Educational conference 2014


Kenneth Allen is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton with a degree in Mathematics. He has been with the Department of Insurance since 1989 and was promoted to Supervising Insurance Rate Analyst (Bureau Chief) in 2008. Ken has CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters) and AIE (Insurance Regulatory Examiners) designations.
Saul Allweiss has been involved in the California Workers’ Compensation community for over thirty years. He has worked as an examiner, supervisor and hearing representative and since 1993 has worked as an attorney. Saul received his BA from the University of Illinois and his JD from the University of Laverne. Saul has his own defense practice in the San Fernando Valley.
Lesley Anderson, MD is an Orthopedic Surgeon who practices in San Francisco. She limits her practice to knee and shoulder problems and is an assistant clinical professor of Orthopedic Surgery at UCSF. She is Chair of the Workers Comp committee of the California Orthopedic Association and is a member of the MEEAC Committee as well.
David Bellusci graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA and MA degrees. He began with Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau in 1989 where he is a Senior Vice-President and Chief Actuary. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.
Toynia Brown began her state career with State Compensation Insurance Fund in 2001. Her background includes several years with California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) in the Health Accounts Services Section. She came to the Division of Workers’ Compensation Medical Unit in 2012 and was promoted to Supervising Workers’ Compensation Consultant in 2013.
Annalisa J. Becker has been with the State of California, Division of Workers’ Compensation for over 31 years. She has been a Permanent Disability evaluator with the Disability Evaluation Unit since 1988 and was appointed to the position of Northern California Area Supervisor in 2004.
Ronnie Caplane graduated with Honors from the University of Wisconsin and received her JD from Hastings College of Law. Besides her law career, she has taught, is a published journalist and columnist, and is former President of the Piedmont USD Board of Education. Originally appointed a Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Commissioner in 2003, Ronnie was re-appointed in December 2009. In 2011 she was appointed WCAB Chairperson.
Joe Carranza graduated from Cal State Stanislaus with a BS. He began his state career with SCIF in 1987. He joined the Disability Evaluation Unit in 1997 as a Disability Evaluator and was promoted to Area Supervisor in 2011.
Colleen Casey has a BA degree from the University California Berkeley and JD from Golden Gate University. Her career in workers’ compensation began in 1995 as a Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Commissioner. In 2002 she entered private practice and returned to the state in 2004 as a Workers’ Compensation Judge in San Francisco. She was named Barrister of the year in 1989 by the San Francisco Bar Association.
John Cortes has a BA and JD from the University of California, Davis. He started his legal career in private practice before beginning his workers’ compensation career with State Compensation Insurance Fund as a subrogation attorney from 2001 to 2012. He transferred to the DIR/DWC as an Industrial Relations Counsel in the Spring of 2012.
Raymond F. Correio is a senior associate with the defense firm of Pearlman, Borska & Wax specializing in all aspects of workers’ compensation litigation. He retired as a judge from the Marina Del Rey office in 2009 after serving 12 years on the bench. Ray had his own law firm prior before he was appointed as a judge. A graduate of McGeorge School of Law, he is a much sought after speaker and authored a widely used apportionment case law summary.
Rupali Das, MD is the executive medical director for DWC. Prior to this appointment she was a Chief at the California Department of Public Health where she has worked since 1998 specializing in exposure assessment and air pollution issues. Dr. Das attended medical school at the University of Illinois, Chicago and has a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley. She is board certified in both internal and occupational medicine.
Paul DeWeese graduated from UCLA (BA in music) and Loyola Law School. He has worked as a claims adjuster, claims supervisor, in-house defense attorney, and had his own practice. In March 2009, Paul became a judge and has worked in the Los Angeles, Santa Ana and currently Anaheim WCAB offices.
Modesto Diaz is the Managing Partner of Leviton, Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc., in Santa Ana, California. A graduate of Pacific Coast University School of Law, he has been practicing workers’ compensation since 1983. He is a member of the Advisory Panel for the National Football League Players Association, as well as a panel member on many other professional sports associations.
