2022 Fall Conference

Join Georgia Employers’ Association and business leaders across the state for our 2022 Fall Conference at Marriott Macon City Center, Macon, GA. The conference’s valuable networking opportunities and array of expert speakers will provide you with updates, insights and successful HR strategies as we enter the last quarter of 2022 and move forward into 2023.

9:00 to 10:00 – Legal Updates: Jeff Thompson – Partner, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
10:00 to 10:10 – Break
10:10 to 11:00 – Labor Updates: Mel Haas – Partner, Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
11:00 to 12:00 – Retaining Practice Leader: Brett Virgin, CFP – Pinnacle Executive Benefits
12:00 to 1:00 – Lunch
1:00 to 2:00 – Legal Updates: Jonathan Martin – Partner, Constangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
2:00 to 2:10 – Break
2:10 to 3:00 – Workers Compensation Updates: Claire Cronin – Partner, Constangy Brooks, Smith and Prophete, LLP
3:00 to 4:00 – “Some Critical Things You Need to Know About Intellectual Property (IP)”: Rick Walker – President & CEO, Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association , Partner, Clements Bernard Walker, PLLC

Westin Photo From Golf Course

Date: October 11th
Time: 9am – 4pm
Macon Marriott City Center
240 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31201

Note: We will not be blocking rooms this year, please reserve rooms directly. The reservations number is 888-236-2427, or use your favorite travel service.

Registration Prices
Members – $150.00
Non-Members – $170.00
Includes Lunch
3% processing charge for credit card 

Registration deadline is Oct. 5

Featured Speakers

Rick WalkerRick WalkerPresident & CEO, Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association,
Partner, Clements Bernard Walker, PLLC

Rick started his career with Ford Motor Company as an engineer, was the Executive Vice President of a major Tier 1, NYSE-listed, automotive supplier for 14 years, and is now President and CEO of the Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association (GAMA), as well as a Director of the Southern Automotive Manufacturers Alliance (SAMA).

Rick is currently a Partner at Clements Bernard Walker PLLC – a law firm specializing in Intellectual Property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and related matters), and Trade Association Law. He is a Registered Patent Attorney. His specialties include various automotive technologies, as well as medical devices, industrial products, technology systems, trade associations, and corporate governance, among other related areas.

He is the author of numerous published articles on innovation, quality, and profitability. In addition, Rick has been:

  • Named one of the “Latest Generation of Atlanta CEOs and Power Brokers” by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  • Awarded the NACD Directorship Certification® (NACD.DC) by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). This is the premier Corporate
    Director designation available in the United States, and recognizes proficiency in corporate director matters and corporate governance.
  • Named the “Automotive Leader of the Year” by the State of Georgia.
  • The recipient of the prestigious International Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF).

He holds both undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees from the University of Detroit, a law degree from the University of Detroit, and completed
The Executive Program at the University of Michigan, School of Business Administration.

Claire CroninClaire Cronin Partner, Constangy Brooks, Smith and Prophete, LLP

Claire is a partner in Constangy’s Macon office. She graduated from Florida State University (B.A., 2001) and Mercer University School of Law (J.D. 2006). She is a member of the Labor and Employment section and the Workers’ Compensation sections of the State Board of Georgia.

Claire represents employers and insurers in all aspects of workers’ compensation litigation, including mediation, subrogation and appeals. Claire has tried numerous workers’ compensation cases involving various legal issues, including occupational disease claims, catastrophic designation, psychological injuries and claims involving Medicare’s right to recovery. Claire has devoted her practice to the representation of Employers and Insurers across the state of Georgia.

Brett VirginBrett Virgin, CFP®, Practice Leader

Advising businesses since 1997, Brett provides creative insurance planning solutions for companies and their executive teams. As Vice President of Executive Benefits for The Pinnacle Group, he works in conjunction with top financial advisors throughout the country regarding multi-life
and supplemental disability insurance plans specifically for executive teams. Brett leads the plan design, implementation and on-going administration of these plans for businesses throughout the country.

