Newsletter Detail

June 2017 - MVHRA Connections


JUNE 2017




MVHRA Receives Prestigious SHRM Award for Advancing the HR Professions


By LaTonia McCane, SHRM-CP, PHR, GBA


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently awarded Miami Valley Human Resource Association (MVHRA) its prestigious EXCEL Platinum Award for the Chapter’s accomplishments in 2016. 
The EXCEL Platinum Award aligns individual chapters and state councils’ activities with SHRM’s aspirations for the HR profession. The award recognizes accomplishments and strategic activities and initiatives that enhance the human resources profession. 
“Advancing the human resources profession is a daily mission at SHRM and this Chapter's outstanding work this year contributed significantly to that goal,” said Henry G. (Hank) Jackson, president and CEO of SHRM. “Recipients of this prestigious award are those who show a strong commitment to advancing the HR profession through service to the community, local networking, and professional development activities.”
The EXCEL award can be earned at four levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum, and each level has a prescribed set of requirements and accomplishments that have to be met. MVHRA will receive recognition in SHRM publications and at conferences, a logo to display on their website and information to share with their members about the significance of this award.


During 2016, MVHRA initiatives to advance and enhance the HR profession included:


  • To grow our membership throughout 2016 by 5 percent. In addition, we wanted to improve our retention by 5 percent.
  • Solidifying commitments from member organizations to sponsor students for monthly chapter luncheon programs; coordinating/hosting an annual Job Shadowing Event with a partner student chapter college; holding a job preparedness event to connect members to students; supporting student chapters by providing speakers for HR-related topics.
  • We set a goal to raise awareness of the HR certifications available and provide opportunities for our members to study toward their certification of choice through scholarships for local certification preparation courses.
  • We strategically planned to increase awareness of our chapter and SHRM to local senior HR leaders by highlighting the bosses of our members at one of our chapter meetings.


About Miami Valley Human Resource Association

The Miami Valley Human Resource Association (MVHRA) is an HR professional membership association representing a wide variety of organizations, primarily within the Greater Dayton Area. MVHRA focuses on professional development and education for the HR professional and the business community. The Association provides a local forum for personal and professional leadership development; educational programs open to members and the general public; an extensive, local networking arena; and attention on employment legislation related to local, state, and national HR management issue. Visit us at


About Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.

Employment Corner


Check out these exciting Human Resources job opportunities:

  • Senior HR Business Partner (2) – Faurecia
  • HRIS Analyst – Johnson Electric
  • Talent Acquisition Specialist II (Contract) – Ball Aerospace
  • Training and Development Specialist – Woolpert, Inc.
  • Learning and Development Partner – Dayton’s Children’s Hospital
  • HR Business Partner, Physicians– Dayton Children’s Hospital
  • Employee Experience Assistant – HR – Dayton Children’s Hospital
  • Director – Leadership Development – Dayton Children’s Hospital
  • Benefits and Disability Leave Specialist – Dayton Children’s Hospital

Welcome New Members


Please join us in welcoming:


Jennifer Campbell, FaureciaHR Manager



MVHRA Member Erin Woessner recently obtained her PHR designation after passing the HRCI PHR Exam!  Way to go!

Reminder:  MVHRA Legal Services Plan Now Available


MVHRA has reached an agreement with local attorneys to provide a legal services plan for MVHRA members (the “Plan”).  The Plan is now available and is included as part of your current membership at no additional charge.  Further details available at


Note:  You must be a MVHRA member AND logged into to access this service within the "MY MVHRA" link at the top of the page.  Not an MVHRA member?  Consider learning more about MVHRA Membership by clicking HERE.



Member Spotlight: Cecilia VockeSHRM-SCP, SPHR



By: Matthew Bakota, Auman Mahan & Furry


Cecilia Vocke is the President-Elect of the MVHRA and works at Oerlikon as the Area Head for HR Consulting and Operations, North, Central & South.  Her responsibilities at Oerlikon include consulting in the execution of HR standards, tools and policies, being the point of contact for personal/individual people topics, leading merger and acquisition (M & A) activities.


Cecilia has been in the human resources profession for almost 30 years and has gained diverse industry experience in healthcare, global food products, manufacturing and automotive. She has managed all aspects of human resources including employee relations, management development, training, recruitment, and compensation and benefits, and has been recognized for successfully coaching and mentoring employees.  In fact, the best part of her job is the variety of the role - developing people, coaching managers and employees, handling conflicts, and working on acquisitions and integrating the companies.


