2018 Powered by Women

From reader nominations, DBusiness selected eight professional women who are driving growth in Michigan, the nation, and the world.
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Carolyn Wilson // Ana Almeida // Betsy Meter // Jenny McCuiston
Stacy Fox // Amanda Richie // Patti Poppe // Tricia Keith


Carolyn Wilson

Executive Vice President, COO • Beaumont Health, Southfield
Employees: 38,000 • Revenue: $4.4B


Carolyn Wilson considers her advancement — from starting her career as a registered nurse at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids to being appointed to her current position as the highest-ranking female executive at Beaumont Health and its eight hospitals ­— to be an achievement that’s meaningful for other nurses.

“It’s extra special to me because I know there are a lot of women watching me,” Wilson says of the position she’s held since 2016 as executive vice president and COO for the health system, which includes 187 outpatient sites.

“I think sometimes women question whether continuing to do what’s right and focusing on patients and their families in nursing is going to yield long-term success. I want them to know that it all aligns, that you can start from nursing or any other profession and be successful.”

Wilson returned to Michigan for her Beaumont position from Minneapolis, where she was COO of a smaller health system. In addition to hospitals and health systems in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Grand Rapids, she’s worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

“My roots are very strong in Michigan,” says Wilson, who grew up in Grand Rapids. Her parents and her two daughters live on the west side of the state. Wilson and her husband, Justin, have a home there, too.

When Beaumont, Oakwood Healthcare Inc., and Botsford Hospital merged in 2014 to become Beaumont Health, part of the management team’s job was to merge the three entities into a new, cohesive whole. Some of that responsibility was directed to Wilson, who was hired by CEO John Fox. “(John’s) fantastic to work with ­— and I came to Beaumont in a lot of ways, to work with, and for, John,” she says.

Currently, she’s responsible for bringing 3,000 administrative employees from 16 locations to a building Beaumont Health recently acquired for $28 million on Northwestern Highway in Southfield.

“We’re asking people who’ve driven to the same place for their work location for years to change,” she says. “We’re trying to be very respectful because we’re obviously changing our employees’ lives, but we’re doing it because we believe it will create a stronger sense of team and better outcomes for patient care, and it will reduce our costs.”

Wilson estimates the system will see 10 percent in net savings by consolidating shared services employees into one building. The move is being done in phases and is expected to be completed by year’s end.

The 2014 merger also brought opportunities for new building projects and for making renovations to older, outdated facilities. Since Beaumont’s real estate function reports to the COO, Wilson’s responsibilities have included the 2017 completion of a $40-million proton therapy center; a $160-million renovation of its Farmington Hills hospital that’s ongoing; $121 million in updates to the emergency center at its Royal Oak hospital, which is also ongoing; and the transformation of the Northwood Shopping Center, on the Royal Oak campus, into Woodward Corners at Beaumont, estimated to be finished in mid-2019 at a cost of $33 million.

In addition to real estate, Wilson oversees such disparate departments as pharmacy, imaging, security, and biomedical engineering, among others.

She’s also been promoting regional transit as a public health issue for patients who lack personal transportation to see their doctor or get to a hospital for tests. As a major employer, regional transit would make it possible for Beaumont Health to offer more people jobs in health care, and would make getting to work and holding down a job more convenient for its employees, most of whom don’t live in the county they work in, Wilson says. “Beaumont believes that we really need a regional transit (system),” she adds. — Ilene Wolff

 

Terri Harwood // Katie Bowman Coleman // Amy B. Robinson // Monica Martinez
Lilly Epstein Stotland // Christine Sitek // Tricia Ruby // Sara Blackmer


Ana Almeida

Vice President, Customer Business Unit • Faurecia Automotive Seating, Auburn Hills
Employees: 110,000 • Revenue: $23.6B


Coming from a very small town in Mexico, at the age of 15 Ana Almeida moved to Chihuahua in the northern part of the country to attend high school, then college. Unlike most women in her hometown, she saw a future in engineering and graduated from the Instituto Technologico de Chihuahua II in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering.

