Two Earn Honor as HR Professionals of the Year

Sometimes two is better than one and that’s especially true when it comes to recognizing two long-time leaders in the field of human resources with one of the industry’s top honors.

On Wednesday, Cari L. Kline of Grundfos Americas Corporation (Indianapolis) and Kendra L. Vanzo of Old National Bank (Evansville) were named the 2017 Ogletree Deakins Human Resources Professionals of the Year during the Indiana Chamber’s 53rd Annual Human Resources Conference & Expo in Indianapolis.

Kline and Vanzo received the honor that is given annually to a human resources professional that provides lasting impact through the implementation of best practices, organization design and effectiveness and accomplishment of the company’s strategic direction.

This is only the second time the award has been bestowed upon two deserving individuals; the first was in 2015.

Also honored at the luncheon and receiving the Award of Excellence was Lori L. Gooding, vice president of human resources for Buckingham Companies (Indianapolis).

Cari L. Kline

Cari L. Kline
Kline is regional director of human resources, Americas operations for Grundfos Americas Corporation and is based in Indianapolis. Grundfos is a $4.5 billion company and global leader in advanced pump solutions and water technology, with headquarters in Denmark.

After joining Grundfos in 2012 as human resources director for the company’s Peerless Pump business unit in Indianapolis, she was promoted into her current position and oversees human resources for all of the Grundfos operations facilities in North and South America. As a strategic business partner, Kline provides leadership on a broad range of issues and has implemented key initiatives throughout the company’s Americas operations.

“I am flattered to be honored (with the award),” Kline adds. “I think HR is one of the most unique and challenging professions in today’s business environment. The variety of opportunities and issues that present themselves – sometimes even in a single day – can be astonishing and I find that hugely motivating. I learned many years ago to stop saying, ‘Now I have seen it all!’”

Kline holds an MBA from Ball State University and an undergraduate degree from Purdue University.

Kendra L. Vanzo

Kendra L. Vanzo
Vanzo, executive vice president of associate engagement and integration for Old National Bank, has been with the company since 1994. Old National Bank has $14.9 billion in assets and more than 200 branches in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Illinois.

Old National Bank President and CEO Bob Jones nominated Vanzo for the award. His nomination letter highlights several initiatives in the past year that Vanzo led for the company, including the largest merger in the company’s history. She also implemented a system to simplify training and career development, and she is credited for spearheading the creation of an employer-sponsored health clinic for associates and families.

In addition, Vanzo leads the company’s mission to hire and retain diverse individuals, including active military, veterans and individuals with disabilities.

She credits her team and the values at Old National Bank for her honor.

“This recognition is reflective of the contributions of our entire HR team and the people-first, ethical culture of Old National. I am humbled and honored to accept it on behalf of our HR team and company,” Vanzo offers.

She received an MBA from the University of Southern Indiana and her undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois.

Recent News from Washington

  • Per last Thursday’s announcement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Indiana has been selected for a $10.9 million federal grant to fight the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. Senator Donnelly talked about this needed boost during a visit to Granger. Read the story. Congresswoman Susan Brooks (IN-05) also weighed in: “… Indiana is getting the resources it desperately needs to reduce overdose deaths; help Hoosiers get treatment for substance abuse and stay in recovery; and reduce the over-prescription of opioids.” Read Brooks’ full statement.
  • Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03) believes Congress should exert influence by authorizing military force against ISIS. He said, “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s recent use of chemical weapons against his own people is a grim reminder of the deep challenges that continue to exist in Syria and the surrounding region.” Read his op-ed.
  • Congressman André Carson (IN-07), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, was on CNN last Wednesday talking about the situations with North Korea and Syria. Of North Korea, he said our country’s “tough talk has to get tougher”. Watch the over six-minute interview.

