Continuing Education Credits:

WorkCompCentral is the Approved Continuing Education Credit Provider for this Event
CE Credit Hours for California:18 Broker Fire/Casualty (pending); 18 Claims Professional;18 MCLE / Legal Specialization

HR Certification Institute is the Pre-Approved Continuing Education Credit Provider for HR Credits PHR, SPHR, & GPHR

CE Credit Hours 14



Tuesday, September 9th 

Golf Tournament Registration (Club 19, St. Regis Hotel)

9:00am-3:30pm (Golf Tournament “4 Man Best Ball” Shotgun)

3:30pm-4:30pm (Awards Reception, Club 19, St. Regis Golf Course)

1:00pm- 8:00 pm Attendee Registration & Exhibitor Set Up/Registration

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm: CWC & Risk Conference Advisory Board Dinner (INVITE ONLY)


Wednesday, September 10th 

6:30 am – 11:00 am Attendee Registration

6:45 am - 7:45am Continental Breakfast in Foyer Area by Sessions

7:45 am -5:30 pm Conference Sessions

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Opening Night Reception 

9:30 pm - 12:00 am Live Music in Hotel Lobby Bar


Thursday, September 11th 

7:15 am - 8:00 am Continental Breakfast in Foyer Area by Sessions

8:00 am - 5:30 pm Conference Sessions

5:30 pm - 8:15 pm Casino Night/Tailgate Party located at the Grand Lawn (Sports theme, wear your favorite sports attire)   

8:15 pm - 12:30 pm Dance/DJ in Monarch Ballroom


Friday, September 12th 
7:30 am – 9:30 am Networking Breakfast in Expo Hall

9:00 am - 12:30pm Conference Sessions

10:00 am -  Exhibitor breakdown 

1:30pm - Conference Concludes






Wednesday, September 10th

6:45 am – 7:45 am: Continental Breakfast in Monarch Foyer

7:50 am – 9:00 am

Employer & Stakeholder Panel: The Current State of California Workers Compensation and what’s on the horizon for 2015

Panel will address the following:

1-From your perspective, what aspects of the SB 863 reforms have been successful and why?

2-From your perspective, what aspects of the SB 863 reforms have NOT been successful and why?

3-What do you view as the greatest challenges (for employers, injured workers) in the California WC system?

4-For the three employers on the panel: What is the best advise you can give to other employers in California who are faced with rising costs?  (Good opportunity for you to share success stories about your program)

5-If you were Governor for the day, what changes would you make to the California WC system and why?

6-California seems to be in a constant cycle of workers’ comp reform.  How can we achieve lasting reforms and ensure that the main stakeholders (injured workers and employers) are best served by the WC system


Mark Walls (Vice President Communications & Strategic Analysis) Safety National


William Zachry (VP of Risk Management) Safeway, (Trustee) Self Insurers’ Security Fund

Tim East (Director of Risk Management) The Walt Disney Company

Bill Mudge (President & CEO) WCIRB California

Kurt Leisure (VP, Risk Services/Assets Protection) The Cheesecake Factory Inc.

Seeta Ambati Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi

James G. Butler Butler Viadro, LLP

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Workers' Comp Insurance Market Trends: CEOs & Stakeholders "Open Mic" Q&A Panel

This session will feature Insurance Market E- and C-suite leaders, senior management and industry stakeholders identifying emerging trends that are of great importance to employers in California.  What's on the horizon for 2015? Where is the market headed both nationally and on a regional basis?


Pamela Ferrandino (National Casualty Practice Leader) Willis North America


William Rabl (Chief Operating Officer) ACE North America

Robert Darby (President) Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies (Former Chairman) WCIRB

Duane Hercules (President) Safety National

Michele Tucker (Vice President) CorVel

10:00 am – 10:40 am: Networking Refreshment Break in Expo Hall

10:40 am – 11:25 am

Reserving Strategies, or Why Bornheutter-Ferguson is Not an Exotic Disease

An actuary, a broker and an insured discuss in simple terms the validity and strategic uses of diverse WC reserving methodologies, including Point Estimate and Ultimate determinations. The session will emphasize end goals, include the stability of financials, the determination of adequate collateral, the impact on adjusting tactics and the calculation of experience modifiers and loss picks. The discussion will focus on the core reserving values of consistency and transparency in the context of meeting management program goals.


Henry H. Cabaniss (VP Insurance) SOI

 Christine M. Fleming, ACAS, MAAA (Principal Claims Management Consultant) Milliman

Michael V. Termine (Vice President, National Accounts) Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc.