 As you can imagine, one of the most pressing challenges facing Cecilia is how to get it all done - there are always more tasks and meetings than time!  But she wants to impart how important it is in her role to remember to care about people and treat people well, and to “always be open to opportunities, stay positive and be happy!” 


Outside of work, Cecilia enjoys spending time with family - specifically family game night.   She is on the Board of Trustees of the Muse Machine; a member of the March of Dimes sub-committee on volunteer development; and a partner with 5KforKelli.


Cecilia obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wright State University.

MVHRA Committee Updates - Workforce Readiness


By: Theresa L. Dulaney, CTR USAF AFMC AFLCMC/WIO


As the Chair of the MVHRA Workforce Readiness Committee, I periodically receive reports and updates from the Ohio SHRM State Council related to Workforce Development initiatives at the state level.  Recently the State Council suggested each local chapter undertake efforts to publicize and promote awareness of the State of Ohio’s future of workforce report entitled “Building Ohio’s Future Workforce", which can be found here.


This report, published jointly by The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and The Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, outlines the challenges and highlights details of the 20 recommendations for growing Ohio’s economy by developing a skilled workforce, promoting effective training programs, and connecting Ohio employers with qualified workers.


Within our chapter, the Workforce Readiness Committee is committed to helping new and returning workers be prepared to enter the workforce with the requisite knowledge, skills and aptitude to be successful.


In the April edition of the newsletter, we published an article announcing our partnership with Miami Valley Works, the workforce development program operated by Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley. We encourage you to take the time to review that material and consider becoming a volunteer. 


We are also pursuing potential partnerships with other local workforce development agencies such as CareSource Life Services and the Montgomery County Office of Ex-Offender Reentry / Reentry Career Alliance Academy.

If you are interested in knowing more, you can contact me at, or any of the committee members:  Joanie Krein, Sandy Mudry, Sylvie Stewart, and Stan Adams.

MVHRA DBJ Guest Column: Does Your Dress Code Policy Match Your Company Culture and/or Public Image?


By: Linda Wells, Talent Specialist, Wright-Patt Credit Union


Logan came to the interview professionally dressed. He was so impressive, very articulate and demonstrated potential for growth within our organization. Third day of his first week he showed up wearing gauges in his ears and a short sleeved shirt that revealed a gory tattoo of a dragon on his arm. He did not look like the same guy I interviewed – what to do now? Oh, by the way, did I mention his tongue was pierced?


Dress codes can vary from one company to the next. This typically depends upon the industry, culture and environment and sometimes even geographic location. Business dress at a bank may look different from business dress at a call center or in a manufacturing environment. Most companies have a dress code policy that specifically spells out what is appropriate attire for their work environment. Unfortunately, often times employees disregard these policies which are left to the discretion of individual managers to manage. Managers are more focused on the end result of goals and objectives being met and often times see addressing these issues as low priority.


It appears we live in a culture where business casual is the norm. However, it’s how companies define business casual that creates such diversity in what’s seen in the work environments. Now employers are not only dealing with what their employees are wearing but the trend of body art is becoming more and more popular. The number of body piercings and tattoos they are seeing are creating some anxiety as well. Because of the growing popularity of body art, it is important to have clear policies about piercings and tattoos in the dress code section of your employee handbook.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states employers are allowed to impose dress codes and appearance policies as long as they do not discriminate or hinder a person’s race, color, religion, age, national origin or gender. It’s important for your employee handbook policy to give consideration for religious accommodation. Make sure your employee handbook policy is specific about what is and isn’t permitted. If you do allow piercings, be specific if there are some places you don’t want employees to have visible piercings. This should be clearly addressed in your policy – leaving no gray areas. You should also be specific if you do not want certain types of tattoos – sexually explicit tattoos, for example. Tattoos may contain profanity or sexually explicit depictions; these should be considered when stating a policy.


Employers should make sure their employee handbook policy is based on reasonable business and safety consideration rather than a biased dislike for specific personal expressions. Some companies such as retail businesses are less conservative and may look for colorful employees that want to display their personalities. While others, such as a bank or marketing firms are more conservative and typically prefer a more professional environment. Make sure your employee handbook policy matches your corporate culture and public image. In addition, make sure your managers are trained and knowledgeable of your policy. It’s been my experience the HR Department will not be the dress code police and will expect managers to be the first point of contact for dealing with employees who refuse to adhere to their policy.


