Breakout for Risk Managers: A WCEC Session Preview


Editor’s Note: The 68th annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (WCEC) will be held August 18 - 21 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Presented by the Workers’ Compensation Institute, the WCEC is the largest gathering of its kind in the nation and offers  discipline-specific programs and break-out sessions from hundreds of national speakers, as well as CEU opportunities. All stakeholders in the workers' compensation community are represented at and welcome to participate in the conference. This article is part of a series by Program Chair Steve Rissman highlighting some of the upcoming sessions.

Big news! With many new risk managers attending the Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, there have been increased calls for a more expanded risk management program. We are pleased to announce that the “Breakout for Risk Managers” has been expanded to two days. Our speakers will present the audience with cutting edge news on important national issues. If you attend these sessions, you will return home with a briefcase of new ideas on how to manage your risk.

Program Moderator Brenda Pagliaro has put together three terrific programs. The lead-off panel on Monday, August 19, consists of Marc Salm from Publix, David Stills from Walmart, and Scott Rogers from Sedgwick. These three industry stalwarts combine intellect and analysis power in a topic called “Measuring the Success of Your Risk Management Program.” These two risk managers and senior executive with the largest TPA in the United States discuss which measurements can lead to understanding the ultimate results of a risk management program. Then, the panelists’ make observations as to what has worked for them and what might work for you as well.

If that wasn’t enough, the next hour is filled with a program called “Are You Really Managing Risks?” The panelists are Misty Hambright from American Airlines, Arden Young with Gallagher Bassett and Vin Foderingham with Bealls. These three experts will provide insight and examples of what has proven to be successful in managing business risks, analyzing current business relationships and creating external business partnerships. All three have a wealth of experience in risk management and will provide you with practical tips on how to improve your program.

The day finishes with a timely and important subject to risk managers, “Diversity.”  Our panel features Pat Sterling with Texas Roadhouse, Matthew Friend with Red Robin and Wendy Lanphere with 3iCorp. There is no question that American demographics are shifting in a rapid and powerful pace. There are all sorts of research on what the diverse population means for political and business changes but there is almost nothing on the effects of diversity with regard to the risk management community. This presentation will give insight into the role that diversity plays in the workforce and in risk management.

And that’s only Monday! Tuesday is a full day of exciting panel discussions on nationally based issues starting with a program called “What People in the Claim Industry Should Know.” This super panel is moderated by Charlie Martin from Marsh. Panel members are David North, president and CEO of Sedgwick, Tony Galioto, president and CEO of York, and Vinnie Armentano, senior vice president of business insurance claims for Travelers. North, Galioto and Armentano are as knowledgeable as you can get in the insurance industry. Guided by Martin, these three giants will talk about what is new and challenging in the claims’ area.  If it is happening nationally, this panel will talk about it.

That panel is followed by one called “Adding Brokers/Consultants to the Mix.”  Once again, North and Martin are featured in this panel but in reverse roles, with North moderating and Martin as one of three “broker” panelists. Other panelists are Joe Picone from Willis and Paul Braun from AON. This is the first time the Breakout for Risk Managers has featured a program consisting of these three powerhouse brokerages. Last year, the audience requested that we expand our speakers to include national brokers/consultants. We have done just that. Led by North, the panel will discuss claims’ service and try to separate facts from myths on what really constitutes excellent service. No one should miss this one.

As part of our expansion of this program, we have two afternoon sessions moderated by Valerie Franco, vice president of risk management for Lowe’s. She has assembled two “West Coast” panels that truly mirror our national focus. The first topic is just about as timely as it could get. Many companies are being bought out or are merging with other companies. What do you do, from a risk management standpoint, with the combined companies? Tara Acton from CenturyLink will be talking about avoiding the headaches when merging two risk management philosophies together. Disability coordination is an important employee service and can lower costs as well. Katrina Zitnik from Costco, will share how to coordinate disability benefits with workers’ compensation to avoid duplication.

A lot of people believe that what happens in California one year presents itself in other states in subsequent years. That is the focus of our last panel of the day, which is called “California’s New Disability Frontier and the Art of Litigation Management.” Once again moderated by Franco, the panel consists of Kevin Confetti, director of employment practices and workers’ compensation at the University of California. He will talk about how employers, unions and the government came together last year to increase benefits, yet preserve employer costs in developing and passing Senate Bill 863. This is followed up when Michael McCue, director of claims for Safeway, discusses modern techniques for litigation management that can improve claim cost and closure. 

Register today for the 68th annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conference.
See more on this topic and other 2013 conference programs and speakers.

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