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Deconstructing Comp

Author: Yvonne Guibert & Rafael Gonzalez

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Breaking down the complex issues of workers' compensation into bite-sized nuggets, one conversation at a time. Yvonne Guibert and Rafael Gonzalez approach workers' comp conversations from very different backgrounds: marketing and legal! But they also share many things in common, such as their love for family and friends and a passion for Latin culture. Join them as they chat with industry friends and colleagues to learn more about their roles and have some fun along the way. See you soon! ¡Hasta pronto!
15 Episodes
Meet Steve Nichols who joins us from the Austin, Texas area. If you want to know anything about Texas legislative issues, Steve is your person. Get to know him and subscribe to his Texas newsletter. Currently working as a consultant, Steve, served for many years as the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) Manager of Workers’ Compensation Services. Prior to joining ICT, Steve worked for the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission as the manager of medical dispute resolution, APA hearing administrator, and mediator. He also served 23 years in the military on active duty and as a reservist as a paralegal and military law office manager. Steve is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Troy State University.Tune in as Yvonne and Rafael chat with Steve about how he got started in workers' comp and how he has navigated his career. In this episode, you'll learn about Texas workers' comp, recent legislative issues, Steve's experience with lobbying and more! Listen to the end to hear about Steve and Yvonne's Panama connection. For more on Steve's Texas newsletter visit:
Bret Cade, senior sales executive with Ascential Care Partners, lives in the Greater Atlanta area and has enjoyed a successful career in the workers' comp industry. Recently he sat down with Yvonne and Rafael and chatted about his career in the workers compensation industry.  While he graduated from college with the dream to become a sports broadcaster, when that didn't pan out, he started working as a vocational rehab counselor for a company in Savannah, GA. That put him on a much different path.  Listen to this episode to hear how Bret has navigated his career and how he ultimately ended up excelling at sales. Bret shares advice on how to approach sales in workers' comp: Do your homework on a client. What do they need? What problem can you solve for them? Get to know the business by getting to know your colleagues.Don't let "NO" keep you from building relationships. Rafael and Bret worked together in the past, so they share a special history and bond. Listen to them reminisce about working together as well as sharing their family stories.Stay tuned to the end to learn about Bret's connection to Crete and a few Minoan secrets!
If you don't know Ya'Sheaka Williams, you ought to! She is one of the absolute best in the business. She is young, already with a good number of years of experience under her belt, she is smart, honest, funny, kind and genuinely interested in doing the right thing. In this episode, Yvonne and Rafael chat with Ya'Sheaka about her career, how she got started and some of the obstacles she has had to overcome along the way. Ralph goes straight to the heart of the matter, asking Ya'Sheaka to tell our listeners what it was like coming into a male-dominated industry as a black woman. Yes HE did that! And her answers are full of good advice for all women in the workers' comp industry. Her outlook is amazing - so positive and focused on advocating for the injured worker.  Ya'Sheaka often speaks at conferences and works hard to educate the industry. Regardless of your role in the industry, Ya'Sheaka offers an honest and refreshing glimpse into her career as a defense attorney. She is based in Tampa, Florida and is the managing partner for the law offices of Eraclides, Gelman. 
Heading into Labor Day Weekend, Yvonne and Rafael pause to wish you and your family a fun, safe and peaceful weekend. We have enjoyed our podcasting journey thus far and we hope you have too. Please take a moment to subscribe to Deconstructing Comp on your favorite podcast platform, and we would love it if you give us a rating and review. This helps others find our podcast too. We wouldn't want anyone to miss out on all the fun, now would we? Hasta luego amigos! 
In this episode, Yvonne and Rafael chat with Brian Allen, Vice President Governmental Affairs at Mitchell Pharmacy Solutions.  Brian is one of the smartest and fascinating individuals in our industry and he joins us from Salt Lake City, Utah. Tune into this conversation as we learn about the interesting and varied twists and turns of Brian's career. He has done many things including working in law enforcement, banking, and insurance sales to name a few. He has also served in the Utah legislature, and for the past 18 years, he has focused on lobbying and governmental affairs. This includes tracking legislation in all 50 states and working with state legislatures to ensure they understand the full impact of pending or proposed legislation. If you'd like to learn more about what lobbyists do in our industry, and what Mitchell Pharmacy Solutions does,  Brian gives a great overview and it is worth a listen. Brian discusses the top legislative issues happening at the time of recording in the Summer of 2021 and offers some really good advice to those looking for their "spot" in the industry. Listen to the very end to discover a big surprise about Brian that you may not know!
