M.J. Schuetz Insurance Services: Maximizing Chamber Investment Through Compliance Resources

Wolcott_Vickie“I trust them.”

That’s why Vickie Wolcott relies on a variety of Chamber resources to help keep M. J. Schuetz Insurance Services, an Indiana Chamber member since 1994, in compliance with state and federal laws.

She began working at the Indianapolis firm, which specializes primarily in commercial insurance, 37 years ago as a receptionist. Today, she’s one of the owners and serves as president.

Purchasing mandatory state and laminated poster sets has become a tradition.

“Whenever they come out, I make sure I order them immediately because I really trust them,” Wolcott declares.

The Chamber’s Indiana Employment Forms publication is another favorite.

“We have our agency policies and things like that in place, but it’s always nice to have them (forms) on hand as a backup and an extra resource,” Wolcott asserts. “I look at those to make sure we’re in compliance with everything. They make it very easy for me.”

She cites one more valuable tool: free, confidential helplines.

Wolcott reveals, “It’s always (provided) good feedback for me and been a trusted resource.”

Indiana Chamber Assesses Impact of State’s Early UI Loan Payoff

Kevin 51916 UI Loan Payoff Quote

Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar assesses the impact of the early payoff of the state’s federal unemployment insurance (UI) trust fund loan which occurred in November 2015:

“Employers now have $327 million in additional funds available for other workplace priorities. They can further invest in their organizations and employees, as well as add more jobs, instead of sending that money to Washington as an ongoing penalty for the loan being in place.

“This early payoff, strongly supported by the Indiana Chamber, was a common sense step taken by lawmakers and Gov. Pence to help employers and their employees. It has had among the greatest impacts of any public policy over the last year on the business community.”

Background
The early payoff was accomplished by temporarily borrowing from Indiana’s reserve funds. The Governor announced today that the funds have now been paid back by employers through their regular state UI payments.

Indiana INTERNnet to Host Three Summer Networking Events for Interns, Mentors

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Roche Diagnostics interns enjoy a day at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Indiana INTERNnet will host a series of intern networking events this summer to encourage community engagement.

Interns from organizations throughout Central Indiana are invited to events at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (June 14), Indianapolis Zoo (July 14) and Indiana State Fair (August 5). Each will offer professional development and networking opportunities in addition to time to explore the venues.

  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis event will begin at 9 a.m. (check-in at 8:30 a.m.) with professional development. Following the programming, attendees will be free to explore the museum at their leisure until it closes at 5 p.m. An optional lunch will be served around noon.
  • The Indianapolis Zoo event will take place from approximately 1-5 p.m. Following professional development programming and zoo experiences, attendees will be invited to enjoy the Animals and All That Jazz concert from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • The Indiana State Fair event will begin at 9 a.m. (check-in at 8 a.m.) with a welcome and networking activity where Pete the Planner will speak to attendees. Interns will be invited to enjoy the fair at their leisure and participate in an optional social media contest administered by Indiana INTERNnet. The contest will conclude in the early afternoon. Fair bucks will be provided for each attendee to be used at food vendors throughout the fair.

In 2015, nearly 200 interns participated in Indiana INTERNnet events at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Indiana State Fair.

A feeling of community connectedness is a significant factor in a young professional’s decision regarding where he or she lives and works.

“Talent retention is at the core of Indiana INTERNnet’s mission,” emphasizes executive director Janet Boston. “To complement the real-world experience interns gain on the job, these engagement events provide an opportunity for them to build relationships through networking and develop community pride.”

Capacity is limited and registration is required. The reservation deadline is June 1 for The Children’s Museum, July 1 for the Indianapolis Zoo and July 15 for the Indiana State Fair. Contact Katie Coffin to RSVP at INTERNnet@indianachamber.com or (317) 264-7535.

