MWCEA Awards

Celebrating Excellence and Supporting the Community

MWCEA is proud to celebrate excellence in the Workers’ Compensation community through a variety of awards and scholarships. Many of our award recipients are both nominated and selected by our Awards Committee, while others invite open nominations from the community at large.

Click an award title or simply scroll down the page to explore.

Ken Perry’s career in the law spanned 50 years, and throughout his career, he presented himself as a connoisseur of professionalism. A transplant from the state of Texas, his legal career was spent entirely with a single firm which now operates as Shell Buford, PLLC in the Jackson, Mississippi area. Mr. Perry served for many years as the Workers’ Compensation Law professor at both the Jackson School of Law and the Mississippi College School of Law, and many of the attorneys practicing law in the field of workers’ compensation law today owe their expertise to him.

The Workers’ Compensation Section of The Mississippi Bar celebrates the memory of Mr. Perry’s consummate professionalism in the field of workers’ compensation by honoring one of its own with the Kenneth G. Perry Professionalism Award. The recipient is an attorney whose career is focused on workers’ compensation issues, and is a person who personifies civility, honesty, competence, and irreproachable ethics in his or her practice. Mr. Perry set the standard by which all lawyers aspire to be judged. A hearty congratulations is extended to this year’s recipient.

Ken Perry’s career in the law spanned 50 years, and throughout his career, he presented himself as a connoisseur of professionalism. A transplant from the state of Texas, his legal career was spent entirely with a single firm which now operates as Shell Buford, PLLC in the Jackson, Mississippi area. Mr. Perry served for many years as the Workers’ Compensation Law professor at both the Jackson School of Law and the Mississippi College School of Law, and many of the attorneys practicing law in the field of workers’ compensation law today owe their expertise to him.

The Workers’ Compensation Section of The Mississippi Bar celebrates the memory of Mr. Perry’s consummate professionalism in the field of workers’ compensation by honoring one of its own with the Kenneth G. Perry Professionalism Award. The recipient is an attorney whose career is focused on workers’ compensation issues, and is a person who personifies civility, honesty, competence, and irreproachable ethics in his or her practice. Mr. Perry set the standard by which all lawyers aspire to be judged. A hearty congratulations is extended to this year’s recipient.

Kids’ Chance of Mississippi is a scholarship fund established by the Mississippi Bar Foundation under the Administrative Law and Workers’ Compensation Section of the Mississippi Bar to provide scholarships for children between the ages of 17 and 23 who have had a parent killed or permanently and totally disabled on the job. Kids’ Chance of Mississippi provides scholarships for students to attend vocational/technical school or college. Former MWCC Commissioner, Lydia Quarles, was instrumental in facilitating the evolution of the program.

The MWCEA has adopted Kids’ Chance of Mississippi as its official charity and strives to assist with the dissemination of information about Kids’ Chance and to assist with providing manpower to Kids’ Chance in fundraising efforts. The Board of Directors of the MWCEA expresses its sincere appreciation to our volunteer committee members.

We ask for your assistance in the ongoing effort to raise community awareness regarding the availability of this scholarship. It is our sincere hope that no child who stands to benefit from this award miss out due to lack of knowledge. 

Past Award Recipients

The 2016 scholarships were presented in memory of our friend and colleague Richie Edmonson.

  • Amelia Ann Carr (Mississippi Delta CC)
  • Mary Katherine Carr (Mississippi Delta CC)
  • Johnnay Lelissa Holt (University of Mississippi)
  • Emilee Annette Wiygul (Itawamba CC)
  • Jayme Sherryll Pinkard (University of Mississippi)
  • Jenna Alyssa Pinkard (University of Mississippi)
  • Johnnay Melissa Holt (Mississippi State University)
  • Lauren McKenzie Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Lindsey Cheyanne Turner (Mississippi College)
  • Mary Katherine Carr (Mississippi Delta CC)
  • Blanton Price Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Dylan Patrick Murphy (Mississippi College)
  • Emilee Annette Wiygul (Itawamba CC)
  • Brittney Nichole Henley (Jones County Junior College)
  • Lauren McKenzie Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Lindsey Cheyanne Turner (Mississippi College)
  • Mary Katherine Carr (Mississippi Delta CC)
  • Blanton Price Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Lauren McKenzie Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Rachel Victoria Phillips (UMMC)
  • Maverick Monroe Smith (Itawamba CC)
  • Rachel Victoria Phillips (UMMC)
  • Richard T. Phillips (Hinds CC)
  • Maverick Monroe Smith (Itawamba CC)
  • Whitney Allison Hariel (Hinds CC)
  • Brittney Nichole Henley (Jones County Junior College)
  • Rachel Victoria Phillips (UMMC)
  • Richard T. Phillips (Hinds CC)
  • Maverick Monroe Smith (Itawamba CC)
  • Jennifer Nicole Wiygul (Itawamba CC)

Kids’ Chance of Mississippi is a scholarship fund established by the Mississippi Bar Foundation under the Administrative Law and Workers’ Compensation Section of the Mississippi Bar to provide scholarships for children between the ages of 17 and 23 who have had a parent killed or permanently and totally disabled on the job. Kids’ Chance of Mississippi provides scholarships for students to attend vocational/technical school or college. Former MWCC Commissioner, Lydia Quarles, was instrumental in facilitating the evolution of the program.