From there, she landed a job as an engineer on the factory floor at a supplier plant in Mexico operated by Southfield-based Lear Corp. “At that time,” she says, “I did not speak any English, so I decided pretty quickly that I had to learn English fast. And I did.”

A short while later, she was transferred to Baltimore, where she was tasked with handling customer liaison issues and problem-solving. That was where she met her husband, Bret, who also worked for Lear. They got married, she became a citizen, and she came to the U.S. permanently
in 2000.

“I couldn’t work for six months because I didn’t have the visa processed, but I got certified as a quality engineer, to increase my chances of finding a good job, and became a quality manager after that. American Specialty Cars (ASC Corp. in Southgate) hired me as a senior quality engineer in 2001. I was assigned to a joint venture project that wasn’t going well, so I decided I should find another job.”

That led her to Brose North America in Auburn Hills, where she started as a quality engineer and found herself promoted just a year later. “I think virtually every job I’ve had, I was already doing the job before I actually got it,” she says.

In 2011, she earned an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, and in 2014 she was named global director for Brose’s Ford Customer Business Unit (CBU). Over a five-year period at Brose, she led the growth of a single account to $140 million from $20 million in annual revenue.

Last November, she decided to accept a job at Faurecia North America in Auburn Hills as vice president of its Ford CBU, and in six months she assumed leadership of the company’s GM, Ford, and FCA CBUs. As the only female vice president in a customer-facing role within Faurecia North America, she manages over $1 billion in annual sales to GM, Ford, and FCA.

She says her leadership style is very results-oriented. “I am a problem-solver, with courage to make decisions and take responsibility for the outcome of my teams’ work,” she says. “My teams might consider me tough, but they also know I am very loyal to them. And I don’t ask of others what I am not willing to do myself. As a leader, I believe that having high expectations and holding people accountable nurtures a team’s motivation.”

Almeida’s advice to women in business is mostly the same as it is for men: “To advance in your career, you need to create value for your organization,” she says. “There are no shortcuts that will work in the long term. You need to take care of your education, and continued learning, to develop the necessary skills and competencies.

“You need to keep your eyes open in the workplace, understand the goals and the rules of the environment, and keep in mind that the rules, at times, may be different for women. There is no need to pretend we are men; we are not. We can be better in some ways, so bring your skills to the table and create value.” — Gary Witzenburg

 

Terri Harwood // Katie Bowman Coleman // Amy B. Robinson // Monica Martinez
Lilly Epstein Stotland // Christine Sitek // Tricia Ruby // Sara Blackmer


Betsy Meter

Managing Partner • KPMG, Detroit
Employees: 35,000+ (U.S.) • Revenue: $9B


One of six children, Betsy Meter was born in Pittsburgh and spent her early years in California and Boston before her family moved to Michigan after she finished the eighth grade. She met and dated Terry, her future husband, at Andover High School in Bloomfield Township, and earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Michigan State University in East Lansing.

“I grew up in a family of lawyers and entrepreneurs,” she says, “so I knew I wanted to go into business. I took (my first) accounting class at Michigan State University. I liked the professor and did well, (so that was the start of my path to becoming a CPA). I’ll never forget calling my father and saying, ‘I think I’m going to be a CPA.’ He laughed and said, ‘I don’t think you’re CPA material.’ Yet here I am, 35 years later, as a managing partner of KPMG’s Detroit office.”

Meter interned at KPMG while at MSU and has been there ever since, working her way up to manager, senior manager, and partner. On March 1, she was promoted to managing partner — all while raising three children with her husband.

“I’ve held numerous leadership roles over the course of my career, including the Detroit audit practice, and numerous other local and national roles,” she says. “Now, as the Michigan managing partner, I lead approximately 400 people in two offices in Michigan. One nice thing about a large public accounting firm is that you can do a lot of different jobs while staying with the same employer. I’ve worked … with automotive suppliers, defense firms, and chemical companies. It’s been a great run. I’ve had a great career.”

