March Member News

  •                                                                                                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                        February 11, 2020


Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission
Contact:  Charles Steepleton,   Phone: 1-877-664-2566, Email: 


The Honorable Deborah Wood Blevins was Honored as an Influential
Women of Law by Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly

[Richmond, Virginia]–  On February 18, 2020, Deputy Commissioner Deborah Wood Blevins was honored during the Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly’s second annual event honoring Virginia’s top female attorneys and judges. Hosted in collaboration with statewide bar groups, Deputy Commissioner Blevins is one of thirty-four (34) honorees who will be recognized at The John Marshall in Richmond, Virginia to celebrate their commitment to their profession and dedication to the communities they serve.

Blevins will join forty-three (43) honorees from the inaugural class of 2019. This recognition speaks highly of Deputy Commissioner Blevins and recognizes her commitment to Virginia’s workers’ compensation system and the Commission’s nationally recognized Alternative Dispute Resolution program, which she led in its development.

Deputy Commissioner Blevins is a 1980 graduate from Swarthmore College and earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1983 from the University Of Virginia School Of Law. Prior to joining the Commission, Blevins was a partner in Gilmer, Sadler, Ingram, Sutherland, & Hutton, LLP in Pulaski, Virginia. Blevins is the Managing Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Department and was hired by the Commission in 2004. She currently serves as the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Committee for the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions. Additionally, Blevins serves as the Chair of the Special Committee to Study Appellate Mediation in Virginia. In 2018, she was also inducted as a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers.


  • Judge Dianne Mayo retired from the Louisiana Workforce Commission

Judge Dianne Mayo retired from the Louisiana Workforce Commission – Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) after 15 ½ years of service. Judge Mayo began her service with the agency as a workers’ compensation mediator and after many years of exemplary service, she was promoted to the position of Workers’ Compensation Division Judge.  Judge Mayo has been a valuable part of the Hearings Section of the OWC.  Her many contributions to the mediation program and the adjudication of disputed claims will always be remembered.  Her hard work, commitment and dedication are worthy of admiration.  Assistant Secretary Sheral Kellar expressed her gratitude for Judge Mayo’s contributions and stated that “Judge Mayo will be greatly missed and filling her shoes will be an almost impossible task.”

Best wishes to Judge Dianne Mayo in her feature endeavors.



  • Robert A. Rapaport Reappointed as Commissioner of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission

On January 27, 2020, the General Assembly of Virginia reappointed  Robert A. Rapaport as Commissioner of the VWC for a six year term.  Judge Rapaport completed his first term and will continue to join Judge Wesley Marshall and Judge R. Ferrell Newman as appellate level judges on the VWC.


  • Judges to be inducted in the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in March 2020

The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers will induct nine workers’ compensation judges in the class of 2020 during the annual meeting in New Orleans on March 28, 2020.  The following judges will be honored as a Fellow of the CWCL:  Judge Shannon Bruno Bishop (LA) NAWCJ Board member, Judge David Cicola (PA), Judge Randy Lynn Cohen (CT), Judge Lynn Ferris (VA), Judge William Gallagher (IL), Judge Douglas Gott (KY) Editor NAWCJ Newsletter, Judge Brenza Irving-Jones (LA), Judge John Mastropietro (CT), and Judge Linda Smith (LA) member of NAWCJ.


  • Kentucky Reappointments of Administrative Law Judges

The Kentucky state senate on February 26, 2020 confirmed the reappointments of the following administrative law judges with Kentucky’s Department of Workers’ Claims: Chris Davis, Doug Gott, Christy Hajjar, John McCracken, Grant Roark, Monica Rice-Smith, and Jonathan Weatherby. All are NAWCJ members.

Also, Scott Borders was sworn in on February 28, 2020 as a member of Kentucky’s Workers’ Compensation Board, the three-member panel that is the first level of appeal from an ALJ decision. Borders was an administrative law judge from 2002-2016.