In the case of Logan, the dress code policy should have been discussed as part of the interview process and prior to his hiring. The hiring manager needs to have a conversation regarding the dress code policy and make sure there is no confusion on expectations. Best of luck.


Linda Wells is a talent specialist with Wright-Patt Credit Union. This article originally appeared in the Dayton Business Journal.

Sixth Circuit Holds “Cat’s Paw” Theory Applies to FMLA Retaliation Claims


By: Jessica H. Lordi, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP


On April 20, 2017, the Sixth Circuit held that the “cat’s paw” theory of liability applies to FMLA retaliation claims. In Marshall v. Rawlings, an employee was fired after using FMLA leave for mental health issues. The employee alleged that two lower-level supervisors exhibited bias against her because she had taken approved medical leave. After she returned from the leave, the two supervisors allegedly influenced the decision to demote her and ultimately terminate her. The employee sued for FMLA retaliation, ADA discrimination, FMLA interference, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.


The “cat’s paw” theory of liability acknowledges that a biased lower-level supervisor, without decision-making power, may influence a decision maker, which may result in a discriminatory employment action. The Sixth Circuit has applied the “cat’s paw” theory in a variety of discrimination cases, but has never expressly determined that it applies to FMLA retaliation cases.


Now, the Sixth Circuit has determined that:

1.   The “cat’s paw” theory of liability applies even in cases with multiple layers of supervision between the employee and   the decision- maker;

2.   An employee that pursues an FMLA retaliation claim under a “cat’s paw” theory must prove that the decision maker was the “cat’s paw” of the biased low-level supervisor; and

3.   The honest-belief rule is not applicable in “cat’s paw” cases because the honesty of the decision-maker’s belief is not relevant to the issue of whether a biased low-level supervisor intentionally manipulated the decision-maker.

An employer can still avoid liability if it can show that the decision-maker conducted an independent investigation and determined that the adverse action was justified.  It is also imperative that the decision-maker document why adverse action is warranted independent of the subordinate’s recommendation.

People On The Move In Dayton


Promote employees and keep your company’s name in the news for free with the Dayton Business Journal.


Submit People on the Move HERE

See Your Article In Our Newsletter!

MVHRA members, do you have something to submit to the MVHRA Newsletter?  Please send it to Matt Bakota, Newsletter Committee Chair, via email at


Or maybe you’re interested in preparing an article but aren’t sure where to start?  Give Matt a call at 937-223-6003 for help in getting started.



You’ve Earned It, Now Keep It!


Stay relevant in our ever-evolving industry.

HRCI and SHRM both recognize the value of professional development through lifelong learning.  As you seek out educational activities, ensure you receive recertification credit. The HR experience offered by MVHRA is more than simply a couple of monthly events…It is a journey that provides ongoing opportunity for personal and professional development.  You can also earn credit and grow from volunteering. Please see a board member to learn more!

Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines


Susan R. Meisinger Graduate Fellowship Applications

The SHRM Foundation is now accepting applications for the Susan R. Meisinger Graduate Fellowship. One winner is selected annually to receive a fellowship of up to $10,000. Each fellowship is renewable for one additional year for a total of two years of graduate study and up to $20,000 total for the fellowship.  Apply now!

Deadline: August 15, 2017


Volunteers Wanted for Fall College Relations Events


Thinking about how to get more involved in MVHRA? The College Relations Committee is seeking volunteers for the upcoming fall events. Give just a few hours of your time to help college students prepare for a career in HR.  


  • Job Shadow Event - The program takes place over the last two weeks of September and is seeking organizations for both half day and full day opportunities. For more info contact Linda Dean


  • Student Networking Program - Host a HR student for a monthly MVHRA luncheon. For more info contact Betsy Brown at


  • Speakers Series - Share your knowledge and speak on a topic of interest for the Wright State University HR/Management Club. For more info contact Kelli Cowgill at


Make a difference and volunteer today!

Upcoming MVHRA 2017 Schedule

Professional Development


Workshop:  Workers Compensation, FMLA & OSHA—An Overview for Employer Best Practices by Robert Braun, Bureau of Workers' Compensation;  Joan Petra, U.S. Department of Labor; and  Ken Montgomery, OH Federal Area OSHA Office



Workshop:  Leading as a Human Resource Professional by Keith Friede,  Arthur J. Gallagher & Company

Luncheon:  Drive Business Success with Workplace Flexibilty<

Visit Our Sponsors
MVHRA Affiliations