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Letter from the President

August Recap: Have you noticed that the days have gotten shorter but our to-do list has gotten longer? Ahhh, Summer has slipped on by and we are back into the chaotic Fall season.   Our chapter has been extremely busy.  We were involved in two events on August 20.  We partnered with the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council to host the Tech & Toast panel on Talent Development & Recruitment at The Inn at Virginia Tech. I saw a few of our members there and met lots of folks who didn’t know the NRV had a SHRM chapter.  I had a good time telling everyone about the great programs we have and particularly about the two upcoming half-day programs.  The panelists at the Tech & Toast addressed many of the issues employers have raised about finding and keeping talent in the Roanoke and NRV areas.  Some novel ideas have emerged from the discussion, and there are plans to continue working as a roundtable to address some of these in the future. 

For our lunch meeting on August 20th, Becky Pollard, President of Business Solutions, attracted a big crowd who came to find out about updates on the Affordable Care Act.  She shared a wealth of information for businesses of all sizes. Through her program, she explained a lot of the questions about who will be impacted by the upcoming deadlines, which reports will be required, and what to expect as far as potential penalties. 

September: September 17th brings us our Sixth Annual Half-Day Legal Update!  This is always an exciting event.  This year, we are introducing a new element.  Tommy Strelka with Strelka Law will tell us how to resolve employment issues before they go to court.  Hope Cothran with Wood Rogers will talk about Recent Rules Impacting Federal Contractors; Jim Cowan with CowanPerry will discuss DOL and FLSA regulations; and Eric Chapman with CowanPerry will discuss the Pregnancy Discrimination Ruling and recent Social Media Rulings.  With four hours of programming, we have submitted the program for 4 HRCI credits and 4 SHRM credits.  

October: Jim Hulburt with Partnership Screening in Roanoke will guide us through the Background screening process at our October chapter meeting.

October is also our month to elect new board members.  We have a lot of fun on the board and really need the help of our members to make the chapter stronger.  We get requests every month to participate in community activities, work with students, meet with businesses, or contact potential speakers, but we are limited by the volunteers available.  Please consider joining the board or even committing to a few hours each month to work on a committee.  We need your talent, expertise, and enthusiasm!

November: We are very excited about our Half Day program on November 19th.  Donna Cutting is presenting a program entitled Create a Service Culture: Supporting Leaders who Engage Employees to Roll Out the Red Carpet for your Customers.  Donna has just completed her second book 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for your Customers: Easy-to-Implement Ideas to Inspire Loyalty, Get New Customers, and Leave a Lasting Impression. If you’ve never seen Donna conduct a training program, you will be in for a real treat!  Her interactive program involves theater and lively engagement.  You can check her out at http://redcarpetlearning.com.  We talked on the phone for more than an hour about the great program she is putting together for us.  I can’t wait!  Remember to tell your friends and colleagues that the Early Bird discounted price of $50 ends on October 15th.   

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming meeting? See the full details here.

New Member Promotion! To celebrate all of our upcoming events, we are offering a special New Member promotion.  New members who join by September 1, 2015  at the special rate of $125  will be able to attend all of the meetings this year and 2016. This promotion includes the Half-Day Legal Update, our chapter meetings, and our special Half Day program with Donna Cutting!  Go to http://nrv.shrm.org and click join the chapter.

Contests: On top of the great meetings and new member promotion, we have several contests going on for our current members. 

  • We will continue our contest for the State Conference drawing.  Remember the more meetings you attend, the more chances you have of winning. 
  • In addition, we have a new contest for members who update their information. Go to http://nrv.shrm.org, log on to your account.  From there you can edit your information in the personal information tab then click save! If you are a national SHRM member, be sure to enter your SHRM ID.  Our chapter receives funds from national for any national SHRM members who designate us as their local chapter.  Once updated, email me at pggoff@hhhunt.com and you will be entered into a contest to win one of our famous floating pen sets.
  • We will also be holding 50/50 raffles for the SHRM Foundation at our two half-day events. 

Don’t miss out on all of the fun!

See you at our next meeting!

Best Regards,

Pamela Gibson Goff, MUA, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
President, NRV SHRM


2016 Board Members

Thank you so much to everyone who continues to work diligently this year to make the NRV SHRM the excellent chapter that it is today.  Now, we need volunteers for our 2016 Board and Committees.

Many may say that they don’t have the time.  Time commitments include the monthly chapter meeting, the monthly board meetings, and the additional time for your particular position.  We are aware that most cannot make 100% of the meetings, even if it is only 1 hour per month.


The 2016 slate of Officers will be elected in October.  Some of our members have graciously agreed to remain in their current positions.  Positions that are available are in bold.

