Archived News

CA-IARP President’s September 2013 Message to the Membership 

August 2013,

Dear IARP California Members:


There have been changes in the election dates this year.  Therefore, I need to inform you of the events that led to these delays.  The Elections Committee worked very hard to identify a President Elect for the California Board serving in 2013-2014, moving into the President position in 2014-2015. A large number of members were contacted to elicit service but it does appear that our membership is aging and commitment difficulties were mainly due to health conditions and/ or professional issues.  Our dilemma was resolved with Kelly Bartlett agreeing to take on the leadership realm and accepting the President- Elect position for 2013-2014.

President Elect Susan Van de Bittner was scheduled to take the President’s office on May 1, 2013 along with new Board members.  However, Susan informed that she could not assume her elected post due to personal reasons in mid-April 2013.   Needless to say, this was a loss that prevented the new Board to take office in May 2013. Consequently, after some thought and debate, members of the existing California Chapter Board agreed to “hold over” for an additional year and continue to serve in their original capacities in order to maintain a viable entity.  These members are; Mark Remas (past-president), Kelly Winn (treasurer), Rachel Hawk (secretary), Keith Wilkinson, Mary Ciddio as regional representatives and yours truly Lisa Suhonos as President.

This means that our Board’s election will occur in September instead of May, as statements of the new Board members will be completed and elections will be announced in the IARP California website.  PLEASE, take the time to vote and most importantly if you have an interest in assisting the present Board with some volunteering time, let me know or any board member. We need your time and talent to continue to offer educational seminars in California, as well as, marketing the professional attributes of the membership to other Associations and Professional Boards.

Aside from the elections protocol, your California Board continues to work in developing marketing opportunities. For example, we will be exhibiting at the upcoming Consumer Attorneys, California Annual Conference (Trial Lawyers) in San Francisco, in November 2013.  Our 2012-2013 Expert Directories will be handed out at our booth, as well as, marketing “goodies.”  If you have an event in your area and need marketing materials, please contact any Board member and supplies will be forwarded to you.  Please remember that distribution of these Expert Directories enhances our profession and encourages dialogue to provide more referral opportunities for each member.

Your California Board of Directors has been listening to your suggestions and we are excited to announce that “A HARVEST OF IDEAS” meetings are going to held in late September/October  (exact dates to be announced and posted on the website) in the following geographical areas: 1) San Diego, 2) Orange County, 3) Oakland, 4) Sacramento.  These meetings will be free of charge to all attendees and will foster a dialogue of opportunities for established Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants, Life Care Planners, Vocational Experts, Counselors and students. Please make the effort to attend…you will be impressed!

The Legislative Committee continues to monitor the Workers’ Compensation rule making and administrative process, presently without the assistance of “Lobbyists” due to financial restrain. Should events occur that affect our members, we will immediately be in touch and request your assistance.

The Education Committee is already in the planning phase for next year’s seminar ”CEU’s BY THE SLOTS”, save the date, the second week of February 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Why Vegas??? You ask???

Because our Education Chair, Kelly Bartlett has been working closely with the Nevada Chapter President and both Chapters are merging their annual seminar into one.  This is a great collaboration effort between California and Nevada, which will offer the members greater opportunities for learning and networking.

SO……Please remain tuned in to our website for more information on the upcoming events….without you these events are meaningless……please participate in your local Chapter of IARP’s activities!!!!!!!


Lisa Suhonos

IARP California Chapter President

CA-IARP President’s June 2012 Message to the Membership 

Dear California IARP Members:

June being the traditional month for graduations, weddings and commencement of family’s vacations did not impact your Board members’ ability to advance the Vocational causes and issues facing this year’s Board.  The Legislative Committee continues to burn the midnight oil in strategic meetings with our retained lobbyists (Steve Catolica and Carl Brakensiek of Advocal).

The entire Board is preparing for an extensive daylong meeting to be held in mid-July in Oakland, CA.  The following committees will be unveiling their goals for this fiscal year; 1) Education/Seminar, 2) Membership/Fundraising, 3) Legislative and 4) Public Relations.  Therefore, please check our website for new postings reflecting upcoming activities and “save the date” for the next State Educational Seminar.

On the state of the treasury, our present Treasurer, Kelly Winn, reports having possession of the Chapter’s books and reports that our past Treasurer, Ellie Ettner,  greatly facilitated the exchange of documents due to her diligent record keeping for the past five plus years.  It is important to note that Ellie has been battling major health issues in the last few months, but never wavered in her commitments to the California Chapter of IARP, for that ….. We ….THANK YOU Ellie, and wish you a speedy recovery.

This brings to mind the on-going Fund raising efforts to maintain the financial pledges made in regard to the Legislative Worker’s Compensation action. For those of you who pledged to make monthly payments please continue to do so and feel free to communicate with Kelly Winn via to check on your status.  These payments are vital to maintain our Lobbyists in place and to secure our professional representation in this legal venue.

This month’s letter is brief as we are preparing for a “hot” July, not just in temperature, but also in activity.  Therefore, please look to next month’s President’s message.  In the meantime, as always, the Board seeks input from the membership on your professional needs, please do not hesitate to contact me or any other Board member with your suggestions.

Until next month……

Lisa Suhonos,

CA-IARP President

2012 IARP Vocational Expert Fee Survey Report 

The purpose of the study was to learn about the range of fees that are charged by vocational experts in California through survey research.  The information will be used to evaluate the average hourly rate charged by vocational experts in the state and this information will be provided to the Administrative Director of Workers’ Compensation, who is charged with developing a vocational expert fee schedule by 2013.  The information has also been used to propose regulatory language regarding Workers’ Compensation that was submitted during the summer of 2012.  In order to carry out the survey research and render an impartial result, IARP-CAL contracted with a third-party, San Diego State University’s Interwork Institute.

Download the report here.