In addition to her professional career, Meter is a board member, chair of the nominating committee, and past chair of the Michigan Association of Public Accountants in Troy; board and chair of the audit committee for Oakland Family Services In Pontiac; and a board member of the Detroit Economic Club and the Detroit Regional Chamber. She’s worked with several other professional and community organizations, as well.

Meter calls her leadership style inclusive. “I believe that we make better decisions as a team than we do individually,” she says. “But when I have to make tough decisions, I make them. The nature of a service business lends itself to a team leadership style, building loyalty and commitment to team performance, because we work in teams to serve our clients.”

Her advice to young women? “Work hard, take leadership opportunities when they arise, and stay true to yourself. Your integrity and your brand are the most important things you have in the workplace, so if you stay true to those, good things will happen.”

She adds that maintaining the right balance between family and work is extremely important for both men and women, and says having a supportive spouse has been a great advantage. “It truly has to be a partnership. But I tell all the young women with children who work for me that their children are their No. 1 priority. You only get one chance to raise someone right, so you need to balance those priorities with work. With computers and flexible hours, it’s a little easier today. Technology helps, so you don’t always have to be at your workplace.

“You have to keep your priorities straight. That’s the most important (part) of having a successful career. And having a support network around you, whether it’s a spouse, parents, family, siblings, or whoever can help you is the key to working while raising children.” — Gary Witzenburg

 

Terri Harwood // Katie Bowman Coleman // Amy B. Robinson // Monica Martinez
Lilly Epstein Stotland // Christine Sitek // Tricia Ruby // Sara Blackmer


Jenny McCuiston

Co-founder • Goldfish Swim School, Troy
Employees: 82 • Revenue: $4.6M (2016)


Jenny McCuiston associates her personal experience of learning to swim at age 3 with cold water, dark pools, and cavernous-like facilities. Is it any wonder, then, that her Goldfish Swim School, a business McCuiston co-founded with her husband, Chris, features water heated to 90 degrees, pools with “no scary deep ends,” and décor shaded in a palette reminiscent of an island in the Caribbean?

The McCuistons established Goldfish in 2006 after Jenny, who had been teaching kids how to swim at a local pool, learned there was demand for helping children become proficient in handling themselves in water. She has a unique blend of athletic and teaching talent, having been a two-time Olympic trials qualifier, a collegiate All-American at the University of Arizona, a state champion swimmer at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, and by having earned a degree in early childhood development and family studies.

She’s also the mother of four boys who range in age from 4 to 9 (they all know how to swim).

The parents of one of Jenny McCuiston’s college friends have a swim school in San Francisco, so when the McCuistons started thinking about opening a school of their own, they headed to the West Coast for a site visit and the opportunity to soak up advice. Over several years, they visited other schools and wrote a business plan. Soon after, they were welcoming children ages 4 months to 12 years into the first Goldfish Swim School in a former industrial space on Cole Street in Birmingham.

Although the original plan didn’t include franchising, “We got asked all the time if it was (available),” Jenny says. Responding to the groundswell of interest, in 2009 Goldfish’s first franchise opened in Farmington Hills. In the years since, the franchise operations have grown to include 66 locations in 20 states, along with one in Canada. In the U.S., school locations are primarily in the Midwest and on the East Coast, with a concentration in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.

Future goals include increasing international franchises and, perhaps, tweaking the school’s physical model to accommodate Goldfish Schools in big cities like New York, where the facilities may have to fit into smaller spaces because square footage is at a premium. Franchises are available to those with a minimum investment of $1.3 million, according to the company’s website.

The growth Goldfish has experienced also led the company to invest $1 million in a 16,000-square-foot headquarters in 2017 on Industrial Row Drive, east of Coolidge Highway in Troy. The new headquarters not only offers the business more office space; it includes accommodations to meet with potential franchisees and room for training staff.

Goldfish is a family business. Chris, who has a degree in finance, handles the business side. His brother, Andrew, co-owns the franchise operation. Jenny is the visionary who brings her talents of teaching and curriculum development to the pool.

