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Monday, September 29, 2014

Tis a sign of the times...

Tis the season... for every other commercial on television or radio to tout a candidate for this or that office. The fall of 1914 was not all that much different. That year also saw Coloradoan's heading for the polls to elect a new Governor. There were candidates from three major parties back then - the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Progressives. The Progressive Party was formed by former President Theodore Roosevelt (who had left office in 1909), after a split in the Republican Party between him and President William Howard Taft. The party also became known as the Bull Moose Party after journalists quoted Roosevelt saying "I'm feeling like a bull moose" shortly after the new party was formed.  

The Progressives put forth a broad range of social and political reforms, many of which still resonate today: Strict limits and disclosure requirements on political campaign contributions, registration of lobbyists,  a National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies, Social insurance to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled,  A minimum wage law for women (they were also in support of women’s suffrage), an eight hour workday, a federal securities commission, a Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax and of special relevance to this blog establishment of Workers' compensation for work-related injuries.

The Republican candidate for Governor that year was a gentleman by the name of George Carlson  who the Routt County Republican newspaper characterized on September 4, 1914 this way: “He is the man who has really done things as a district attorney. His record in that office is the most brilliant in the history of the state. He is in a position to command the respect and support of both law abiding union and non-union men and of every citizen who believes in law and order. He is a self made man, used to hard work and spendidly educated.”  Born in 1876 in Alta, Iowa the soon to be 20th Governor of Colorado graduated from the University of Colorado in 1902 and earned his law degree there in Fort Collins, Colorado from 1905-08, and was district attorney in Fort Collins from 1908-14. 

The Aspen Democrat-Times in December 1914 described then Governor-elect Carlson’s proposal, made as he testified before the federal industrial relations commission (which was looking in to the causes and effects of the Colorado coal strike), for a State Industrial Commission to be appointed by the governor and which would “…have charge of all branches of state government dealing with industrial and labor affairs.” The primary purpose of this commission would be “…the improvement of safety and sanitary devices” and “the establishment of workmen’s compensation.”  The Aspen Democrat-Times reported in the same article that from 1911 to 1913 “…Colorado mine accidents were from 50 to 100 percent higher per 1000 men employed – and per million tons of coal mined, than the general average for the country.” The stage was being set for efforts to pass the act that would bring our company into being.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sr. Actuarial Manager opportunity now available

We are looking for a Sr. Actuarial Manager to be responsible for establishing and implementing operational strategies that drive the fulfillment of our company's mission, vision and corporate strategic outcomes. This position will manage an analytics team that is responsible for developing pricing tools and designing and implementing predictive analytics throughout the company. 

The Sr. Actuarial Manager will provide actuarial assistance on special projects focused on advancing Pinnacol's market leading position. Working closely with IS, Business Intelligence and operations areas the Sr. Actuarial Manager will help identify current and future data needs and develop supporting data systems and data hierarchy required to achieve Pinnacol's short and long-term strategic objectives. 

Candidates should be able to create and deliver actuarial presentations to internal and external clients and all levels of management and will be expected to recommend projects to Executive Team that will significantly improve business unit results. This position requires a Bachelor's Degree in Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Statistics or related area with at least seven years of progressively more responsible pricing experience in workers’ compensation insurance/commercial casualty lines. Statistical modeling and data mining experience desired. Fellowship in the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS) strongly preferred. This is a new position to Pinnacol and we are excited to hear from candidates interested in this unique opportunity! If interested, please apply on-line

Friday, September 12, 2014

To every season change change change

If you come in for an interview with us its likely you'll meet with either myself or with my counterpart Megan. As we speak with folks we are always curious to see what they really know about our company. One of our favorite questions asks candidates if they know how long Pinnacol has been around. It doesn't take much research by anyone who visits to find out we will be celebrating our 100 year anniversary next August. Those who don't know we've been around that long generally guess that we are 20-30 years old and they are surprised when we tell them about our upcoming centennial.

To say there has been a lot of change in the last 100 years is an obvious understatement and change continues to this day. One of my favorite truisms is that if your not moving ahead then you are falling behind and behind that sentiment is the reality that change is a constant. One of the changes Pinnacol has been working on for some time is to digitize all of our records. Periodically Craig and Jose let me see some of the artifacts they uncover and recently they brought over a tome entitled "Employee Accident Index". This particular volume was for the period May 1942 through May 1945 and covered the alphabet from Aa through Go. There's nothing wrong with digitized records and they certainly make it easier for all of us in the modern world to get our work done. Nonetheless I sometimes wonder if we don't lose something by not being able to interact with things like this. Pictures alone can't do justice; simply hefting it gave me pause - to the point that I actually went over to our wellness center and put it on the scale. This one volume of the "Employee Accident Index" weighed in at 14lbs.

The other aspect that gave me pause was the time period covered - May 1942 through May 1945. This period obviously encompasses the majority of the second World War, an event that, again to understate it, changed the world. While millions of Americans were involved in conflict overseas millions more were going to work on the home front and yes, they periodically experienced injuries on the job which are chronicled row by row by row in the "Employee Accident Index". And our company's employees during that time were there to take care of them. The injuries weren't too much different then than we see today though certainly the frequency of industrial accidents has declined dramatically in the last 70 years. Reading through the employers listed reads like a who's who of Colorado companies with many of them still around today.