In this episode, Yvonne and Rafael chat with Jennifer Wolf of International Association of Industrial Accident Boards & Commissions (IAIABC) founded 107 years ago.  Jenn is the executive director of IAIABC. She is an absolute gem of a person and a delight to engage with in conversation. Our industry is so lucky to have her...she is smart, she has a wonderful sense of humor and she is so knowledgeable about workers' compensation and the industry at large.  Listen in as we chat about how she arrived in the industry, her memorable first day on the job, her podcast, Accidentally, and her thoughts about the important role of workers' compensation in society. Jenn shares about what is the IAIABC and how they believe that bringing together people from all states and countries, to discuss, explore and debate the issues that exists in the workers' compensation system helps to improve and shape the system for the future. She talks about the fragile balance between the two competing tensions in the system, that of the employer and employee,  and why ensuring that both voices are well-represented in the system are essential. We invite you to listen and learn from Jenn as she openly shares what she has learned and some of the obstacles she has overcome in her career.  BONUS: at the end we have a fun round-robin review of some workers' compensation acronyms! 
Yvonne and Rafael talk with Mark Pew, also known as the Rx Professor. Mark shares some recent, somewhat unsettling news, that has caused him to switch gears quickly, resulting in the launch of The RxProfessor, LLC. We are super excited about Mark's future in our industry. For many years he has been a prolific writer, speaker and presenter, focusing on topics that have to do with the "intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment."In this episode, we talk about important life lessons, the need to focus on and build resilience within yourself, and the importance of building your professional network. Also, you'll hear about one of Mark's passion projects "The Transitions" an organization  addressing the issues of passing the torch, mentoring the next generation of workers' comp professionals, and how and why it was formed. Check The Transitions out on Linked In, or on YouTube, look for "The Transitions Online." If you are interested in mentoring other professionals, or want to be mentored yourself, please reach out to Mark Pew. To learn more about Mark Pew and his current whereabouts, visit his website:
Yvonne and Rafael catch up with Danielle Lisenbey, President of Medrisk. In this episode, she talks about the laughs she gets from watching her 2 year old grandson try to fit into his "Papa's shoes"; what it has been like to transition from Broadspire to Medrisk during the pandemic; how she got into the workers' comp industry; how she developed her affinity for adjusters and nurse case managers; why engineers should consider a career in our industry; how she thinks the new generations can help move the needle forward in workers' comp; how she has handled adversity and obstacles throughout her career and her advice for newcomers or people looking for where they "fit" in the industry.  She underscores the need for women in particular to learn about financial acumen. Danielle is one of the strongest advocates for women leadership, diversity and inclusion and serves as board member of the Alliance of Women in WC and also Cadence Rx. You can learn more about Medrisk here: more about Alliance of Women in Workers' Compensation here as well as local chapters of Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) at These are two organizations she specifically mentioned for networking and there are many more. Reach out to Yvonne or Rafael if you would like more information on other networking organizations in our industry.  We'd be happy to help you with that! 
In this episode, Yvonne and Rafael talk with Jim Anderson, defense attorney and senior founding member of Mississippi law firm Anderson Crawley & Burke, pllc with offices in Jackson and Oxford. Jim is one of the most knowledgeable people around when it comes to workers' compensation, particularly in the state of Mississippi. He is also one of the most dedicated folks in our industry, demonstrating what it means to be a servant leader. In addition to his law practice, he's heavily involved with organizing the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Educational Conference, the National Review of Workers' Compensation at the WCI conference in Orlando, he's on the board of the Faith-Based Claims Association, and also involved with numerous charitable projects in the workers' comp industry. Listen to this episode as we navigate a deep dive into the legal aspects of MS workers' comp with Jim Anderson and learn a few fun facts along the way. You can find information about the conference Jim mentioned, organized by the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Educational Association, here: mentioned by Jim: "Red Sky Over Hawaii" by Sara Ackerman"The Four Winds" by Kristin HannahHere is a link to Steve Martin's "Cruel Shoes" a comedy skit and book by the same name that was popular in the late 1970s that Jim referenced at the beginning of the episode. Hasta luego amigos!
