Meet #StateLineCrew #SHRM19 Blogger – Jeff Palkowski


The #StateLineCrew is an informal group of human resources professionals primarily from Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois that meet regularly near the Wisconsin-Illinois “state line” to network, share stories and ideas, support one another, and bond over food and beverages. The group formed shortly after the 2018 SHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago and continues to evolve.

Four #StateLineCrew members (Paul LaLonde, Kyra Matkovich, Jeff Palkowski, and Mary Williams) will be participating as part of the #SHRM19Blogger Team at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.

Read more about the #StateLineCrew from our previous SHRM Blog post “Meet the #StateLineCrew – Introduction.”

Now, meet #StateLineCrew #SHRM19 Blogger, Jeff Palkowski…

What is your day job?

I work for the State of Wisconsin as a Senior Human Resources Specialist, currently supporting the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

What is your experience/involvement with SHRM?

I've been a SHRM member since 2004 and involved at the local SHRM chapter level on and off since then with Metro Milwaukee SHRM and Greater Madison Area SHRM. I’m finishing my 3rd year as Director of Government Affairs for Greater Madison Area SHRM, beginning my 1st year as Director of Government Affairs for the Wisconsin SHRM State Council, and I am a SHRM A-Team Advocacy Captain since 2011. I am part of the SHRM Foundation Leadership Circle and will be attending #SHRM19 as both a member of the #SHRM19 Blogger Team and as a SHRM Foundation Step Challenge Captain for Team #Marchers4HR.

What are you most looking forward to as a #SHRM19Blogger?

Wow, I can’t tell you how honored I am to be included with this group of exceptional HR leaders. Meeting many of them in real life will be a great experience. While I’ve been involved on social media for a few years, I just started blogging a few months after meeting many of the #SHRM18 Bloggers in Chicago, so I certainly meet the definition of a “rookie blogger” and hope to learn from the veterans! I am really looking forward to sharing my experiences with HR professionals before, during and after the Annual Conference in any way that I can and hopefully am able to do so with a bit of levity, a few puns, and some humor!

Name one speaker or session that you are most looking forward to at #SHRM19.

There are so many great speakers and sessions that it is hard to choose just one. I guess I am really excited about getting things started with the first General Session with Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. and Martha Stewart. Ms. Stewart created such an amazing, worldwide brand for herself and I’m interested to hear about the ups and downs of her incredible career. Also, from an HR public policy standpoint, I’m looking forward to sessions presented by Louis Lessig, Emily Dickens, Rebecca Peters, and Andrew Greenfield.

 What does the #StateLineCrew mean to you?

The #StateLineCrew has been what I’ll just call a fast growing and amazing journey. What started as a small get-together with a few HR pros that benefited from living a short drive from each other continues to grow into a networking phenomenon that others have taken interest in from across the country. We seem to grow in numbers with each subsequent event and I look forward to continuing the many professional and personal relationships that have evolved.

 Why should others consider similar meetups like the #StateLineCrew in their areas?

It becomes too easy for us to become tired and bogged down in our day-to-day tasks at work. The #StateLineCrew has been a great way to take a break, re-energize, and combine HR networking with both fun and friendship. As humans, we all have a need to connect with each other, share our dreams, and provide uplifting support to each one another when we need it. This is what our group has experienced, naturally. I encourage others to do the same and take the time to connect with others in whatever format works best for them in their regions.



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