WCI Announces the Election of its New Board of Advisors

Press Release:

August 2, 2019

The Workers’ Compensation Institute announces the election of its new Board of Advisors. The Institute was founded in 1987. In 2019, it celebrates 32 years presenting the annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference. Founders James N. McConnaughhay and Steven A. Rissman are responsible for an incredibly diverse, extensive, and successful program each year. The WCI presents hundreds of speakers on safety, risk management, the law, medicine, and more. The WCI announces the May 7, 2019 election of the following Advisors.

Michelle Adams is Vice President Risk Management Services for Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. She has been with Disney since 1996 as Claims Management Director and for the last four years as Vice President. Ms. Adams earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from Rollins College.

Steve Coonrod is a partner at McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver, Stern, and is the managing partner for the firm’s Tallahassee office. He is a Board Certified specialist in workers’ compensation law and focuses on workers’ compensation defense. He serves as Litigation Manager for the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from Florida State University.

Daniel Jaffe is a partner of Rissman, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue, McLain & Mangan in their Tampa office. He has practiced workers’ compensation defense with the firm since 1997 and is a frequent lecturer at the Workers Compensation Convention and similar educational events. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Florida State University and his Juris Doctor from Nova University.

Laure Lamy is Regional Director at Workers’ Compensation Research Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has served in that role for 7 years. Her career has included leadership roles as Vice President at HyperQuest, UniMed, ChoicePoint, and Mitchell International. Ms. Lamy earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida and her Master of Arts from Florida State University.

David Langham is Deputy Chief Judge for the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims. He has served as a judge since 2001 and as Deputy Chief since 2006. Prior to his appointment, he practiced law with Langham & Langham. Judge Langham earned his Bachelor of Science from Ball State University and his Juris Doctor from Mississippi College School of Law.

James McConnaughhay is one of the founders of WCI. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from Florida State University. He is also the founder of McConnaughhay, Duffy, Coonrod, Pope & Weaver in Tallahassee, Florida. He has served there for 46 years. He has served as General Chair of the WCI for 32 years.

Frank McKay is the Chair and Chief Appellate Court Judge at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. He has served there for six years. Prior to appointment to the Board, he was a partner in the law firms of Stewart, Melvin & Frost and Sartain, McKay, & Cromwell. Chair McKay earned his Bachelor of Arts from Clemson University and his Juris Doctor from Mercer University.

David North is the President and CEO of Sedgwick, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee. He has served in that capacity for 24 years. Prior to Sedgwick he was Senior Vice President of Johnson and Higgins. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of the Air Force.

Vilma Palma-Blackmon is Senior Vice President at Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. She has been with Gallagher Bassett since 1986 serving as Claims Manager, Regional Vice President, and for the last 15 years as Senior Vice President.

Steven A. Rissman is one of the founders of WCI. He is a shareholder of Rissman, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue, McLain and Mangan in Orlando, Florida. He has served there 47 years. Mr. Rissman earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Florida and his Juris Doctor from Florida State University. He has served 32 years as program chair of the WCI conference.

Marc Salm is Vice President of Risk Management at Publix Super Markets in Lakeland, Florida. He has served there for 18 years, as Director and Counsel of Risk Management for 7 years, and as Vice President for 11 years. Mr. Salm earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law.

Jim Smith is Regional Leader of Risk Control and Safety Services for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Boca Raton, Florida. He has served there for 18 years. Previously, he was Vice President of the American Society of Safety Engineers, and before that was Safety and Claims Manager for the South Florida Water Management District for 18 years.

David Stills is Vice President Global Risk Management at Wal Mart. He has served there for 17 years as Assistant General Counsel, then as Vice President for the last 15 years. Prior to that he was a partner at Kutak Rock and served as Chief Legal Officer for the Arkansas State Police. Mr. Stills earned his Bachelor of Science from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law.