Donnelly Talks Policy to Chamber Group

Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly discussed a wide variety of issues with members of the Indiana Chamber’s Executive Committee during an hour-long visit last week. Among his comments on the issues before Congress:

  • Opioid crisis: Senators are working on a federal law that would limit painkiller prescriptions to one week (hopefully reducing addictive outcomes)
  • Transportation infrastructure: There will be a big bill and he believes it will pass as long as it gets paid for
  • Tax reform: Stuck for now because money to pay for it was going to come from the failed health care overhaul
  • Health care bill: Legislation can’t be passed that would result in fewer people having insurance coverage. Democrats, Donnelly noted, have ideas that should be considered

Other topics of conversion: immigration, trade agreements and global threats (Donnelly is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee).

After Session: A Look at What Passed and What Didn’t

Now that the legislative session has concluded, learn the final status of key bills monitored and advocated for/opposed by the Indiana Chamber in 2017 (links are PDFs):

2017 passed bills

2017 defeated bills

Gear Up for May Safety and Environmental Training

The road to creating and maintaining a safe workplace can be a bumpy one. Put your team in the driver’s seat by attending Indiana Chamber training programs in May.

First up is the most complete and comprehensive permitting and reporting course offered in the state of Indiana. Sponsored by KERAMIDA, the Environmental Permitting and Reporting Conference will take place May 16-17 at the Ritz Charles, Carmel.

Highlights include:

  • Understanding your wastewater permit and water balance
  • Emission inventory: how to develop an inventory
  • Hazardous waste changes
  • Recent and upcoming regulatory changes impacting permitting and reporting

Two additional EHS (environmental, health and safety) training programs, presented by Bobbi K. Samples, can help your employees maintain OSHA standards and keep your workplace safe! Both will be held at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center in Indianapolis.

Forklift Safety: Train the Trainer (May 23) will feature topics such as safe truck operations, performance certification, inspection requirements and how to dispel myths. Receive a hard copy of all materials presented – including a disk with additional fillable forms for creating a customized safety program for your facility.

OSHA’s Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards Seminar (May 24) is a new seminar. Don’t miss insights into new – and soon-to-be-required – training regarding fall protection. Hear an overview of the new standard, participate in a group practical exercise, obtain a checklist for compliance going forward and more.

Register online at www.indianachamber.com/conferences or by calling Nick at (800) 824-6885.

Talking Technology at Connect & Collaborate Sessions

“Today, every company is a technology company. We know technology is evolving quickly and not just in current businesses, but those that are looking to make their mark in Indiana,” says Brock Hesler, Indiana Chamber director of membership.

“If you don’t evolve, you could be left behind and your business growth might be hindered.”

The Indiana Chamber is once again hosting the Connect & Collaborate series as a thank you to its members and investors. The 2017 focus is technology – how it is permeating Hoosier businesses, and how companies can learn and adapt to new and improved ways of getting things done. Presented by AT&T, the series begins in May and concludes in August.

Consider these examples from the world of agriculture. What if technology could provide an answer to how much moisture is in a stalk of corn or a field of beans? What if farmers could drive tractors from a remote location or control an entire farm from a keyboard?

These scenarios sound futuristic, but are starting to become reality around Indiana. It’s not just the agriculture industry that is heavily impacted by new technologies: advanced manufacturing, logistics and others are already changing dramatically – as are the workforce skills required to staff these industries.

Attendees can hear an update on the Indiana Technology & Innovation Council, and a local business/community leader from each of the 12 Connect & Collaborate locations will comment on how that area or region is utilizing technology. A panel discussion will also allow for audience questions.

The free series – with either breakfast or lunch included (depending on the time of day) – enables companies to hear directly from Indiana Chamber representatives and learn more about membership resources available to them. Several new locations are included in 2017.

“This is a way to thank our members for their investment and support,” Hesler adds, “while also providing information that we think can help them succeed at an even higher level.”