Opening the Index's heavy front hinged cover I came to a page where someone had, in beautiful cursive, inscribed the dates covered. They could have simply printed it, or even typed it, but it's clear some employee at our company took the extra time and extra effort to write it out in flowing script. Their message carried across the years - they took pride in their work then just as Pinnacol's employees take pride in the work we do today. As we experience a changing modern world its nice to reflect that we are not alone - we stand on top of the foundations left for us by those who came, and worked, and changed the world, before us.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Human Resources Manager opportunity now available!

The official title for this position is "Human Resources Manager: General Administration, Benefits, Wellness, Payroll". That's a long title but this is a very important role at Pinnacol as it's responsible for several functional areas within Human Resources. including employee benefits, wellness, leave management and payroll. This position serves as a strategic business partner and member of the management team by working with our business leaders to drive initiatives that create value and enable the business to achieve and sustain outstanding performance. We've long held to the philosophy that if we take exceptionally good care of our employees they will in turn take exceptionally good care of our customers and this position is critical in how we implement that belief. 

Ensuring our HR programs are aligned with Pinnacol's Total Rewards Strategy this role provides the strategic direction for the design, administration and evaluation of market-competitive, cost-effective and comprehensive employee benefits program to include medical, dental, vision, defined benefit plan (PERA), defined contribution plans, life insurance, employee assistance program, education assistance program, adoption assistance program, leave of absence, short term & long term disability, flexible spending accounts, wellness/population health management and other employee benefits.

This position is also responsible for the financial management of the organization's self-funded health plans and conducts analysis of benefits costs and booking/billings of self-funded plans, overseeing monthly vendor premiums and contract including stop loss insurance, administrative service fees and utilization fees, and monitoring health plan trust activity in collaboration with consultants and finance team.

The Human Resources Manager provides benefits and payroll consultative services to management and employees and there is heavy interaction with management and employees on benefits issue resolution, benefits interpretation and COBRA, FMLA, ADAAA and other statutory leave issues and administration. This position also oversees $47million+ payroll and manages the outsourced payroll process to ensure timely payment of salaries, taxes, legal assignments and benefit plans.

This position has supervisory duties include managing 2 non-exempt staff, 1 exempt staff, outsourced on-site payroll vendor and external relationship with HRIS vendor (UltiPro).

Management positions with Pinnacol do require a minimum of a Bachelors Degree and for this position that could be in Business, Human Resources, Psychology, or Communications or related field.  along with that degree candidates for this role should also bring a minimum of eight years related HR experience; prior management experience and PHR/SPHR certification is preferred.

If this position sounds interesting to you we would ask that you please apply on-line via our company website. There you can also see the full job description as well. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Software Quality Assurance Manager position just opened

We have a new position that has been created for a Software Quality Assurance Manager. This new role will develop, establish, and enforce quality assurance processes, standards and measures for our Information Services group.
Overseeing a contingent of QA Analysts the Software Quality Assurance Manager will direct research and development in support of business cases, proposed projects, and systems requirements over the course of software development lifecycles. They will also apply proven analytical and problem-solving skills to help validate IS processes through careful testing in order to maximize the benefit of business investments in IS initiatives.
As one might expect, successful candidates for this role should bring extensive knowledge and experience overseeing the design, development and implementation of quality assurance standards and practices for software testing along with the strong knowledge and proven ability to train Quality Analysts to work in an Agile Scrum development methodology. Excellent coaching, listening, presentation, and interpersonal skills, strong knowledge of system testing metrics, best practices and methodologies, and direct hands-on experience with ad hoc query programs, automated testing tools, and reporting software are also required.
A Bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, or business administration is preferred along with at least 5 years direct experience managing all aspects of a QA team.  Prior QA Manager or QA Lead experience for major application integration and/or major application product release is preferred. If this sounds like your background we would love to hear from you and ask that you please complete an application on-line.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Executive Assistant opportunity is now available!

Pinnacol Assurance is seeking an Executive Assistant to support our Vice President of Medical Operations and Healthcare Strategy. If you have experience as an Executive Assistant and are one of the best at supporting the work of your senior manager this might be the right opportunity for you!
The right fit for this position includes a self-starter with a very high level of initiative, exceptional verbal and written communications skills including world-class phone etiquette, a  focus on outstanding customer service and professionalism, and the ability to coordinate and manage complex projects and deliverables.
Candidates must also bring the ability to maintain effective working relationships with personnel involved in the operations of the organization and to communicate effectively with external stakeholders. Excellent organization skills and the ability to multitask and change direction are also an important requirement for this position.  
This role requires a team player who is able to participate and contribute to department initiatives and willing and flexible to help others. Excellent computer skills in word processing (55 wpm), spreadsheets, electronic presentation software are also critical.
If this Executive Assistant opportunity sounds interesting please apply via our company website.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Wellness continues to pay dividends for one of our retired alumni

We have a blog similar to this one that goes out during the year to our Pinnacol alumni. The average tenure at Pinnacol is 10 years so when employees leave they tend to want to stay informed about what's going on with the company and with other alumni. Recently one of our alumn's shared that she had completed quite an athletic accomplishment.

Wellness initiatives at Pinnacol are nothing new and our benefits team of Vanessa and Paige do a tremendous job of creating a unique blend of offerings to help employees stay healthy.

One of our alumn's, Anne, has taken wellness to a whole new level having just completed an Ironman competition held in Boulder. No stranger to long distance events this was her second Ironman. Anne retired from Pinnacol several years ago and clearly hasn't slowed down at all. Congratulations Anne on quite an accomplishment. Knowing Anne, she's probably already training for Ironman #3!