SCWCEA Elects 2021 Officers & Board Members

Grady Beard

Grady Beard

Membership Elects 2020 Officers and Four to the Board of Directors

[Irmo, S.C., October 20, 2020] – The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association (SCWCEA) is pleased to announce the elected 2021 officers and board members to the Board of Directors at its annual business meeting on October 19, 2020.

President Steven A. Yuhas, SY Consulting, Inc., Mt. Pleasant, SC
Vice President Grady L. Beard, Esq., Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, Columbia, SC
Secretary Stephanie Pugh, Esq., McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC, Greenville, SC
Treasurer Dewana F. Looper, Esq., Atkins Law Firm, Columbia, SC

Steven A. Yuhas, M.Ed., CRC, NCC, CCM, CLCP, CBIS is currently President of SY Consulting, Inc. and InQuis Global, LLC. He was formerly, President of The Directions Group, Inc., a rehabilitation consulting and case management company serving the Southeastern United States. Since 1985, Mr. Yuhas has been providing catastrophic case management and consultation services to individuals, families, employers, insurance companies, and attorneys. He is especially proud of The Direction’s Groups team involvement in the return to work program for the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge construction project completed in 2005. Mr. Yuhas is experienced in providing vocational rehabilitation evaluations, job placement assistance, catastrophic rehabilitation, and life care plans. He has special interest in working with clients with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and chronic pain. Mr. Yuhas has been qualified as an expert in State and Federal court. He served on the Board of Directors and as President of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP). Mr. Yuhas received his BA in Secondary Education and Psychology and his Masters of Education degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of South Carolina. He acquired his Post Graduate training in life care planning/advanced catastrophic case management through the University of Florida and Rehabilitation Training Institute in 1995.

Grady L. Beard, Esq. is a Founding Member with Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, in Columbia, SC. He focuses his practice on Workers’ Compensation Defense, Workers’ Compensation Mediation, Alternative Dispute Resolution and also practices in the Firm’s Appellate Practice Group. He attended Louisiana State University and received his BS degree from Northwestern State University, Summa Cum Laude. He received his JD degree from Emory University School of Law. Grady is a Fellow in the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, and is an Advisory Board Member for Larson’s National Workers’ Compensation Group. Grady has previously served as co-chair for the Workers’ Compensation Section of the SC Defense Trial Attorneys Association, and is a former Board member of Palmetto Place Children’s Emergency Shelter.

Stephanie Pugh, Esq., focuses her practice on workers’ compensation defense in the Greenville, SC office of McAngus, Goudelock & Courie, LLC. She regularly speaks and presents in the area of workers’ compensation at state-wide seminars. Stephanie is a cum laude graduate from the University of South Carolina where she received a BA degree, a magna cum laude graduate from the University of North Carolina Pembroke receiving a BS degree and received her JD degree, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina School of Law. Outside of her practice, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and cheering on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Dewana F. Looper, Esq., Dewana Looper practices at the Atkins Law Firm in Columbia. She focuses her practice on helping injured workers. Dewana earned her BA from the University of South Carolina Honors College, magna cum laude, and earned her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 2008. Dewana spent the first nine years of her legal career practicing workers’ compensation on the defense side before joining the Atkins Law Firm in 2017. She is dually licensed in both NC and SC. Dewana regularly speaks at seminars on workers’ compensation topics and has been an active member of the SCWCEA. When she isn’t practicing law, Dewana enjoys spending time with her husband of 14 years, her two rotten children, friends, and family. She also loves Gamecocks sports—even when the Gamecocks stink.

Two Board of Directors were also elected with terms beginning January 1, 2021. They are Amy V. Cofield, Esq., South Carolina State Accident Fund, Columbia, SC and Stephen Ratliff, Southern Rehabilitation Network, Inc., Raleigh, NC. Re-elected to the Board for a second three year term were Grady L. Beard, Esq., Robinson Gray Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, Columbia, SC; Suzanne Jebaily, Esq., Jebaily Law Firm, Florence, SC; Betsy Mapes, Carolina Case Management, Raleigh, NC, and Vincent C. Northcutt, Esq., Lueder Larkin & Hunter, LLC, Mt. Pleasant, SC.