President: Becky Morris
Past President: Pam Gibson Goff
President Elect:

Certification: Rita Turpin
College Relations: Jaime Lynn Anderson
Workforce Readiness: Gary Shapiro
Legislative Representative: Jim Cowan
Communications: Crystal Spence
SHRM Foundation:


  • Be an active Board member - participate and vote.
  • Attend monthly board meetings - usually 5:30pm – 7:30pm.  Dates are yet to be scheduled for 2016.
  • Attend the Virginia Leadership Conference in January - attendance required for President and President-Elect. All other board members are optional.*
  • Attend the National Leadership Conference  in November - attendance required for President-Elect, others optional.*
  • Attend the State Leadership Conference - attendance required for President, others optional.*
  • Participation in half day meeting to transition boards from one year to the next.

*NRV SHRM or national SHRM covers expenses for the above required events.

BONUS! HRCI and SHRM certification credits are available for those who serve in a volunteer position.


  • President-Elect:  Assists the President in overseeing all the activities of the chapter.  In the absence of the President, he/she performs all the presidential responsibilities.
  • Membership: Prepares membership mailings for new members and member renewals.  Maintains the chapter’s membership database.  Prepares membership reports for SHRM.  Responds to membership inquiries.  Prepares sign-in sheets for attendees for monthly meetings & maintains list. Work with other board members to increase membership and create initiatives. (This position is a great opportunity for a committee of members to work together.)
  • Treasurer: Acts as the financial officer and advisor to chapter board.  Maintains the chapter mailbox and distributes mail to the appropriate officer.  Sends dues notices and other invoices to members as needed.  Files appropriate forms and information with the IRS.
  • Secretary: Takes minutes of chapter meetings, provides notice of meetings and general correspondence.  Maintains chapter records and history.
  • Programs: Manages the activities of the program committee to provide monthly programs for the chapter membership.
  • Sponsorship: Locates and coordinates sponsors for chapter meetings and events.
  • SHRM Foundation: Educates the chapter about the SHRM Foundation.  Promotes and represents the interests of the Foundation and its activities to the chapter members.
  • Diversity: Continually monitors and evaluates local activities concerning diversity issues.  Spearheads the effort to diversify the chapter’s membership/leadership and to publicize successful diversity programs in the local community.

If you are interested in serving on the Board for 2016, please email me at benefit8@vt.edu or beckymorris815@gmail.com .  I can also be reached at 540.231.3781.  I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about the positions we have available.

NOTE: If you cannot commit to the responsibilities of a Board position, but but are still interested in serving on a committee, please contact me at the above email/phone number.  We have something for everyone!

Certification Updates

Scholarship Awarded! At the chapter’s August 20th membership meeting, Kim Scudder was awarded a $1,000.00 scholarship to support her goal to obtain th SHRM – SCP certification.   Kim is planning to apply this scholarship to the new certification preparation course being hosted and delivered by Virginia Western Community College.  Congratulations Kim, and thank you for your commitment in communicating to the chapter your journey to success in this endeavor! 


Visit the below link to find out more details regarding testing applications, testing windows, testing costs, payment methods and testing locations.  An important deadline is coming up – October 16, 2015 – the regular application deadline!


Trying to decide which certification(s) to get?

The recommended place to start  is to visit the websites of  two organizations that offer human resources certifications.  Click on links to learn A-Z about the approach and requirements related to certifications. 

www.shrm.org (click on the education and certification tab)

www.hrci.org (whole site is devoted to certification processes)

Note: While you need to make an informed/personal decision regarding which certification is best for you (through HRCI or SHRM or both), NRV SHRM Chapter supports the new SHRM certifications as this certification provides the most benefits back to the chapter.

Chapter Meeting - September 17, 2015

Location: Meeting will be held at the Event Centre in Christiansburg, and lunch will be served. 

Menu:  Catering provided by Richard Perry.  Full menu and meeting details on our website. Please RSVP no later than Monday, September 14th.


11:30: Registration opens and lunch served

12:15 - 1:15 PM: Tommy Strelka (Strelka Law)

Nip it in the Bud: Addressing and Resolving Employment Disputes on the Front End, a view from a Plaintiff’s Attorney

1:15 – 2:15 PM: Hope Cothran, Woods Rogers

Recent Rules and Other Action Impacting Federal Contractors

2:30 - 3:30 PM: Jim Cowan, CowanPerry PC

Changes on the Horizon: The DOL’s Proposed Rules Regarding Independent Contractors and the FLSA White Collar Exemption

Guidance on evaluating exempt status and Use of FLSA Safe Harbor in 2016 ,and an overview of common wage hour issues

3:45 – 4:45 PM: Eric Chapman, CowanPerry PC

The Supreme Court’s Pregnancy Discrimination Ruling

Recent Social Media Rulings

​Common Employer Mistakes to Avoid

Speaker/Topic Suggestions?

