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Presenters

Garilee Brown Garilee Brown

Quality control specialist, Workers' Compensation Division

Garilee joined Workers’ Compensation Division in February of 2016 as a Claims Coder. In 2017, she completed Jerry Keene’s OWCI “Basic Workers’ Compensation” course earning her Claims Examiner Certification. In July of 2018, she was promoted to Claims Unit Quality Control Specialist focusing on Notice of Closure 873s and the Quarterly Delinquency Report. Garilee is the mother to a beautiful, sassy 3 year old daughter named Peyton. In her free time, she enjoys hunting, the outdoors, reading and time with her daughter, family and friends.

Katie BrunsKatie Bruns

Policy analyst, Workers' Compensation Division

Katie Bruns is a policy analyst with the Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD). As a policy analyst, she works with various units to analyze and develop legislation, statute, rules, case law, and policy decisions. Katie graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Prior to joining the Policy Team, she worked for two years as a vocational reviewer and four years as an auditor for the division. Before coming to WCD, she worked as a claims examiner for Liberty Northwest Insurance. In her free time, Katie enjoys exploring Oregon with her family. 

Catriona BuistCatriona Buist

Past chair, Oregon Pain Management Commission and Pain Psychologist in the OHSU Comprehensive Center, Oregon 

Dr. Catriona Buist is a licensed psychologist in Oregon and Washington. She is currently an assistant professor in Anesthesiology and Psychiatry at OHSU and employed as a pain psychologist in the Comprehensive Pain Center. Prior, she was the clinical director of the interdisciplinary pain program at Progressive Rehabilitation Associates for 11 years. She is actively engaged in advocacy around Oregon in her role as past-chair of the Oregon Pain Management Commission, co-chair of the Improving Access to Chronic Pain Care work group for the Tri-County Prescription Opioid Safety Coalition, member of the Oregon Opioid Guidelines and Implementation Taskforce and the HERC Chronic Pain Taskforce.

Cliff Butler

Director at Large with VPPPA Region X Board of Directors and Environmental Safety and Health Manager, Sherwin Williams

Cliff Butler is a director at Large with the VPPPA Region X Board of Directors, a special government employee, and is also serving as second vice chair on the SHARP Alliance Board. He has been a member of ASSP since 2002 and employed with Sherwin Williams for 19 years traveling extensively assisting sister sites in preparing for VPP through training and auditing, as well as introducing new acquisitions to the Sherwin Williams safety process. In addition, he works with local sites (as well as Sherwin Williams facilities) to reduce injury and increase employee involvement in safety.

Joe Fangon

Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigations

Special Agent (SA) Joe Fangon is a nine year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Following five years of service in the FBI’s Honolulu Division, SA Fangon transferred to the Portland, Ore., Field Office, where he serves on the White Collar Crimes Squad, working significant high-dollar complex frauds, as well as public corruption cases. Following completion of his undergraduate degree in 2000 from Sonoma State University, SA Fangon acquired his Juris Doctorate law degree from California Western School of Law at San Diego in 2004. Before becoming an agent, he served as a civil litigation attorney in California. Collateral to his primary assignment to investigations, SA Fangon is a certified FBI crisis management coordinator with responsibilities for organizing multi-agency responses to significant critical incidents, including acts of mass violence.

Samantha Craig

Third-party adjuster, SAIF Corporation

Samantha Craig began her career at SAIF Corporation in the summer of 1998 as a data entry temp. She was hired on full-time in October of 1998 as a general office clerk in the copy room. In 2006, she became a third-party adjuster and has enjoyed that job ever since. She will be celebrating her 20th year at SAIF this October.

Danielle Erb, MDDanielle Erb

Dr. Danielle Erb completed her Bachelor of Arts at Stanford University; her medical degree at OHSU; and her physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at the rehabilitation residency at the University of Colorado. She is board certified in PM&R and subspecialty certified in brain injury medicine. In 1990, she returned to Portland and joined the Rehabilitation Medicine Associates where she worked at RIO (inpatient rehabilitation), did hospital consults, and had a busy outpatient practice. In 2001, she formed Brain Rehabilitation Medicine, where she only treats those with an acquired brain injury. She is also the medical director of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center at Progressive Rehabilitation Associates.