Does Morale Really Matter? Creating a Culture of Civility

This session highlights the relationship between the organization's work environment and its future claims for on-the-job injury, the roles that poor communication skills, personal insecurity and "the rumor mill" play in creating a toxic culture within your organization & identifies evaluation points and action steps designed to enhance the work environment toward a more productive, positive and safer culture. This program is applicable to all staff, but is especially critical for officials, administrators, department heads, human resources managers, risk managers, safety coordinators and first-line supervisors.


Michael G. Fann (Director of Loss Control) TML Risk Management Pool


11:30 am – 12:15 pm

Chronic Pain: The Effects on Employee Productivity and Workers’ Compensation Experience, and How to Better Manage It
The session will highlight the issue of chronic pain in workers’ compensation and how it affects employers and employees. Dr. Goldberg will moderate the panel and discuss the ACOEM Chronic Pain Guidelines and how they can be utilized to better guide the management of chronic pain and reduce medical costs and indemnity.

Robert L. Goldberg, MD, FACOEM (Chief Medical Officer)
Bernyce Peplowski, DO, Sr VP, US HealthWorks

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Cyber Security: Implementing a Strategic Risk Management Strategy

Discover how to achieve a monumental savings by implementing a strategic risk management strategy which includes cyber-insurance.

This session will cover:

-Understand the risks to your company’s data and critical systems

-Explore ways that information can be compromised & discover methods to mitigate it, including insurance solutions

-Business impacts of cyber-insurance

-Re-defining of the rules of cyber-insurance, using an approach called, ‘reverse underwriting’


Grace Crickette (Senior Vice President and Chief Risk & Compliance Officer) AAA NCNU

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm:  Networking Lunch in Expo Hall and Pacific Lawn

1:30 pm – 2:20 pm

Improving Outcomes: Cost Effective Expedited Processes & Communications

Expedited quality care can improve medical and functional outcomes, return to work and cost savings. Industry experts will discuss cost & time saving strategies to proactively streamline communications and reduce adversarial situations between Injured Workers, Medical Providers, Payors, Reviewers and Employers. Takeaways will include easy to implement steps & tools to expedite and improve clinical outcomes with the appropriate use of Guidelines and the medical information flow, authorizations, utilization review and Independent Medical Review processes.


Kenneth Eichler (Director, Regulatory and Outcome Initiatives) Work Loss Data Institute

Dr. Bernyce Peplowski (Senior VP, National Med Strategy and Innovation) US HealthWorks

Francine Johnson (VP, Regulatory Business Consulting and Analysis) Coventry Workers’ Comp Services

Jill A. Dulich (Senior Director) Marriott Claims Services

Platinum Claims Audits

Attendees will gain improved understanding of reason to perform a claims audit; approach to soliciting professional assistance to complete the claims audit; measurable performance objectives to

assess in the claims audit – including Safety and Health perspective; sample selection; on-site performance; audit results wrap-up – including employer program management perspective.


Dennis Mitchell, Senior Claims Consultant (Bickmore)

David Barragan, COSH (President) Barragan Corp International

Diana Rich (Risk Manager) Foundation Building Materials

2:25 pm – 3:15 pm

Navigating Through the New Penalty Landscape

From Medical Provider Networks to Independent Medical Reviews, there is exposure to a new crop of penalties. This session reviews penalties created by Senate Bill 863 and what you need to know to avoid and mitigate this new exposure.


Kevin Confetti (Director, Employment Practices & Workers’ Compensation) University of California

David Smith (Divisional Vice President – Risk Management) Family Dollar Stores, Inc.

Dawn Watkins (Director Integrated Disability Management) Los Angeles Unified School District

Edward Canavan (Vice President, WC Practices & Compliance) Sedgwick

WCAB UPDATE: 2014 Decisions & Latest Trends in Workers’ Comp Litigation

Workers' Comp Appeals Board Update: 2014 Decisions & Latest Trends in Workers' Comp Litigation. Session will address: 2014’s most significant WCAB decisions & how it will impact stakeholders.  Session will also address what's on the horizon for 2015 and how you can be proactive.


Ronnie Caplane (Chairwoman) California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board

Katherine Zalewski (Commissioner) California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm: Networking Refreshment Break in Expo Hall

4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Technological Interventions to Prevent Loss

Presenters will describe projects that have successfully leveraged technology to provide timely actionable changes that result in loss reduction. The technology itself along with the training and administration needed to support the technology will be outlined. Also included in this session is the Next Frontier in Workers’ Compensation, Telemedicine (Telehealth). Participants will leave the session with the ability to put together the ingredients necessary for successful technological interventions.