Goldfish’s proprietary curriculum, The Science of SwimPlay, is based on the philosophy that a child’s cognitive growth flourishes in a safe environment and via learning through “guided play.” For example, to teach students to look down while swimming, classes include searching for coins on the bottom of the pool. Also, classes are limited to 30 minutes because that length of time matches an average child’s attention span. “Researchers have shown for a long time that kids learn through play,” McCuiston says. “The focus on fun makes them less anxious.” — Ilene Wolff

 

Terri Harwood // Katie Bowman Coleman // Amy B. Robinson // Monica Martinez
Lilly Epstein Stotland // Christine Sitek // Tricia Ruby // Sara Blackmer


Stacy Fox

Executive Vice President, General Counsel • DowDuPont Inc., Midland; Wilmington, Del.
Employees: 98,000 • Revenue: $80B


On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, Stacy Fox initiated her morning by looking eastward across Lake Huron. “My day literally started watching this fireball erupt over the horizon,” Fox says.

She was at her lakeside house in Lexington. Seeing the sunrise was splendid, but soon she settled into reading emails related to her position as executive vice president and general counsel at DowDuPont Inc. In December 2015, Dow Chemical in Midland and DuPont completed a merger worth $130 billion, and as part of the deal, Fox joined the leadership team from the DuPont side.

“I’ve sort of juggled a number of responsibilities for a few years,” she says. “As they (Dow and DuPont) merged, I was asked to be general counsel. I’ve been working for the last 18 months getting through regulatory processes around the world. We’re now in the phase where we’re starting to separate.”

Yes, that’s right. After the merger, DowDuPont is splitting into three units: Corteva Agriscience (seeds and agricultural chemicals), Dow (plastics, materials, and chemicals), and DuPont (nutrition, biosciences, and more).

The juggling act would continue into the holiday weekend. On that Saturday night, Fox expected 200 guests in what she called the first of several “soft opening” events at the Cadillac House. Dating from 1860, it had been Lexington’s grand hotel and restaurant, although the hotel service was eventually dropped. Wearing her other hat, as co-founder and principal of the Roxbury Group, a real estate development company in Detroit, Fox bought the inn two years ago and had Roxbury manage the restoration. “I own it with my kids,” she says. “We’re redeveloping this incredible Italianate structure back to its original look and, in many cases, original features and material.”

Roxbury is also completing a redevelopment of the 15-story Metropolitan Building, informally known as the Jeweler’s Building, at 33 John R St. just behind the John Varvatos store in downtown Detroit. When it opens later this year, the neo-Gothic tower will offer a 110-room Element Hotel, downtown’s first extended-stay lodging, as well as retail space. The rooftop bar and terrace will fill a niche, too. “Detroit has very few rooftop amenities that are open to the public,” Fox says.

The Roxbury Group launched in 2005. Fox and her business partner, David Di Rita, who had worked for her as deputy general counsel at Visteon Corp. in Van Buren Township, had to look hard for stepping-stones, and they did real estate relocations for nonprofits like the United Way and Legal Aid of Detroit. “We were basically doing real estate consulting,” she says. “After we came out of the recession, we bought the David Whitney Building and were on our way.”

Fox has also been enmeshed in Detroit at the deepest level, having been deputy emergency manager during the city’s bankruptcy. Gov. Rick Snyder appointed her to serve with her University of Michigan Law School classmate, emergency manager Kevyn Orr. In a compressed period starting in 2013, they sorted out the finances, settled unfunded pension plans, and kept the Detroit Institute of Arts from deaccessioning its collection. Judge Gerald Rosen’s “Grand Bargain” brought private foundations into the mix, with the city, state of Michigan, and pensioners helping to resolve the crisis.

