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LEA Reporter - Fall 2004
By Ronald Paice, Assistant Secretary

Claims Software


Belated Greetings!

This edition of the Reporter was originally planned for September, but there were just a few unplanned kinks in the system (Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne…) that put a decided crimp in the best laid plans. Hopefully, most of you are beginning to see the light at the end of the hurricane tunnel, and be able to at least begin to get back to your normal duties. As the industry recovers from this past season, we are hopeful that you will be able to re-engage and look forward to the upcoming January session of the LEA!


LEA Mission Survey

The LEA’s primary mission has traditionally been focused upon education, specifically in the property discipline. How we accomplish that goal and what other potential objectives should be undertaken have been the topic of discussion for the LEA Board over the past year. How to increase membership numbers, competition from other like organizations, etc., all present challenges to the LEA as an organization. For example, in recent years we have become a more “international” organization, with new members from abroad. To better map out the road ahead, we are about to undertake a wide-scale survey of the membership, dealing with a range of questions designed to determine the future vision and goals of the organization. Watch for the survey and please be sure to take a few minutes to complete it. The information gained will be critical to planning for the future of your LEA!


Fidelco Tribute to former President, Rod Birmingham

As you all know, this past July brought the sad news of the loss of long time member, supporter and past president, Rod Birmingham. In September, President Tom Leidell published the LEA’s plan for a tribute to Rod through the establishment of a fund to benefit the “Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation”, a cause near and dear to Rod, and in accordance with his family’s wishes.

The details of the fund are such that our contributions will be restricted and invested by this foundation, with the annual interest each year being directed toward a guide dog placement. For the many wishing to contribute to this worthy cause in remembrance of Rod, we are again attaching the link to the donation form below:


You can click on this link or paste it into your web browser address field to view and print the donation form out. Please be sure to indicate on the form in the appropriate location, that this is for Rod Birmingham. By doing so, it will enable us to monitor the funds activities going forward.

Should you have any questions on this effort, please feel free to contact Tom Leidell, Don Nunn or Nancy Levin, EVP for Fidelco. Nancy’s number is (860) 243-5200.

Summer Meeting, 2004 Recap

June in Portland, Maine is definitely a great time of the year for a meeting – as long as it doesn’t rain! The weather was perfect for the early arrivals on the golf course, and remained that way for the duration of the conference, making a tour of homes in Portsmouth’s Strawberry Bank area, lunch and some outlet mall shopping nice diversions for some of the guests. Likewise, the ever popular Maine Lobster Bake was held with a Casino Night at the hotel. Members and guests all were able to do serious damage to the lobster stock in the region, all while learning the finer points of gambling with play money!

Thanks to Bob Barber, John Paulson and everyone else who helped facilitate another highly successful seminar.

Here are some of the highlights of the sessions:

• On an overall basis, all respondents to the questionnaires rated the conference as Excellent-Satisfactory. The “Excellent” responses outnumbered the “Satisfactory by a count of 3 – 1.

• General Session 1 – 95.7% rated as Excellent-Satisfactory. Again, the “Excellent” ratings running almost 3-1 over all others. In response to prior surveys more time was allotted for the session which seems to have been appreciated by all parties alike. The two topics in the General Session were very lively and well received:

• “Who is Stealing your Identity” - presenters - Nicholas Pasciullo, Esq., White & Williams LLP, Pittsburgh and Robert Wedoff, President, LWG, Inc.

• “How to Avoid Being Ambushed by Your Reports” – presenters Charles Reilly, Jr., CPCU; Thomas J. Russo, President – Russo Consultants, Ltd.; Ronald Wolfe, Sr. VP, GNY Insurance Companies; Daniel J. Friedman, Esq., Abrams, Gorelick, Friedman & Jacobson P.C., NYC; moderator – Michael E. Gorelick, Esq.

