include:
  • Framework of Wisconsin State Government
  • The Wisconsin State Legislature by the Numbers
  • Who's Who and Who's in Control
  • How an Idea Becomes a Bill and a Bill Becomes a Law
  • Top Ten Tips for a Great Visit to the Wisconsin State Capitol

Bio: Jeff Palkowski, MHRM, SHRM-CP, PHR is a Senior Human Resources Specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Personnel Management, supporting the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. He has worked in human resources for over fifteen years and has been involved with the Society for Human Resource Management at national and local chapter levels since 2003

Jeff currently serves as the Director of Government Affairs for the Greater Madison Area SHRM chapter, SHRM Advocacy Captain for Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District, and is the incoming Wisconsin SHRM State Council Director of Governmental Affairs. In these roles, Jeff has been able to combine his previous experience working as a Deputy Chief of Staff/Policy Advisor in the Wisconsin Legislature along with his interest and desire to advocate and initiate positive change in the human resources industry as a SHRM Advocacy A-Team Member since 2012.

A certified Professional in Human Resources since 2008 and SHRM Certified Professional since 2015, Jeff received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned a Masters in Human Resources Management from the Keller Graduate School of Management.

Featured Presenter,
Chris Reader
Chris Reader - Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

About the Program:  In this brief update, Chris will talk about recent state law changes and pending reforms in areas that directly impact human resources professionals which include:  Unemployment Insurance, Worker's Compensation, Non-Compete Agreements, Setting Statewide Human Resources Standards and more.  Sharing his expertise and experiences in working with legislators and state agencies, the information provided by Chris will help us all to better understand the current landscape of HR-related topics in Wisconsin to help prepare us for our visits with members of the Wisconsin State Legislature.

Bio:  Chris Reader is the Director of Health & Human Resources Policy at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state’s largest trade association representing employers.  Chris works with lawmakers and state agencies to advance pro-growth reforms in a number of policy areas including employment law, unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, education, workforce development, health care and telecommunications.
Chris serves on several boards and councils, including: 
--Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council
--Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Council
--Wisconsin Apprenticeship Consortium
--Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau Governing Board & Rating Committee
--Wisconsin Technology Council Board of Directors
--State Superintendent’s Standards Review Council
Chris joined WMC in 2013 with significant experience in state government and Wisconsin politics, having worked in a leadership role at a state agency, as a chief-of-staff in the state legislature and on several political campaigns.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He lives in Sun Prairie with his wife and children.

Featured Presenter,
Attorney Abigail Darwin

Abigail Darwin - Quarles & Brady LLP

About the Program:  Currently, an employer can provide an employee with up to $5,250 per year in tax-free education benefits if the employee takes classes while employed.  And yet, if an employer wants to help an employee pay off pre-existing student loan debt, the benefit is taxable.  With more than 44 million people collectively owing $1.5 trillion in student loans, the vast majority of whom are under the age of 40, and with unemployment at historic lows, employers are becoming increasingly interested in understanding more about employer-sponsored student loan repayment assistance programs.  During this presentation, you will hear from an Employee Benefits Attorney, two financial services executives from the credit union industry and the Chief Executive Officer of an organization that assists employers with student loan repayment programs.
 Attendees will learn about the following in this presentation:
  • The current legislative and regulatory landscape relating to student loan repayment assistance programs, as well as recent attempts at reform;
  • Platforms and methods that employers are using to provide educational assistance benefits to employees, as well as current industry trends in offering student loan repayment benefits; and
  • Advantages and disadvantages to offering student loan repayment benefits to employees and ideas for effective plan designs for employers interested in offering such benefits.

Bio:  Abigail Darwin, Esq., is an attorney in Quarles & Brady LLP's Labor & Employment Practice Group in the firm's Madison, Wisconsin office.  Her practice focuses on employee benefits, including health and welfare plans and retirement plans.  Ms. Darwin also assists clients with maintaining compliance with the Affordable Care Act, ERISA, FMLA, COBRA, HIPAA and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Ms. Darwin also advises clients in the area of executive compensation, including employment agreements, severance agreements, change in control agreements, incentive and equity-based compensation plan, deferred compensation plans and tax and securities law issues relating to executive compensation.

Ms. Darwin received her Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Iowa and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.  She is a member of the Wisconsin and New York state bars and is a CLE instructor for the State Bar of Wisconsin.  Ms. Darwin serves on both the Government Relations and Interpretations Committee and the Education Committee for ECFC and is on the GMA-SHRM Government Affairs Committee.  She is also a regular contributor to the GMA-SHRM newsletter.

Featured Presenter,
Jeremiah DeGollon
Jeremiah DeGollon - Summit Credit Union

Bio:  Jeremiah DeGollon is Vice President – Relationship Development and Advocacy at Summit Credit Union, headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. Mr. DeGollon has been in financial services for 20 years and received his Master’s in business administration from Edgewood College. He uses his experience working in financial services and financial education, to work on behalf of credit unions on a wide range of legislative issues and is a frequent presenter on credit union advocacy and legislative matters.

Mr. DeGollon currently serves on the board of directors for STAR Credit Union as Board Chair, the Cooperative Network as Director, representing Wisconsin credit unions, the Madison Area Chapter of Credit Unions as Vice President, and member of the Wisconsin Credit Union League’s Government Affairs Committee.

Featured Presenter,
Scott Lopez
Scott Lopez - Credit Union National Association

Bio:  Scott Lopez calls on 20+ years of experience in the Human Resource field.  His touch points have focused on recruitment and retention, labor and employee relations, compensation and employee development.  The foundation for his experience comes from the University Wisconsin Madison’s master’s program in Industrial Relations.

His work experience is with the Credit Union National Association plus a little with the World Council of Credit Unions.He has presented at many venues on various topics to include Interest Based Bargaining, Documentation and Discipline, HR 101, Investigations, Personnel Profiles Integration.Most recently he is researching and experimenting on ways to apply employee engagement and team development.

Featured Presenter,
David Aronson
David Aronson - Peanut Butter, Inc.

Bio:  David Aronson is CEO of Peanut Butter, which helps employers offer student loan assistance as a benefit. Aronson has 20 years of business experience and has founded 6 ventures as entrepreneur or intrapreneur. He previously served as Head of Business Development for the Health & Wellness Division of Sears Holdings, and Director of Corporate Development for Gevity HR, beginning his career at the Aronson family's Tasty Bakery.

David earned an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Managerial Economics, and Marketing, and earned a BSBA in Finance from Valparaiso University.

Contact Information


Jay Stephany, SHRM-SCP, PHR
Legislative Director

Term start:  1/1/2024


Jay Stephany is an HR Generalist at Network Health in Menasha, WI.  Network Health offers services to employers of all sizes, Medicare Advantage plans and individual and family health insurance services in 23 counties throughout Wisconsin.  Previous work experience includes Plexus as the Manager of Talent Acquisition, Goodwill NCW as the Senior Seeker of Talent, and Dunham Express as an HR Generalist.
Jay received a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and a Certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR).  As a volunteer leader, Jay has been an active member with SHRM; both as a District Director for WISHRM and with Fox Valley SHRM (FVSHRM), serving in the positions of VP of Programming and Chapter President.


Additional Information