The 71st Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference® and the 28th Annual Safety and Health Conference focus on national workers’ compensation and occupational safety and health industries. Particularly as it relates to workers’ compensation, it has always been felt that each state, having different laws, had to deal with its own issues separate from other states. No longer is this the case. This national conference has evolved into a gathering of all stakeholders, regardless of jurisdiction or state, to study and be educated on issues of common concern - issues that have no geographical boundaries. Regardless of your interests, your position in these important industries, and your role, this conference is designed to provide something of significance. The unprecedented number of breakouts and the quality of presenters representing states throughout the country truly make this the national event not to be missed.
This nationally acclaimed annual conference remains the premier forum for the study of workers’ compensation, workplace safety and health, and related issues primarily because of the continued participation of state and national associations, all being recognized as leaders within their particular interest areas. Participants in this group include: American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE); National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI); The Safety & Health Institute; The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); The Workers’ Compensation Institute; the Florida and National Associations of PEOs; The Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar; The Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA); The Workers' Compensation Defense Institute; The Florida Orthopedic Society; The Florida Chiropractic Association; The Florida Association of Occupational and Environmental Medicine; The Florida Academy of Pain Medicine; The Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians; The Educational Research Centers at The University of South Florida, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The Deep South ERC at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University; The Professional Mediation Institute (PMI); The National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, Inc. (NAWCJ); The Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition (MARC); The Self-Insurance Guaranty Funds of America; The National Underwriter (sponsor of the Workers' Compensation Risk Manager of the Year); and The National Regulators College.
This year’s program offers creative and innovative speakers from throughout the United States. The hottest issues in workers’ compensation and occupational safety and health will be discussed. All aspects of workers’ compensation and workplace safety and health will be topics of discussion. Ancillary sessions will be held on the Social Security Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, the Jones Act, the Defense Base Act, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and the SMART Act, with specific emphasis on their effect on workers’ compensation. A live surgery will be performed for the benefit of conference attendees. A breakout will also be held on the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, the newest problematic aspect of dealing with workers’ compensation and general liability cases. NCCI will sponsor special breakout sessions for insurance agents/brokers, which will include special presentations on “cutting edge” public policy issues. ASSE has developed a special 4-hour certified course for safety professionals, which will be presented at the conference.
WCI® encourages attendees to share during the conference with Friends and Followers. Follow WCI® on Twitter @WCI360, and use the WCI® conference hashtag on Facebook™, Twitter™, Instagram™, Tumblr™ or your blog. Attendees can comment, question, and share the knowledge gleaned from the unparalleled programming that every year is WCEC®. #WCI2016.
Realizing that many workers’ compensation and safety professionals deal with more than one state, special conference breakouts have been designed to provide information on multi-state workers’ compensation laws. Sponsored by the Workers’ Compensation Defense Institute, this unique program offers presentations on the workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Handouts for these sessions will include copies of the laws of the various jurisdictions. Regulators from each of these jurisdictions will be present to discuss each state’s laws and regulations. For those participating states, conferences with specific regulators can be pre-scheduled if attendees have concerns about particular states. To make reservations for these personal conferences, refer to Ask the Regulators.
The annual National Workers’ Compensation Judiciary College is held in conjunction with the conference. The College is sponsored by the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, Inc. (NAWCJ) and is designed to provide educational opportunities for adjudicators that preside over workers’ compensation matters. The college focuses on issues that are unique to the field of workers’ compensation and includes adjudicators both at the trial and appellate levels. Consult your program for further details related to the Judiciary College. The Association’s website is www.nawcj.org. Visit the site to become a member or associate member, review newsletters and register for the College. This is the only College in the nation that is created exclusively by and for workers’ compensation adjudicators. Registration for the Judiciary College includes a complimentary WCI® conference registration.
The 2016 National Workers’ Compensation Regulators College held at the conference is sponsored by the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA), and the Self-Insurance Guaranty Funds of America (SIGFA). This program is specifically designed for regulators, by regulators, covering the full scope of regulatory responsibilities faced by today’s state officials. Registration for the National Workers’ Compensation Regulators College includes a complimentary WCI® convention registration. Registration can be completed by visiting www.sawca.com or by contacting Gary Davis at email@example.com or (859) 219-0194.
For the 5th year, WCI® is sponsoring its Annual Prayer Breakfast on Monday, August 22, at 7:00 a.m. in Crystal Ballroom J1. This annual event is intended to be a “kick-off” of the conference for interested persons. Each year, WCI® introduces a respected individual in an industry not necessarily identified as “spiritual” to explain to the audience what their faith has meant to them in establishing their success. The remarkable stories told provide an inspiration to attendees regardless of their religious preferences, if any. The cost of this event is $50 per person, which includes a full breakfast. Proceeds received will pay for the expenses of the event, with any overages being donated to the WCI® service project “Give Kids The World.” Registration to attend the event can be made by registering online.
The Prayer Breakfast’s speaker, Charlie Ward, was a quarterback in football and point guard in basketball at Florida State University (FSU). During his senior year, he won over thirty awards including the Heisman Trophy, set nineteen school and seven ACC records, and subsequently led the FSU Seminoles to their first-ever National Championship. He was a first-round draft pick of the basketball New York Knicks, helping the team reach the playoffs six straight years from 1996-2001. He played eleven years as a leading point guard in the NBA in New York, San Antonio, and Houston. In 2006, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2010, Ward was presented the Bobby Jones Character Award. Charlie Ward credits his faith for all of his accomplishments and the source he relies upon to be a man of character. He is currently head football coach for Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Florida. His work as a coach is not focused solely on the football field but in building a culture where work ethic and strong character are the highest values.
