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The Most Influential People in Workers Comp for 2010

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Most Influential People in Workers’ Comp for 2010. Relying on our knowledge and expertise and that of others, Workers’ Comp Executive compiled a list of people who have contributed to California workers’ comp in some significant way. Our nominees represent every facet of the workers’ comp industry, and it was no easy task considering how many qualified people there are. We would like to thank all those individuals who took the time to participate and for doing the work that you do. To view the full profiles, click on the links below.

Click on persons name or picture to see full article

See list sorted by Categories
  • All-knowing and all-seeing for the defense, he is sought after for his knowledge, influence and candid insight on all things California workers’ comp.
  • Wise and prolific presence at the Legislature for applicant attorneys’ legislative fixes. Gently chides the administration when necessary.
  • Insightful, informed and hardworking, they work as a team to bring important workers’ comp issues and research to light.
  • Actuarial voice of the workers’ comp industry, he has to cheerfully take the beatings so frequently inflicted by commissioners, media and others.

  • Benner, Doug
    One of the most respected physicians in the industry, he advocates not just about treating the injured worker, but getting that worker back to work.
  • Knows when to reach out to the other side to solve problems plaguing the workers’ comp system.
  • Represents counties and local governments and the interests of the taxpayer in good times and bad.

  • Bryant, Cynthia
    Governor’s office
    Represents the executive branch on workers’ comp, and has helped bring forth some of the most sweeping changes the state has ever known.

  • Citko, Chris
    Respected for his level approach to regulation, infinite knowledge of workers’ comp, and ability to see issues from many sides and bring those sides together.

  • Conlin, Peter
    Great depth of knowledge in both legalities and regulations on behalf of all sides.

  • Cooley, Ken
    Principal insurance mind of the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee, his influence is widely felt. He researches, asks questions, listens, finds answers and frames workers’ comp issues in understandable ways.

  • Desaulnier, Mark
    Unafraid to challenge the administration on its commitment to injured workers through oversight or legislation.
  • Tireless advocate as president of the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, he’s been front and center on issues that matter most to the care and dignity of injured workers.

  • Duncan, John
    As the face of the administration, he has been the engine that drives the Department of Industrial Relations as it embraces the future of delivery of workers’ comp benefits and worker safety.

  • Gerlach, Mark
    Widely respected voice of reason on behalf of applicant attorneys, and opinion-maker who combines experience with a heaping dose of reality.

  • Green, Don
    Passionate lobbyist and defender of injured workers’ rights, he understands what’s in the sausage and where and how it’s made.
  • Passionate spokesman for the industry, marketing maven and solid defender of brokerage ideals.

  • Jackson, Clay
    The voice of proper, balanced and conservative administration of self-insured groups. Develops the blueprints and know-how for creating regulations that others follow.
  • Delivers with candor and humor the definitions of reasonableness in workers’ comp litigation.

  • Jones, Dave
    Tireless advocate for consumers, holding the insurance industry accountable and supporting legislation on behalf of policyholders and small businesses.

  • Lenz, Charlie
    Deep insight into the reality of the numeric universe of workers’ comp.

  • Letz, Gideon
    Pre-eminent expert in occupational medicine and a big supporter of the ACOEM guidelines. Passionate advocate for injured workers, standards of care and getting good doctors into the system.

  • Little, Jim
    Among the first to accept the risk and rollout of a new carrier when the California workers’ comp market was devastated.

  • Marcus, Marc
    Chosen by fellow applicant attorneys as the attorney they would most like to represent them if they're injured.

  • McNally, Sean
    One of the most influential employer spokesmen, his legal and human resources background qualifies him as an expert in return-to-work and all the costs that clog the system.

  • Mike, Bob
    Oversees collection and organization of vast amounts of industry data, preparation of rate filings and promulgation of employers’ experience modifications. President of Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California, a private organization.

  • Miller, Joe
    Appeals Board
    Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, he’s held the reins during some of the biggest changes in the system, delivering both popular and unpopular decisions and proving that you can’t please everyone, but showing how to do it with knowledge and grace.
  • Knowledgeable voice on workers’ comp claims who contributes much to the industry overall.

  • Mudge, Bill
    For taking a leap into a new and improving workers’ comp market and making it work for employers and brokers all over California.