Top 100 Best Places to Work in Indiana Ranked!

chamber peepsHoosier organizations with a strong workplace environment were recognized Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Before a crowd of 1,200, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce unveiled rankings for the 100 companies that made the 2016 Best Places to Work in Indiana list (released in February).

Winners were selected in four categories. Taking top honors:

  • Small companies’ category (between 15 and 74 U.S. employees): Luther Consulting, LLC, a Carmel-based public health software company
  • Medium companies’ category (between 75 and 249 U.S. employees): Mainstreet, a national group specializing in real estate development, value investments and health care; located in Carmel
  • Large companies’ category (between 250 and 999 U.S. employees): CPA firm Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP, headquartered in Indianapolis
  • Major companies’ category (1,000 or more U.S. employees): technology giant Microsoft Corporation, which has a local office in Indianapolis

It marks the first time that Luther Consulting, Mainstreet and Katz, Sapper & Miller head their respective groups. It’s also a return for Microsoft to the top spot, where they have been a record five times.

“A big congratulations to the No. 1 organizations. Their leaders and each company on this list understand how important it is for the success of a business to have a culture that respects and values employees,” states Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar.

“These businesses demonstrated that in a variety of ways – from fostering open communication and teamwork to providing training opportunities and more unique job benefits. We are pleased to acknowledge the efforts of all 100 honorees.”

At the dinner, presented in partnership with Hylant, representatives from all designated companies received Best Places to Work awards of excellence.

Organizations on the 2016 list that have displayed sustained excellence during the program’s 11-year history received additional recognition with Best Places to Work in Indiana Hall of Fame and Pinnacle designations.

Hall of Fame companies are those that have been named a Best Place to Work in Indiana at least two-thirds of the time in the program’s history; a total of 15 organizations on the 2016 list meet that criteria. Two companies – Edward Jones and Katz, Sapper & Miller – have made the Best Places to Work list all 11 years of the program.

The Pinnacle designation is reserved for those that have finished first in their category three or more times in a five-year period. The four Pinnacle companies are Edward Jones (tops in the large employer category from 2006-2008); Hollingsworth & Zivitz, P.C. (first in the small employer category from 2011-2014); Microsoft (tops in the major employer category in 2013-2014 and in the large employer category in 2011-2012); and Sikich LLP (first in the large employer category from 2013-15).

More information about the Best Places to Work companies is available via a special section of the May/June issue of the Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine, a statewide publication released tonight and accessible online at www.bizvoicemagazine.com.

Other program partners are Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, the Best Companies Group, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana State Council of SHRM and the Wellness Council of Indiana.

In addition to Hylant, Best Places to Work in Indiana is sponsored by: Moser Consulting, Inc.; University of Indianapolis; Comcast Business; Conner Insurance; Eaton; Formstack; Human Capital Concepts; Kings Island; OurHealth; Smithville Fiber; and Trilogy Health Services.

The Best Places organizations were determined through employer reports and comprehensive employee surveys. The Best Companies Group, which handled the selection process, oversees similar programs in 27 other states.

All companies that participated in the 2016 Best Places to Work program receive an in-depth evaluation identifying strengths and weaknesses according to their employees. In turn, this report can be used in developing or enhancing employee retention and recruitment programs.

For more information on the Indiana Chamber’s Best Places to Work program, go to www.bestplacestoworkIN.com.

The full list of the 2016 Best Places to Work in Indiana companies by ranking:

*Hall of Fame companies

Small Companies (15-74 U.S. employees) (48)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