Karen Kridel-Schwabe (Senior Manager, Risk Management) The Walt Disney Company

Kurt Leisure (VP Risk Services) The Cheesecake Factory

Robert Dickerson (Session Coordinator- Sr. Account Executive) Liberty Mutual – Helmsman

George Brogmus (Technical Director) Liberty Mutual –Helmsman

Dr. Laurence Miller (Medical Director) Anthem Workers’ Compensation

4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

“Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”  

Match Up # 1: Take a ringside seat to claims litigation avoidance during this “Hot Debate” when a Defense and applicant’s Attorney Go Head-to-Head on Lack of Diligence, Acceptance and Denial of Claims . This CA WC Law session will take a look at the claims process through the eyes of the carrier, the risk professional, defense & applicant attorney.

Topics to be addressed include:

·    Developments and best practices in handling new claims

·    Discover why workers’ compensation claims end up in litigation

·    The importance of taking careful and proactive control of the claim

·    How to pick and choose your battles – it’s not cost effective to fight and challenge everything

Examine the statute of limitations, reservation of rights letters, attorney-client privilege, rights in and out of the policy and settlement theories
Jeff Pettegrew (Chief Imagination Officer) InsuranceThoughtLeadership.com, Retired after 10+ Years at SISF and 37 years in Risk Management
Bill Goldstein (Senior Vice President/Regional Claims Manager) Wells Fargo Insurance Services
Robert G. Rassp, Esq. The Law Office of Robert G. Rassp
Richard M. Jacobsmeyer Shaw, Jacobsmeyer, Crain & Klaffey PC
Jeff Ponta (Vice President of Claims) Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.

4:45 pm – 5:30 pm

“Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”

Match Up #2: Take a ringside seat for the Inside Scoop on TPA liability during this “Hot Debate.”  Find out the legal inside scoop why so many cases in CA are still open while attorneys representing employers and claims administrators will go head to head.


Jeff Pettegrew (Chief Imagination Officer) InsuranceThoughtLeadership.com, Retired after 10+ Years at SISF and 37 years in Risk Management


Nicholas P. Roxborough RPNA
Susan England, Esq. (Attorney) England Ponticello & St. Clair

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm: Networking Cocktail Reception located at the Grand Lawn in the St. Regis (Welcome Reception) Sponsored by Medcor, Inc.

Thursday, September 11th

7:15 am – 8:00 am: Continental Breakfast in Monarch Foyer

8:00 am – 8:55 am

4th Annual MSP/MSA Compliance Open Mic Panel

This panel will discuss “current issues” and “best practices” in regards to MSP, MSAs and Section 111 reporting with allotted time for attendee Q&A. This session will reach out to an Intermediate/Advanced level of attendees.

-Pending legislation around MSP

-Whistleblower lawsuits

-Expansion into Medicaid

-MSP insurance – is this needed or a waste of money?


Mark Walls (Vice President Communications & Strategic Analysis) Safety National


Rafael Gonzalez (Vice President) PMSI

Jessica Smythe (National Medicare Compliance Consultant) ISO Claims Partners

Melisa Zwilling (Medicare Compliance, Chair) Carr Allison

Marie Henry (Staff Counsel) ExamWorks

Best Practices in Workers' Comp Loss Prevention: Reducing Hazards to Prevent Workplace Injuries and Control Claim Costs


Rick Sumner (Director of Insurance and Safety) Dollar General

Robert Cartwright (Loss Prevention Manager) Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Self-Insurance Update

This session will provide an update on key workers’ compensation issues impacting self-insurance in California providing a 360 degree view including a major self-insured employer, the Security Fund and regulatory perspective.


Jon Wroten (Chief) Office of Self-Insurance Plans

William Zachry (VP of Risk Management) Safeway, (Trustee) Self Insurers’ Security Fund

Opiate Prescribing in Workers Compensation: We know the problem, what are the solutions?

The problem of opiates in Workers’ Compensation is well known. But what are companies and medical organizations doing in response? What is working, what is not working, and what are the barriers to appropriately prescribing opiates?  Representatives from 2 large employers and a medical director from a large medical group will update the success, or failure, to curtail the negative claim consequences seen in Workers’ Compensation as a result of opiates. 


