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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bike To Work Day Part Two...

As I mentioned in yesterday's post Pinnacol employees were excited about participating in the annual Bike to Work festivities. Everyone made it in safe and sound. There seemed to be a lot more rest areas set up this year than last and they all seemed to be doing a brisk business when it came to providing refreshments and nourishment. If I have one suggestion to the folks that put on this great event it would be to encourage these rest areas to be open for the return trip in the afternoon. Most riders can get into work in the morning with no problem but the rest areas can perhaps prove most helpful for the afternoon ride after a long day's work and now tired muscles. I had mentioned that our CEO, Phil, was planning to participate and true to his word he made the jaunt to the office with the rest of us. Hopefully for most participants it won't be another year before they saddle up and ride, but if that is the case we'll look forward to seeing them again in 2015 and a special Thank You!!! to all the volunteers and staff who put on this year's event...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bike to Work Day 2014 is upon us!

Denver's Bike to Work Day is tomorrow and you'll see thousands of cyclists making their way to and from work. We have 19 employees signed up including, for the first time, our CEO Phil Kalin. Phil is an avid cyclist who despite the demands of his role still finds time to get out on two wheels. Denver's Bike to Work Day is actually about a month behind the rest of the country where May is usually celebrated as Bike to Work Month. Given our weather its probably a good idea to wait until June. I was mountain biking this last weekend in the mountains and was still having to hike-a-bike through snow drifts at the higher elevations. I don't think the forecast for tomorrow includes snow but I can remember some Bike to Work events from years past where the morning ride was under clear blue skies and the ride home was spent slogging through afternoon thunderstorms and downpours. Ahh, the joys of cycling!

This year there is more than the usual amount of construction impacting a lot of the major bike routes so if you see cyclists on your favorite road it may be that they have been displaced from their normal paths. The good news is that motorists should see less traffic on the road, at least of a motorized nature. For some riders tomorrow is just another day of commuting on two wheels but there will be a fair number of cyclists who will be nursing some sore muscles by the time they get home tomorrow night. I rode in this morning and saw only a handful of other riders but I know tomorrow it will be downright crowded. The Denver Post estimates there will be in excess of 30,000 cyclists participating this year and Denver's event is second only to San Francisco which draws upward of 40,000 riders. Those 30,000 Denver cyclists represent approximately 25,000 fewer vehicles on the road.

If you have never participated, the folks that put this event on (the Denver Regional Council of Governments) do a nice job of arranging all sorts of events and rest areas across town that make it easier for cyclists not used to much saddle time to get where they are going. So if you have a bike sitting at home now is the perfect time to dust that saddle off, oil up that squeaky chain, pump up those soft tires and head on out with the rest of us. You'll have lots of company and a great time!

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Rose is a rose is a rose...

When Gertrude Stein wrote those words in 1913 as part of her poem "Sacred Emily" I know she wasn't thinking about Pinnacol, landscaping, or the year 2014. Our company wouldn't even come into being for another two years. Still those are the words that came to mind as I was coming back from lunch and saw one of our Facilities team members Fred putting in some new landscaping around our building. Fred, and his fellow team members in Facilities have some of the most physically demanding jobs here at Pinnacol, certainly compared to those of desk jockeys like me. Pinnacol employees take great pride in the work we do for the people of Colorado and that pride is in part reflected in the way our Facilities team maintains and presents our building.

Today Fred was putting in rose bushes but if you visit our building you'll see all
the other fruits of his and his fellow team members labor. As I meet with candidates they often comment on what a nice facility we have and occasionally I'm asked how old the building is. When I tell them we moved to Lowry in September 2002 they are surprised because the building looks almost new and that's thanks in large part to the ongoing work of Fred and our Facilities crew!