The four workshops which ran that afternoon and following day also fared well, rated as Excellent – Satisfactory by 94.2% of the attendees, with the “Excellent” ratings numbering around 2 – 1 over satisfactory. The workshop topics were:

• “Service Interruption Claims After Disaster: Investigation, Adjustment, Coverage and Subrogation – presenters: Richard B. Allyn, Esq., & Terry Joy, Esq. – from Minneapolis and Bill Erickson, Esq., Boston, MA - all of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ceresi LLP; Jonathan I. Mishara, Esq., VP, Assistant General Counsel, FM Global, Johnston, RI; and Harris E. Berenson, Esq., AVP and Managing Counsel, Liberty Mutual, Weston, MA.

• “From the Lion’s Den – Getting Inside the Minds of Defense Attorneys – Subrogation from the Opposition Perspective” – presenters: Roger B. Tate, PE, Chief Engineer and Al W. Griffin, CFEI CFII, Territorial Manager, both of Unified Investigations and Sciences, Inc., Dallas, TX.

• “Property Claims Dealing with Boiler and Machinery – with a Twist!” – presenters, Mark Bruckmann, Esq. Bruckmann & Victory, NYC; Alan Ball, Douglas Peterson & Associates, Greenfield, MA; Robert Rubenstein, Matson Driscoll & D’Amico, Parsippany, NJ; Robert Munger, Claim Manager, Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, Wilmington, DE.

• “Mold and other Claims – The Deck is Not Stacked Against You” – presenters Tommy Stanley, Partner, Meridian Restoration Consultants, Fort Worth, TX; William (Sandy Rodgers, Sr. VP, Property Resource Group, Willis Risk Solutions, Nashville, TN; Paul D. Lettau, Director, Major Case Unit, St. Paul-Travelers, Youngstown, OH; and Joe Slane, Independent Adjuster, Engle Martin Company, Philadelphia, PA.



The LEA Board met on October 14, 2004 to review and vote on new applications among other work. As of that date, including six new members that will be announce in January, membership stood at 618 in total, broken down as follows:

• 243 “Regular” members
• 309 “Associate” members
• 64 “Retired” members
• 2 “Emeritus” members

As noted earlier, one of the organization’s objectives is to increase Regular membership, which in turn allows us to bring in additional Associate members and remain in compliance with the mandated membership split in the by-laws. Your recruiting efforts are one of the keys to this goal, and we will be seeking your input in the upcoming survey along these lines.


LEA Web site – www.lossexecutives.com

When you visit the LEA website (www.lossexecutives.com ), you will also notice a new icon on the Home Page for “LEA Member Publisher Accounts”. You now have the opportunity to make your member listing stand out, while supporting your association. For just $250/year (plus $50/yr. for each branch location) LEA members can add these features to your company display page on the LEA Member Directory:

Company description (history, services offered, etc.)
Company logo or other graphic
Specify the exact services your company provides, by location
Hyperlinks between all locations

You can login to edit your member listing from any computer - when, where, and as often as you want! Your member information will always be accurate! The ability to update your member listing yourself is only available with a Publisher Account.

In order to start the process, simply complete the information form which is available on-line by clicking on the Publisher Account icon.

We are constantly improving and updating the LEA website, but for the website to be utilized as an effective tool, it must contain the correct information and therefore it is important that if there are any changes in your information, as minor as it may seem, please contact Peggy Reilly at preilly@reillyandco.com or call Lynne at 201-569-3346 to provide new information.


Scholarships and Educational Updates

We have preliminary reports back from this year’s National Forum that while attendance might have been down a bit (understandable given the hurricane events) it was one of the most memorable in the past 20 years. Fully 95% of the attendees were first time Forum participants, which in itself is fantastic news! Break out groups were established with complete diversity of experience levels, as well as being from different states, companies, etc. Fully 32 different states were represented, including Alaska, one attendee from Bermuda and another from London. Formal evaluations are being reviewed and tallied now, but appear to be overwhelmingly positive. As the Forum is our single largest scholarship support effort, this is gratifying news to say the least. Look for more to report at the January meeting.


LEA Annual Meeting Agenda – January 19 - 21, 2005 – Tampa, FL

Notices for the January, 2005 session in Tampa will be going out to the members very shortly, so block off the time now! The agenda promises to be a lively one, with a lot of subject matter coming out of the recent events in Florida among others. Hope to see you all there!

Future Dates

• June, 15 – 17, 2005 – Baltimore, MD

Related Links:
Loss Executives Association Directory Page
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