Learn from Industry Leaders and Each Other

After a five-year absence, we’re back for Symposium 2023, March 26-28.

$897 per person
$397 to access live stream + recordings after the event


Group Mastermind
This session will take Symposium networking to another level. You'll be put at a table with other CWCA for a powerful mastermind session.

For the past year, the Institute has hosted Juntos (the name Ben Franklin gave his mastermind groups), populated with Advisors from around the country sharing their ideas on what is working TODAY. We're excited to bring this concept to the Symposium!

Your group will discuss a variety of topics as you dig deep into the process and learn from each other.

Additional Juntos will be formed in 2023.
David Leng, CWCA
When it comes to the Symposiums, I have always found them incredibly beneficial from not just the content that I gain from the symposium itself, but from the ability to network with other agents from around the country and other other advisors around the country.

You know, with regards to learning how they do things, issues and challenges that they're facing and how they're addressing them, because that might be something that we never thought of before. I'd encourage every CWCA to attend the Symposium!
David Leng - Duncan Financial Group, PA

Garrett Droege

The Blockchain and Insurance: It's not about crypto and pictures of monkeys
Cryptocurrency and NFT's are frequently in the news. Bitcoin is up! Bitcoin is down! The new NFT of a cartoon monkey just sold for $250K!
That's not what this session is about. Garrett Droege, former CWCA and now Director of Innovation & Strategy with IMA will be discussing the impact blockchain technology will have on YOUR agency and is already having in the insurance industry. While there's a lot of debate about the value of virtual assets on the blockchain, there is no debate that the blockchain will become an important part of our business in the not-too-distant future.

Much like the shift from agency bill to direct bill and paper records to paperless offices, the blockchain will shift how you do business. Garrett will give you a primer on what you need to know to be ready and make the most of this important shift in how our industry operates.

Steve Tade

Agency Perpetuation Without Being Acquired
Perpetuation is one of the most pressing issues agencies face. The last several years have seen a wave of agencies being acquired, and in many cases, it was a lack of ability to sell the agency internally that led owners to consider outside options.

One option to perpetuate the agency without selling it to outsiders is to convert the business into an ESOP, where the employees are shareholders in the agency. That is exactly what Institute member Winter-Dent and Company in Missouri did.

Steve Tade, MWCA and employee-owner at Winter-Dent will walk us through how they made the decision, the complexities of changing the corporate structure and the pros and cons they have experienced through the transition.

Bob Barrow

Delve Deep Into Group Captives
What if you could become the hero and partner to your clients by creating a program that would insure their risks, reduce the out-of-pocket expenses and create another source of revenue?  Too good to be true? Not at all.

Welcome to the world of captives.  Why not create your own controlled market? You help decide the carrier, reinsurer, TPA, the manager, and ultimately, the clients. Gone are the days of chasing “quotes” from various markets. You won’t have to contend with market swings. Your renewals become less of an issue because your clients are building a captive company.

We will discuss the basics of getting started in a few variations of a group captive formation. These steps and the requirements can bring you a branded program that can last for decades.

Bruce Flachs & Chris Palmer

Insurance Company Insights
You work with insurance companies, but your relationships likely don't extend beyond underwriters, adjusters, and marketing folks.

Bruce Flachs, CEO and Chris Palmer, Director of Sales and Marketing with Prescient National Insurance Company will discuss:

•    What does a great submission look like?
•    What are the most pressing issues they see facing workers' comp?
•    What do they see for workers' comp in 2023 and beyond.

Plus, answering your burning questions..

Wayne Sanders

Trials and Tribulations of Managing a $57.5M Insurance Program
As the VP of Risk Management for Extended Stay America, Wayne is responsible for managing a $57,500,000 premium insurance program. He’ll wow us with stories of the complexities of managing a program that covers more than 1000 locations, stories from the wild world of hospitality risk management and how the “Big Guys” work to woo him to win their business.

Douglas Duerr

How to Fix the Top Mistakes Small Business Owners Make When It Comes to Employees. 
This session will focus on the employment mistakes most small business owners, even great business owners, make. If you like legal jargon, this session is not for you as the focus is on helping you identify the mistake yourself and the practical tools and steps needed to fix it. 

Kevin Ring

Stories from the Institute Help Desk
Kevin will be sharing stories about challenging situations Advisors have sent us at the Institute help desk. Stories of issues with the premium audit, mod errors, injury management woes. We see a little bit of everything and there are many lessons for everyone.


Chris Palmer
Prescient National

Chris joined Prescient National as the Director of Sales and Marketing in 2020 with a focus on strengthening key agency partner relationships and optimizing the overall agency distribution plant as well as developing an advertising / marketing strategy to connect with agency partners focused on mid to upper mid-market accounts with a need for custom build underwriting solutions and high-level risk management and claims services.

