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Paul Carroll, CEO

Editor's Note by Paul Carroll

Today is a watershed for ITL: Jeff Pettegrew joins us as chief imagination officer.

He is known for many things in the insurance industry: Business Insurance’s Risk Manager of the Year in 1989, founding CEO of the innovative California Self Insurers Security Fund, president of various industry associations, industry spokesman on CNN and “60 Minutes” and so on. But what intrigues me most about his long and distinguished career is the time he spent at Westaff, an international staffing company, from 1991 through 2004.

His bio (included in our press release about him, which I encourage you to read here) rather mildly says he “designed and managed a complex self-funded workers’ compensation, liability and employee benefits program covering all employees of the company.” But think for a moment about what “all employees” of Westaff means.

Westaff has 42,000 employees that it places in just about every imaginable position, from temporary clerks and writers to temporary forklift drivers and workers on manufacturing lines. Jeff had to make judgments about the right approach to risk and insurance for every one of those positions, and he had to be world-class every time. He didn’t just have to be a Swiss Army knife of a risk manager, based on moderate understanding for each type of position; he had to produce a combination of policies that individually were the equivalent of Henckel knives, Riedel corkscrews and Wiha screwdrivers.

Jeff brings to ITL that ability to size up situations quickly and make the right judgment even in fluid situations.  He will make us world-class in every way. It’s what he does.

As you will see if you watch the video below, he has some concerns about where insurance is going as it tries to deal with historical issues that confuse and even infuriate clients and as it incorporates many streams of technological change. But he is also excited about numerous possibilities, including for exoskeletons, which could greatly reduce injuries in the workplace.

He will bring those concerns and that excitement to those of us working behind the scenes at ITL. In addition, you’ll be hearing from him directly in the coming weeks and months, both on the ITL platform and, in many cases, through individual emails and phone calls.

Please join me in welcoming Jeff to ITL. (You can reach him at Jeff@insurancethoughtleadership.com.)

This is going to be fun.

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Paul Carroll is the Chief Executive Officer and Editor of Insurance Thought Leadership. Paul spent 17 years at the Wall Street Journal as an editor and reporter getting about as broad an exposure to the world of business and to senior executives as the paper could provide. The paper nominated him twice for Pulitzer Prizes. He was a finalist once. If you would like to contact Paul, please send him an email.

Read our recent press release regarding Paul Carroll’s appointment as our CEO

Who

The ITL leadership team brings together a powerful mix of insurance-industry expertise, experience in publishing, and world-class editors, writers and marketers. And, of course, there’s you—the thought leaders whose ideas will shape the future of insurance and the readers who will implement many of those ideas.

What

There is a saying we subscribe to: “Nobody is as smart as everybody.” So, rather than have a staff of people try to report on all important developments in all parts of the complex world of insurance, we have created a platform where the smartest people can share their best ideas. Together, we will be smarter than any one expert or publication can be.

Why

The short answer is: Because we can. The Internet and, in particular, social media have created ways of sharing ideas and communicating that weren’t possible back in the dark ages—think the early 1990s. And we all know that insurance needs help: The complexity is stunning. So, any way that we can simplify and streamline insurance will produce huge benefits.

How

We vet articles that are submitted to us, edit them in collaboration with the thought leaders who write them and then post articles here. We provide links so that readers can communicate with the thought leaders and draw on their expertise. Over time, we will add more video, webinars and other capabilities. The rest is up to you.