November 2017  

President's Report

Exciting news!!!! The chapter has been selected as a finalist for ARSHRM Pinnacle Award for our community outreach programs. The winners will be announced this month at the Volunteer Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. The chapter members have done a great job of supporting our community outreach and we hope to continue to expand our programs.

Thanks to Minnie Lenox for presenting our October program “How to Deal with Drama Kings and Queens”. Come join us next month for an update from Arkansas Department of Workforce Services with Steve Ezelle and Angela Buhrmester.

Please mark your calendars for the following Programs/ Events of interest:
December 12, 2017 -WCASHRM Holiday Party (Trejos)
April 4- 6, 2018 - Arkansas SHRM Conference (Hot Springs Convention Center)
August 23, 2018 - Managers Seminar (Hot Springs Convention Center)

Thank you to everyone who brought paper products to support the Hope Movement. Please continue to support our community outreach programs. If you have organizations you would like us to support or partner with please contact Deanna Harris or myself.

Please remember our silent auction to benefit the SHRM Foundation will be held during our Holiday on December 12. Members can bring their items to the November meeting or to the Holiday party. **If you plan to bring your item to the Holiday party, please email Sonya Arnold ( the item to be auctioned and the value, so she can prepare the necessary bid sheet.

Our next meeting will be on November 28th, 2017 at CHI St. Vincent Health Center. I hope to see everyone there!


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Monthly Sponsor

The Department of Workforce Services (DWS) strives to provide employment security and in so doing promote the economic well-being of the state of Arkansas. Every effort is made to establish a functional, statewide system to accommodate the needs of Arkansas employers and residents.  Through DWS’ local offices, the needs of employers and job seeking individuals are facilitated by matching qualified workers with an employer’s specific employment needs.

DWS avidly supports Arkansas’ employer community and is cognizant of their needs. Local Employer Advisory Councils have been established across the state to listen to the needs and concerns of employers.  These councils play an active role in the community as vital information is disseminated to employers and feedback is gathered so that the delivery of service will continue to improve.

DWS offers many services to Arkansas job seekers and residents including: referral to suitable employment opportunities; job training assistance to economically disadvantaged individuals and those dislocated due to business closings, layoffs, and natural disasters; case management for disabled veterans; assessment of an individual’s needs and referral to supportive agencies and programs.

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Meeting Topic

Update from Arkansas Department of Workforce Services

November 28, 2017
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
CHI St. Vincent's Hot Springs McCauley Room

Speakers from Arkansas Department of Workforce Services will discuss: 

  • Know what the Veterans Treatment Court is and how it contributes to Human Resource manpower
  • The benefits of WOTC, what are some of the highlights to hiring using this tax benefit for your organization

  • Sealing Criminal Records and how the Workforce center assists those who have been incarcerated and seeking “second changes” employment

  • Unemployment Insurance Appeals Process

  • UI New Law changes for 218

  • UI Hotline


Stephen L. Ezelle is a Veteran of the US Navy (6 years) and has served at the Pentagon, Washington DC, as a Flag Staff Administrative Aide at the office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Submarine Warfare. After his enlistment, it was in Jacksonville Florida where he spent 22 years before moving to Hot Springs.  He has served as Executive Director of Human Resources over three hotels before coming onboard to with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.  Currently, Stephen serves as the Disable Veterans Outreach Program Specialist, serving not only Garland County but also Pike and Montgomery Counties. He holds degrees in Marketing and Management, from Jones College, Jacksonville Florida, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a concentration in Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Management.  Stephen Ezelle helps all Veterans (male and female) that have barriers to employment. Stephen also offers a wide range of programs and services for our Veterans assisting with job searches, helping those who need mental health assistance, help in creating resumes, assists with finding places for the homeless to live or provide food. 

Once a month, he serves on the Garland County DWI/Veterans Treatment Court with the Honorable Judge Meredith Switzer presiding. Stephen has been a member of this court for over 2 years when the late Honorable Judge David Switzer requested Stephen to be a member of his Court.

He is a recent recipient of Arkansas’, “Veterans Representative of the Year 2017” and nationally recognized by the DAV receiving the National Award “Disable Outreach Program Specialist of the Year 2017”.