Vladimir Fiks, MDVladimir Fiks

Medical director/interventional pain specialist, Advanced Pain Management Center

Dr. Vladimir Fiks holds two board certifications in pain management and is also board certified in anesthesiology. He completed pain management fellowship and anesthesiology residency at Oregon Health Sciences University. His practice includes both medical and interventional pain therapies. He firmly believes in the restoration and preservation of a patient’s functional abilities as a primary goal in overall patient management. Therefore, he is committed to helping patients reach their treatment goals through holistic options that include, but are not limited to, laser and physical therapy; bracing; spinal and joint injections; neurostimulation; and minimally invasive SI joint fusion; and more. In addition, he often includes stem cell and platelet rich plasma injections as part of treatment plans. The use of multiple modalities enhances a patient’s chance of achieving his or her treatment goals. The field of chronic pain management is complex and challenging. He appreciates the opportunity to participate in patients' care and is touched by their victories.

Jennifer FloodJennifer Flood

Ombudsman for Injured Workers, Department of Consumer and Business Services

Jennifer Flood has been the ombudsman for injured workers since August 2005. Jennifer and her staff serve as independent advocates for injured workers, providing information and help to ensure workers understand their rights and responsibilities. Jennifer has been with the Department of Consumer and Business Services since 1978. Before her ombudsman position, she was the manager of the Workers’ Compensation Division’s Field Audit Unit for nine years and a benefit consultant for seven years.

Barbra HallBarbra Hall

Self-Insurance, Registration and Reimbursements manager, Workers' Compensation Division

Barbra Hall started with the Workers' Compensation Division as an office specialist in the Investigations and Managed Care Organization (MCO) Program in 1999. "It took me about eight years to gain the confidence and skills to step out of that roll into a reimbursement specialist position in Self-Insurance, Registration and Reimbursements or SIRR (formerly known as In-office Audit)," said Barbra. After several years, she transitioned into the lead specialist. Ultimately, she landed in her current SIRR management position and has been in this role for the past couple of years.  

Robert Hamre

Field investigator, Workers' Compensation Division

Bob Hamre has been a professional investigator for more than 35 years; in the private sector with his own company for 16 years; and the rest of his time (mostly) with the Workers' Compensation Division. He is currently a field investigator in the Employer Compliance Unit. He is married and has three grown children, who all might someday actually be moved out of the house at the same time. He enjoys nearly every outdoor activity.

Julia HierJulia Hier

Resolution policy analyst, Workers' Compensation Division

Julia Hier is a policy analyst with the Workers’ Compensation Division. As a policy analyst, she works with various units to analyze and develop legislation, statute, rules, case law, and policy decisions. Julia graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law with a doctor of jurisprudence, and she received her bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. She spent approximately eight years practicing as an Oregon workers’ compensation defense attorney, where she represented insurers and self-insured employers on workers’ compensation claims. When Julia isn’t at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and time outdoors.

Charlotte HoddeCharlotte Hodde

Attorney, Barran Liebman

Charlotte Hodde understands her clients’ motivations and advances their priorities tenaciously. Years of lobbying before the California State Legislature make her a loyal and resourceful advocate. She balances sharp attention to detail with an eye for the bigger picture. 

Before joining Barran Liebman, Charlotte worked for multiple judges in the United States District Court both in California and Oregon — most recently as a law clerk to the Honorable Janice M. Stewart and the Honorable Youlee Yim You. Having trained to analyze complex cases, she now studies client stories to create the narrative that is key to a winning legal strategy. 

Charlotte’s practice includes working closely with employers to develop workplace policies, provide proactive advice and counsel, and defend clients under a broad range of local Oregon, California, and federal employment laws.

Tim KesselTim Kessel

Worksite modification consultant, Workers' Compensation Division

Tim Kessel is a worksite modification consultant for the Preferred Worker Program and also specializes in the Employer-at-Injury Program. Tim began working with the Preferred Worker Program as a re-employment specialist in 1994 before becoming a worksite modification consultant in December 2005. Before coming to the Workers’ Compensation Division, Tim spent 10 years in sales and retail management.

