2016 NWCDC

A Passion for Protecting Workers’ Lives

 The 2016 Teddy Award workers' compensation winners share the same fierce commitment to safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of their people.
By: | November 30, 2016 • 3 min read

Each year, the judges of the Teddy Awards diligently evaluate applications based on numerous criteria for success, including performance, innovation, sustainability and teamwork.

But our panel this year was quick to point out that those criteria — while vital — don’t always tell the whole story. The judges connected on a deeper level to those applications that included the intangible qualities of imagination, enthusiasm, energy, and most of all, passion.

It’s passion, fueled by a family legacy in the business, that drives Harder Mechanical Contractors to ensure that their workers’ lives aren’t diminished or cut short like those in generations past.  And it’s the same passion that drives the Harder team to protect every worker as fiercely as they would their own families.

It’s passion and imagination that is behind the relentless and savvy marketing campaigns that Excela Health used to keep staff actively engaged with injury prevention on a daily basis. Campaigns featuring character mascots and catchy mnemonics keep Excela’s injury prevention message at the forefront of employees’ minds at all times.

The 2016 Teddy Award winners earned our respect and our admiration for their devotion to their most important asset: their people.

It’s also passion — mixed with grit — that allowed Target to maintain a steady downward trend in losses and claims despite the departure of one-third of the company’s risk management staff.

And it’s passion for making employees part of the solution that fuels the robust “360-degree” safety and training program employed by Hampton Roads Transit that significantly decreased costs while adding collaboration and accountability.

Congratulations to all of the 2016 Teddy Award winners. They have earned our respect and our admiration for their devotion to their most important asset: their people.

Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award Winners

Learn more about the 2016 Teddy Award winners’ programs at “Steal These Ideas!” on Thursday at 8:30 – 9:45 a.m., in Room 293-295.

harder-150x150Harder Mechanical Contractors

An unwavering commitment to zero lost time is just one way that Harder Mechanical Contractors protects its people.

  • Harder Mechanical’s injury frequency and costs shrink consistently year-over-year.
  • The company logged 16 million man hours without a lost-time accident.
  • Reminding workers of what they value most helps reinforce the safety culture.

“We don’t want to just impose something upon the people out there in the field — they’re the ones turning the wrenches, and know how to do their jobs safely. So we need to get their input so they own it.” — Jennifer Massey, corporate director of safety and health and claims management

excela-150x150Excela Health

Excela Health, a health care network operating three hospitals in western Pennsylvania, abides by its mission to improve the health and well-being of every life it touches.

  • Excela Health reduced workers’ comp claims costs by hundreds of thousands over the past eight years.
  • The hospital network targets prevention efforts toward its top causes of injury.
  • Its return-to-work program keeps injured workers productive while they recover.

“We keep them working and keep them engaged and we care about them.” — Laurie English, chief human resource officer

hrt-150x150Hampton Roads Transit

Accountability and collaboration turned Hampton Roads Transit’s legacy workers’ compensation program into a triumph.

  • HRT saw a 98 percent decrease in lost-time claims frequency, a 94 percent decrease in average number of days lost per lost-time claim, a 48 percent decrease in frequency of injuries and a 78 percent decrease in total incurred costs per claim.
  • The strategy emphasizes a 360-degree employee safety and training program.
  • An annual open house educates providers about job tasks and the light-duty program.

“Everybody respects the program. We are all on the same side, working on the same goal.” — Danielle Hill, human resources compliance manager

target-150x150Target

Target brings home a 2016 Teddy Award for serving as an advocate for its workers, pre- and post-injury, across each of its many operations.

  • Target was able to reduce workers’ comp claims and lost time through an advocacy-based program.
  • Rebuilding the safety and risk management team led to discoveries of new opportunities.
  • The Workers’ Comp Assistance Center has been crucial in speeding up return to work.

“This [Workers’ Comp Assistance Center] is a service that we think is unique to us, and has really evolved to become a central part of our advocacy program.” — Amanda Lagatta, director of insurance and claims

The 2016 Teddy Award Judges

Jennifer Saddy, director of workers’ compensation, American Airlines; Anne-Marie Amiel, risk manager, Columbus, Ga.; Caryl Russo, senior vice president, corporate care, Barnabas Health Corporate Care; Mark Noonan, managing principal, Integro Insurance Brokers; Roberto Ceniceros, senior editor, Risk & Insurance®, and chair, National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo.

Read comments from the judges on this year’s entrants and winners. &

The R&I Editorial Team may be reached at [email protected]

Risk Management

The Profession

After 20 years in the business, Navy Pier’s Director of Risk Management values her relationships in the industry more than ever.
By: | June 1, 2017 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

Working at Dominick’s Finer Foods bagging groceries. Shortly after I was hired, I was promoted to [cashier] and then to a management position. It taught me great responsibility and it helped me develop the leadership skills I still carry today.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

While working for Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel, one of my responsibilities was to oversee the administration of claims. This led to a business relationship with the director of risk management of the organization who actually owned the property. Ultimately, a position became available in her department and the rest is history.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?

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The risk management community is doing a phenomenal job in professional development and creating great opportunities for risk managers to network. The development of relationships in this industry is vitally important and by providing opportunities for risk managers to come together and speak about their experiences and challenges is what enables many of us to be able to do our jobs even more effectively.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

Attracting, educating and retaining young talent. There is this preconceived notion that the insurance industry and risk management are boring and there could be nothing further from the truth.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

In my 20 years in the industry, the biggest change in risk management and the insurance industry are the various types of risk we look to insure against. Many risks that exist today were not even on our radar 20 years ago.

Gina Kirchner, director of risk management, Navy Pier Inc.

R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?

FM Global. They have been our property carrier for a great number of years and in my opinion are the best in the business.

R&I: Are you optimistic about the US economy or pessimistic and why?

I am optimistic that policies will be put in place with the new administration that will be good for the economy and business.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?

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The commercial risks that are of most concern to me are cyber risks, business interruption, and any form of a health epidemic on a global scale. We are dealing with new exposures and new risks that we are truly not ready for.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

My mother has played a significant role in shaping my ideals and values. She truly instilled a very strong work ethic in me. However, there are many men and women in business who have mentored me and have had a significant impact on me and my career as well.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

I am most proud of making the decision a couple of years ago to return to school and obtain my [MBA]. It took a lot of prayer, dedication and determination to accomplish this while still working a full time job, being involved in my church, studying abroad and maintaining a household.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

“Heaven Is For Real” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. I loved the book and the movie.

R&I: What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?

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A French restaurant in Paris, France named Les Noces de Jeannette Restaurant à Paris. It was the most amazing food and brings back such great memories.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

Israel. My husband and I just returned a few days ago and spent time in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Jericho and Jordan. It was an absolutely amazing experience. We did everything from riding camels to taking boat rides on the Sea of Galilee to attending concerts sitting on the Temple steps. The trip was absolutely life changing.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

Many, many years ago … I went parasailing in the Caribbean. I had a great experience and didn’t think about the risk at the time because I was young, single and free. Looking back, I don’t know that I would make the same decision today.

R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?

I would have to say the relationships and partnerships I have developed with insurance carriers, brokers and other professionals in the industry. To have wonderful working relationships with such a vast array of talented individuals who are so knowledgeable and to have some of those relationships develop into true friendships is very rewarding.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

My friends and family have a general idea that my position involves claims and insurance. However, I don’t think they fully understand the magnitude of my responsibilities and the direct impact it has on my organization, which experiences more than 9 million visitors a year.




Katie Siegel is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]