The end of every year is always a time to reflect on the events of the past and to look forward to new opportunities. What I take away from 2023 is that it was a year where we began to return to some sense of normalcy. Many businesses and employers are still being cautious, but we continue to see greater turnout at our IWCI and industry events. We hope that this trend continues and that we all able to increase our social and professional experiences together in 2024!
The greatest challenge the IWCI Board faced in the beginning of 2023 was that the world was just not yet ready to jump back into a full calendar of events. There was, and to a substantial degree still is, a reluctance to return to events with large attendance. However, as the year has progressed, we have seen significant growth in interest and attendance at events. While we are not back to pre-pandemic levels, the IWCI Board has been extremely pleased with the increasing enthusiasm.
In looking back at 2023, it seems our themes turned out to be transition and growth. The beginning of 2023 saw the Board add two new members to our ranks, when the Board approved the applications of Dr. Courtney Johnson and Rachel Miller. Both Courtney and Rachel have been excellent additions, bringing new perspectives and ideas. This is also a good time to remind everyone that if you are interested in joining the Board and helping with our programming, please login into the Member section of www.iwci.org and submit a Board Application.
As far as events, the Board started cautiously, respecting the concerns of employers with sending employees to public meetings. On April 27, the Board hosted a Webinar on PPI ratings, presented by Dr. Gregori, which drew better than expected attendance. Moreover, we learned from feedback that our members desired more in person contact, when possible.
That sentiment was never more true than at our annual IWCI Coriden Cup Golf Outing at Ironwood GC on June 23. We saw near record turnout, and everyone had a fun time with beautiful weather. We are already looking forward to next year. The excitement continued with our Annual Conference on August 8-9 at the Marriott North. Once again, we saw increased attendance and we heard so many great compliments on the speakers and agenda. If you have ideas for topics for next year, please let us know, as we want to make sure we serve the needs of everyone.
In addition, in September we saw the Northeast Chapter of the IWCI re-started operations. If you are in that area and would like to contribute to that Chapter, please contact the new NE President Jordan Tait at (firstname.lastname@example.org). I know Jordan and his committee are hard at work planning events and would love any assistance and participation. Also, if you are in the Northwest area, we are still looking for interested people to re-start the NW Chapter’s activities. Please feel free to reach out to any Board member and we can help start that process.
We also have been hard at work planning for our Annual Holiday Party set for next Thursday, December 7, 2023. While last year we had a successful speaker and cocktail party, we continued to hear that people wanted to interact more. The Board has heard those desires and has scheduled a cocktail hour and Monte Carlo night at the Marriott North. The Sertoma Club is manning the casino tables and donating proceeds from the event, so please come out and help this worthy cause. There is still time to sign up and we hope to see you there! Let’s continue to build upon this momentum and close out 2023 in style!
While 2023 has been a great year, we were all saddened by the loss of our dear friend Terry Coriden on April 25. Terry’s impact on the Indiana worker’s compensation community was immense, and his presence will be greatly missed. Our friends at Kid’s Chance held a memorial service the night before the IWCI Golf Outing and raised an unbelievable amount of money in his honor. Terry’s presence was definitely felt at his namesake Coriden Cup…especially when his brother-in-law hit a hole in one at the event! We will miss you Terry.
I also want to take a moment to thank Dr. Greg Hale for his many years of incredible contributions to IWCI. Dr. Hale has informed us that he will be retiring from the IWCI Board at the end of 2023. The Indiana Psychology Board has asked him to be its Chairman and those duties, along with his practice, will take much of his time. Dr. Hale has been a true pillar of the IWCI, as he was involved in the early days of the IWCI dating to 1991, and officially joined the Board in 2010. Dr. Hale has not only served a couple terms as President of IWCI, but he has been a trusted mentor and friend to all of us on the Board. The IWCI would not be the same without his incredible efforts. Personally, Greg has been a huge influence on me, and I have come to rely on his advice. I will miss you my friend, as will everyone. I know Dr. Hale will continue to attend our events, including the Holiday Party next week. Please stop by and join us to congratulate Dr. Hale on his new position and wish him well.
While 2023 has been a year of transition and growth, we are even more excited for the opportunities that 2024 holds. The Board is looking to add more events and to expand on those successful traditions. We are extremely excited to announce a new bowling event in April! Please be on the lookout for more information, but this is going to be a fun and exciting event.
We are currently in the early stages of planning other 2024 events for our members, including a Webinar for April, as well as a Social Happy Hour in May. Mark your calendars for the 2024 Golf Outing on June 21, 2024, once again at Ironwood. Get those teams ready to take home the Coriden Cup! We have also already booked the Annual Conference for August 3-4, 2024, so once again let us know of any topics you would like us to consider. Later in 2024, we are looking at either a Webinar or other function in October, and plan to close 2024 out with our Annual Holiday Party, perhaps bringing back a more formal event if there is significant interest.
Just as 2023 allowed us to increase our functions and events, we really do anticipate expanding on those events in 2024. We are excited for our coming agenda and really hope to provide even more great programming in the new year. Please feel free to reach out and let us know what you would like to see us do more of to serve the IWCI. Here’s to remembering an encouraging 2023 and to anticipating the even better celebrations of 2024!
Steve Koers | IWCI President