Straight forWARD - Volume 6

Charles “Charley” O’Dell


Charley grew up in Eugene, Oregon. He studied marketing & Advertising at Arizona State University where he was also a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and the Young Republicans. During his time at school he worked at a local haberdashery in Phoenix.

Charley was recruited by Bob Ballin in 1993 to work at Willis Corroon. Seven years later, he made his move to Ward Insurance and in the last 18 years with Ward he has taken on many leadership roles within the company. As a Partner, Vice President, Portland Branch Operations Manager and proud owner of the Portland Office Mascot; Ridley (pictured below). He is an invaluable team member and enjoys working hard to ensure our clients’ interests are top priority. He also enjoys problem solving and having a team dedicated to each account that is a cut above all other agencies. He hopes this can continue and only improve as we move forward.

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Charley has continued to stay active within the community as a member of numerous Wood Product associations, CASA and ALS. He maintains balance in his life by not taking himself too seriously being as comfortable in the board room as on the dance floor. He is an avid runner and has participated in 5 Marathons. In addition to running, he enjoys listening to Podcasts, watching sports, working out, going to the theatre, and listening to live music.

Industry Insights


Forklift and Pedestrian Safety

Forklifts have become commonplace in nearly every industry, thanks to their versatility and utility. As employers find more ways to use forklifts in the workplace, there is often a corresponding increase in exposure to pedestrians. With the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) estimate of 19,000 pedestrians being struck by forklifts each year, it is essential that this exposure is recognized and mitigated. Below we will use the Hierarchy of Controls to explore some methods of managing forklift-pedestrian hazards. Keep Reading


Affordable Care Act is Here to Stay

It has been indicated by Republicans in the U.S. Senate that repeal efforts for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have halted due to the outcome of the mid-term elections. They will no longer be working to repeal the current law, and employers must continue to comply with applicable ACA provisions. What does this mean to employers? Keep Reading


Workers’ Compensation Rates Continue to Drop

Workers compensation insurance rate recommendations continue to drop in 2019 all over the country. Oregon’s rates are down an average of 9.7%. This trend is the result of ongoing efforts by employers to reduce workplace incidents and regulators who are working to stabilize medical costs and pass effective work comp reforms. Keep Reading

Employee Spotlight

Rebecca Wright

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Rebecca Wright has been in the insurance industry for 15 years specializing in Workers' Compensation. She worked 9 years as a Workers' Compensation Senior Claims Adjuster and 3 years as a Workers' Compensation Claims Supervisor before joining the Ward team 3 years ago as a Workers' Compensation Claims Manager.

As a Workers' Compensation Claims Manager at Ward, she is an extra resource for clients to contact regarding their WC claims. She reviews open claims, claims with outstanding reserves, and communicates client concerns in order to move each claim towards closure. As someone who loves what she does, she is happy to attend or conduct claims reviews to answer any questions regarding specific claims or the Workers' Compensation process in general. With Certification as a California Self-Insured Claims Administrator and Oregon Certified Workers'' Compensation Adjuster, she is more than capable to navigate any claims situation.

Rebecca grew up in Fresno, CA. She attended college at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks while living on base at Port Hueneme, CA with her husband - a Seabee in the US Navy. Together they have 4 children.

When not at work, Rebecca enjoys hiking, reading and watching her children participate in their sports and activities.

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At Ward we love our pets. Here are a few of our fur family members.

From Top Left: Brookie, Disney, Stout, Forrest, Waco, Lucy, Bindi, Sophia, Rajah, Bella, Moose, Sturgile, and Roxy.

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