Getting to Know: Anne Blume
The CLM’s annual conference education chairperson and Cozen O’Connor shareholder explains what attendees can expect from this year’s event.
By Eric Gilkey
The CLM’s annual conference education chairperson and shareholder at Cozen O’Connor explains what attendees can expect from this year’s event, which takes place April 6-8, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.
On what new attendees can expect from their first annual conference:
“Three of the fundamental principles on which CLM Executive Director Adam Potter built the CLM and its annual conference are those of inclusion, sharing, and diversity. Therefore, we chose a roundtable format for all of the conference’s breakout sessions to further those principles. We encourage everyone to speak up and share their experiences, thoughts, and points of view. We hear from new attendees that this format is a refreshing change from the ‘talking heads’ panel presentations of many conferences, as it provides abundant opportunity for networking and following up with others during and after each presentation.”
On the sessions and speakers she is most excited about:
“This is the hardest question to answer. Every year, the proposals get better and better and our job of making the selections gets harder and harder. The opening session on Thursday entitled, ‘From the Top: CEOs’ Industry Perspectives,’ and Friday’s ‘The Future Is Now: Top CCOs Discuss Claims Resolution Trends and Expectations,’ will provide amazing perspectives on industry developments and trends that really are important but rarely delivered. We cannot thank these chief executive officers and chief claims officers enough for sharing their time and perspectives. In addition, we all know data is important, so this year we selected several sessions that address what data is being collected and, significantly, what insurers and risk managers are doing with that data now and what they are thinking they will do with it in the future. There are so many great sessions that I would need way more space than we have to fairly discuss what is exciting and new!”
On the benefits of attending:
“Continuing education and continuing legal education credits are just the beginning of the benefits that are available to attendees. The information that will be gained at the sessions will allow attendees to learn best practices from industry leaders and bring that information back in order to initiate change and improvements within their organizations. The CLM strives to maintain a 50/50 balance of members and fellows at the conference, which provides a wide variety of attendees and unparalleled networking opportunities for both groups. From what I am told, fellows do not have many high-quality networking opportunities with other fellows—but the CLM annual conference definitely provides that. And it’s no secret that members want to meet or spend time with their clients and make new contacts. With the right planning, meeting almost anyone is possible.”
On how committees will be active during the event:
“Committee meetings will be held Thursday afternoon, after the last roundtable of the day. These meetings are a great complement to the regular committee conference calls, since committee members gain the opportunity to not only meet other members, but also really dig in and get more actively involved. It’s so much more productive and enjoyable to actually speak in person to other committee members without the distractions of catching a conference call on the road or between meetings and other activities of daily life in the office.”
On what makes this event different from every other event outside the CLM:
“The CLM’s annual conference has been the hottest ticket in town for several years now because of the quality of the sessions, the amazing networking opportunities, and its venues and festivities. Insurers continue to move their panel counsel meetings to the CLM’s annual conference for these very reasons. Our focus on inclusion, sharing, and diversity makes the sessions and the competition to earn a presentation spot at the annual conference incomparable. The 50/50 ratio of fellows/members also is without equal. With that said, we really shouldn’t talk too much about the venue and festivities, lest anyone’s supervisor reads this article and thinks the event is more focused on the party than the education, because that would be untrue. That being said, I’m not aware of any other organization that has closed down Bourbon Street in New Orleans to serve lunch to its conference attendees. Year after year, the CLM bests itself in terms of the venue and festivities.”
On the location for 2017’s event:
“For the first time since I’ve been the education chairperson for the annual conference, Adam slipped and mentioned the city in which the 2017 conference will be held. I can be bought [laughing]!”