Fox says her takeaway from the experience centered on the potency of public-private partnerships. “What the bankruptcy most vividly illustrated is how much you can accomplish if private and public concerns truly pull together around a single vision,” she says. “What we were able to do with the Grand Bargain is nothing short of a miracle. Now, it wasn’t perfect, but it was an incredible show of coming together with public and private parties.” — Ronald Ahrens

 

Terri Harwood // Katie Bowman Coleman // Amy B. Robinson // Monica Martinez
Lilly Epstein Stotland // Christine Sitek // Tricia Ruby // Sara Blackmer


Amanda Richie

​Co-founder • Mobility, Detroit
Employees: 26 • Revenue: NA


Amanda Richie was stepping into an Uber in Austin, Texas, en route to a launch event for her new company, Mobiliti, when she shared her secret for writing a startup’s business plan: “You better be ready to pivot early and often in response to what you find the market needs,” says Richie, co-founder of Mobiliti, a vehicle subscription service in Detroit that she launched with her husband, Chance.

While a business-plan update for an existing company might take five days of collaborative effort, the plan for a startup will entail the commitment of “all your time,” she says. Richie credits Chance with the idea for Mobiliti. The company, which partners with area dealerships to provide customers with month-to-month access to different vehicles, is now operating in Dallas, New York, and central Pennsylvania. “We’re exploring a launch in Detroit for this fall,” she says.

Car-sharing is already a crowded field with a full menu of business models, but Mobiliti has a key partner in Ally Financial in Detroit (formerly GMAC), which is well integrated into the automotive market. The plan starts at $549 per month, includes insurance and roadside assistance, and allows customers to change cars monthly. “It’s everything you like about a lease … on steroids,” she explains.

What to do next had become the question after the couple succeeded in turning around Halo Burger, the mid-Michigan fast-food chain they acquired through their company, Burton-based Halo Country, in 2016. Halo Burger, founded in 1923, is one of the nation’s oldest chains. “It’s definitely got a Michigan flavor,” Richie says, referring to the featured olive burger, Boston cooler (Vernors ginger ale and ice cream), and fried pie.

The co-owners reduced the number of restaurants to eight locations from a dozen eateries and, with the help of Skidmore Studio in downtown Detroit, they rebranded Halo Burger from “Heavenly. Since 1923.” to “Michigan’s best burger since 1923.” They also “reinvested in people and quality,” Richie says. Today, the chain “is going very well” and is in the hands of a management team. There are 127 employees.

Richie started in business when she 29 years old, buying Plymouth Technology, today located in Rochester Hills, from her father’s estate. The company, since rebranded as PTI Water, provides water-treatment solutions for the petroleum industry and an array of manufacturers, ranging from automotive to appliances. “Nearly everybody who makes anything uses water,” says Richie, who serves as president and CEO. “We’re a boutique firm (42 employees) that solves unique problems.”

Having a hand in three companies may sound daunting, but Richie, who has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Albion College and loves to solve puzzles, is also in the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business MBA program. “I’ve always wanted to get an advanced degree, but I had children young and a lot of responsibilities. I wanted to get smarter about finance and strategy. It’s fun for me. I’m able to apply it in all of my businesses.” She expects to complete her degree in 2019.

Besides freedom and success, Richie savors the special camaraderie she finds with other women business leaders. An example — one of the highlights of her career, she says — happened in May.

“I had a social event at my home and found myself speaking with two other female CEOs in my living room, having a short taste of tequila, and talking about business and how we’re going to put together a deal. It was very much a throwback to the old-school (scenario of) Scotch and men in the smoking room, but (it was) female CEOs, and we were talking about how we’re going to bring mobility to Detroit. It was just a magical moment.” — Ronald Ahrens

 

Terri Harwood // Katie Bowman Coleman // Amy B. Robinson // Monica Martinez
Lilly Epstein Stotland // Christine Sitek // Tricia Ruby // Sara Blackmer


Patti Poppe

President and CEO • CMS Energy, Consumer Energy
Employees: 7,822 • Revenue: $6.8B


As president and CEO of Jackson- based CMS Energy and Consumers Energy, the largest energy company in Michigan, Patti Poppe readily explains she’s never been happier in her career — a state of contentment best described by one of her favorite Japanese terms, ikigai.

“It’s a philosophy that basically says you have to love what you do, you have to be good at it, you have to be able to be paid for it, and it needs to be something the world needs. If you have all four of those things, it’s like the ultimate balance,” she says.