1. Luther Consulting, LLC / Carmel
2. E-gineering, LLC / Indianapolis
3. Indiana CPA Society / Indianapolis
4. American Income Life Indiana / Indianapolis
5. JA Benefits, LLC / Bedford
6. Delivra, Inc. / Indianapolis
7. Hanapin Marketing / Bloomington
8. Diverse Tech Services / Indianapolis
9. Inovateus Solar LLC / South Bend
10. Lakeside Wealth Management / Chesterton
11. Visit Indy / Indianapolis
12. Conner Insurance, Inc. / Indianapolis
13. Magnum Logistics, Inc. / Plainfield
14. VOSS Automotive / Fort Wayne
15. Formstack LLC / Indianapolis
16. PolicyStat / Carmel
17. Apex Benefits / Indianapolis
18. Oak Street Funding LLC / Carmel
19. eImagine Technology Group / Indianapolis
20. MVO USA, Inc. / Indianapolis
21. Wessler Engineering / Indianapolis
22. IDSolutions / Noblesville
23. The Skillman Corporation / Indianapolis
24. Schmidt Associates* / Indianapolis
25. SmartFile / Indianapolis
26. netlogx, LLC / Indianapolis
27. Guidon Design Inc. / Indianapolis
28. Found Search Marketing / Indianapolis
29. Community First Bank of Indiana / Kokomo
30. CloudOne / Fishers
31. Diverse Staffing / Indianapolis
32. Design Collaborative, Inc. / Fort Wayne
33. Cripe / Indianapolis
34. United Leasing, Inc. / Evansville
35. BLASTmedia / Fishers
36. Bohlsen Group / Indianapolis
37. Leaf Software Solutions / Carmel
38. Bloomerang / Indianapolis
39. OrthoPediatrics / Warsaw
40. Network Solutions, Inc. / Granger
41. Pathfinders Advertising & Marketing Group, Inc. / Mishawaka
42. Goelzer Investment Management, Inc. / Indianapolis
43. BlueSky Technology Partners / Noblesville
44. Weddle Bros. Construction Company, Inc. / Bloomington
45. Indesign, LLC* / Indianapolis
46. LHD Benefit Advisors / Indianapolis
47. Accutech Systems / Muncie
48. FirstPerson / Indianapolis

Medium Companies (75-249 U.S. employees) (21)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

1. Mainstreet / Carmel
2. Performance Services / Indianapolis
3. Software Engineering Professionals (SEP)* / Carmel
4. J.C. Hart Company, Inc. / Carmel
5. Moser Consulting / Indianapolis
6. Purdue Federal Credit Union / West Lafayette
7. Project Lead The Way, Inc. / Indianapolis
8. WestPoint Financial Group / Indianapolis
9. Allegient, LLC / Indianapolis
10. Sheridan Community Schools / Sheridan
11. First Internet Bank / Indianapolis
12. HWC Engineering / Indianapolis
13. Gibson / South Bend
14. Indiana Oxygen Company / Indianapolis
15. Blue Horseshoe / Carmel
16. Heritage Petroleum, LLC / Evansville
17. Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc. / multiple locations
18. OurHealth / Indianapolis
19. Merchants Bank of Indiana and PR Mortgage & Investments / Carmel
20. Bierman ABA Autism Center / Indianapolis
21. Peoples Bank SB / Munster

Large Companies (250-999 U.S. employees) (19)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

1. Katz, Sapper & Miller, LLP* / Indianapolis
2. Traylor Bros., Inc. / Evansville
3. FORUM Credit Union / Fishers
4. Sikich LLP / Indianapolis
5. Kemper CPA Group LLP / multiple locations
6. IPMG / West Lafayette
7. Duke Realty Corporation* / Indianapolis
8. Hylant / multiple locations
9. Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company* / Fort Wayne
10. The Kendall Group / Fort Wayne
11. Monarch Beverage / Indianapolis
12. Appirio / Indianapolis
13. Ontario Systems / Muncie
14. Magna Powertrain / Muncie
15. SmartIT / Indianapolis
16. Blue & Co., LLC* / Carmel
17. Mike’s Carwash / Fort Wayne
18. Centier Bank* / Merrillville
19. MOBI / Indianapolis

Major Companies (1,000+ U.S. employees) (12)
Company / Primary Indiana Location

1. Microsoft Corporation* / Indianapolis
2. Horseshoe Casino Hammond / Hammond
3. Edward Jones* / statewide
4. Colliers International / Indianapolis
5. Eaton / South Bend
6. Salesforce* / Indianapolis
7. Aerotek / multiple locations
8. RCI* / Carmel
9. Hilliard Lyons* / multiple locations
10. Cushman & Wakefield* / Indianapolis
11. Total Quality Logistics / Indianapolis
12. Capital Group* / Carmel

Health Care to be Focus of Connect & Collaborate Events in 2016 (Coming to a City Near You!)

