National Comp 2023 Update: Michelle Kerr Showcases the Energy and Talent of Women in Workers’ Comp Leadership

By: | May 22, 2023

Michelle Kerr is Workers’ Compensation Editor and National Conference Chair for Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected].

I love my job. That sounds cheesy, right? But I mean it, and it has everything to do with the people in this industry, their passion and mission to help others. They inspire me, again and again.

I’m looking forward to National Comp 2023 for so many reasons, but the inspiring women on this year’s program are a big part of it. Their creativity, resilience and fierce drive to elevate the industry are what keep me motivated. Here’s a sampling of why.

This year’s pre-conference event, hosted by the Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compen­sation, will feature Erica Dhawan, speaker, author and global advisor on teamwork, collaboration and innovation. Erica has graced the stages of the World Economic Forum at Davos, the U.S. Army, Coca-Cola, FedEx, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, Cisco … and next, National Comp!

With a blend of research and engaging anecdotes, Erica will unpack how our communications have changed since the pandemic began and how to work within new structures to maximize teamwork and innovation.

The same day, we’ll offer a first for National Comp — a half-day pre-conference Comp Workshop, “Bridge the Return-to-Work Gap: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Functional Job Tasks,” led by the dynamic Andrea Dosedla, lead athletic trainer for commercial printer Quad. Andrea was a key force behind Quad’s 2022 Teddy Award win for workers’ comp and injury prevention excellence.

When the conference kicks off on Sept. 20th, you’ll meet keynote speaker Natasha Bowman. Author, speaker and president of her own leadership development firm, Natasha also launched The Bowman Foundation for Workplace Equity and Mental Wellness, an organization with a mission to support research, training, advocacy and awareness.

Natasha is an extraordinary force for workplace wellness and mental health. Her moving personal story, and what she’s learned on her journey toward elevating workplace wellbeing for all, is a story I can’t wait to hear more about — and to share with you all.

That’s just a start, though. The energy and talent of our women leaders is alive throughout the program. I’m honored we’ll be joined by our friends Claire Muselman and Dawn Watkins, chief risk officers of Emory Industrial Services and LAUSD, respectively, as well as Noreen Olsen, senior manager of claims for Starbucks.

I can’t name the whole list of leaders I’m eager to see here, but it includes Sharon L’Heureux Dressel, risk manager for the City of Beverly Hills; Leah Hightower, manager of workers’ comp for Delta Air Lines; and also Carol Ungaretti and Wendy Thomas — both 2023 Power Brokers in the workers’ comp category.

There are plenty more inspiring women on this year’s program — straight through to the end. I urge you to stick around for this year’s final, powerful session, which will feature a panel of top women leaders from across risk management and workers’ compensation.

Speakers representing Publix Super Markets, Whole Foods, The Hartford, Gallagher Bassett and law firm Cranfill Sumner will present their diverse perspectives on innovation in claims manage­ment and the technology of change, as well as career advancement and enhancing professional competence.

This industry is filled with strong women and their allies. It’s an honor to host them on the stages of National Comp 2023. I hope you’ll all be joining us this September in Las Vegas, taking in the inspiration right alongside me. &

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