The MWCEA has adopted Kids’ Chance of Mississippi as its official charity and strives to assist with the dissemination of information about Kids’ Chance and to assist with providing manpower to Kids’ Chance in fundraising efforts. The Board of Directors of the MWCEA expresses its sincere appreciation to our volunteer committee members.

We ask for your assistance in the ongoing effort to raise community awareness regarding the availability of this scholarship. It is our sincere hope that no child who stands to benefit from this award miss out due to lack of knowledge. 

Past Award Recipients

The 2016 scholarships were presented in memory of our friend and colleague Richie Edmonson.

  • Amelia Ann Carr (Mississippi Delta CC)
  • Mary Katherine Carr (Mississippi Delta CC)
  • Johnnay Lelissa Holt (University of Mississippi)
  • Emilee Annette Wiygul (Itawamba CC)
  • Jayme Sherryll Pinkard (University of Mississippi)
  • Jenna Alyssa Pinkard (University of Mississippi)
  • Johnnay Melissa Holt (Mississippi State University)
  • Lauren McKenzie Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Lindsey Cheyanne Turner (Mississippi College)
  • Mary Katherine Carr (Mississippi Delta CC)
  • Blanton Price Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Dylan Patrick Murphy (Mississippi College)
  • Emilee Annette Wiygul (Itawamba CC)
  • Brittney Nichole Henley (Jones County Junior College)
  • Lauren McKenzie Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Lindsey Cheyanne Turner (Mississippi College)
  • Mary Katherine Carr (Mississippi Delta CC)
  • Blanton Price Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Lauren McKenzie Coleman (Mississippi State University)
  • Rachel Victoria Phillips (UMMC)
  • Maverick Monroe Smith (Itawamba CC)
  • Rachel Victoria Phillips (UMMC)
  • Richard T. Phillips (Hinds CC)
  • Maverick Monroe Smith (Itawamba CC)
  • Whitney Allison Hariel (Hinds CC)
  • Brittney Nichole Henley (Jones County Junior College)
  • Rachel Victoria Phillips (UMMC)
  • Richard T. Phillips (Hinds CC)
  • Maverick Monroe Smith (Itawamba CC)
  • Jennifer Nicole Wiygul (Itawamba CC)

Kids’ Chance Scholarships are available to children of those who were killed or seriously injured in a work related injury. As there are a large number of potentially eligible applicants, funds to establish and continue the scholarships are always needed. Many members of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Mississippi Bar serve as mediators, and many of those mediators agree to donate a portion of their fees to the Fund.

Sam Cox was a larger than life friend to the workers’ compensation community, who was loved by all who knew him and whose memory is honored in the Sam Cox Spirit Award. Sam was funny, energetic, and focused, and with his passing in 2007, we all lost a great friend. A vocational rehabilitation and medical management professional, Cox was an owner and leader of Rehabilitation, Inc. and a founder of Rehab Review, both located in the Jackson, Mississippi area. Sam was also an accomplished tri-athlete who successfully competed in many events around the nation. Sam’s spirit remains alive within his family, his business partners and employees, his friends, and others with whom he interacted professionally and socially. Sam accepted every opportunity and challenge with enthusiasm and commitment, and his vision, integrity and thoroughness were accepted by all as simply Sam’s persona.

The recipient of the Sam Cox Spirit Award is a non-lawyer member of the Mississippi workers’ compensation community who epitomizes those wonderful traits for which Sam was known. He or she exemplifies Sam’s inimitable spirit, his love of life, and his positive influence on our world.

Thank you, Sam, for setting such a wonderful example for all of us.

Sam Cox was a larger than life friend to the workers’ compensation community, who was loved by all who knew him and whose memory is honored in the Sam Cox Spirit Award. Sam was funny, energetic, and focused, and with his passing in 2007, we all lost a great friend. A vocational rehabilitation and medical management professional, Cox was an owner and leader of Rehabilitation, Inc. and a founder of Rehab Review, both located in the Jackson, Mississippi area. Sam was also an accomplished tri-athlete who successfully competed in many events around the nation. Sam’s spirit remains alive within his family, his business partners and employees, his friends, and others with whom he interacted professionally and socially. Sam accepted every opportunity and challenge with enthusiasm and commitment, and his vision, integrity and thoroughness were accepted by all as simply Sam’s persona.

