Teddy Awards

Teddy Overview

Teddy-250What is the Teddy Award?

Are you proud of what you’ve accomplished with your workers’ compensation and injury prevention programs? Does your organization have ideas worth stealing? We’d like to learn more.

We invite employers of all sizes, in all industries, to apply for the Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. The Teddy Award, established in 1994, was named in honor of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, who introduced the first piece of significant workers’ compensation legislation in the U.S.

Some food for thought as you apply. We’re looking for well-rounded programs that take a holistic approach to workers’ comp, injury prevention and disability management.

Teddy Award Sponsor:

PMA Companies

Teddy Award winning companies have several core characteristics in common. They do everything possible to protect their most valuable asset: their people. They strive daily to reduce workplace risks. When injuries do happen, winning companies waste no time securing expert care for their workers. They have systems and practices to ensure that they’re getting the best possible outcomes for their medical spend.

Teddy winners amaze us with their 110 percent commitment to reducing lost time, using imaginative strategies that turn the old model of return-to-work on its head.

They also track and measure all relevant data — continuously and aggressively looking for opportunities to improve outcomes while eliminating wasted expense. Along the way, many of them also develop effective strategies that help manage challenges such as opioid overuse, an aging workforce population, union negotiations, legacy claims, litigation and fraud.

Not least of all, Teddy winners get results. We look at performance data to gauge whether an organization’s programs really help achieve the intended goals.

Teddy winners go above and beyond best practices, and they have a firm grasp of the big picture. They leverage the talent of internal teams as well as vendor partners to build programs that enable them to drive year-over-year improvement for the long-term.

What you need to know

The Teddy Award winners are selected by a panel of judges consisting of industry professionals, including past Teddy Award winners.

All applicants must complete the online application and have the option to include attachments as necessary.

All winners and finalists will be interviewed for the sake of profiles to be published in the November 2018 issue of Risk & Insurance®. The information is also posted on the Risk & Insurance website, eNewsletter, web digital edition, and iPad and iPhone/Android apps.

Award winners should be available to attend a special Teddy Awards Q&A session at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® on December 6, 2018, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

Questions?

If there are any questions about the contest or the application material, please call Michelle Kerr, Associate Editor, 215-784-0910, ext. 6216; or e-mail mkerr@lrp.com.

APPLICATION DEADLINE EXTENDED: July 20, 2018

Winner Announcement Date: November 2018 Issue

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In the Fast-Paced World of Retail, This Risk Manager Strives to Mitigate Risks Proactively and Keep Senior Leaders Informed

Janine Kral works to identify and mitigate risks, building strong partnerships with leaders and ensuring they see her as support rather than a blocker. 
By: | October 29, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

My very first paid job was working on my uncle’s ranch in British Columbia in the summers. He had cattle, horses and grapes — an unusual combo. But my first real job out of college was as a multi-line claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual.

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

Right out of college I applied for a job that turned out to be a claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual. I accepted because they were offering six weeks of training in Southern California, and at the time that sounded really fun. I spent about three years at Liberty Mutual and then I spent a short period of time at a smaller regional insurance company that hired me to start a workers’ compensation claims administration program.

I was hired at Nordstrom as the Washington Region Risk Manager, which was my first job in risk management. When I started at Nordstrom, the risk management department had about five people, and over the years it has grown to about 75. I’ve been vice president for 11 years.

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

I would say that technology has probably been the biggest change. When I started many years ago, it was all paper and no RMIS.

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R&I: What risks does the retail industry face that are unique?

We deal with a lot of people — employees and customers. With physical brick and mortar settings, there are the unique exposures with people moving in and out in a public environment. And of course, with ecommerce, we have a lot of customer and employee data, which creates cyber risk — which is not necessarily a unique risk in today’s environment.

R&I: Can you describe your approach to working with senior leaders and front-line staff alike to further risk management initiatives?

It starts with keeping the pulse of what’s happening with the business. Retail moves really fast. In order to identify and mitigate risks proactively, we identify top risk areas and topics, and then we ensure that we have strong partnerships with the leaders responsible for those areas. Trust is critical, ensuring that leaders see us as a support rather than a blocker.

R&I: What role does technology play in your company’s approach to risk management?

Janine Kral, claims adjuster, Nordstrom

We have an internal risk management information system that all of our locations report events into — every type of incident is reported, whether insured or uninsured. Most of these events are managed internally by risk management, and our guidelines require that prevention be analyzed on each one. Having all event data in one system allows us to use the data for trending and also helps us better predict what may happen in the future, and who we need to work with to mitigate risks.

R&I: What advice might you give to students or other aspiring risk managers?

My son is a sophomore in college, and I tell him and his friends all the time not to rule out insurance as a career opportunity. My advice is to cast a wide net and do your homework. Research all the different types of opportunities. Read a lot — articles, industry magazines, LinkedIn. Be proactive and reach out to people you find interesting and ask them about their careers. Don’t be shy and wait for people and opportunities to come to you. Ask questions. Build networks. Be curious and keep an open mind.

R&I: What are your goals for the next five to 10 years of your career?

I have always been passionate about continuous improvement. I want to continue to find ways to add value to my company and to this industry.

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

My favorite book is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s a true story about a man who was in prison in Australia after being convicted of armed robbery, and he escaped to India. While in India, he passed himself off as a doctor in a slum. It’s a really interesting story, because this is a convicted criminal who ends up helping others. I am not always successful in getting others to read the book because it’s 1,000 pages and definitely a commitment.

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

Fiorella’s in Newton, Massachusetts. Great Italian food and a great overall experience.

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R&I: What is your favorite drink?

“Sister Carol.” I have no idea what is in it, and I can only get it at a local bar in Seattle. It’s green but it’s delicious.

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

Skydiving. Not tandem and without any sort of communication from the ground. Scary standing on a wing of a plane, but very peaceful once the chute opened, slowly floating down by myself.

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

I can’t think of one individual person. For me, the real heroes are people who have a positive attitude in the face of adversity. People who are resilient no matter what life brings them.

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

It’s rewarding to help solve problems and help people. I am proud of the support that my team provides others. &




Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at kdwyer@lrp.com.