Pinnacol employee one of many Soldiers' Angels

One of the folks in our Medical Payments group, LeAnn, has been involved with a group called Soldiers' Angels for about 5 years now. Soldiers' Angels mission is  to “provide aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families and to improve the lives of a growing veteran population.” Founded in 2003 by the mother of two American soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Soldiers' Angels volunteers assist veterans, wounded and deployed personnel and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways. LeAnn has been corresponding with soldiers and recently encouraged other Pinnacol employees to participate by contributing notes and letters of their own that will be sent to soldiers in anticipation of the July 4th holiday. 

LeAnn has actually heard back from some of the soldiers she has written and one was nice enough to send her a present all the way from Afghanistan. I looked at Soldiers’ Angels site and they have some of the letters from soldiers expressing what it means to them to receive notes and gifts from home. Here’s one that caught my eye:

“All of you have gone above and beyond in giving. Your effort shows us that you care. I see all of the boxes coming in to us and I realized that we are not the only unit that you are giving to. I don't know who you are but I will never look at a crowd at home the same way ever again. I will know that in that crowd of people there are Soldier's Angels among us.” - SFC "P" in Aghanistan

As we all get ready to celebrate the 4th of July holiday its important to remember that our service women and men are in harm’s way around the globe. I’m sure LeAnn would say the letters she collects and sends are the least she can do but to a lonely soldier in a far off country they mean a lot. Thank you LeAnn for participating with this fine organization and allowing our employees to get involved!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nurse opportunity opens...

For all the Nurses out there we have a new Nurse Case Manager opportunity that has become available. We are looking for a Colorado licensed RN to join one of our medium account teams and provide telephonic case management handling the medical aspects of injured workers' compensation claims. The Nurse Case Manager plays an integral role in the effective and compassionate management of injured workers claims. They interact with not only injured workers but also with our policyholders and providers as they perform self-directed, professional level work in a fast paced team environment. 

Most of our nurses come from a clinical environment and bring a broad clinical background so if you are an RN who has perhaps thought about making a change from the traditional clinical nursing world, this opportunity might be worth exploring! Experience with rehabilitation, occupational health, managed care, or emergency nursing is preferred and direct insurance exposure, though not required, is a plus. If this sounds of interest please apply on-line! If you'd like to see a recent video describing our nurse position please click here.

International Adventures In Cookieland...

Pinnacol's Diversity Task Force often hosts  celebrations highlighting the variety of cultures represented by our employees. This year's festivities revolve around sampling cookies from countries around the globe. I got an early sneak peek as the aptly named cookie team was setting up for this afternoon's affair and I was very tempted to snag some of the samples but held off opting only to take a couple of pictures.

A lot of our celebrations throughout the years have showcased foods from all sorts of cultures and sometimes you don't really know what you are eating because some of the food is so unfamiliar. Not so much with cookies... All the cookie samples, and there are a huge variety to choose from, look delicious and I don't even want to guess at their caloric value. Its probably a good thing that this year's event is in the middle of the afternoon because by the time the sugar rush ends it will likely be time to head home. I know our employees greatly enjoy the chance to occasionally break away from their desks to partake in these celebrations and I'd hazard a guess that if I go back for the 'after' picture all I'll see will be a bunch of empty plates!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chief Financial Officer position now open with Pinnacol!

We have an opening for a Chief Financial Officer to be responsible for providing strategic and financial guidance to the Executive Team and Board of Directors and drive initiatives that create value and enable the business to achieve and sustain outstanding performance toward the achievement of Pinnacol’s mission and vision.  They will be responsible for executive level oversight, management and leadership of Pinnacol Assurance’s financial organization and its entire team. 

The CFO will be a strategic partner to the business and will have responsibility for driving all operational and planning finance processes for the business. This position ensures that highly effective and efficient forecasting, reporting capabilities, policies, controls, systems and processes are in place to protect policyholder and firm assets, record liabilities, and develop accurate report information on a timely basis to internal and external constituents.

This position does require a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance although a Master’s degree is preferred. Candidates should bring 15 years of general management experience (10 at the executive or senior level) and 10 years of auditing, Statutory Accounting and insurance reporting experience. If interested in this opportunity we are asking candidates to submit their interest to Doug E. Terry, Senior Vice President, IPS Search, Inc. at