It is hard to believe, but next week will find several thousand of us back in Orlando, FL for the 69th Annual Workers’ Compensation Institute Conference. It is even more difficult to believe that this will be the 19th one I have attended. My very first day “on the job” in the workers’ comp industry was spent at this conference, way back in 1999. While I had extensive business management and HR experience, I was a comp newbie, and visiting this event was an eye opener regarding the expanse and variations within the industry.
As big as it was back then, it has done nothing but grow since, and today offers more sessions than any other event in the industry.
Earlier this year we became the official news partner for WCI, feeding news stories weekly into their website, www.wci360.com, as well as their weekly newsletter. We look forward to offering expanded conference coverage in our Premium Media section this year.
This year I will be involved in three presentations at the conference. Without a doubt, my favorite will be a small segment of the opening session, where Kids’ Chance of Florida President Ray Neff and I will be presenting our annual scholarships to some truly worthy kids. That session will be between 9:00 and 10:00, Monday the 7th.
On Tuesday the 8th, I will be presenting in two sessions. The first, from 9:30 to 11:00AM, is a panel that consists of Paolo Longo, Michael C. Duff, Elizabeth Gobeil, H. George Kagan, and, well, me. That is an injured workers’ attorney, a law professor, a judge, a defense attorney, and, well, me. The panel is entitled, “The Grand Bargain or Contract of Adhesion: The Ongoing Debate Over Benefit Adequacy, Procedural Efficacy and Blanket Immunity In Workers’ Compensation”. That title was apparently the brainchild of yet another attorney; one who did not have to be on stage and understand or explain its premise. I promise to Google it prior to the event so I have some idea what we will be talking about. While we will really be talking about the myriad of legal challenges and the future of the industry, I’m not sure what I am doing there. I still maintain my presence on the panel is the result of someone losing a bet.
The last panel I am on will be presented that same day in the afternoon. Held from 1:15 to 2:15PM, it is the traditional freewheeling bloggers’ panel, with my friends Mark Walls and Mark Pew. Pew is fairly new to the bloggers panel circuit, having just done a couple of these in the past. He keeps sending emails suggesting we should be prepared or something.
What a newb.
In addition to these presentations, I will be working a table for Kids’ Chance of Florida. It will be stationed near the Judicial College area, so I encourage you to stop by and learn more about this terrific organization.
I head to Orlando Saturday evening for the Give Kids’ the World Gala, so this promises to be a long but worthwhile week. If you are attending the WCI, please stop by our sessions and say hello.
By then I might have figured out who lost that bet.