97867199Six years after the Affordable Care Act became law, employers and employees continue to be impacted, and sometimes confused, by its various rules and regulations. You can learn about new tools to answer your questions and benefit your organization as part of the 2016 Connect & Collaborate series.

The events – presented by the Indiana Chamber in partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and free for Chamber members – will take place in 11 cities across the state. In addition to breakfast or lunch and networking with business leaders from your area, the health care emphasis will include these three important benefits:

  1. Advocacy: The Chamber’s longstanding role in seeking implementation of the best possible public policies at both the state and federal levels
  2. Education: Conferences, publications, the affiliated Wellness Council of Indiana and additional member services to assist companies and their workers
  3. Navigation: New options being made available this year, in conjunction with Anthem and additional partners, to help you produce cost savings while best meeting your employee needs. These products are structured for organizations of all types and sizes

Past Connect & Collaborate series have focused on workforce development, workplace wellness and energy saving guidance. Chamber Communications VP Tom Schuman, Director of Membership Brock Hesler and Anthem representatives will be featured presenters at each event.

The series begins May 4 in Carmel and concludes June 21 in Fort Wayne. Additional stops are Terre Haute, Richmond, Anderson, Lafayette, Bloomington, Evansville, Gary, Winona Lake and Elkhart. Pre-registration is required for the 90-minute programs.

Full lineup and registration. If you have additional questions, contact Nick Luchtefeld (nluchtefeld@indianachamber.com) at (317) 264-6898.

2016 Legislative Returns on Indiana Chamber Investment

in chamberThe 2016 General Assembly saw the Chamber advocate for and achieve numerous public policy victories that will have a lasting positive impact on the state’s economy and the prosperity of its residents. Additionally, the Chamber defeated several measures that would have cost businesses over $200 million.

In total, the Chamber’s work yielded savings of $1.435 billion for Hoosier businesses OR $546 per employee. Specific savings are listed below by bill and subject matter, in total and per employee. Also noted is the indeterminable value of a vital policy area: education and workforce development; the majority of which cannot be quantified.

Business Savings:
$1.435 billion or $546 per employee

Civil Justice
– Reasonable and controlled increased medical malpractice limits (SEA 28):
$50 million; $19.02/employee
– Restrictions on legal practice known as “lawsuit lending”
(HEA 1127): $40 million; $15.21/employee

Economic Development and Infrastructure
– Supplemental distribution of local income tax for local infrastructure (SEA 67): $400 million; $152.13/employee
– Short-term road funding and allowance for additional Regional Cities initiative (HEA 1001): $300 million; $114.10/employee
– Defeated – Unreasonably high data breach fines (HB 1357): $10 million; $3.80/employee

Employment and Labor
– Prohibition against ordinances restricting employee scheduling (SEA 20): $75 million; $28.52/employee
– Defeated – Option for prevailing wage (SB 319 and SB 346): $50 million; $19.02/employee
– Defeated – Mandated paid leave policies (HB 1139 and HB 1328): $30 million; $11.41/employee
– Defeated – Mandated increases in minimum wage (HB 1265): $25 million; $9.51/employee
– Defeated – Loss of business license for employing unauthorized aliens (SB 285): $25 million; $9.51/employee
– Changes to unemployment insurance procedures (HEA 1334): $20 million; $7.61/employee

