Big News at Kids Chance: One Paradigm Exec is Honored with Service Award, and Another Steps Up as Organization’s New President

Dara Barney

Detroit, MI (WorkersCompensation.com) – Kids Chance of America, an organization that works to award scholarships to children of workers severely injured or killed on the job, will hold its Annual Meeting on Friday in Michigan, but that isn’t the biggest news.

“…The KCOA Board Meeting and Council of State Organizations meetings will take place on Friday morning, the afternoon will feature focus groups and the Annual Meeting, and the day will culminate with the President’s Reception and Dinner,” according to its website.

“Saturday will be devoted to Kids’ Chance College, which will offer a series of presentations and workshops designed to educate and empower participants with the tools to strengthen and grow their state organizations.” For more agenda information, click here.

Aside from the agenda, Paradigm Outcomes, which manages catastrophic and complex cases, has reason to celebrate as well.

Paradigm Executive Chairman Jim Hudak will accept the Robert M. Clyatt Distinguished Service Award, a recognition that pays homage to KCOA founder Clyatt, and selects recipients “…who embod(y) the very ideals that inspired Clyatt to create Kids’ Chance.” Hudak will be the second honoree, as Clyatt was the first last year.

That isn’t all: Kevin Turner, Paradigm’s Chief Sales Officer, will be named the new Kids Chance president at the annual meeting as well.

WorkersCompensation.com took some time to chat with the Paradigm duo.

Former Paradigm CEO Hudak said Turner actually came to him during his first year in the lead position (2011), and talked up Kids’ Chance, which was very small at the time. Hudak said he was hooked, and from then on made sure Paradigm was involved with KCOA, through corporate funding, charity drives, pizza parties, bowling nights, and donation matches on Hudak’s part.

“Can you imagine waking up in an ICU after a serious injury? The very first thing that hits these people’s minds is: ‘What about my family? What about my kids?’” the Kids’ Chance ambassador said.

“During Hudak’s tenure as CEO of Paradigm (July 2011 to October 2017), Paradigm donated more than $850,000 to Kids’ Chance organizations. Paradigm is the largest corporate donor to Kids’ Chance of America,” according to a press release.

Hudak said he’d like to see an endowment fund started, something continuous KCOA can depend on: “It takes a lot of networking, a lot of button holing, a lot of phone calls, and a lot of travel. But it is so worth it.”

He reflected on growing up with middle class parents, and eventually getting accepted at Yale.

“Tuition was more than my dad’s total net income, but I received a full scholarship for tuition, room and board. I might have spent a month with $1.39, but without a scholarship, I never would have been able to have that experience,” he said.

Another inspiration is being able to meet the kids. He mentioned one scholarship recipient who became the first undocumented immigrant to attend the University of Washington, who plans on being a physician’s assistant to help migrant workers. A Virginia recipient is working to become a claims manager to help injured workers, after her father died on the job.

Hudak also mentioned WorkersCompensation.com President and CEO Bob Wilson, and what a wonderful supporter he has been.

Kevin Turner came to Paradigm about nine years ago, after almost 25 years in the work comp industry.

“Paradigm’s mission to improve the lives of injured workers with serious injuries, aligns with the Kids’ Chance cause. It made perfect sense for the company to support Kids’ Chance of America and it was Jim Hudak’s leadership that made Kids’ Chance part of Paradigm’s DNA. Jim was adamant that it was the right thing for Paradigm, and the right thing to do for Kids Chance.”

Turner and Hudak helped KCOA establish an infrastructure, and turn the organization into a professional philanthropy.

“Turner has been instrumental in starting many state chapters. When we first got involved, KCOA had about $15,000 in funding. It’s now over $700K. We went from 14 participating states to 43,” Hudak said.

As its new President, two of Turner’s main goals will be: “Supporting the wonderful state organizations in ways that get more scholarships to more kids and, through increased partner funding, cementing Bob Clyatt’s vision for the long-term,” he said. “What we do is establish new and support existing state organizations by providing funding and professional support. We are here to help when it is needed.”

He also wants to take the organization’s sustainable funds to over $1 million, and get the word out about this positive element of the work comp community.

“Workers compensation gets negative news coverage at times. Let’s counter that, and spread the word about the workers’ compensation industry giving back to the injured workers and their families,” Turner said.