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Speaker Biographies

Learn more about our Speakers for the 2017 Safety and Loss Control Conference below:

Mike Williamsen

Senior Consultant

Mike is a nationally recognized workplace safety consultant with nearly 30 years of safety and business change management experience. His background includes serving in Engineering, Operations, and Safety Manager positions for companies such as Frito-Lay, Inc. and General Dynamics. In 1985, Mike teamed with safety author Dr. Dan Petersen for three years to develop and implement a nationwide safety accountability and continuous improvement system that helped a Fortune 20 company reduce injuries by 80% within two years. Since that time Mike has applied these and other high-impact safety principles with similar success to other Fortune 500 companies, such as General Dynamics, Baxter Healthcare, ATCO Electric, Rohm and Haas Co., and BASF. He received his academic degrees from the University of California, Berkeley (B.S.), California State University, Hayward (MBA) and Columbia Southern University, Orange Coast, Alabama (Ph.D., Business).

Jim Germain

WC Claims Specialist

Jim Germain is a Claims Supervisor in Workers’ Compensation Program. Jim is a 1995 Graduate from the University of St Thomas. Jim has worked in the Workers’ Compensation Program for 27 years and has been managing workers’ compensation claims for most of that time.  Jim has been a presenter at previous Safety and Loss Control Conferences, and he is also a presenter for Supervisory CORE training as well as a presenter on various claims management topics at many state agencies.

Kristin Brusegard

WC Claims Specialist

Kristin Brusegard is a licensed claim adjuster in Admin’s Workers’ Compensation Program.  She has been handling workers’ compensation claims for 18 years and has worked in the private sector handling claims for large corporations as well as smaller businesses.  She has worked for the State of Minnesota for 3 years handling senior level Workers’ Compensation claims. Kristin is a graduate of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. 

Dan Meers

Motivational Speaker

Dan Meers has been KC Wolf, the mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs, for more than 25 years.  In 2006 he was selected as the first NFL mascot inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame.  Dan travels throughout the United States and the world entertaining thousands of people both in and out of costume.  He has performed in over 30 states and six different countries.

He is in high demand not only as a mascot but also as a humorous and motivational speaker to audiences of all ages.  His enthusiasm, optimism, and love for life are contagious and make Dan an inspiration to all those he meets.

Be it young or old, executive or blue collar, his audiences walk away with a smile and a renewed spirit to live life to the fullest.

Whether you’re a Kansas City Chiefs fan or not, you’ll enjoy Dan Meers as he shares his unique wit and wisdom about life.

Kat Perkins

Growing up the daughter of a music teacher, Kat Perkins has been singing, dancing, and performing for just about as long as she can remember.

Coming from a town that only recently went from “unincorporated” to 281, with the nearest theater or rock show hundreds of miles away, it took a lot of determination for that little girl to pursue her dreams.

Almost as soon as she stepped off the stage at her high school graduation, at just 18 years old, she packed her bags, said good bye to her family, and traveled 600 miles east to Minneapolis, MN – where her undeniable drive and passion for performance shined through in her unforgettable stage presence. Kat began to carve out a place for herself on both the music and theater stages of the Twin Cities.

After signing a record deal, and beginning to work and share stages with some of the music industries biggest acts (Guns and Roses, Bon Jovi, etc), Kat’s career began to reach heights she’d only dreamed of as her years of hard work began to pay off.  It was at that point that Kat began to feel tension in her throat, tension that would end the career she’d dreamed of and worked towards her entire life.

In the spring of 2011, Kat was diagnosed with a vocal fold cyst, requiring surgery that would prevent her from continuing on in the only career she’d ever known. Unwilling to let this set back change her attitude, Kat began to pursue her second passion, which was working with children, and she began nannying.

After nearly two years of nannying, Kat’s voice began to heal and she began to sing again. She volunteered to do a tour for members of the United States Military in the Middle East, on a trip that would change her life in more ways than she’d ever imagined. During a layover in the middle of the night in the Amsterdam airport, Kat began to sing Adele’s “Someone Like You.” The video made its way online, going viral, and gaining the attention of the producers of NBC’s THE VOICE, who requested she come on the hit TV show.