Energy and Environment
Long-term water infrastructure maintenance funding (SEA 257 and SEA 383)
$100 million; $38.03/employee
More efficient solid waste handling (SEA 256 and SEA 366) $20 million; $7.61/employee
Underground tank remediation fund (SEA 255) $10 million; $3.80/employee
Planning future water usage needs (SEA 347) $10 million; $3.80/employee

Health Care and Insurance
– Prescribing authority for telemedicine (HEA 1263): $80 million; $30.43/employee
– Codification of Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 (SEA 165) $70 million; $26.62/employee
– Defeated – Mandated health insurance coverages (SB 370) $25 million; $9.51/employee
– Defeated – Provisions for prescription drug requirements (HB 1390) $25 million; $9.51/employee

Taxation
– Repeal and replacement of commercial assessment mandates (HEA 1290)
$40 million; $15.21/employee
– Defeated – Egregious income tax reporting provisions (SB 323) $30 million; $11.41/employee

Total Savings for Indiana Business: $1.435 Billion
Total Savings Per Employee: $546

Your Return on Investment
10 employees = savings of $5,460
25 employees = savings of $13,650
50 employees = savings of $27,300
100 employees = savings of $54,600
200 employees = savings of $109,200
500 employees = savings of $273,000

Plus the Value of Education and Workforce Development Initiatives:
The Indiana Chamber also played a leading role in the development and passage of important education and workforce development legislation. While difficult to quantify the specific fiscal impact of these changes, we know from economic research, economic development professionals, site selection consultants and our own membership the importance of these matters to the cost of doing business. Thus, we note the important accomplishments in education and workforce development as a significant – albeit unquantifiable – return on investment.

IMPORTANT NOTES: Business impact calculations are based on fiscal impact estimates of the Legislative Services Agency, independent studies, other available data and research materials, and Indiana Chamber analysis. Business impact per employee is calculated by using the estimated number of employed workers statewide in March 2016 (2,629,300).

Accelerate Team Performance with These Opportunities in May

Don’t coast along when it comes to employee skills and legal developments that impact your business. Engage people – and protect your bottom line – through a variety of upcoming training events.

The annual Indiana Worker’s Compensation Conference will take place May 11 at Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station. It will feature sessions on psychological injuries in the workplace; the impact of worker’s compensation on your organization; Indiana’s Worker’s Compensation Act (and how it works together with the FMLA and ADA); and more!

Sponsors are Athletico Physical Therapy, Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Ice Miller LLP and Pro Resources Staffing Services. Contact Jim Wagner at (317) 264-6876 regarding additional sponsorship and exhibit opportunities.

Shift gears by attending the annual Indiana Environmental Permitting and Reporting Conference on May 18-19 at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center. Sponsored by KERAMIDA, Inc., it’s the most complete and comprehensive permitting and reporting course offered in the state.

Highlights include:

  • 2016 Annual Reporting Requirements and Update
  • Are You Prepared for Your Next Air Compliance Inspection?
  • Spill Reporting and Spill Prevention Considerations
  • Most Common Notices of Violation – How to Demonstrate Permit Compliance
  • Beneficial Reuse of Foundry Sand/CCR – Permits and Regulations

Two additional events, both at the Indiana Chamber Conference Center, round out May offerings: Forklift Safety: Train the Trainer (May 24) and OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Course (May 25).

Register for any of these events online or by calling Nick at (800) 824-6885.

Indiana Chamber Welcomes Mark Lawrance Back to New Role

LawranceR. Mark Lawrance will return to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce in May as vice president of engagement and innovation policy.

Lawrance served as director of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute from 2014 until earlier this year, guiding the comprehensive Thriving Communities, Thriving State initiative that was released in March and other important research and programs.