The recipient of the Sam Cox Spirit Award is a non-lawyer member of the Mississippi workers’ compensation community who epitomizes those wonderful traits for which Sam was known. He or she exemplifies Sam’s inimitable spirit, his love of life, and his positive influence on our world.

Thank you, Sam, for setting such a wonderful example for all of us.

Recovery and Return (R&R) Award

The Recovery & Return Award is presented annually to a worker injured on the job in Mississippi that has demonstrated exceptional motivation to obtain physical recovery and return to the productive workforce. 

Click each title to learn more.

This award is presented to acknowledge the fundamental purpose of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Law: to restore injured workers to health and vocational opportunity; and to recognize excellent effort by an injured worker to achieve those goals.

A nominee for the Recovery & Return Award must be a worker who:

  • Was injured on the job in Mississippi
  • Has obtained physical recovery (MMI) and returned to employment
  • Demonstrated exceptional motivation in complying with medical treatment and focus on speedy recovery
  • Demonstrated the desire and willingness to return to work in all medically approved capacities
  • Maintained meaningful communication with employer regarding recovery progress and desire to return to work in accommodated or other capacity

Any worker injured in Mississippi who meets the above criteria is eligible for award nomination. The process is begun by completing an application from the MWCEA website.

All applications are reviewed by a MWCEA panel of at least five judges. Judges may not participate in scoring if their own organization has submitted entries. Entries are rated and scored in each area of the award criteria on a scale of 1-10.

The winning entry will be announced at the annual Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Educational Association’s annual conference/meeting in April each year, and will hold that status until the next year. The winner will also provide a program at the MWCEA conference of its unique application of work comp effectiveness with a presentation up to 5 minutes.

Nomination/Application Due: February 1, 2019

Completion of Judging and Panel Determination: March 15, 2019

Presentation of Award and Winner Acknowledgment: MWCEA Conference April 10-12, 2019

The Recovery & Return Award is presented annually to a worker injured on the job in Mississippi that has demonstrated exceptional motivation to obtain physical recovery and return to the productive workforce. 

Click each title to learn more.

This award is presented to acknowledge the fundamental purpose of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Law: to restore injured workers to health and vocational opportunity; and to recognize excellent effort by an injured worker to achieve those goals.

A nominee for the Recovery & Return Award must be a worker who:

  • Was injured on the job in Mississippi
  • Has obtained physical recovery (MMI) and returned to employment
  • Demonstrated exceptional motivation in complying with medical treatment and focus on speedy recovery
  • Demonstrated the desire and willingness to return to work in all medically approved capacities
  • Maintained meaningful communication with employer regarding recovery progress and desire to return to work in accommodated or other capacity

Any worker injured in Mississippi who meets the above criteria is eligible for award nomination. The process is begun by completing an application from the MWCEA website.

All applications are reviewed by a MWCEA panel of at least five judges. Judges may not participate in scoring if their own organization has submitted entries. Entries are rated and scored in each area of the award criteria on a scale of 1-10.

The winning entry will be announced at the annual Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Educational Association’s annual conference/meeting in April each year, and will hold that status until the next year. The winner will also provide a program at the MWCEA conference of its unique application of work comp effectiveness with a presentation up to 5 minutes.

Nomination/Application Due: February 1, 2019

Completion of Judging and Panel Determination: March 15, 2019

Presentation of Award and Winner Acknowledgment: MWCEA Conference April 10-12, 2019

Chairman’s Award for Business Excellence (CABE)

The Chairman’s Award for Business Excellence is presented annually to a Mississippi company/employer who demonstrates exceptional commitment to innovation in the application of its workers’ compensation program.

Click each title to learn more.

This award is presented to acknowledge a company/employer who has shown innovation and commitment to improving the process of handling workers’ compensation claims and to provide unique and creative ways of continuing an employee’s work capabilities despite a work comp claim and/or its limitations.

The award recipient will be a company doing business in Mississippi — self-insured, domestic and foreign — and will have demonstrated the following:

  • An ongoing commitment and contribution to improve Workers’ Compensation and Recovery
  • Successful safety programs
  • Initiatives for healthy employees
  • Successful light/transitional duty and accommodations for injured employees
  • Philanthropic efforts in the community

Any Mississippi employer is eligible for award determination. The process is begun by completing an application from the MWCEA website. All applications are reviewed by a MWCEA panel of at least five judges. Judges may not participate in scoring if their own organization has submitted entries. Entries are rated and scored in each area of the award criteria on a scale of 1 – 10.

The winning entry will be announced at the annual Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Educational Association’s annual conference/meeting in April each year and will hold that status until the next year. The winner will provide a program at the MWCEA conference of its unique application of work comp effectiveness with a presentation up to 5 minutes.