Thanks to those who have provided suggestions to us for speakers and topics for future meetings.  We'll have cards on the tables at each of our meetings for you to continue your feedback, or you can email our board at nrvshrm@ymail.com at your convenience.

Recent recommendations: You asked, and we listened! Requests were made for meetings about the ACA as well as Criminal Background Checks. We are excited to announce that we have been able to schedule both for this year. Thank you for the suggestions, and please keep them coming!

Legislative Update

Q: I just received an email from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about a Discrimination Charge. Is this scam?

A: No. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") has launched ACT Digital, a pilot program that enables the digital transmission of documents between the EEOC and employers regarding discrimination claims.  To date, this pilot program includes the following EEOC offices: Charlotte, NC; Greensboro, NC; Greensville, SC; Norfolk, VA; Raleigh, NC; Richmond, VA; and San Francisco, CA.

Under the system, employers can:

  1. Review and download the Charge;
  2. Review and respond to an invitation for mediation;
  3. Submit a Position Statement; and
  4. Provide or verify respondent contact information, including the designated legal representative.

The email instructs the respondent to log into the secure EEOC portal with the specific charge number and a system generated password, both of which are required to access the system.

So if my designated contact information is incorrect, will I miss responding to a charge?

Probably not. If the EEOC has an email address for a designated contact, then an email will be sent to that person.  If the EEOC does not have an email address for the respondent, a paper notice will be mailed to the address of record.

The EEOC will not send a hard copy of the charge and notice of charge in addition to the electronic notice.  However, if a respondent has not logged into the system within 10 days, then the system will generate a notice to EEOC staff. An EEOC representative will then attempt to re-serve the notice of the charge in the event no action has been taken. And, for those who prefer paper, employers can choose to continue to use the paper system and receive and submit all communications and documents via mail. 

Act Digital is expected to be available in all offices by October 1, 2015, and the EEOC plans to expand the system to include the electronic submission of responses to Requests for Information, and provide a secure portal for individuals who file a charge of employment discrimination.


CowanPerry represents employers throughout the New River Valley and Southwest Virginia, from offices located in Roanoke and Blacksburg. For more information or follow up questions, contact a member of our employment team: Jim Cowan at jcowan@cowanperry.com, David Perry at dperry@cowanperry.com, Brian Wheeler at wheeler@cowanperry.com, or Eric Chapman at echapman@cowanperry.com.


Have a question you'd like to ask or a legal update you'd like to see?  Click here to email your request.

HR Humor

The Joys of HR....  

Dealing with difficult people daily.  Find some humor in those moments (sometimes only in hindsight).

Video: The Big Bang Theory

Video: We Just Need You to Sign Some Paperwork


Mottos to work by...

  • Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings, they did it by killing all those who opposed them.
  • If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos...then you probably haven't completely understood the seriousness of the situation.
  • Doing a job RIGHT the first time gets the job done. Doing the job WRONG fourteen times gives you job security.
  • Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
  • Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity
  • A person who smiles in the face of adversity...probably has a scapegoat.
  • Plagiarism saves time.
  • If at first you don't succeed, try management.
  • Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether.
  • TEAMWORK...means never having to take all the blame yourself.
  • The beatings will continue until morale improves.
  • Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups.
  • We waste time, so you don't have to.
  • Hang in there, retirement is only thirty years away!
  • Go the extra mile. It makes your boss look like an incompetent slacker.
  • A snooze button is a poor substitute for no alarm clock at all.
  • When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break.
  • Succeed in spite of management.
  • Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment.

Have something to contriute to this section? Send an email!

Cool Tools - Technology Update


Personality insights for better relationships & workplace happiness. Love personality tests? This one is spot-on and accessible right from your phone!

  • Unlock Your Potential
  • Fun, Scientific Quizzes
  • Find Your Fit with Peers & Careers
  • An Innovative New Social Experience

Download the app, answer a few questions, get results that are amazingly accurate and tie into your career path.  Continue your learning with lots of other scientific quizzes that delve deeper into understanding who you are and the company culture that fits you best.  Another great article that ties into the results can be found here: 16 Personality Types and the Best Careers for Each One [Infographic]

Trust me, you won't regret taking a few minutes to try out this one!

Have a Cool Tool you'd like to share? Email me!

Treasurer Report

Ending August 31, 2015

Beginning balance $16,960.63
Total Expenses $2,968.72
Total Income $40.00
Ending Balance $14,148.41

HR Jobs

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