We've heard that our continually struggling economy has been particularly harsh on businesses in the northern manufacturing states. It has been acknowledged that Michigan, with its heavy reliance on the auto industry, has been especially hard hit. I am sure there is much truth to that, but it was not in evidence by what I observed at the recent Michigan Self Insurers Association Conference in Novi, MI. The one day event, held October 18th, drew close to 300 attendees from a wide cross section of the Michigan business community. I've attended a few self insured events over the last year, and this one was by far the most robust I have seen.

While self insured companies operate with a different structure and exposure than their insured counterparts, they still must deal with the same issues and challenges as the rest of the insured world. It was very interesting to see the close connection this group holds with the various state agencies and departments with which they must interact on the workers' compensation front. This gathering received updates from no fewer than 6 high level directors with various state programs, all discussing important changes and issues within their state. I believe it is a good thing when the lines of communication are open to that degree, and this was an excellent format to display that relationship.


Bob speaks with a fellow attendee at MSIA Fall Conference

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking at this conference, and they also proved themselves a patient lot, since it appeared that there were almost as many people present at the end of my presentation as at the beginning.

The MSIA, established in 1951, holds two conferences a year. They are accepting presentation proposals for the Spring conference, to be held in Acme, MI May 29-31, 2013. You may access their website here for more information and to get the “Call For Presentation” form.

I understand that their Spring event is the bigger conference of the two. I hope to make it to see for myself, but would recommend anyone who has a business interest in that state should attend. After all, it appears to me from this trip that business in Michigan is definitely on the way back.

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