By Joan E. Collier
The 71st annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference is over. The four-day feast offered more speakers, more attendees, more presentations, more exhibitors, more sponsors, more partnerships, more volunteers and money for our service project, more of everything than at any time in its history.
All of which leaves me with mixed feelings as I tell you that this conference was my last one. Retirement beckons on August 31. I am, as many a politician has said, “retiring to spend more time with my family.” Although, with me, that’s actually true—no lurid headlines or coverups accompany my fade into the sunset.
It has been a long and satisfying adventure. I began my workers’ compensation career in the early 1980s as the public relations manager for the then-fledging FCCI, back when a million-dollar month was a big deal. In the intervening 35-plus years, I’ve worked for some real characters—and a few bandits.
I’m proud to be ending my career as a colleague to two men who exemplify the best in our industry, Jim McConnaughhay and Steve Rissman. As general chair and program chair, respectively, of the Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, they took a leap of faith and gave me the opportunity to launch the WCI website. The purpose of this site is to support the annual conference and to provide a space for communication and information-sharing with all the stakeholders in the workers’ compensation industry. My leaving will not deter that mission. Another editor will soon be taking my place, and I hope that he/she enjoys it as much as I have.
Thank you all for your friendship and support. Be safe out there.
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