In the last edition of Sound Advice, we discussed the reorganization of the Trust and Unemployment Pool’s administrative structure to support the operational initiatives outlined in its new mission and vision. As part of this reorganization, the Trust and Pool have established several new positions, including a Director of Finance and an in-house litigation attorney.
Heidi Jones joined us as the Director of Finance in August. Heidi is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with many years of experience in both public accounting firms and governmental accounting. She has held various roles in state government including time as an auditor at the State Auditor’s Office and as a Finance Director/CFO for the Guaranteed Education Tuition Program and the Department of Personnel. She was previously the Director of Finance for the Washington Schools Risk Management Pool.
Natalee Fillinger was brought on as an in-house litigation attorney to the Trust and Pool in July. Previously, Natalee served as the Self-Insurance Program Manager for the Department of Labor & Industries, where she was responsible for regulating Self-Insurance programs in Washington State. Prior to working at the Department, Natalee was an Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Labor & Industries’ Self-Insurance, Subrogation, and Work Place Safety Programs.
In addition, due to some staff turnover, there are some new faces in Client Relations and Claims Operations. We welcomed a new loss control consultant in August, Matthew Tardif. Matt has a Bachelor’s of Science in Occupational Safety and Health from the University of New Hampshire and has been employed in a variety of safety/loss control-related positions. He is supporting Steve Lyons and Elizabeth Jakab and is very excited to ensure that our districts are succeeding in their goals.
In Claims Operations, we have two new claims specialists, Alexander Huerta and Elisabeth Heerema. Alex brings his years of education in Clinical Physiology along with his previous experience in the physical therapy field to his role as a claims specialist. He is a recent graduate of Central Washington University, and prior to joining the Trust, worked as a physical therapy aide. Alex is eager to continue his relationship with the Department of Labor and Industries in his new role.
Elisabeth’s work history includes previous positions in both higher education and insurance. She most recently worked as a Student Financial Services Coordinator at Seattle Pacific University (SPU), where she also graduated with a degree in English Language and Literature. Prior to working at SPU, she worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for three years and is eager to bring this experience to the claims specialist position.