Brett graduated with a double major in Economics and Journalism from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He earned the CFP® designation in 2002 after graduating from Oglethorpe University’s Financial Planner Program. In 2018, he earned the mark of Certified BBQ Judge (CBJ) through the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

He is dedicated to community and business involvement through active participation in many organizations. He currently serves the Advisory Board of the Honorary Commanders Alumni Association as well as the Board of Directors of the Georgia Employers Association. Brett spent 10+ years as a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s board and served one year as an officer. Brett has dedicated years to volunteering with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and in 2011 was nominated for Atlanta’s Man of the Year.

Currently Brett lives in Atlanta with his wife and children. When not working for his clients he enjoys boating, fishing, cooking and judging BBQ competitions.

Melvin HaasW. Melvin Haas III, Partner, Constangy, Brooks, Smith, and Prophete, LLP

Mel was formerly a trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board. He heads up the Macon office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP, and focuses his practice on labor relations, union avoidance consulting, campaigns, and NLRB litigation. Mel was recognized as a 2012 Georgia Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers. He was named one of the “Top 20 Most Powerful Labor Attorneys” by Human Resources Executive Magazine, 2012. Mel was named one of the “Top 10 Most Powerful Labor Attorneys” by Human Resources Executive Magazine for 2009 and 2010. He is also Vice Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Labor Relations Committee. He was recognized in the publication, Best Lawyers in America and named one of the Top One Hundred Labor Attorneys in the United States by Labor Relations Institute.

Jeffery L. ThompsonJeffery L. Thompson, Partner, Constangy, Brooks, Smith, and Prophete, LLP

Jeff is a partner with the Macon office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, and LLP. His practice focuses on representing management in employment, litigation, labor matters, providing general advice to clients as well as training clients on preventative measures to avoid litigation.

Jeff has represented firm clients in both State and Federal Court as well as before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Georgia Department of Labor and The National Labor Relations Board. He is also Labor Counsel to the Georgia Employers’ Association, on the Board of Directors for The Macon Chapter of The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and serves as Vice Chairman of the Board for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Inc

Jonathan MartinW. Jonathan Martin, Partner, Constangy, Brooks, Smith, and Prophete, LLP

Jonathan focuses his practice in employment discrimination litigation for management, defending corporations in lawsuits arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as related state laws. He also represents management in traditional labor law issues under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and in wage & hour issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Prior to being in private practice, Jonathan who is also a Reserve Air Force officer, served as a military lawyer in the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Department. While in the Air Force, he held an appointment as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, representing the United States in United States Magistrate Court for the Middle District of Georgia.

Jason C. Logan, Partner, Constangy, Brooks, Smith, and Prophete, LLP

Jason represents employers and insurers in all aspects of workers’ compensation litigation, including mediation, subrogation and appeals. Jason has tried numerous workers’ compensation cases involving various legal issues, such as the idiopathic defense, catastrophic designation, WC-240 (Return to Work), medical benefits, psychological injuries, and diligent job search cases. After many years of representing large, self-insured employers and hospitals, Jason fully understands the intangible costs of workers compensation claims, as well as the importance of sending the right message to the workforce.

Jason also defends employers against EEOC charges of sex, race and disability discrimination, which often times overlap with workers’ compensation claims. Jason also represents employers in garnishment litigation. Jason has presented at countless seminars and training sessions for employers and insurers across
Georgia on workers’ compensation, ADA, FMLA, unemployment claims and garnishment matters.

Jason practices out of Constangy’s Macon office and serves numerous Middle and South Georgia clients. Jason is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and the Macon Bar Association.

2022 Fall Conference

Register Now for the GEA Fall Conference

Registration Costs:

GEA Members – $150
Non-Members – $170
includes lunch

Registration deadline is October 5