Chris has over 29 years of insurance and business development experience and has held roles various roles in claims, agency business consulting, agency merger & acquisitions, and sales management. Additionally, Chris continues to provide consulting services to small business and has had the opportunity to build several ground-up healthcare businesses during his tenure as the Director of Business Development for a regional hospital.

Chris received his business degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and later returned to UNCG’s evening master’s in business administration program to earn his graduate degree with a focus on strategic planning and leadership. Chris also holds his AIC, CLCS, and CIC designations and resides in Clayton, NC with his wife, Melissa, and has two college aged sons.

Bruce A. Flachs
Prescient National

Bruce is the managing member of Prescient Holdings, LLC and President of the Prescient National companies. Founding the business in 2004 as a single State MGA, Prescient National today is an A rated specialty workers compensation insurance company licensed to write in most of the United States. Prescient has produced loss & loss expense ratios that are more that 32% lower than the workers compensation industry for 1, 3, 5, and 10 year time periods.

Bruce began his career at the corporate office of Selective Insurance and later worked at Key Risk Management Services before founding CompSource in 1993. CompSource managed a North Carolina self-insurance fund which became one of the State’s largest writers of workers compensation. Following CompSource, Bruce co-founded Access CoverageCorp, which focused on web-based automation of small commercial business until 2002 when the business was acquired by a national insurance company.

Bruce received a business degree from Kutztown University (Pennsylvania) and later obtained the Associates in Insurance Accounting & Finance and the CPCU designations. Residing in Indian River Shores, Florida with his wife Patricia, he has two sons and two stepdaughters.

Doug Duerr

For more than 30 years, Douglas has focused on providing individualized advice and counseling to companies throughout the United States. He has built a long track record of success representing numerous clients in administrative proceedings with the OFCCP, NLRB, EEOC, OSHA and other Department of Labor agencies at the federal and state level. 

When litigation does occur, Douglas's experience has translated into successful representation of companies in jury trials, appeals and arbitrations. He has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries, including retail, service, hospitality, manufacturing, government contractors and the public sector.

Garrett Droege

Garrett Droege serves as Director of Innovation + Strategy for IMA Financial. His role oversees IMA’s national focus in the technology, life science, advanced manufacturing, and digital risk verticals (collectively called the Advanced Industries Specialty). He is also co-managing IMA Labs, IMA’s insurtech innovation, investment, and strategy with BrokerTech Ventures. He is also part of the founding team of IMA’s web3 Labs initiative and helped IMA become the first broker to build an insurance and risk management facility in the metaverse. He serves on the Crypto.Chicks NFT Advisory Board and consults with several other NFT projects.

Prior to his current role, he served as CEO/Executive Director of TechAssure Association, Inc., an international consortium of insurance agents/brokers specializing in technology-related risks. Previously he founded the Innovation Risk Practice at Wade & Associates, a NC-based insurance and risk management firm specializing in technology and life science risks. Garrett’s expertise includes Errors & Omissions, Cyber, and Technology Risk Management. Additionally, he is a brokerage technology specialist – focused on InsurTech, AMS/BMS/CRM platforms and data mining. He is also an expert in niche program development for independent agencies/brokerages and frequently consults with firms around the globe on how to build a successful niche practice.

Garrett has designed complex insurance and risk management programs for some of the most sophisticated and diverse tech businesses in the country. These include firms in info tech, medical technology, telecommunications, new media and all types of digital risk and blockchain.
 Garrett is an alumnus of University of North Carolina at Wilmington and The Hartford School of Insurance. He was named to the Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty list and Insurance Business America’s Young Guns of Insurance list. Garrett has been featured in multiple national publications and media productions, including NPR’s All Things Considered.

He holds the esteemed Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) industry designations, among others. He has been a featured keynote speaker for numerous organizations, including: Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Public Radio, CIO Magazine, Society of CPCU, FinTech Association of Hong Kong, Net Diligence, Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), North Carolina Technology Association, Texas Blockchain Council and many more.

Recently, Droege led TechAssure to its first nomination and win for Insurance Network of the Year by Insurance Business America magazine. He was also named to the 2020 and 2022 Hot 100 List – a group of the top 100 insurance professionals that have “moved the industry forward” over the past 12 months. Garrett also serves as an advisor and mentor to several technology startup companies and has extensive relationships with global accelerator programs and investors. He is a frequent guest on business podcasts including: “The Insurance Guys”, Lowenstein Sandler’s “Don’t Take No For An Answer,” “Beyond Insurance,” “A.I. Wisdom,” “The Insurance Coffeehouse,” and more.