The Industry Keynote Speaker, Vincent T. Donnelly, has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of PMA Companies since 2004. He also serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the PMA Insurance Group, a responsibility that he has held since 1997. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Actuary for the PMA Insurance Group. He is currently Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute Board and is past Chairman of the Board of NCCI. In addition to 35 years of insurance experience, Mr. Donnelly is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He is a 1974 graduate of Fordham University and has a master’s degree from the City University of New York.
The Keynote Speaker for this year’s conference is Steve Spurrier, the winningest football coach in school history at both Florida and South Carolina. (Only Bear Bryant has also done this, at Kentucky and Alabama). He has coached a National Championship team (1996), seven SEC championships at Florida, and one ACC championship at Duke (1989). In high school in Johnson City, Tennessee, he was All-State in football, basketball and baseball. As a college player, he was an All-American at Florida, won the Heisman Trophy and other player-of-the-year awards in 1966. He played ten years in the NFL, nine with the San Francisco 49ers and one with the Tampa Bay Bucs. He began his head coaching career with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL in 1983.
This year’s entertainment is Third Eye Blind. Since 1997, San Francisco’s Third Eye Blind has recorded four best-selling albums and assembled one career retrospective. 3EB released ‘Dopamine,’ their first studio collection in six years, in Spring 2015.
Led by Stephan Jenkins, 3EB won wide success during a tumultuous group of years when the major-label recording industry was finally losing its grip on an enterprise that for decades it had dominated with steely efficiency. Nothing could have made 3EB happier! 3EB, however, have experienced no comparable loss. Instead, they have gained artistic clarification -- and, surprisingly, a fan base who is larger, younger and more dedicated than ever.
Participation in the older, untouchable realm of nervous star-making could color a band’s identity. In the case of 3EB, it often blurred the perception of their brilliant musical creations. In recent years, those creations have recast the band among a current generation of fans.
3EB now write, tour, record, and communicate in a fluid new world where their music continues naturally to evolve. Their exchange with their audience is unfiltered and being from the hub of tech, they are using it to develop a closer exchange with their audience.
Switch, a high energy party band from Orlando, FL, is the front band for the Monday night entertainment. They have supported bands like Styx, Loverboy, Rick Springfield, Sammy Hagar, and many others. You will know the words to every song! Switch is a rock/pop/hip-hop/dance cover band playing the BEST party songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s and today.
WCI® is a non-profit organization with all of its proceeds used to either enhance future conferences or promote other charitable causes. For years, scholarships were awarded to children of injured workers who, because of a workplace injury to a parent or guardian, might be financially prevented from further training or education. We also support a special project, “Give Kids the World,” in Orlando, Florida. More can be learned about this week-long camp for children with life-threatening illnesses by referring to their website www.gktw.org or accessing a special video on the WCI® website. Conference attendees are urged to provide support for this very worthy cause by participating in service Friday, August 19, 2016, Saturday, August 20, 2016 and/or Sunday, August 21, 2016. Special hotel rates of $99 for Friday and Saturday nights will be given to those who register and participate in these events. Pre-registration is required and can be accomplished by referring to the WCI® website. We promise you that you can have no more fulfilling experience.
The third annual special fund-raising silent auction/dinner/“casino night” will be held for Give Kids the World, Saturday night, August 20, 2016, at the Orlando World Center Marriott, beginning at 5:30 p.m. To register to attend this function, refer to the registration form. If you have questions, contact Shirley Kendall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 425-8156. Sponsorships for this event are available. Refer to the WCI® website.
Host Hotel: Adequate parking is available at the Marriott.
Overflow Hotel: The conference overflow hotel will provide parking and shuttle to its guests Sunday through Wednesday. See shuttle schedule.
Orlando World Center Marriott valet parking is available at the main entrance of the hotel for hotel guests. There is a daily fee. Self-parking is available on the property of the hotel to conference attendees for no fee. Complimentary self-parking is also provided at the overflow hotel for hotel guests, with complimentary shuttle service to the Orlando World Center Marriott, beginning Sunday, August 21. Refer to the map and bus schedule. NOTE: Adequate parking is available at the host hotel for all conference attendees.
The Orlando World Center Marriott and the overflow hotel represent and warrant that, as a place of “public accommodation,” they are in compliance to the extent applicable with the provisions of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hotel facilities, including meeting space, restrooms, dining areas, other common areas and sufficient guest rooms shall be reasonably accessible and usable by persons with special needs. If you require special accommodations for activities related to your hotel stay, please consult with hotel staff. If you require accommodations to participate fully in activities of the conference, please indicate your special needs in the space provided on the registration form or contact WCI®. We will make any reasonable accommodation possible.
If additional information is needed about any aspect of the conference, please contact the Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) at (850) 425-8156, email Shirley Kendall at email@example.com, or mail your inquiry to P.O. Box 200, Tallahassee, FL 32302-0200, or physical address 2846 Remington Green Circle, Suite A, Tallahassee, FL 32308, FAX (850) 521-0222.
Many new and exciting things are occurring in workers’ compensation and safety almost on a daily basis. We look forward to sharing these events with you at this year’s educational conference.
James N. McConnaughhay,