Angela Buhrmester began her employment with the Department of Workforce Services shortly after graduating from Harding University in 1992. She began her employment as an Intermittent Interviewer in the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.  After seven years working in the private sector, Angela began working for the Department again as an Intermittent Interviewer in the Unemployment Insurance program.  In 2005, she received a permanent position with the UI programs in the Automated Adjudication Systems Unit.  In 2007, she was selected to be an Unemployment Insurance Technician and worked with that unit until she was promoted to Division Chief in the Unemployment Insurance Administration in February 2016.

During her tenure with the Department of Workforce Services, Angela has processed UI claims, made determinations on eligibility for unemployment, audited claims, and provided assistance to field offices, employers and various interested groups. Currently, she is in charge of the Department’s Hotline program.

Some of the other duties Angela performs includes monitoring the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program, heading the performance measurement review team which grades UI non-monetary determinations for federal standards, and training employees on the Unemployment Insurance program.

1 hour SHRM and HRCI pending


WCASHRM is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program.  It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for recertification credit.

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Membership Corner

Please  join me in welcoming our New Members 

Renee Fazendine - CHI St. Vincent
Jessica Davis - City of Arkadelphia

Do you know what time it is? It is time to renew your membership for 2018. We will be emailing the 2018 membership applications soon, so watch your inbox. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Marina Mueller directly at 501-321-4417.

I am happy to announce that our WCASHRM Board of Directors have once again approved to waive the membership dues for those who are National SHRM members AND designate WCASHRM as their primary chapter. Our chapter number is 0467. Please make sure to provide your SHRM Member ID# on your application so that we can verify your National SHRM status. If you are not a member of SHRM or if you are a member of another Arkansas Chapter, you will still be required to pay membership dues when you renew your WCASHRM application. Those dues have not increased.

At this time, I would also like to say thank you for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful organization. I look forward to serving our members and potential members in the new year. May each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving that is filled with love and happiness.

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Upcoming Events

Thank you all for your paper towel and toilet paper donations last month to benefit the Hope Movement.

In November, we are holding a SOCK DRIVE to benefit the Eleanor Klugh Jackson House (also known as the Jackson House). We are collecting socks for all ages, and male and female. 

Eleanor Klugh Jackson House for Crisis Intervention Services, Inc., commonly known as "Jackson House," is an interfaith community crisis center which provides short-term emergency assistance for the basic needs - food, clothing and shelter, and nedicine without regard to race, creed, sex or nationality - and without imposing our values or beliefs upon those we serve. 

This non-profit service for emergencies and crisis intervention is designed to: 

  • Help clients utilize community resources

  • Provide clients with direct assistance whenever possible

  • Follow up with supportive counseling 

Jackson House is a vessel providing the place where community spirit comes together to provide for the needy men, women, and children of Garland County. Jackson House is a private, non-profit, 501 (c)(3) tax deductible organization funded by local sources and does not seek government funds.



2017 Holiday Party

December 12, 2017
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Trejo’s Mexican Restaurant
3040 Albert Pike Road
Hot Springs, AR 71913 

Join WCASHRM as we celebrate the 2017 Year at Trejo's Mexican Restaurant (located on Albert Pike near the Mountain Pine Junction) on Tuesday, December 12. 

We'll award a $100 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky member (must be present to win), as well as induct the 2018 Board of Directors. And, we'll have door prizes to give away too! 

Members are free, and Guests are $10. Potential members are free as well. (Potential members should register as a guest, and email Marina for membership info at 

We will hold a SILENT AUCTION with the proceeds going to the SHRM Foundation as part of our annual fundraising. Members can bring their items to the October or November meeting or to the Christmas party. **If you plan to bring your item to the Christmas party, please email Sonya Arnold ( the item to be auctioned and the value, so she can prepare the necessary bid sheet.

If you'd like to donate a doorprize, please contact Janet Edgar at

In addition, it's the season of giving, so we ask that you bring a canned good for donation to Project Hope Food Bank!