  • Muir, Theresa
    Expertise and commonsense approach to cost containment and utilization review.
  • His prodigious research delivered on the impacts—intended and otherwise from workers’ comp legislation—for informing public policymakers on what’s been accomplished and what he thinks must still be done.

  • Nolan, Michael
    Provides thought leadership with an eye toward influencing the public. One of the workers’ comp industry’s main information sources.

  • Norwood, John
    Navigates the conflicts while ably representing varied insurance interests, with his knowledge of the industry and PAC money. His influence earns him the attention and respect of the Legislature.

  • Orford, Bob
    Recognized leader in occupational health and safety in the western hemisphere. His impact on bringing evidence-based medicine to California through the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has made a huge difference for injured workers and payers alike.

  • Pahos, Theo
    Represents insurance carrier perspectives to legislators, to the benefit of his clients.
  • Courage on tough cases, knowledge of workers’ comp and great personal style have earned him the respect of colleagues in both the defense and applicant communities.

  • Pettegrew, Jeff
    Provides broad knowledge of things financial and guidance to the self-insured industry and its regulators.

  • Prior, Kevin
    His keen, insightful leadership has catapulted ICW to the top rung of the California workers’ comp industry, making him and ICW forces to be reckoned with.

  • Priven, Mark
    Representing one employer link in the workers’ comp chain, he reflects in numbers the views and concerns of employers and helps keep the insurance industry honest.

  • Prosio, Mike
    Governor’s office
    Has the governor’s ear on issues of workers’ comp. His inside knowledge makes him respected by employers and carriers alike.

  • Rakich, Mark
    Go-to guy on all things insurance in the Legislature. The results of his fine, balanced and informed thinking can be found in major legislation.
  • Leading industry expert on all things medical and claims, recognized for being among the first to ask questions that lead to solutions.
  • Strong advocate for safety and passionate defender of his fellow ironworkers, he knows better than anyone else the importance of a safe workplace in keeping workers’ comp costs down.

  • Ross, Ritche
    Quietly and deftly makes things happen for injured workers, the oppressed and the forgotten.
  • Passionately defend employers against the insurance industry. Like David to the industry’s Goliath, they never stop reminding insurers that the policyholder comes first.
  • Represents employers with passion and perseverance, and cares about injured workers.

  • Searcy, Anne
    Expertise in occupational medicine sought after by the industry for bringing a new awareness to the partnership between the Division of Workers’ Compensation and private industry.

  • Smith, Linda
    With 25 years of claims, underwriting, management and leadership in the world of claims and underwriting, Linda proves that insurance is anything but a man’s world.

  • Solorio, Jose
    Thoughtful chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee in the Legislature, he’s earned the praise of his colleagues both Democratic and Republican with his balanced and reasonable approach to workers’ comp.

  • Sorich, Sam
    Fights unintended consequences of insurance wars in the Legislature with friendly persuasion and goodwill for all sides.

  • Swan, John
    Utilization Review
    Combines knowledge and commonsense to explain medical cost drivers in workers’ comp.

  • Swedlow, Alex
    Renowned for his research on the California workers’ comp system, his work has led the way in showing the impact of sweeping reforms in California.

  • Victor, Richard
    His national workers’ comp research resulted in development of numerous studies and analyses that have added ammunition to reforms of various aspects of California’s workers' comp system.

  • Ware, Jim
    Levelheaded regulator willing to learn, he works with grace and sincerity, defining the road map to all things self-insurance.

  • Way, Don
    No-nonsense approach and wealth of experience that cut to the core of what brokers are supposed to do for their clients.
  • Unflappable, well-informed, unafraid and honest. The tough but friendly face of organized labor to the frequently unfriendly world of workers’ comp. Fights for the dignity and fair treatment of injured workers.

  • Wick, Bruce
    Passionately defends employers throughout the workers’ comp system, and provides input into the dialogue and wisdom in understanding the consequences.

  • Wilson, Wayne
    Confronted with a rash of administrative and organization problems within CIGA, he leads the way in reforming internal systems and bringing more transparency and financial discipline to the organization.

  • Zachry, Bill
    Logical, practical application of ideas and ideals into the system, solving issues from many perspectives.

  • Zax, Stanley
    Chairman of Zenith Insurance and perhaps the most informed and influential CEO in the California’s workers’ comp insurance industry. His honest, straightforward and unbridled opinions are sought after at all levels of government and industry.

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