Gary Davis, Executive Director of the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA), is now partnering with the Office of Workers’ Compensation to produce the Louisiana’s Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, previously run by the OWC and the International Workers’ Compensation Foundation. The revamped event, sponsored by Allen & Gooch, will take place at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside from January 16th-18th, 2019. Registration and exhibitor info is available here.
Louisiana Comp Blog spoke to both Davis and OWC Director Sheral Kellar about the change and what attendees can expect from the conference.
Comp Blog: Why did the WCEC change hands?
Kellar: In 2018, after several very successful educational conferences with the International Workers’ Compensation Foundation or IWCF, I decided to partner with the association with whom Louisiana has had a long-standing relationship, the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA). As a member of SAWCA, I felt it was important that Louisiana support SAWCA’s efforts to foster education and outreach, particularly among the jurisdictional members of the organization about important issues in our state and around the country.
Davis: As SAWCA celebrates its 71st year of continual service to workers’ compensation professionals across the nation, we are honored to partner with the Louisiana OWCA as together we broaden the scope of the program providing more educational opportunities for all stakeholders.
Comp Blog: How will the agenda be different? Will OWC present?
Kellar: The agenda is two days rather than a day and a half. Members of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration will be presenters and will be present throughout the conference.
Comp Blog: What are this year’s continuing education opportunities?
Kellar: There will be opportunities for continuing legal education (CLE) credits for attorneys and continuing education units (CEU) for other workers’ compensation professionals.
Davis: Above all else the conference is an extraordinary educational experience with general sessions and breakout meetings covering the most timely and critical issues impacting the workers’ compensation systems today. However, the 2019 LWCEC is not only about Education, we are committed to providing attendees the opportunity to continue discussions related to the topics and speakers from the day’s presentations with both industry and regulatory professionals from Louisiana and across the nation. With a Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday evening, a Convention Lunch on Thursday, and the Director’s Reception in the Mark Twain Courtyard overlooking the mighty Mississippi River on Thursday evening, attendees have a wonderful mechanism by which to build those professional relationships that are so valuable in improving the program for everyone’s benefit.
Comp Blog: What are the details on the exhibitor hall this year?
Davis: We are very excited about the Exhibitor Expo at the conference this year. With many of our food and beverage events occurring in the Exhibit Hall including the Welcome Reception on Wednesday night, our exhibitors will enjoy a great opportunity to showcase their services and meet with new and current clients. The Exhibitor Expo opens on Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 PM and will be located in the Jefferson Ballroom directly across from the St. James Ballroom and the Jackson Room where our general sessions and breakouts will occur. Exhibits will be open all day on Thursday and will close on Friday at 10:30 AM. We already have twice the number of Exhibitors registered as participated in 2018, with just a few more booths available.
Comp Blog: What can attendees expect to gain from participation?
Kellar: The conference is filled with presenters from other states, in addition to presenters from the great state of Louisiana. We will have panel discussions from multi-state regulators, carriers, judges and attorneys from both sides of the bar. My expectation is that attendees will gain valuable knowledge about current and national trends, best practices and agency rules, regulations, procedures and policies. We also want to provide networking opportunities for workers’ compensation professionals from Louisiana with agency staff and professionals from other states.
Image Credit: Hilton