P. Griffth "Griff" Lindell

Founder, Lindell Associates, LLC a Management and Marketing Consultancy

P. Griffith “Griff” Lindell is an author, speaker, consultant, and the founder of Lindell Associates, LLC Management and Marketing Consultancy. For more than 40 years, Griff has served as a senior level marketing strategist and leadership consultant to established, reorganizing and emerging companies covering industries such as publishing; high-speed motion analysis; civil engineering; manufacturing; professional service providers; and consulting firms. Griff recently retired from Corban University where he served as the dean of the Hoff School of Business for six years. His book, "Mastering a Serving-Leader Attitude," was used as a text in the MBA class on leadership. Griff is known as an expert at organizational and market clarity. He believes that for a business to be effective the "corporate" heart (values/vision/mission) must be in sync with the corporate "mouth" (marketing and sales). Griff has a unique ability to assist a company in articulating its purpose, goals, core values, and strategy via consulting and high-energy workshops. His workshops result in energized, cohesive teams that can clearly communicate where the company is going and how each person plays a role in implementing strategy. His management experience has led to insights he developed for his published materials, including three books and a dozen booklets on business and leadership. He is married to Margaret Ann (Richards) Lindell and they have three adult children and two grandchildren. Griff and is wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year.

Greig LowellGreig Lowell

Project manager, Workers' Compensation Board

Greig Lowell is a project manager for the Workers’ Compensation Board. He started his assignment in June 2014, after having spent 12 years as a member of the Workers’ Compensation Board. He has more than 30 years of workers’ compensation experience. From 1986 to 2002, he worked as a claims supervisor and manager for Safeco, EBI, and Personnel Source/Comp Source. He has also served as president of the Oregon Self-Insurers Association. He is a frequent speaker and has provided the appellate update at the annual OSB Workers’ Compensation Section meeting over the past seven years. He is also a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in Pleasant Hill.

Kay Thrash

Senior field investigator, Workers’ Compensation Division

Kay Thrash is currently the Senior Investigator for the Employer Compliance Unit (ECU) of the Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD). In 26 years with ECU, Kay has worn may hats (filled many roles) including: investigating injured worker claims, providing education on workers’ compensation insurance requirements through testimony in contested cases, presenting educational seminars, leading training classes, in addition to training and mentoring new members of ECU. Kay has spent her entire professional career in public service.  Prior to joining ECU, Kay was a police officer and a paramedic.

Dave McLaughlin

Technical specialist, Oregon OSHA

Dave McLaughlin started his career in industrial hygiene with the U.S. Air Force in 1987. He has been with Oregon OSHA since 1991, first as a health compliance officer, then as a technical specialist in 1996. In addition to writing and revising rules, publications, interpretations, and fact sheets, he provides technical assistance to Oregon OSHA field staff as well as employers. 

Chris MorganChris Morgan

Attorney, Barran Liebman

Chris Morgan works closely with clients to help them navigate the complexities of employment, benefits, and higher education law. Chris’ practice focuses on employment litigation, including noncompetition and non-solicitation agreements, trade secrets, and the defense of wrongful termination and discrimination complaints. Chris also advises on Title XI and VII Compliance, as well as employee benefits programs including 401(k) and deferred compensation plans. He is also a frequent speaker and author in a variety of media, including onsite employment trainings and legal compliance. Chris graduated cum laude from Washington State University and received his J.D., cum laude, from the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Brian NeaseBrian Nease

Worksite modification consultant, Workers' Compensation Division

Brian Nease is a worksite modification consultant and lead worker for the State of Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division’s Preferred Worker Program. He provides employment assistance and hiring incentives to injured workers and their employers throughout the state of Oregon. Before his work within the Preferred Worker Program, Brian spent years providing workforce development for employers and vulnerable populations in Clackamas County. Before his work with Clackamas County, Brian spent 10 years in business management.

Mark Pew

Senior vice president, Product Development and Marketing, Preferred Medical

Mark Pew, senior vice president of product development and marketing for Preferred Medical, is a passionate educator and agitator. Known as the RxProfessor, Mark is focused on the intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment, particularly as it relates to the clinical and financial implications of opioids, benzodiazepines, and other prescription painkillers, along with the evolution of medical marijuana. He is a strong champion for the workers' compensation industry to #CleanUpTheMess, a movement he created to drive attention to the importance of individualized appropriate treatment for injured workers. Mark is a vocal advocate of the BioPsychoSocialSpiritual treatment model. 

With more than 35 years of experience in property and casualty, healthcare, and technology, Mark has been the mastermind behind solutions that transform the way the workers' compensation industry navigates management and treatment, particularly in the area of opioids and other potentially high-risk medications.

