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From the AASCIF President

 

Russ Oliver - AASCIF President

We have returned from an outstanding Annual Conference in Branson, Missouri with grateful hearts, minds and stomachs, thanks to our wonderful hosts at Missouri Employers’ Mutual. Many thanks to Dennis Smith and his hard-working staff, led by Kim Ancell, for hosting a wonderful conference in a beautiful setting.

The social activities were both entertaining and educational. From the sobering but informative Titanic Museum where we gathered for the opening President’s Reception, to Dogwood Canyon, to the fun and nostalgic Route 66 closing celebration, and everything in between, our hosts made sure that we had an opportunity to relax and have fun with our friends and business partners.

The conference sessions gave us a lot to think about. Robert Hartwig’s rapid-fire presentation on the state of the workers’ compensation industry and emerging issues forced us to think more about how we will behave to succeed in the future. The CEO panel on universal challenges and solutions helped us understand that we face many common issues that can have common answers. Other presentations on managing human capital, investing, communication skills and customer strategies, and people-centric cultures gave us tools to consider in trying to improve our organizations and keep our customers happy. Many thanks to the program organizers for drawing effective presenters from all over the continent to give us such valuable and usable information.

As usual, we had the Annual AASCIF Membership/ Business Meeting on Wednesday, June 21st. Pursuant to our Articles of Association, which were adopted last year through amendments to the old AASCIF Constitution, we elected officers. Congratulations to Ken Ross, President (CO) and Vice Presidents Sandy Blunt (ND), Lanny Hubbard (MT), Nancy MacCready-Williams (NS), Dennis Smith (MO) and Don Smith (AZ) who were elected to begin serving next January 1st. Lanny Hubbard was also elected to fill the vacant Vice President spot for the remainder of this year. The officers are the AASCIF Executive Committee.

Pursuant to the Articles of Association, the President is elected to a two-year term and Vice Presidents are elected to one-year terms that coincide with the calendar year. Current AASCIF officers include me as President, Ken Ross as 1st Vice President, Vice Presidents Nancy MacCready-Williams, Dennis Smith and Don Smith, and Secretary-Treasurer Terry Frakes. The 1st Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer positions are named by the President with approval from the Executive Committee. These current officers will continue to serve through the remainder of 2006.

An additional member of the Executive Committee is the immediate past President of the Association. I want to offer my special thanks to Pat Johnson who has provided invaluable assistance and insight to me over the past two years I have served as AASCIF President. Pat is an unfailing supporter of the organization and its goals and has gone well beyond the call of duty in helping me and the rest of the Executive Committee fulfill our responsibilities.

Finally, I want to thank you as members of AASCIF for your support of this important organization and for your help in addressing many of the issues we all face. As many of you know, the U.S. Congress will face the issue next year of whether to further extend or modify the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. Also, most of our U.S. members qualify for the federal income tax exemption that is created in Section 501(c)(27) of the Internal Revenue Code. We are hearing that a number of our competitors are undertaking a concerted effort to convince Congress to restrict or eliminate that tax exemption. While AASCIF as an organization does not lobby, as specified in the Articles of Association, it will be imperative for us as individual members to communicate with our respective state Congressional delegations so that they understand the importance of both of these issues to our organizations. I hope all of you in the United States will be closely monitoring and working on these issues to assure that your organization’s interests are represented.

Thank you again for supporting this fine organization, and I look forward to working with you all as your President for the remainder of this year.

Russell R. Oliver
AASCIF President
2005 - 2006

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