Workers' Compensation Institute, Which Hosts the Largest National Gathering for Workers' Compensation Professionals, Announces New Leadership Team

The Workers' Compensation Institute (WCI), the national non-profit leader in workers' compensation education, announced today the appointment of Julie Fetherman as Associate Executive Director. In addition, 13 industry leaders have been appointed to form the institute's first Board of Advisors.

"With this management re-organization, WCI is positioning itself to further its expansion on a nationwide basis," said James N. McConnaughhay, general chair of WCI. Fetherman joins the leadership team of WCI, which also includes McConnaughhay and Steven A. Rissman, program chair of the Annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conference held each year in August in Orlando, Florida.

Fetherman began as Associate Executive Director on November 1. She brings more than 20 years of experience in workers' compensation issues. Most recently, she served as Vice President for national sales with Paradigm Complex Care Services, where she offered several medical case management and clinical solutions to insurers and employers to help coordinate a safe and cost-effective return to work for injured workers. "With the overwhelming interest in our comprehensive program that brings together more than 7,000 professionals every year, it was obvious we needed to expand our team," said Rissman. McConnaughhay and Rissman believe that "Julie Fetherman not only brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, but she also adds creativity and new energy to this institute. Her leadership, combined with the input of the A+ minds of our board of advisors, will take this effort to the next level."

"It has been astounding to watch the WCI's Annual Conference evolve from a state-focused event to the world's largest gathering of professionals interested in workers' compensation issues," said Fetherman. "As WCI's new Associate Executive Director, I will work to facilitate growth of the program, continue to provide cutting edge content and value to the industry, and explore new educational avenues."

McConnaughhay and Rissman were among the four individuals who originally founded the Institute in 1987. For 32 years, the organization has hosted the nation's largest Workers' Compensation Educational Conference, a premier forum for the study of workers' compensation, including workplace safety and health. The nationally-acclaimed annual conference brings together more than 7,000 incredibly diverse professionals to hear from over 500 speakers and 250 learning sessions.

WCI formed a Board of Advisors in May 2019 to help guide the future of the Workers' Compensation Institute and the annual conference. Members appointed to the Board of Advisors include:

Michele Adams, Vice President for Risk Management Services, Walt Disney World Resort; Orlando, FL
Steve Coonrod, Shareholder, McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver & Stern, P.A., Tallahassee, FL
Daniel T. Jaffe, Shareholder, Rissman, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue, McLain & Mangan, Tampa, FL
Laure Lamy, Regional Director, Workers' Compensation Research Institute; Cambridge, MA
David Langham, Deputy Chief Judge, Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims; Tallahassee, FL
James N. McConnaughhay, Founder and General Chair of WCI, and Partner, McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver & Stern, P.A.; Tallahassee, FL
Frank McKay, Chair and Chief Appellate Court Judge, Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation; Atlanta, GA
David North, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sedgwick, Inc.; Memphis, TN
Vilma Palma-Blackmon, Senior Vice President, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.; Miramar, FL
Steven A. Rissman, Founder and Program Chair, WCI; Shareholder of Rissman, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue, McLain & Mangan, Orlando, FL
Marc Salm, Vice President of Risk Management, Publix Super Markets; Lakeland, FL
Jim Smith, Regional Leader of Risk Control and Safety Services , Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.; Boca Raton, FL
David Stills, Vice President of Global Risk Management at Walmart; Bentonville, AR
According to McConnaughhay and Rissman, support from industry for WCI's new enhanced direction has been overwhelming as evidenced by the quality and integrity of the Board of Advisors. According to David North, President and CEO of Sedgwick, Inc., "I am proud to be affiliated with WCI and support its invaluable educational mission." Frank McKay, Chair of the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation, commented, "As a member of the first Board of Advisors, I am excited to have the opportunity to help guide the Institute into the future."

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Workers Compensation Institute

The Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) is a nonprofit educational organization that serves as a comprehensive resource to all workers’ compensation stakeholders. The WCI is an outgrowth of the long-established Florida Workers’ Compensation Institute. FWCI remains in existence under the WCI umbrella and continues its Florida focus, while the national organization provides a broader outreach across all states.