SCF Arizona’s Smith Honored as Chamber’s ‘Transformational Leader’

July 15, 2010

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry has recognized SCF Arizona President and CEO Don Smith for his vision for positive change in public policy by awarding him its Transformational Leader Award for 2010.

Under Smith’s 10-year leadership, the 85-year-old State Compensation Fund was transformed into SCF Arizona, the state’s largest Arizona-based insurance company. Smith took on all aspects of the corporate entity and changed every part of the company. SCF Arizona is now the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer, providing coverage to more than 35,000 active policyholders and some 500,000 employees statewide. It holds $3.4 billion in assets and employs more than 500 people.

“This award is not mine alone, but it really is a collective achievement,” Smith said. “Transformation means major change, and leadership is the ability to inspire others to action. It is really others who demonstrate the courage and faith to venture into the unknown.”

Smith began by transforming the culture of the company from one based on the state employment model to one based in a modern, visionary corporation designed to meet the needs of its 35,000 business policyholders.

Smith also fundamentally changed the way SCF Arizona does business by updating outmoded computer systems as well as changing from a general services company responding to questions and concerns to a customer-facing company working to anticipate future customer needs.

Because of Smith’s stewardship, SCF has increased the quality and rapidity of service delivery while keeping customers’ workers’ compensation insurance costs among the lowest in the nation. At the same time, he has elevated SCF’s public image and focused on corporate responsibility by increasing SCF’s reputation and its support for the business and civic communities.

Smith’s vision sparked the creation of a wholly new company that can compete in the private marketplace and can deliver products and services in a timely and high-quality fashion, destined to meet the needs of Arizona’s business community now and in the future. The Arizona Legislature recently approved a bill to privatize the state workers’ compensation insurer as an Arizona mutual insurance company, beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

The Arizona Chamber’s Transformational Leader Award is given each year to a business leader who inspires business and industry and enriches the future for Arizona.

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