Kat’s time on THE VOICE was unforgettable, as she made it all the way to the finals. Maroon 5 singer, and coach, Adam Levine, proclaimed Kat to be “… hands down one of the best singers we’ve ever had…”  She’s since continued traveling the country performing. Her latest singles have climbed to the top of the iTunes charts and she’d been the top selling rock artist on iTunes five times. She’s also begun speaking, giving over 300 presentations in the past 18 months alone, sharing her message of living a Fearless life, the pursuit of dreams, and making a positive impact on the world.

David Weightman

Risk Control Manager

Mr. Weightman is a Risk Control Manager for PMA Companies and is responsible for managing the risk control services provided to public entity clients. With more than 30 years of experience, Mr. Weightman has held various field and management positions with PMA, where he has managed and delivered safety and risk control services for both the traditional insurance market and self-insured clients.

In addition to leading PMA’s risk control efforts with public entity clients, Mr. Weightman was also a leader of a PMA team to develop an organizational safety perception survey designed to assess employee perceptions regarding safety issues and the safety climate and culture of an organization.


Mr. Weightman has a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Safety and Health from Millersville University and a Master in Business Administration degree from LaSalle University. He holds the Charter Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and Associate in Loss Control Management (ALCM) designations and is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP). Mr. Weightman has also served as a faculty member of the Insurance Society of Philadelphia, where he taught accredited ARM and ALCM classes.

Vijay Dixit

Vijay B. Dixit traded his professional Operations Management, Lean/Six Sigma and Innovation expertise with social advocacy. He cofounded the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)-3 non-profit cofounded with his wife Rekha after losing their daughter Shreya to a distracted driver in 2007.

The foundation operates at the grass roots level and seeks to transform the driving culture in the nation. The foundation’s major initiatives include the development and implementation of innovative distraction-free driving solutions and programs to help instill responsible driving behavior.

In 2013 Vijay pioneered the development of the World’s First Adaptive Massive Open Online Course (aMOOC™) for combating distracted driving.  Aptly named, the Distraction-free Driver, this e-Trainer is available in 65 languages.

In April 2016, Vijay published ‘One Split Second’, a highly researched book about the epidemic of distracted driving-how it kills and how we can fix it. In her foreword, US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota described the book as “A call to action, written with heart”.

Adam Bald

Adam Bald handles loss control and fleet safety for the Risk Management Division in St. Paul.  He studied Public Administration, Political Science, and Criminal Justice and graduated with his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  He has work experience in corrections, law enforcement, background investigation, and commercial insurance.

Holly Gustner


Holly provides leadership and strategic direction for the statewide management of on-road fleet vehicles for the combined Agency Section of the state fleet and chairs the Enterprise State Fleet Council and Fleet Sustainability Work Group.   Holly has worked in state government for 20 years and has been managing Fleet and Surplus Services operations for 10 years.

Jonathan J. Ferris

Supervisory Special Agent

Jonathan graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement.  He began working as a state trooper for the Minnesota State Patrol in 2000.  In 2007, he was promoted to technical sergeant, serving as a district investigator for the East Metro District of the State Patrol.  Beginning in June 2009, he served as the state case agent regarding United States v. Dennis Hecker, et al.  In December 2010, he was hired as an agent for the Commerce Fraud Bureau, and was promoted to supervisory special agent in December 2012.  He was a 2013-2014 Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.  He has significant experience conducting state and federal white collar crime investigations involving theft, forgery, insurance fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.

Dr. Jody Janati

Trainer, speaker, conference facilitator… Jody Janati has an Ed.D. degree in Organizational Leadership and an M.A. degree in Speech Communication. She currently teaches in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. She offers a variety of public and professional workshops on conflict reduction tactics and effective communication skills throughout the year. During her academic career, she has held a number of administrative positions in higher education, taught for the MN state prison system and worked for various colleges throughout Minnesota. She is also the author of five books.

James Krueger


James Krueger has worked in the Safety and Health field for over 2 decades.  He has a master’s degree in safety and health (MIS) from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. James worked in the private sector as the Corporate Safety Director for IDS Financial Services before starting his 25-year career with Minnesota OSHA.  James started as a field investigator and was promoted to the MNOSHA Management Team in 1997. While on the MNOSHA Management team he was responsible for construction and general industry, whistleblower, training and outreach, and compliance assistance which included the I35W bridge removal and reconstruction partnerships.  Since 2009 has been the Director for MNOSHA compliance. 

