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2018 Comp Laude® Award Winners

The Comp Laude® Awards recognize Integrity, Excellence and Success in the Workers' Compensation industry. Each year, nominations are received and reviewed by a panel of industry judges. Comp Laude® awards are presented by WorkCompCentral at the annual Comp Laude® Gala.

Erin Husman
Injured Worker

Erin Husman epitomizes the ultimate in positive energy and willfulness to be the best she can be despite a life-changing catastrophic accident. She did not allow a traumatic experience to waiver her and instead, embraced the challenge. A workplace injury crushed her spinal cord at the thoracic level (T-10) resulting in paraplegia.

See the details of this winner here.

Josh Diggs

His technical expertise, sound judgment, and vast network have made Josh one of the Southern California icons on the Workers' Compensation arena. Josh has sixteen years of experience in the insurance industry. He spent thirteen years as an examiner for multiple carriers and one of the nation's largest TPAs. Josh also sits on the Board of Directors for HIRMA, Hispanic Insurance & Risk Management Association.

See the details of this winner here.

Jake Jacobsmeyer
Defense Attorney

Jake Jacobsmeyer has more than 40 years of experience as a California workers' comp attorney, having served as both an applicant and a defense attorney. "The first applicant attorney I worked with, Ken Larson, really set the tone for what a lot of my career has been. Ken was the one who got me involved [...] was passionate about representing people, always wanted to make sure that people got taken care of [...]. I think that actually helped a lot in terms of the way things actually work and probably one of the bigger influences in the way I approach things."

See the details of this winner here.

Jodi Loud
Medical Professional

Jodi specializes in the most complex claims. Having been a nurse and in the work comp arena for 20+ years, she is extremely competent in her clinical skills and has a broad knowledge base and experience. She is skilled at working with families in crisis and gives selflessly, drawing from her personal experiences with brain and spinal cord injuries.

See the details of this winner here.

Geoffrey Bichler
Applicant Attorney

Geoffrey is a twenty-eight year practitioner representing injured workers. He has been a long time advocate for Florida first responders, both representing them individually, educating them collectively and lobbying/advocating for presumption statuses. Geoff is a modest advocate who takes little spotlight for his efforts, though they are extensive.

See the details of this winner here.

Billy Parker
Injured Worker

After undergoing a traumatic work-related injury in which he lost both of his arms, Billy overcame physical limitations, significant emotional trauma, and today uses his experience to positively affect change. Billy has his own Youtube channel where he teaches other amputees how to cope with the loss of their limbs and how to use their upper limb prosthetics.

See the details of this winner here.

Bill Wainscott

Responsible for overseeing workers compensation and occupational health at International Paper, Bill Wainscott was an early proponent of employee advocacy and has become a powerful voice for the injured worker. Bill does not just talk about changing the conversation around workers' compensation, he makes it happen. Bill's influence and commitment to change do not stop inside the corporate walls. In what was historically a very contentious and uncertain system, Bill has been successful in conveying the need to humanize the process.

See the details of this winner here.

Seth Wannamaker
Injured Worker

During work on an industrial site at the age of twenty-six, Seth fell approximately ten feet from the top of a ladder. The fall shattered his C6 vertebra, knocking him unconscious and leaving him with no feeling below the neck. Seth's innate sense of drive is inspiring. Waking to the news of the injury and the grim projection of only a 10% probability of regaining function only kick-started his defiance. "I just kept thinking, 'That can't be right,'" Seth says. "I refused to let that be right."

See the details of this winner here.

Daniel Brite
Injured Worker

Daniel Brite is a Police Officer with Douglas County, CO Sheriff's Dept who sustained a gunshot wound to the chest in 2016. This trauma resulted in a spinal cord injury with paraplegia. Officer Brite embodies the spirit of someone who has eagerly participated in his rehabilitation despite a great deal of pain and setbacks.

See the details of this winner here.

Tom Glasson
Magna Comp Laude®

Tom has been involved in workers' compensation for decades, through the claims process, regulatory oversight, and more. As a senior member of the AIG State and Federal Government Affairs Team, Mr. Glasson is responsible for AIG's relationship with the legislatures and regulatory agencies in multiple southern states. He also serves as the team subject matter expert for many property and casualty industry matters.

See the details of this winner here.

Steven Rissman
Industry Leader

Steven Rissman has practiced workers' compensation for almost fifty years. He has served in the process of workers' compensation rules, served as chair of the Workers? Compensation Section of The Florida Bar, served on the statewide nominating commission for Judges, been involved with innumerable committees and conferences and groups.

See the details of this winner here.

Quality Living, Inc (QLI)
Vendor/Service Provider

QLI has become one of the nation's premier post-hospital centers for brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation by embracing the concept that great rehabilitation is more than just the science of physical recovery; it is the art of rebuilding a life.

See the details of this winner here.

Kenneth "Kenny" Meniatis
Claims Professional

Kenny's ability and desire to guide the injured worker to the best possible outcome and his philosophy and commitment to building a personal connection make him an industry standout. He has a very definitive philosophy when it comes to helping injured workers. When asked about the essence of his success and how he would advise other claims professionals with similar responsibilities, he offered the following insights: Answer your phone, get it right the first time, empower the injured worker, learn and apply, and do the right thing.

See the details of this winner here.

Kristy Sands
People's Choice

Kristy Sands is Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Gallagher Bassett. Throughout her 27 year career as insurance professional, Kristy has served as claims operations branch manager, account manager, and producer. Professionally, she has experience in all lines of insurance coverage, with workers' compensation and innovative applications as her main areas of expertise.

See the details of this winner here.

Workers' Compensation Institute (WCI)
Summa Comp Laude® / David J DePaolo Award

The Workers' Compensation Institute (WCI) is a nonprofit educational organization that serves as a comprehensive resource to all industry stakeholders. WCI organizes and sponsors an annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conference in Orlando every August. The conference brings together workers' compensation professionals from all over the country for networking, education and information sharing. It is a premier forum for the study of workers' compensation, workplace safety and health and related issues.

See the details of this winner here.

James Hudak
Work Comp Philanthropy

James Hudak was a driving force behind the creation of Kids' Chance of America, Inc. He committed initial financial support for the fledgling group before they even had a business plan in place. He has continued to support the efforts of Kids' Chance, both from a financial and informational perspective.

See the details of this winner here.