Dates and cities for the Connect & Collaborate series:

May 9, Indianapolis
May 11, Lafayette
May 30, Bloomington and Columbus
June 6, Huntingburg and Evansville
June 8, Muncie and Richmond
June 13, Terre Haute
June 20, South Bend
June 22, Fort Wayne
August 16, Scottsburg

For complete details on locations and to register, go online or call Nick at (317) 264-6885.

A Pleasant (Revenue) Forecast

The revenue projections for the next two fiscal years were updated on Wednesday, giving the General Assembly revised numbers to use in finalizing a state budget before the session wraps up next week. The update also readjusted the current Fiscal Year 2017 numbers; the FY17 numbers that were reduced by nearly $300 million dollars in December were now adjusted back upward by $124 million (so FY17 won’t turn out as bad as previously thought).

That FY17 readjustment serves as a foundation for the forecasters’ confidence that the slow but steady economic growth will continue at a moderate pace over the coming biennium. The pleasant result: a modestly higher revenue forecast for FY2018 and FY2019. The forecast increase resulted from projected growth in sales tax collections (2.7% in FY18 and 3.4% in FY19), sales tax being the source that Indiana is most dependent on, and the larger percentage increase but smaller cumulative dollar increase anticipated in income tax collections (3.4% in FY18 and 5.9% in FY19) – the source that represents the next largest contributor to the state coffers.

The bottom line is that the forecast adds $200 million, only about six-tenths of one percent of the roughly $32 billion that the lawmakers now can expect to see collected in tax revenue over the next two years. While it is a small addition, it is still $200 million that they hadn’t planned on when they put together the budget numbers in HB 1001.

Understandably, the fiscal leaders caution against any major changes to what they have formulated to this point, but as the budget negotiations continue into the last days, they are certain to hear this additional money referenced as justification for some new or additional funding requests. Read the details from the forecasters’ presentation.

Health Insurance Assistance for Your Lower Income Employees

The following was provided by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration:

HIP Employer Link is the state of Indiana’s program to help your eligible workers with their health insurance costs. Once your company is enrolled, for free, eligible employees can then sign up to receive assistance towards their employer-sponsored insurance premium and deductible throughout the insurance year.

How It Works: When an employee enrolls in HIP Employer Link and your health plan, you continue to deduct their health insurance premium from their pay. Each month, before the cost is deducted, HIP Employer Link sends the employee a pre-payment check for the amount of the deduction, minus a small monthly contribution of 2% of the employee’s household income.

Employee Eligibility: Eligible employees are Indiana residents, aged 19-64, who earn 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) or less, and who are eligible for an enrolled employer’s insurance plan. For instance, the income limit for a household of four (either two parents and two children, or one parent and three children) is just over $34,000. For a household of two, the income limit is just over $22,000.

The program is free to employers and requires very little time on your part. Signing up your organization is simple with the online application and a quick upload of insurance plan documents. Employers are only responsible for verifying the employment of any enrollees; the state of Indiana is responsible for income verification. You can learn more about the program by visiting http://hipemployerlink.in.gov.


ChamberCare Solutions from the Indiana Chamber
Indiana Chamber members also have access to a full range of high-quality group insurance plans and options through the ChamberCare Solutions program, a partnership between the Chamber and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield that has served thousands of Chamber members for the past fourteen years. Retain your valuable employees, attract new talent and take advantage of significant savings with the right plan for your business’ unique needs and preferences. Ask your insurance agent, or contact us at (317) 264-6858 or membership@indianachamber.com for questions and additional details. 

Ways and Means Chooses Not to Act on Internet Sales Tax Collection Bill

For unknown reasons, the House Ways and Means Committee – after taking testimony – elected not to take a vote on SB 545 last week prior to the deadline for committee passage.

The bill represented a well thought out and sound approach for collecting Indiana sales tax on online transactions. While the bill died in committee, there remains the possibility that its provisions could find their way into another bill before the session ends. The Chamber will continue to advocate for this bill to be incorporated into another piece of legislation.