Steven Feinberg, MD is owner of the Feinberg Medical Group in Palo Alto and a past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and a member of the board of directors and former president of the California Society of Industrial Medicine and Surgery.
James Fisher has a BA degree from George Washington University and JD from Golden Gate University School of Law. His workers’ compensation career began in 1984 as a staff counsel for the Department of Industrial Relations. He was a private practice attorney from 1996 to 2000 when he returned to DIR.
Ellen Flynn received her BA from UCLA and JD from the University Of San Diego School Of Law. Her workers’ compensation career began with State Fund’s offices in Long Beach, Cerritos, and San Diego. In 1985 she was appointed as a Workers Compensation Judge at the Santa Ana office of the WCAB. In 1991 she was promoted to Presiding Workers Compensation Judge in charge of the newly created Anaheim office. In 2012 she was promoted to Associate Chief Judge for the southern region.
Mark Fudem is an Associate Chief Judge working to improve EAMS. He received his BA from UC Berkeley and JD from McGeorge School of Law. Mark worked 23 years as an attorney in the private sector, and then was appointed a Workers’ Compensation Judge in Santa Rosa in 2004, Presiding Judge in Oakland in 2009 and his current position in 2011.
Dinesh B. Govindarao is the Chief Medical Officer for the State Compensation Insurance Fund. Prior to this, Dr. Govindarao was the Vice President and National Medical Director of Worksites for Concentra and Medical Director for Boeing Satellite Systems. He received his MD from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and received his MPH from the University of California in Los Angeles.
Scott Hague is the president of CAL Insurance Associates, Inc. in San Francisco, California. He is the Founder of Small Business California. He is a past and present member of many insurance related groups including Agents and Brokers of the West and 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award issued by the San Francisco Small Business Network.
Melissa Hicks graduated from Mills College with a BA. She began her state career with Department of Industrial Relations in 2005 and was promoted to the Medical Unit manager of the Division of Workers’ Compensation in 2013.
Mark Kahn graduated from Cal State Northridge (BA) and Southwestern Law School (JD). He began his workers’ compensation career as a State Fund attorney in 1978. He has been a DWC Workers’ Compensation Judge (1981), Presiding Judge (1988), Assistant Chief (1992-1995), and Associate Chief Judge. Mark retired from the bench in 2012 and now works for Altman, Lunche & Blitstein.
Roman Kownacki received his MD from Hahnemann University School of Medicine and his MPH from UCLA. He is the Medical Director for Occupational Health Services for Kaiser Permanente Northern California is the past president of the Western Occupational and Environmental Association.
Paige Levy is the Presiding Judge at the Marina Del Rey District office. She has been a Workers’ Compensation Judge for nearly eight years. Prior to taking the bench she was the managing partner of Levy & Associates representing employers and insurance carriers. She is the Vice Chair of the State Bar Workers’ Compensation Section Executive Committee. She is on the Board of Directors for the California Conference of Workers’ Compensation Judges and is currently the secretary for the Conference. Paige obtained her JD degree in 1994 and was admitted to the California bar the same year.
Justin Litvack is an associate attorney with the law offices of Boxer & Gerson, LLP in Oakland, CA. He received his BA from the University of Washington and his JD from Santa Clara University. Justin is a former partner at Hanna Brophy, LLP. In 2012 he took the plunge and decided to represent injured workers.
W. Kearse McGill graduated from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1991. For ten years, Judge McGill worked as both applicant counsel and defense counsel before becoming a workers’ compensation judge at the WCAB Stockton District Office on May 2, 2005. In addition to his work as a judge, Judge McGill is also an adjunct professor of law at Humphrey’s College, Laurence Drivon School of Law. He is also an advisor to the Workers’ Compensation Section Executive Committee for the State Bar of California.
Alfonso Moresi graduated from USF (B.A.) and Golden Gate University School of Law. He practiced defense law before becoming a WCAB Commissioner in 2007.
Kris Okumu, MD is fellowship-trained Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon. After completing a residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the San Francisco Orthopaedic Residency program, Dr. Okumu received his subspecialty training in Adult and Pediatric Spinal Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Dr. Okumu now practices minimally invasive and complex spine surgery and is the Medical Director of The Spine Health Institute in Mountain View, CA.