“Diversity brings strength. We will continue to focus on new ideas to continue to help shape the future of the SCWCEA and expand its vision. I look forward to working with each member to advance the mission of this association”, says Steve Yuhas, President. “The SCWCEA continues to attract some of the best and brightest in the workers’ comp industry.”

Amy V. Cofield, Esq. was appointed by SC Governor Henry D. McMaster in January of 2019 to serve as the Executive Director of the South Carolina State Accident Fund. Director Cofield earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in education from the University of South Carolina. After graduation, she went to work as a teacher in South Carolina for several years before deciding to enter law school in 1987. Director Cofield graduated from the University Of South Carolina School Of Law in 1990. Upon her graduation from law school, Director Cofield began working in private practice, concentrating in the areas of workers' compensation, real estate, and probate matters. In 1991, Director Cofield became a contract attorney for the State Accident Fund which was her first workers' compensation client. Director Cofield is a member of both the Lexington County and South Carolina Bar Associations. She is a member of the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Educational Association, the Southern Association of Workers' Compensation Administrators, and the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds. She is a graduate of Leadership Anderson and has donated her spare time to serve on many local boards. She is also the former President of the Anderson County Junior Women's Club and Secretary for Lexington County Dixie Youth Baseball. Director Cofield enjoys spending time with her family, attending Gamecock Sporting events, and playing golf. She and her family attend Mount Horeb United Methodist Church and they reside in Lexington.

Stephen R. Ratliff serves as Vice President for Southern Rehabilitation Network, Inc., founded in 1989 and headquartered in Raleigh, NC. With over 35 years in healthcare, he has provided respiratory care services for patients in the hospital and home setting; worked in hospital system business development and medical practice acquisition; developed, marketed, and managed hospital-based occupational medicine programs; marketed and managed medical and vocational rehabilitation firms. As vice president for Southern, he is responsible for leading the organization in its mission to be the leader in the delivery of medical case management, vocational rehabilitation, and continuing education services to injured workers and the workers’ compensation communities in NC, SC, TN, and VA. In 2020, Southern completed its third URAC accreditation for case management and completed a SOC 2 Type 2-Security audit documenting the company’s advanced security rating for internal controls. Stephen received a degree in health science/respiratory therapy from Trident Technical College and attended Medical University of South Carolina. Mr. Ratliff previously served on the SCWCEA Board of Directors from 2008 until 2013.

“We are pleased to welcome these new members to the SCWCEA Board”, says Steve Yuhas, SCWCEA President, “The additions of these professionals shows the broad scope of workers’ compensation community with all segments of the industry well represented. We look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead to advance the programs of the SCWCEA.”

Janet Lovelace was also elected to the Board of Directors on October 9, 2020 effective immediately filling the unexpired seat of Cindy Benton. Ms. Lovelace is the Senior Vice President of Business Development with Global Trans Services Inc., Transportation & Language Services Specialists (GTS). She has been actively involved in the Worker’s Compensation Community since 2003, both in North & South Carolina, the Mid-Atlantic states as well as nationally. Janet began her work with Global Trans Services in March 2011. Prior to her position at GTS, she served in a marketing role with a private investigative firm. Ms. Lovelace serves on the Carolinas Chapter of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals Conference Committee and is an active Medical Seminar committee member for the SCWCEA. She holds a Degree in Accounting, resides in Clemmons NC, is the mother of 3 wonderful children and her chocolate lab Winston. An avid Carolina Panthers fan, she never misses a game whether in the stands or at home and will always “Keep Pounding.”

About the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Association
The SCWCEA is a non-profit organization of over 800 workers' compensation professionals from throughout the United States. It conducts educational programs and provides educational resources for its members and the general public pertaining to the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act and its administration by the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission. These programs and resources keep our members up-to-date on the very latest on medical and legal issues related to workers' comp. For information, visit http://www.scwcea.org.

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