Greetings from the President

By Sheral C. Kellar

Workers’ Compensation Judge – Chief

Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration

Louisiana Workforce Commission



I learned a jingle in elementary school.  For some unknown reason, it is on auto-repeat in my head.

“We’re all in our places, with smiling new faces.  Oh, this is the way to start a new day!”

In early August, my tenure as President of SAWCA ended.  I wanted to sing the jingle, as I opened SAWCA’s annual convention in Amelia Island, but I did not.  As I begin my tenure as President of the NAWCJ, I wanted to open my NAWCJ college host day with “We’re all in our places …”, but again I did not.  Tourgee Debose, my piano teacher of 10 years, said practice makes perfect.  My daughter says practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent.  I am inclined to believe my daughter.  The song never ends.  It is permanently in my head!

As SAWCA president and now as NAWCJ president, I looked out at the smiling faces of hundreds of SAWCA and NAWCJ attendees anxiously awaiting the sage presentations of industry leaders, attorneys, judges, and others.  They were not disappointed.  To stimulate dialogue and debate some presenters exercised the Socratic Method. Others presented materials that contained no answers, only more questions.  These presentations provoked critical thinking in areas yet to be confronted.   Smiling faces in deep thought!  Now, this is the way to start a new day.

On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, the gavel passed from immediate past-President, Honorable Pam Johnson of Tennessee, to me, Sheral Kellar, of Louisiana.   I have lofty goals for the association.  As President, I hope to provide leadership that will:

  • Grow the association;
  • Increase the number of participants at the annual college;
  • Continue the collaboration with other stakeholders to present educational forums regarding workers’ compensation;
  • Support the Lex and Verum by providing frequent news of interest to our members; and
  • Encourage the teaching of workers’ compensation in law schools

I may not achieve all of them, but I believe it is better to shoot for the moon.  Even if I miss, I’ll land among the stars. (thank you Leslie Brown).  I’m excited.  I am honored and extremely humbled by your confidence in my ability to lead the association.  With your help and your guidance, we can achieve these goals and so much more.  This is my start of a brand new day.  I’m smiling at the many possibilities.  Let’s end like we began, “We’re all in our places, with smiling new faces.  Oh, this is the way to start a new day!”