Juan Ramirez Ph. D.

Dr. Ramirez received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa, a Master of Science from the Missouri University of Science & Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the Central University of Venezuela.  He has performed research in the areas of process safety, consumer product safety, industrial accidents, fires and explosions, heat transfer, and thermodynamics; and has spoken, written, and published numerous papers and articles in his fields of expertise.  He is a registered professional mechanical engineer with 10 years of experience performing scientific and engineering evaluations which include but are not limited to, incident investigations of fires and explosions in industrial, commercial, and residential settings, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system failure analysis, products evaluation and testing, contractor standard of care, personal injury (burns and scalds) evaluation, and natural gas utility locate rules.

Luke Seifert

WC Program, Attorney

Luke is a native of central Minnesota having been raised in Little Falls. After graduating from Creighton University with majors in Political Science and Philosophy, he attended William Mitchell College of Law. Luke’s employment includes the  Minnesota House of Representatives, Holmen Law Office, Luke Seifert Law Office, Quinlivan and Hughes, Donna Law firm and began with the State of Minnesota on March 1, 2017.

Luke has practiced in the area of worker’s compensation law since 1983. Up to 1998, he exclusively handled employee cases. Since then, he has managed cases for employees, uninsured employers, employers and insurers, medical providers, intervenors and QRCs. Luke also has experience in the legal areas of personal injury, contracts and general practice.

Isaac Monson

Director of Safety, Security, and Training

Isaac is the Director of Safety, Security, and Training for Hilmerson Safety Services. He previously worked as a safety engineer at Cummins, Inc, an Emergency Care Trainer at Indiana University, and a Minnesota State Trooper. Isaac has his M.S. in Safety Management, and is a licensed police officer. He has advanced police training in emergency response, emergency scene management, defensive tactics, criminal investigations, and de-escalation. As a licensed officer, he received six Chief’s Awards for Criminal Patrol and 20 letters of commendation in his eight years of service.

Michael Urban P.E.

Mr. Urban is a 1997 mechanical engineering graduate of the University of Windsor.  His professional background, of over 18 years of experience, consists of automotive design, development, testing and evaluation of mechanical and structural automotive systems and forensic evaluation of vehicular collisions and product and material failures. 

Mr. Urban’s forensic experience includes vehicle accident reconstruction for motorcycles, passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and recreational vehicles, as well as, vehicle component failure analysis and insurance fraud/consistency evaluations.  Mr. Urban also provides services in product and material failure analysis, cause analysis of hydraulic, pneumatic, HVAC and fire protection systems involving plumbing fitting and connections, mechanical equipment and machinery failures, nondestructive examination and testing, product design and assessment of conformance to government, corporate, industry, safety and international standards as well as evaluating damage caused to floor tiles resulting from dropped, falling or swung objects.  He also has provided legal depositions and court testimony in support of technical findings for both civil and criminal proceedings. 

Gary Westman

WC Program

Gary is the manager of the Workers’ Compensation Program and he has worked in the workers’ compensation claims industry since 1985. Prior to working for the State of Minnesota, Gary worked for an insurance company for three years. Gary is a native of central Minnesota having been raised in Alexandria. He graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1985.

Keith Juliar

Statewide Safety Director

Keith has worked for over 20 years as a health and safety professional with public and private employers including; The Institute for Environmental Assessment, Minnesota Valley Action Council, Carver County Public Health and POET Ethanol.  Keith is currently the Statewide Safety Director for MnDOT and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University – Mankato.

Ryan Ricci

Ryan is the Safety Director at the MPCA, and has been a health & safety professional for over 12 years. Ryan’s previous positions include: U.S. Health & Safety Advisor, Alliance Pipeline; and, Weapons Safety & Nuclear Surety Manager, U.S. Air Force. He is a Certified Safety Professional and holds Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Occupational Safety & Health, and a Master’s of Business Administration.

Rebecca Carpentier

Rebecca has worked for over 40 years as a training and development professional.  She has designed and conducted safety training for many organizations, including MN/DOT, the Metropolitan Council and now, the Department of Natural Resources.  She has a BA from the University of Minnesota, an MA from St. Thomas University, and Ph.D coursework in organization development from the University of Minnesota.

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