An Indianapolis native, Lawrance spent more than 13 years at the Indiana Chamber beginning in 2000. He previously guided the efforts of the Indiana Chamber Foundation and, among other roles, represented members on local government and technology issues. In his new position, Lawrance will advocate in the critical economic development, infrastructure and technology areas, lead efforts on the Indiana Vision 2025 long-range economic development action plan and work with organizations on their collaborations with the Indiana Chamber.

“We’re pleased to welcome Mark back to the Indiana Chamber,” states Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “His experience, relationships and knowledge about what it takes for Indiana to move forward are obvious assets that will benefit both our members and partners. Mark was one of the keys to the launch and early victories in Indiana Vision 2025,and it’s wonderful to have him focused once again on its success.”

Lawrance graduated from Indiana University with a degree in public affairs. He was a vice president of the MCL restaurant chain before first coming to the Indiana Chamber.

“This indeed is like coming home for me,” Lawrance says. “I’m passionate about doing what I can to help create the best possible Indiana for today and future generations – and the Indiana Chamber is a perfect place to continue to do just that.”

Lawrance will begin his work with the Indiana Chamber on May 16.

Lawsuit Lending Legislation Made Big Leap in 2016 Session

10044552The most unbelievable surprise of the 2016 Indiana legislative session ended up being the bill to address the practice known as “lawsuit lending.” At the beginning and throughout much of the session, it was believed by all parties that this would be the year to reach an agreement on the issue. But as both sides began to define terms, it was clear that we weren’t really any closer than in years past.

Lawsuit lending or civil proceeding advance payment transactions, as described in HB 1127, is the practice where a third party finance company loans money to a plaintiff in anticipation of a favorable settlement in a lawsuit. The finance companies justify a high interest rate because if the plaintiff does not win the suit, there is no requirement to repay the amount financed/loaned.

The Chamber has always maintained that this practice has an adverse impact upon the settlement/litigation process. As has been the case previously, Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) was the author in the House and Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) was the author in the Senate. The Chamber and coalition members have supported Rep. Lehman’s position and the lawsuit lending industry has supported Sen. Head’s.

Representative Lehman took a different approach this year and attempted to place the transactions under the Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC). Because of the way that interest rates and deferral interest rates are calculated for banks under the UCCC, there was some confusion as to how these transactions would operate for lawsuit lending purposes. To keep a long story short: The industry wanted a $500 document fee on all transactions, 36% interest rate cap and a 36% deferral fee. Due to how their product is financed, it effectually produced an interest rate of 72% – which was totally unacceptable to the Chamber, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, the Insurance Institute of Indiana and other business interests. During conference committee time, Rep. Lehman made several proposals to find common ground.

The night before the last day of session, the Chamber met with Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) to discuss our concerns. He thought a deal might still be struck. Early the final day, a conference committee report was presented and the legal finance industry was opposed to it. By 10:30 a.m., all parties agreed that the bill was dead and we would be back next year to fight even stronger. As a result, most of the coalition members had returned to their respective offices for the day. A little after 11 a.m., the local contract lobbyist for the American Legal Finance Association approached the Chamber to see if there could be a tweaking of the fees if the interest rates were kept lower. Around 12:30 p.m., Rep. Lehman asked the coalition if all of us could live with a 36% interest rate, a 7% service fee, a $250 document fee for loans under $5,000 and a $500 document fee for loans in excess of $5,000. The kicker was that Lehman said that it would be calculated based upon APR (Annual Percentage Rate).

Immediately the Chamber and others said take the deal. Without the APR the deal would have been OK at best, but with APR this was a game-changer. The rest of the afternoon and evening we worked ferociously to get the Senate Democrats to get Sen. Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) to sign the conference committee report and get the bill passed. The final HB 1127 passed the Senate 40-10 and was in the last batch of bills to be voted on in the House, passing by a margin of 63-32.

The Chamber wants to thank Jon Zarich, representing State Farm, and Michael Niland and Logan Harrison of the Insurance Institute for their amazing efforts. Their partnership with the Chamber helped make the passage of lawsuit lending possible after six long years.