In early June, the Workers’ Compensation Institute welcomed Andrew Sabolic as its news executive director. Sabolic, who had served as Assistant Director of the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation at the Florida Department of Financial Services since 2002, said he’s already looking forward to this year’s event.
“We had to cancel in 2020 because of the pandemic, but the momentum never wavered from our volunteers as well as everyone who is passionate about creating educational programs and seminars for those in the industry,” Sabolic said in an interview.
Regarding his new role and the future of WCI, Sabolic offered WorkersCompensation.com his thoughts on where things stand and where they might be heading.
- It’s still early, but how has the transition from the Division of Workers’ Compensation to WCI gone?
The transition has gone extremely well. The entire WCI team has been welcoming and supportive. I have known Jim McConnaughhay and Steve Rissman for nearly 20 years and seen how their leadership has elevated WCI to new heights. As a former regulator, I have experienced the value of the interactions I had with stakeholders at previous conferences. The number of well-wishes I have received when I accepted this role have been touching and heart-felt.
- What’s the biggest challenge you face in the new role?
Fulfilling, however more importantly, exceeding people’s expectations. It is not really a challenge, but a constant goal that’s been a part of me throughout my career. Regardless if you are first-time attendee or a seasoned veteran of the conference, a sponsor or exhibitor, or a speaker, the WCI team hopes everyone will have this thought in mind when they leave this year’s conference: “Wow! I will definitely be back next year. The conference checked all the boxes for me.” Those boxes could be knowledge and learning growth that can be applied to better your professional or personal life; increasing brand recognition; developing new business opportunities; expanding your network; renewing friendships; or giving back to another charitable cause.
- What do you see as the most important things WCI can do in the short- and long-term future?
A state’s workers’ compensation system is first and foremost a human relations system. The human connections in our industry affect the physical and mental health well-being of injured employees and their families, and the financial condition of employers. In the long-term future, WCI will be in the forefront in bringing together and stimulating these human connections to gain knowledge, disseminate key data and information, and help solve problems so states’ workers’ compensation systems can continuously improve. In the short-term, WCI will continue to build on its longstanding partnerships with industry stakeholders and other associations and entities to ensure an unparalleled conference experience.
- What’s the most important lesson from your previous experience that you feel you can apply at WCI?
Sustained success and excellence of any organization, whether private or public sector, or profit or not-for-profit, are dependent upon the passion and professionalism of its employees or volunteers and their understanding they are making something better for someone or making a difference in someone’s life.
- When people think of WCI, what do you hope they will think?
WCI occupies a unique space in the workers’ compensation industry – it is where education and learning intersect with a “Spirit of Giving” and where workers’ compensation ideas begin.
The conference, which runs on the support of 100-125 volunteers, will take place at the Orlando World Center Marriott from Aug. 21-24