Sunday, December 27, 2015

How will You be Known?

Do you have a reputation? Perhaps everyone does, and it is just a matter of what reputation?

There was a great movie a few years back, The Pirates of the Caribbean. Johnny Depp plays the part of Jack Sparrow, an intriguing pirate. He is introduced early in the film, shown sailing into port and cavalierly abandoning his sinking/sunken boat dockside.

Shortly thereafter, he rescues the movie's heroine, only to be confronted by the local law, in the person of Commodore Norrington. An exchange ensues between the Commodore and Jack Sparrow.

Examining Captain Sparrow's belongings, the Commodore examines a flint-lock pistol and says "no additional shot, nor powder. [opens Jack's compass] A compass that doesn't point north. [smirks; partially un-sheaths Jack's sword] And I half expected it to be made of wood. [re-sheaths the sword]. You are, without doubt, the worst pirate I've ever heard of." Captain Sparrow with a grin proudly replies "but you have heard of me."

Long before Pirates, Irene Cara won an Academy Award in 1980 for her hit song Fame. In it she questions "don't you know who I am? Remember my name." She says she's "got what it takes," and reiterates throughout the refrains "remember my name" and "fame," and "I'm going to live forever." The message is catchy.

Way before Fame, Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with saying that "glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." Is there benefit in notoriety, fame or glory? Some seek it, others have it thrust upon them. William Shakespeare wrote "some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." Is fame or recognition really any different?

Does fame or greatness find you through your actions in this community of workers' compensation? Is there someone out there that might say "you are, without doubt, the worst (adjuster, lawyer, nurse case manager, risk manager, etc.) I've ever heard of?" Should your response be a proud homage to Captain Sparrow, "but you have heard of me?" 

Or are you anonymous, working the continuous and unfortunately sometimes contentious world of claims litigation? Might someone say of you "you are, without doubt, the BEST (adjuster, lawyer, nurse case manager, risk manager, etc.) I've ever heard of?" My hope is that we would each strive for our reputation to be that; I hope we would never be satisfied with simply "but you have heard of me" for any reason, perhaps bad, perhaps the worst?

In February, the OJCC will sponsor another free continuing education program in Tallahassee. It will be a phenomenal event. The leader that organized this program is Hon. John Lazzara, a name that has become synonymous with Florida workers' compensation adjudication. I dread the day there is no Judge Lazzara in the OJCC. A committee of Judges Anderson, Dietz, and Humphries have also played a huge role in conceiving and planning this program.

We were privileged to have a phenomenal group of professionals volunteer their time and resources to present and moderate the 2016 program. Some will travel hundreds of miles to make their contribution. Some you may know already, and the others you will come to know. They are the kind of professionals you will hear of for the right reasons. 

Today I thank the following (in alphabetical order after our hosts), without whom we simply could not produce this program. 

Hon. Clayton Roberts, Chief Judge, Florida First District Court of Appeal
Steve Rissman, Esq., WCI Program Chair

Hon. Wilbur Anderson, Daytona Beach
Crystal Chancey, WC Claims Manager, Publix Supermarkets
Steve Coonrod, Esq., Tallahassee 
Mary Cruickshank, Esq., Tallahassee
Hon. Robert Dietz, Melbourne
Hon. Judge Richard Ervin (ret.), Tallahassee
Corlis Hill, Claims Adjuster, City of Tallahassee
Hon. Marjorie Renee Hill, Gainesville 
Hon. Ray Holley, Jacksonville 
Kathleen Hudson, Esq., Florida First District Court of Appeal
Hon. Ralph Humphries, Jacksonville
Mary Ingley, Esq., Florida First District Court of Appeal
Paolo Longo, Esq., Orlando 
Hon. Ellen Lorenzen, Tampa 
Hon Tom Portuallo (Ret.), Jacksonville 
William Rogner, Esq., Orlando 
Todd Sanders, Esq., Florida First District Court of Appeal
Sara Steele, Esq., Florida First District Court of Appeal
Tod Stupski, Deputy Director, State Employee Workers’ Compensation Claims 
Michael Winer, Esq., Tampa 
Hon. Nolan Winn, Pensacola 

Also a big thanks to our co-sponsor, WCI. Without the help of the WCI and Resource Managers Inc. (RMI), we could not produce a program like this; our thanks to: 

Jim McConnaughhay WCI
Stephen Rissman (WCI)
Cathy Bowman (RMI)
Woody Douglas (RMI)
Shirley Kendall (RMI) 
Kathy Shelton (RMI)

The registration information is attached to an e-newsletter sent in November. It is here if you wish to review the program details and register. See you in Tallahassee!

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