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Legislative Updates


 SHRM believes that the United States must have a 21st Century Workflex policy that works for employers and employees alike, helping them meet work-life and organizational needs. Building upon increasingly more creative solutions to address the 21st Century Workplace, the SHRM-led Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219), introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today by Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA), is an innovative, voluntary approach to providing more paid time off and workflex for all employees, more predictability for employers and more options for everyone – a responsible solution for government, employers, employees and taxpayers. Additionally, the Progressive Policy Institute and the Republican Main Street Partnership, sent out a bipartisan statement of support on the bill today.   SHRM – and our members – will be leading the advocacy effort on this proactive and innovative federal legislation. SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility Action Center will have the latest legislative content, talking points, benefits to employers and employees, and ways to make your voice heard. In the meantime, please review the list below to prepare for what lies ahead for this legislation and get ready to make your voice heard on behalf of the profession.

3 Things to Know about New SHRM-Backed Workplace Flexibility Legislation

1) Workflex legislation is INNOVATIVE
2) Workflex legislation is FAIR
3) Workflex legislation is COMPETITIVE

Tell Your Member of Congress to Preserve the Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Education Assistance!

Please reach out to your U.S. Representative to tell him/her to preserve the tax treatment of employer provided education assistance (Section 127). This vital benefit will be eliminated in H.R. 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. The House Ways and Means Committee is currently marking up the bill prior to a House Floor vote – so it’s critical that your HR Voice is heard NOW!

Educational Institution HR Professionals: Take Action Now to Preserve the Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Education Assistance

Take time to contact your U.S. Representative to encourage him/her to preserve the tax treatment of employer provided education assistance – specifically qualified undergraduate tuition reduction benefits (Section 117(d)). This vital benefit will be eliminated in H.R. 1, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. The House Ways and Means Committee is currently marking up the bill prior to a House Floor vote – so it’s critical that your HR Voice is heard NOW! 

Support Needed! Ask Your Members of Congress to Co-sponsor S. 2007/H.R. 4135, the Upward Mobility Enhancement Act!

Please call and email your U.S. Senators and House Representative member to urge support for S. 2007/H.R. 4135 which expands Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to increase the amount allowed under the provision. This bipartisan legislation allows employers to voluntarily provide education assistance as a tax-free benefit up to $11,500 per year, per employee. The amount would then be indexed for inflation. Raise the HR voice today - contact Congress now!

Urge Your Lawmakers to Repeal "Cadillac Tax" in Tax Reform

As Congress works on tax reform legislation, SHRM urges lawmakers to repeal the 40 percent “Cadillac Tax” on employer-sponsored health care benefits that set to go into effect in 2020. Although the excise tax is not effective until 2020, HR professionals and employers are already restructuring their health care benefit offerings to avoid the tax.  As 2020 approaches, more employers will closely scrutinize their health benefit offerings and will make the necessary changes to avoid the excise tax.  If the 40 percent excise tax is not repealed, many employers may be forced to cut benefits, alter wellness and chronic care prevention programs, and reduce innovative new benefit offerings. Further, employees will be negatively impacted by higher copays and deductibles and could even cause some to decline employer-provided health care. 

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SHRM Foundation


Join the SHRM Foundation for #GivingTuesday, celebrated each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, by making a donation or joining our annual webcast.  During our webcast at Noon Eastern time on #GivingTuesday, our Executive Director Wendi Safstrom will be sharing the SHRM Foundation's work this year and outline our work for 2018.  Click here to register for the webcast. 

Make your annual donation to the SHRM Foundation before the end of 2017! Your tax-deductible gift will be used to empower HR professionals to build inclusive organizations.   Deadline to donate: Sunday, December 31, 2017.

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SHRM Recertification Updates Have you already blown past your 60 PDCs needed for recertification or are you "almost there?" Help our chapter and state council out by recertifying in 2017!  SHRM is offering a bonus of $20 per chapter member designating our chapter as primary and $10 for every recertified member in the state.  This bonus is paid directly to chapters and state councils. Remember, if you have more than 60 PDCs, the extra are not going to contribute to your next recertification --- but they certainly will contribute to your professional growth and development! 

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Diversity and the Workplace (The long-term success of any business calls for a diverse body of talent that can bring fresh ideas, perspectives and views and a corporate mindset that values those views)

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