July 07, 2021
In March 2020, just days before the CLM Annual Conference was set to kick off, the event was suddenly cancelled due to COVID-19-related concerns. One of the many things lost because of that necessary action was State Compensation Insurance Fund’s Chief Claim Operations Officer Stephen Hunckler not being able to receive the CLM Lifetime Achievement Award in person, which recognizes distinguished industry professionals who have made a lasting impact on the industry and CLM.
Below is an updated version of an interview originally conducted in early 2020, in which Hunckler discusses what happened since March 2020, his first post-pandemic conference, and his proudest professional moment of work.
Has it seemed like a lifetime since you were first announced as a recipient of the CLM Lifetime Achievement Award? What has the last year and a half been like for you, and how are you feeling about the award now versus March 2020 when we last spoke?
It does even like a lifetime since the award was first announced. Over the past year and a half, I have seen a total transformation of folks working in an office to becoming remote workers. I have seen leaders become even better by helping workers transition and still maintain that connectivity that drives the values of an organization. I have experienced both first-hand and second-hand losses of loved ones and how people rise to the occasion to support those experiencing losses. It actually means more to me personally to accept this great award now.
Will the CLM Annual Conference be your first in-person event since the pandemic started?
Yes, this will be my first in-person meeting. With great discipline, I look forward to seeing all of those individuals who have contributed to our industry for both the last 18 months and beyond. We have so much knowledge to share, and the annual meeting is the perfect format for doing this. I am humbled to be attending the annual meeting and accepting this award.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your professional work?
I’m really proud of the influence that I’ve had and the relationships I’ve developed with many of the people with whom I’ve worked over the years at many different companies and organizations. To see their careers blossom and to be told by them that I had a lot to do with it is definitely what I’m most proud of over my career of 38 years (and counting).