ALBANY, NY—April 4, 2017—The Public Employer Risk Management Association (PERMA) has announced that workers’ comp experts Mary Beth Woods and Gordon Graham will be presenters at its 2017 annual member conference. This year’s conference, “The PERMA Zone: Unlocking the Membership Dimension,” will be held May 25 and 26 at the Sagamore Hotel and Resort on Bolton Landing, Lake George.

The Twilight Zone-themed conference will add workshop sessions, offer an HR certification credit and bring back the opportunity to dress in costume for dinner, features that were successful last year. “We are very excited to have such well-respected experts in their field as Mary Beth Woods and Gordon Graham presenting at this year’s conference,” said Karen Braman, PERMA senior director of member services. “And we are looking forward to seeing more of the gorgeous and outlandish costumes that made last year’s conference so much fun.”

Mary Beth Woods, executive director of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), will speak about the evolution of the WCB over the past few years, touching on eClaims implementation, the board’s multi-year Business Process Reengineering, and opioid hearings. Woods has worked at the WCB for over 15 years and has held titles including deputy executive director, director of financial administration, and director of licensing. Woods will be presenting on Thursday, May 25.

Keynote speaker Gordon Graham, known to police departments throughout the nation for his policy trainings, will speak to PERMA members about “Why Things Go Wrong, and Why Things Go Right.” Graham believes that risk management is the process of looking into the future, determining what can go wrong, then taking any necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t. His speaking style has been called dynamic and forthright, and he is known for not sugarcoating the risks that face public employers. Graham will be presenting on the morning of Friday, May 26.

Registration for the conference closes on April 24, and attendance is currently trending about 10 percent higher than 2016. Attendance is free for all sessions, and PERMA members receive a complementary night’s stay at the Sagamore on May 25. Registration information for the PERMA 2017 Annual Member Conference can be found at