Wayne Sanders

Wayne is Director of Risk Management for Extended Stay America.

Wayne's background includes forensic safety services focused on litigation consultation and expert witness support for premises liability safety cases, and cases involving occupational safety and health related injuries. When working on behalf of attorney clients he evaluates physical conditions, human factors, applicable standards, factors specific to an incident, management practices, normative versus substantive safety, standard of care, and foreseeability.

Wayne’s work with attorney clients includes slip/trip/falls, falls from windows, burns, furniture, equipment guarding, carbon monoxide, AED, and swimming pools cases.
Wayne’s hospitality industry career includes positions as Vice President of Hospitality Safety and Security Services, Regional Director of Loss Prevention for Marriott Hotels and Resorts; Distributor for Vingcard and Schlage Intellis electronic guest room lock systems; and Independent Consultant / Regional Director for Hospitality Risk Controls, Inc.

Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate

Hotel Information

Room Rates: $179/night+
Reservations: 866-779-6277 M-F 8:30-5 ET

To get our rate tell them you are with "Institute of WorkComp Professionals Symposium".

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What previous attendees say . . .

More powerful than any other conference I’ve been to in insurance, has been the IWCP’s annual Symposiums.

For me, first in Laguna -2012, and second in Asheville-2013. They alone have provided me with more knowledge to work with, than any other source to date. The real-life examples from agents and ideas from Preston & Kevin have had a profound effect on my career and success in the insurance industry. 

I am nowhere near a master, so look forward again to the Symposium in Memphis, as another knowledge booster/recharger, to keep the momentum going, to challenge the industry, to stay ahead of the game.

Thanks guys!

Justin Black | VP Risk Management
CWCA, MWCA, Master WorkComp Advisor
The Symposium agenda always provides powerful new, or massages the old, that has become part of my sales process. These days of “more than simple networking” and interviews present a wealth of knowledge. We get both theory and the practical application of using it. It’s great to hear and see what other Adivsors are doing and their successes.

It was also very gratifying to share our story with the attendees in Asheville. I’ve been to each Symposium (3) since I’ve been a member and this has helped me get deeper into the process, create better employers and make more money.

I’d be disappointed now not to hit $100,000+ in new revenue each year.

Steve Tade, CWCA


Symposium 2023

Sowing Seeds for Profit

$897 until 12/21/22. $997 after. Cancel for a full refund before 2/20/23. Transfer to a colleague from your agency any time.
  • All Access Pass to the Event
  • Reception and Lunches Provided
  • Ticket for Private Tour of Biltmore
  • Recordings of All Sessions
  • Access to the Live Stream for all CWCA/CWCS in the Agency

Live Stream


  • Access to the Live Stream for all CWCA/CWCS in the Agency
  • Recordings of All Sessions

Preston Diamond

Life licensed in 1957 and P&C licensed in 1958, Pres has seen it all. He began as a producer, worked his way up to agency owner (he still maintains an ownership interest in a niche book in California) before being asked by legendary great, Gary Holgate to join his consulting firm. Pres has been helping agents succeed ever since, consulted in over 450 agencies nationwide, sharing his expertise in systems and procedures; client acquisition and getting and keeping clients for life.

Pres developed the ISU franchise agency’s Personal Lines Systems; built the Society of CPIA’s Sales Success School, and is one of two insurance certified Face-to-Face sales instructors. He created the 6th Sense Proposal System for insurance professionals, and Client Care system for creating clients for life. Pres is a founding Director of the Institute of WorkComp Professionals and co-founder of the Institute of Benefits and Wellness Advisors. He has authored articles that have appeared in many trade publications; presented at CIC Ruble seminars, as well as for many state and national associations and other insurance groups.

Kevin Ring

Kevin joined the Institute in 2003 after a stint managing systems for a mid-sized manufacturing company. A licensed P&C agent, Kevin has an affinity for making the technical simple, whether insurance or computers. He is especially adept at unraveling ex-mods, audits, and classification clarifications.

His technical workers’ comp skills have helped Advisors through sticky situations (including analyzing a 76-page mod sheet), and he’s constantly working with Advisors to deepen their knowledge of the Institute process.
Kevin has analyzed more than 1050 experience mod worksheets, finding and fixing errors for CWCA’s and their clients. Because of his experience working with Advisors and analyzing mods, he designed and directed the development of ModIMPACT, IWCP’s mod analysis tool.

Kevin has been quoted and had articles featured in insurance trade magazines such as Rough Notes and Insurance Journal as well as numerous general industry trades.


Learn from Industry Leaders and Each Other

We look forward to seeing you at Symposium 2023, March 26-28.
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PO Box 5437 - Asheville, NC 28813 | P. 828-274-0959 | F. 775-414-4294