Mark is a popular speaker at workers' compensation, insurance, and healthcare conferences around the country and frequently provides continuing education sessions to carriers, self-insured employers, and third-party administrators. Since 2012, Mark has presented educational content more than 500 times to more than 41,000 people in 41 states and the District of Columbia. He is also an accomplished writer, regularly blogging and tweeting and has published articles in national magazines. His blog was recognized in 2016, 2017, and 2018 as a WorkersCompensation.com "Best Blog."

Mark received the WorkCompCentral Magna Comp Laude award in 2016 and the IAIABC’s Samuel Gompers Award in 2017. 

Kim RittsKim Ritts

Claims trainer, Workers' Compensation Division

Kim joined Workers’ Compensation Division in May of 2015 as a claims coder. In 2017, she completed Jerry Keene’s OWCI “Basic Workers’ Compensation” course and received her claims examiner certification. After being a claims coder for more than two years, Kim was promoted to her current role as claims coding trainer. She is married to a wonderful man named James and is the proud mother to a 7-year-old pit bull named Clancy. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring nature, mushroom hunting, finding new trails, having adventures with her niece and nephew, and watching or listening to anything that has to do with true crime.

Louis SavageLouis Savage

Administrator, Workers' Compensation Division

Louis Savage recently returned to Oregon after spending two-and-a-half years providing consulting and training on law reform issues to attorneys in North Africa and the Middle East. A member of the Oregon State Bar, he has spent his career working on consumer and business issues in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors. He served as Oregon insurance commissioner from 2012 to 2013 and directed DCBS' legislative activity as senior policy advisor from 2003 to 2012. Before joining the state, he served as director of Multnomah County Legal Aid and state director for Oregon Congressman Ron Wyden's Office. He also spent 10 years in private law practice. Louis has a law degree from Lewis & Clark College and a bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon.

Salley CoenSalley Coen

Deputy Administrator, Workers' Compensation Division

Sally Coen is the deputy administrator of the Workers’ Compensation Division. Sally has been with the division since 1988. She has been a clerical specialist, compliance specialist, managed the sanctions and field audit staff. Most recently, she was the manager of the Performance Section, overseeing audit, self-insurance, insurer registration, and the employer compliance programs. Sally received her bachelor’s degree from Willamette University. 

Dan Schmelling

Claims supervisor, SAIF Corporation

Dan Schmelling has more than 25 years of experience working with Oregon’s workers’ compensation system. Dan has worked for a public insurer and third-party administrator managing workers’ compensation claims and in a regulatory capacity auditing claims processors' compliance with administrative rules. 

David Waki

Small Business Ombudsman, Department of Consumer and Business Services

David Waki is the Small Business Ombudsman with the Department of Consumer and Business Services. The Office of the Ombudsman for Small Business was created in 1990 as part of the package of reforms to Oregon’s workers’ compensation system. David has been in the position since 2005. His background includes working in field and home office capacities for regional and national insurers. He also worked for the Oregon State Lottery as a regional manager. David also owned and operated a small business employing six workers before selling the business after five years. The office of the Ombudsman for Small Business is a two-person office that problem solves employer issues related to premium calculation, audit disputes, coverage questions, claims, and policy provisions. The office also conducts outreach and education so stakeholders can make informed sound business decisions and remain in compliance with their legal obligations.

Jennifer WebsterJennifer Webster

Vice president of Human Resources, SAIF Corporation

Jennifer Webster is the vice president for Human Resources (HR) at SAIF Corporation and its division, which includes recruiting; benefits; compensation; wellness and safety; payroll; operations; training; employee relations;  and organizational development.

Jennifer joined SAIF in March 2016. Her experience spans across many disciplines,  which all point towards a strong background in HR. Her latest role was as a senior manager within the human resources department for Columbia Sportswear. She has also provided consulting services to a wide-range of clients across both the public and private sector.

She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the Oregon State University; Portland State University; Marylhurst University; and the University of Maryland University College.

Jennifer also earned her bachelor’s degree in business from George Mason University; her MBA from Webster University; and her Ph.D. from Oregon State University. She is certified with the Society for Human Resource Development and holds other certifications related to HR.

Jill WesterbergJill Westerberg

Reimbursement program specialist, Workers' Compensation Division

Jill Westerberg joined the state of Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division in December 2012. She has held multiple positions within the Self-Insurance, Registration and Reimbursements Team. She has been working in the role of  reimbursement program specialist since May 2016. Jill has her Oregon workers’ compensation claims examiner certification and a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.

2019 Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference

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