Roman Kownacki, MD, MPH (Medical Director, Regional) California Kaiser Permanente

Patti Williams (Risk Manager) City of Huntington Beach 

10:00 am – 10:40 am: Networking Refreshment Break in Expo Hall

10:45 am – 12:00 pm

Let the Rumble Begin – The Interaction of ADA, Return to Work Programs, and Workers’ Compensation Concerns:

This session will discuss how to protect your organization from new liability risks in managing FMLA/CFRA, ADA/FEHA, wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination, and more.


Brian Egan (Partner) Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi LLP


Susan Lockwood, ARM, Manager of Risk & Claims San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

Robert Cutbirth (Counsel) Tucker Ellis LLP

Marc Leibowitz (Partner) Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi LLP

10:45 am – 12:15pm

Connecting the Dots….Tying in the foundational pieces with your Best Practice Future State

Each Speaker from a diverse collection of Employers will spend time outlining the fundamental Best practices in the present state of their organizations Work Comp & Risk departments and bridging this to the vision of their future state Best Practices. This diverse collection will serve as an educational platform for other employers to compare & benchmark against their own organizations present & future state. Data will be shared along with the individual matrix that is presently utilized to measure the programs performance. Goals and proposed measurements for the future states will also be shared. The practices will include an overview of internal and external claims management, loss control, safety & cost containment efforts highlighting the financial success of these programs with associated savings. The goal is to assist individuals charged with reducing costs and developing/implementing programs to positively affect their organizations bottom line.


Joe Carresi (Manager, Project/Product) Southern California Edison

Joel Sherman (Director, Safety & Work Comp) Grimmway Farms

Judie Tsanopoulos (Director, Work Comp & Loss Control) St. Joseph Health System

12:00 pm – 1:15 pm: Networking Lunch in Expo Hall and Pacific Lawn

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm:  Keynote Speaker: James Worthy

1:50 pm – 2:40 pm

Keynote Session: SB 863…18 months later… Update from Director Christine Baker, Department of Industrial Relations

This session will discuss the effects of SB 863 and what this means for employers. Topics to be discussed include: Challenges for employers, Goals and objectives for 2014 and 2015 & new legal compliance


Christine Baker (Director) California Department of Industrial Relations

2:40 pm – 3:40 pm:  Networking Refreshment Break in Refreshment Hall, James Worthy Meet and Greet

3:40 pm - 4:40 pm

Leading Industry Blogger Panel:

Join the top industry bloggers to discuss and debate the hottest issues facing the workers' compensation & risk management industry. This session will be fast paced, informative and entertaining. Audience members will have the chance to pose questions to the panel in this interactive format.


Mark Walls (Vice President Communications & Strategic Analysis) Safety National


David DePaolo (President) WorkCompCentral.com

Dale Debber (CEO/Publisher) Providence Publications

Robert G. Rassp, Esq. The Law Office of Robert G. Rassp

Rebecca Shafer, JD. Amaxx Risk Solutions

Corporate Sustainability, Wellness, Injury Prevention

Ergonomic based injuries are a risk often overlooked by risk professionals. The financial impact of ignoring ergonomic claims can be significant.

-Hear a VP of Finance’s Perspective on the cost benefits of PREVENTING ergonomic injuries.

-Define your role in establishing and managing an ergonomic injury abatement culture.

-Calculate how proactive management of ergonomic risks will affect your organization finances.

-Identify how early employee intervention in ergonomic related claims can lower your claims cost.

-Learn the benefits of behavioral ergonomics.

-Corporate social responsibility manifested by employee Injury Prevention philosophy.

-Wellness approach to preventing sprain/strains on and off the job.

-3 major breakthroughs in sustaining a long-term injury prevention culture


Carlton Jacobson (VP Finance) Adventist Health St. Helena Region

Dennis Downing (President) Future Industrial Technologies

4:40 pm – 5:30 pm

Active Shooter: Preparedness and Planning, Employer/Broker/Security Perspectives

This topic will cover security, insurance, and claims (workers’ compensation and general liability) perspectives on workplace violence. This session will include the following: graphic videos, terrorism as a form of workplace violence & testimonials from security and police experts to support the development of a formal workplace and active shooter response program. Take-Aways: Create a plan outline for an emergency response, Educate employees about their roles & Discovery of post incident recovery goals


Michael Simmons (Director Risk Management) Riverside Community College District

Kevin Lieberman (former police officer)

4:40 pm – 5:40 pm

Hot Topic: The Impact of Health Care Reform: Find out how  Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") is affecting California Employers

:Employers must be fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") but  several aspects of the law are only now being defined by the Department of Health and Human Services, including the minimum essential benefits employers must cover, which employees must be covered, health care exchanges, etc.  Find out how the legal changes have significantly impacted the cost, structure and availability of workers compensation insurance and other employee benefits in 2014/2015.