Get ready for a jam-packed episode with co-hosts Yvonne and Rafael as they chat with their friend and colleague Mollie Kallen. Mollie is president and CEO of MKCM Inc., a nationwide case management firm specializing in workers' compensation and catastrophic case management services. Mollie is serious when it comes to the business of case management and also giving back to the workers' comp industry. WARNING: lots of laughs in this episode!(2:50) Mollie reveals what she did before getting into workers’ comp and how she was introduced to the workers’ comp industry(6:10) Mollie explains why she loves workers’ comp(9:05) Pivoting with Telehealth services during Covid(12:00) Mollie explains what a typical day looks like for a workers’ comp case manager(16:25) What are the prerequisites for becoming a case manager?(20:50) Mollie’s vision for case management in workers’ comp(25:45) Mollie shares 3 nuggets of advice for industry newcomers(31:20) Mollie discuss her love of travel and why she and Yvonne are co-hosting the 2021 Around the World Virtual Tour(34:15) Rafael and Mollie chat about social determinants of health and what they mean for injured workers(36:33) The importance of trust: a key issue when working with injured workers(39:00)  Contact Mollie at her email: (40:20) Fun with abbreviations mentioned in the episode
Join Yvonne and Rafael for a conversation with Dr. Claire Muselman, Vice President Workers' Compensation Center of Excellence at NARS.  Claire is an absolute powerhouse. She's blazing new trails in the workers' compensation industry. She is making waves AND making positive changes in our industry. Pull up a seat and let's chat with Claire...Episode Highlights:(3:25) Claire on her new role at North American Risk Services (NARS)(7:15) Claire: what a Workers' Compensation Center of Excellence is and does (12:20) Rafael: the #1 reason people seek a workers' comp attorney(15:15) Claire: proactive communication keeps claims on track(23:25) Claire does NOT like the "C" word! Words matter. (28:45) How Claire ended up in workers' compensation.  (31:35) Claire on the ripple effect in workers' compensation.(32:30) What keeps Claire in workers' comp?(37:15) Claire: "...the biggest issues injured workers' have: communication."(40:00) Sometimes, workers' comp processes don't make sense...(42:43) A surprising fact about Claire. 
Get to know Jeff Adelson, a workers' compensation defense attorney in Newport Beach, CA. In this episode, Jeff shares openly about his background, his unsuccessful attempt to NOT land his first job as a lawyer, and his reasons for "choosing" to practice law in the workers' compensation industry, something he says is rare. He also offers sage advice for professionals looking to find their path in this complex industry.  Jeff is one of the nicest, most decent people you will ever meet in the workers' comp industry. He is thoughtful, he has a wicked sense of humor, and he is an advocate for doing the right thing (yes, even when it is hard), anti-bullying in the workplace, and emotional intelligence. You can connect with Jeff through his law firm's website book Jeff mentions during the episode is: Working by Studs Terkel. 
In this episode, Yvonne and Rafael welcome special guest Michele Adams, VP Risk Management Operations and Casualty Claims at Walmart, as they chat about her transition after a 24-year career with Disney. Michele shares interesting tidbits and insights that she discovered about herself through the recent transition as well as how she managed such a big career move in the midst of the pandemic.  She also shares her advice for people who are either new to the workers' compensation industry or thinking about a career change. So, grab a seat, settle in, and let's chat with Michele!
In this episode, Yvonne and Rafael discuss why they decided to get into podcasting, and what they plan to accomplish in their episodes. Learn a few things about these co-hosts that perhaps you didn't know before and what is driving them to explore the complex workers' compensation industry, one conversation at a time. Among other things, they chat about their background,  a few things they have in common, and what areas they plan to explore in upcoming discussions with guests. Grab a cup of coffee, or your favorite beverage and listen in as Yvonne and Rafael share their excitement for launching their first episodes of Deconstructing Comp. 



Welcome to Deconstructing Comp! Listen to Yvonne and Rafael as they introduce their new podcast. They chat about their approach to discussions about issues in the workers' compensation industry and a few interesting twists.
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