There is one thing that really needs to be said about the Comp Laude® Awards and Gala. While it is produced by workcompcentral, it is a success because of the many people who volunteer to toil behind the scenes. It truly is an industry driven endeavor.

In case you have been under a rock or in a coma this week, or have just been buried behind hundreds of open files, the Comp Laude® program was started by the late David Depaolo, founder of workcompcentral. It was intended to help change the narrative around workers’ compensation, and to recognize and honor the positive results that can occur within our industry. This year’s program concluded last week in Huntington Beach, CA.

So, who are these volunteers, and what do they do?

For that, we should describe the process that is undertaken to determine the various winners each year. It starts with the opening of nominations. People from all over the country (or the world, since nominations have come from as far away as Australia) take the time to nominate people they believe deserve to be recognized for their efforts and results within the workers’ compensation industry. These people can be professionals from numerous categories, or injured workers who have overcome significant injury or illness. There were over 200 such nominations this year.

Once the nominations have closed, a group of volunteers serving as the Nominating Committee take the time to review and assess all of the people who have been submitted for consideration. They pare down the early nominations, using a pass/fail voting mechanism set up for them. Once this process is complete, the nominators for the remaining group are contacted and asked to provide more information and documentation to better prepare the files for the Vetting Committee.

The Vetting Committee, comprised of course with even more volunteers, then steps into action. Each member is assigned 15 to 20 nominees for follow up interviews. In a matter of just a few weeks, these busy professionals must contact and interview each of their assigned nominees. They make notes within the system and have the opportunity to provide a pass/fail vote at that time.

Once the Vetting Committee is done, the list of finalists is submitted to the final group of volunteers, the judges. They go through a similar process as the Nominating Committee, reviewing all of the available information and notes, and voting to determine the winners.

There are other volunteers as well. There is a Peoples’ Choice Committee and a Content Board, both of which help select the final content for the conference portion of the event. There is an Advisory Board that provides input for the event overall. There are people who help with the Speed Networking event, and many sponsors who help finance the endeavor.

Comp Laude® is an event designed to recognize the best of the workers’ compensation industry, and it is the dedication and involvement of that industry that makes the event possible. I’ve had the pleasure of being one of the volunteers behind the scenes for this program. I serve on the Advisory Board, and I’ve been a judge. I have also served on both the Nominating and Vetting committees. It is a pleasure to be able to contribute a just little bit in the role of recognizing successful stories for the industry. And there are many more like me who gladly donate their time for the effort.

They should be recognized as part of the ongoing narrative of our industry.

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