Also find out how the ACA will impact workers’ compensation and what all stakeholders should know to prepare for this reform.


• Gain an understanding of the complications involved in the act and the data underlying its impact

• What risk managers can do to minimize their exposure and identify the employer advantages of this legislation

• Find out how ACA has and still will affect California Employers

• Find out how the ACA will impact workers’ compensation and what all stakeholders should know to prepare for this reform.


Denise Algire (Director, Managed Care & Disability Corporate Risk Management) Safeway, Inc.

Kimberly George (SVP/SR Healthcare Advisor) Sedgwick

Mark Walls (VP Communications & Strategic Analysis) Safety National

5:30 pm – 8:15 pm

Casino Night/Tailgate Party on Grand Lawn  Sponsored by Stockwell, Harris, Woolverton & Muehl

Prizes, food, games, drinks, and music

8:15 pm – 12:30 am

Dancing with the Risk Professionals  Sponsored by Safety National

Friday, September 12th

7:30 am – 9:30 am: Networking Breakfast in Expo Hall

9:00 am – 10:00 am

DWC Update: The latest developments from California Division of Workers Comp

The panel will address the following: New Rules & Regulations, Permanent Disability, Utilization Review, Audit Unit Update & What's on the horizon for 2015

Session Goal: To ensure the audience is up to date on new regulations in California and how they impact employers and other stakeholders.


Drenée Miners (AVP/Governmental Affairs) Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.


Destie Overpeck (Acting Administrative Director) DWC

Rupali Das, MD (Executive Medical Director) DWC

Cora Lee (Compliance Manager – UEBTIF \ SIBTF Audit Unit) DWC

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Got MILK? Combating Workers’ Comp Fraud in California and What to Look Out For

Fraud continues to occur in epidemic proportions, but the numbers pale in comparison to the waste from abuse. Panel will educate you about the elements required to obtain fraud convictions, but will also share things you can do to control or eliminate malingering and abuse from injured workers, medical providers and others.


James P. Bradley (Vice President Strategic Management) The Reny Company


Jennifer Lentz Snyder, Esq. (Assistant District Attorney) Los Angeles County District Attorney

Laura Clifford (Executive Director) Employer Fraud Task Force

Kimberly Gerber (Director, Health & Safety) Universal Services of America

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Living Your Destiny
Motivational Speaker Presentation of Burn Survivor, Paul Harris, who survived a horrific burn injury will present his impactful account of the workplace accident that left him burned over 85% of his body and the steps he has taken to overcome his fears.

Paul Harris The Grossman Burn Center

11:10 am – 12:10 pm

Don’t Let a Straightforward Work Comp Claim Turn into a FEHA Nightmare

Increasingly, employers face significant risk as more and more workers’ compensation claims evolve into costly disability discrimination claims filed pursuant to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This risk has been amplified by the new FEHA regulations, which are in effect as of January 1, 2013, and which broaden the employer’s FEHA responsibilities in workers’ compensation cases. Too often employers face the difficult and high risk task of determining such issues as: whether or not to offer modified/alternative work to an injured worker; how much time off of work should be granted to allow for recovery; what medical certification should be required to support extended leaves of absence for a work related injury; what accommodation should be offered; when and how should the interactive process be conducted; and, when is it safe to terminate an injured worker if the worker has been on an extended leave of absence (for example, more than a year) and still unable to return to work. Failure to take the appropriate steps in any of these situations can produce significant liability for the employer resulting in a time consuming and expensive lawsuit. This presentation will provide guidance and suggestions for best practices on this critical workplace topic confronting employers on a daily basis.

Bernadette M. O’Brien, Esq., SPHR (General Counsel for Human Services) Law Offices of  Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLC
Thomas Skeren, Esq. (Managing Partner) Law Offices of Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLC
Terry Ann Bodwin (VP, Labor and Employee Relations) Unified Groce

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm
Impact of SB 863 on Lien Regulations
This session will cover WCAB decisions in regards to lien regulations, emergency regulations that are in place for the filing/activation fees & consequences for not paying.
Pamela Foust (Vice President Claims/ Legal) Zenith Insurance Co.
Invited: Marguerite Sweeney (Commissioner) WCAB