Destie Overpeck was named the Acting Administrative Director of Division of Workers’ Compensation in October 2012. She served in the same Acting AD capacity twice before from March 2009 to September 2009 and again from February 2011 to July 2011. She began her state career as an attorney for DWC in April 2000 and was named Chief Counsel in 2005. Prior to working at DWC, Destie was a partner in a civil practice law firm in San Francisco. Destie graduated from UCLA cum laude in 1980 and from Hastings College of Law in 1983.
George Parisotto is currently the Acting Chief Counsel of the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Legal Unit. He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. George joined DWC as a staff counsel in 1998, and later rejoined the Division in 2007 after spending several years in Seattle, Washington, with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.
Karen Pak graduated from UC Berkeley (BA) and Loyola School of Law. She worked in civil litigation in the private sector and for State Fund from 2005 to 2012. She has worked with the DWC Legal Unit since 2012.
Glen Pfeffer, MD is the Director, Foot and Ankle Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Los Angeles Associate Editor, Foot and Ankle Section, AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 6th Edition; Past President, COA; Past President, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
Robert Rassp graduated from UC Irvine with two undergraduate degrees and from Loyola Law School. He has practiced workers’ compensation and social security disability law since 1981 and is the principal of his own law firm. Mr. Rassp is also the chair of the Friends Research Institute’s Institutional review Board. He has been on the executive committee of the State Bar’s Workers’ Compensation Law Section (1998) and was the committee chair in 2000-2001.
James Robbins received his BA degree from UC Santa Barbara, MPA from Golden Gate University and JD from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. His DIR career began in 1984 as an attorney in the Office of the Director’s Office. He transferred to DWC’s Legal Unit in 1990.
Jacqueline Schauer is a graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law. She has been employed as legal counsel in the Dept. of Industrial Relations’ Office of the Director - Legal Unit from 1984-1991 and the Division of Workers’ Compensation Legal Unit since 1991.
Lou W. Shields is Vice President Operations for MAXIMUS Federal Solutions. He joined Maximus in 2013 and has held various CIO and COO positions in the insurance and consulting fields. Mr. Shields holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Lock Haven University, Lock Haven PA.
Glenn Shor is currently Policy Advisor to the Director, Department of Industrial Relations. From 2010 to 2012, he was Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, US Department of Labor, in Washington DC. He has served in several managerial/executive positions with DWC including Project Manager, Chief of Policy and Legislation, and acting Research Manager. He is an affiliated researcher and lecturer UC Berkeley School of Public Health, where he teaches a course on injury prevention and control. Glenn has a PhD and MA in Public Policy (MPP) from the Graduate School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley, and a BA from University of Pennsylvania.
Jamie Spitzer is the Presiding Judge of the Anaheim Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. She was a judge at this office from 2005 to 2012. Jaime’s law career began in 1992 where she was an attorney and later partner with Ufkes, Bright & Spitzer. A graduate of Cal State Fullerton, she earned her law degree at Whittier College.
Andrew Valdivia is the president of White Sutton & Company Insurance Services in Santa Monica where he has spent his entire 25 year career. He has the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) professional designation as well as the Associate in risk Management (ARM) designation. He has been past president of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and is currently an officer of the Insurance Brokers & Agents of the West where he previously served as past president.
Jon Wroten is the Chief of the Office of Self-Insurance Plans responsible for the regulation and oversight of California’s self-insured workers’ compensation market place. He is an adjunct professor with Sierra College where he teaches business, risk management, and insurance ethics. Jon has a BS degree in management and an MBA. He was twice honored as an INC.500 CEO.
Katherine Zalewski is the Chief Counsel for the Department of Industrial Relations. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Zalewski was a Special Advisor for the DWC Administrative Director. She was a defense attorney for over 20 years and a Workers’ Compensation Judge at the San Francisco WCAB. Ms. Zalewski received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983 and her JD from Hastings College of the Law in 1986.

January 2014