Nomination/Application Due: February 1, 2019

Completion of Judging and Panel Determination: March 15, 2019

Presentation of Award and Winner Acknowledgment: MWCEA Conference April 10-12, 2019

The Chairman’s Award for Business Excellence is presented annually to a Mississippi company/employer who demonstrates exceptional commitment to innovation in the application of its workers’ compensation program.

Click each title to learn more.

This award is presented to acknowledge a company/employer who has shown innovation and commitment to improving the process of handling workers’ compensation claims and to provide unique and creative ways of continuing an employee’s work capabilities despite a work comp claim and/or its limitations.

The award recipient will be a company doing business in Mississippi — self-insured, domestic and foreign — and will have demonstrated the following:

  • An ongoing commitment and contribution to improve Workers’ Compensation and Recovery
  • Successful safety programs
  • Initiatives for healthy employees
  • Successful light/transitional duty and accommodations for injured employees
  • Philanthropic efforts in the community

Any Mississippi employer is eligible for award determination. The process is begun by completing an application from the MWCEA website. All applications are reviewed by a MWCEA panel of at least five judges. Judges may not participate in scoring if their own organization has submitted entries. Entries are rated and scored in each area of the award criteria on a scale of 1 – 10.

The winning entry will be announced at the annual Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Educational Association’s annual conference/meeting in April each year and will hold that status until the next year. The winner will provide a program at the MWCEA conference of its unique application of work comp effectiveness with a presentation up to 5 minutes.

Nomination/Application Due: February 1, 2019

Completion of Judging and Panel Determination: March 15, 2019

Presentation of Award and Winner Acknowledgment: MWCEA Conference April 10-12, 2019

Safest Places to Work in Mississippi

MWCEA is pleased to announce a new rewards program—Safest Places to Work in Mississippi—coordinated and co-sponsored by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Education Association, the Mississippi Association of Self-Insurers, and the Mississippi Business Journal. 

Click each title to learn more. 

The Mississippi Business Journal will publish a comprehensive ranking of companies doing business in Mississippi, based on the following criteria:

  • How safety policies and procedures are implemented in that company’s workplace
  • How positive results of a well-managed workers’ compensation program are achieved, and
  • How successful worker recovery is realized.

The program is open to all for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental entities, including publicly or privately held businesses, who:

  • Have a facility in Mississippi with at least 3 full-time employees.
  • Have current workers’ compensation coverage.
  • Remain in good standing with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

All award nominees will complete a detailed survey (all information provided will be kept strictly confidential). After the survey period, a panel of local and neighboring state health and safety experts will review the data from all companies that participated and met the criteria, and will determine the final rankings.

Based on the survey scores, two top winners will be named in each category per industry below:

  • Mega-Large Companies (500 or more employees)
  • Large Companies (200 – 499 employees)
  • Medium Companies (50 – 199 employees)
  • Small Companies (3 minimum to 49 employees)

Award winners and finalists will then be revealed to the program administrators at the Mississippi Business Journal, and announced by that publication.

Nomination/Application Forms Due: November 30, 2018

Survey Form Emailed to Qualified Nominees: After November 30, 2018

Completed Survey Form Due: December 31, 2018

MWCEA is pleased to announce a new rewards program—Safest Places to Work in Mississippi—coordinated and co-sponsored by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Education Association, the Mississippi Association of Self-Insurers, and the Mississippi Business Journal. 

Click each title to learn more. 

The Mississippi Business Journal will publish a comprehensive ranking of companies doing business in Mississippi, based on the following criteria:

  • How safety policies and procedures are implemented in that company’s workplace
  • How positive results of a well-managed workers’ compensation program are achieved, and
  • How successful worker recovery is realized.

The program is open to all for-profit, not-for-profit, and governmental entities, including publicly or privately held businesses, who:

  • Have a facility in Mississippi with at least 3 full-time employees.
  • Have current workers’ compensation coverage.
  • Remain in good standing with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

All award nominees will complete a detailed survey (all information provided will be kept strictly confidential). After the survey period, a panel of local and neighboring state health and safety experts will review the data from all companies that participated and met the criteria, and will determine the final rankings.

Based on the survey scores, two top winners will be named in each category per industry below:

  • Mega-Large Companies (500 or more employees)
  • Large Companies (200 – 499 employees)
  • Medium Companies (50 – 199 employees)
  • Small Companies (3 minimum to 49 employees)

Award winners and finalists will then be revealed to the program administrators at the Mississippi Business Journal, and announced by that publication.

Nomination/Application Forms Due: November 30, 2018

Survey Form Emailed to Qualified Nominees: After November 30, 2018

Completed Survey Form Due: December 31, 2018