Looking back at her earlier career path, Poppe’s life was transitional, with several promotions that came with relocations. After graduating from Purdue University with an engineering degree, she set out on what looked to be a promising future in the automobile industry.

“My first real full-time job was at GM’s Hamtramck assembly plant,” she says. “It was a great way to learn the industry — it was exciting and fast-paced. When I was in college, I always said ‘Whatever happens, I don’t want to end up in a factory,’ and then I spent the next 20 years of my life in a factory because I found out I loved it.”

With GM’s support, she earned a master’s degree in engineering at Stanford Business School in 2004. They clearly seemed to have big plans for her.

“That Stanford experience definitely was a critical time,” Poppe says. “We’d been moving around a lot in the auto industry. My husband still works at GM, and there’s a lot of relocation, particularly in manufacturing. We have twin daughters, and at the time they were in second grade, their third grade was going to be in Korea — and that was going to be their fifth school. At the same time, my mother was living in Michigan and wasn’t well.”

That’s when Poppe bumped into an old friend from GM. “He was at DTE Energy,” she says, “and he encouraged me to come in and talk to them. I told him, ‘I’m not interested, I love GM,’ and he said, ‘I think you should talk to them.’ ”

Poppe agreed to what she fully expected would be a courtesy meeting. “And they made me an offer that day,” she says. “The idea of stopping the moving and giving our kids some permanency with their friends, neighborhood, and school, and to be able to be with my mother when she wasn’t well — frankly, I really made the shift for personal reasons.”

It also turned out to be the best professional move she could possibly make. After spending six years in various operations positions at DTE, Poppe continued her career in the energy sector, moving on to CMS Energy in Jackson, where she was raised as a child, in 2011.

“Yes, you can go home again,” Poppe says. “You definitely can. There’s a Bon Jovi song, Who Says You Can’t Go Home? I think it’s my theme song. It’s kind of ironic. I grew up in Jackson because my dad worked for Consumers, and now I live next door to my sister, who’s next door to my dad, a Consumers retiree.”

Poppe says the true key to her current role is to not confine herself to the walls of the executive suite. It’s an old lesson she learned years ago from her first boss at GM.

“Good leaders walk around,” she says. “That just means you can’t write reports telling how your business is running. You have to put your eyes on the work. There’s a Japanese term for that, too, gemba. You have to go where the gemba is, where the actual work is happening.” — Tom Murray

 

Terri Harwood // Katie Bowman Coleman // Amy B. Robinson // Monica Martinez
Lilly Epstein Stotland // Christine Sitek // Tricia Ruby // Sara Blackmer


Tricia Keith

Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff, Corporate Secretary • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit
Employees: 9,000 • Revenue: $26.9B


As executive vice president, chief of staff, and corporate secretary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in Detroit, Tricia Keith oversees 300 employees and a $110 million budget for the $26.9 billion company.

“My primary role is chief of staff, working on behalf of the CEO to ensure that the management strategies of the company are benefiting our members,” she says. “The corporate secretary role is governance, so working with our board of directors is also a big part of what I do with my team.”

Keith is in her 13th year with the organization, and readily concedes her path to a high-profile corporate career was unplanned, never mind unlikely. “I grew up in Scottville, outside of Ludington,” she says. “It’s a wonderful community. Still, today, there’s just one stoplight there. My parents have a 127-year centennial farm, and I would have been the fourth generation (to farm).”

But early on, Keith decided life in agriculture wasn’t for her.

“I grew up thinking I was going to be a teacher because I knew that’s what professional women could do,” she says, “and when you want to be a teacher, you go to Central Michigan University. Once I got there I quickly decided teaching is a wonderful profession, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

That led to Keith’s curious double major at CMU — political science and German. “I know,” she says, laughing. “But the German major meant I could have a study abroad experience, which I think is critical to inform the world view. It also exposed me to a lot of different things I didn’t experience growing up, (although) my parents did instill in us kids community involvement and the civic side of the world.”

That part explains Keith’s keen focus on getting a political science degree. She earned the last 12 credits toward it with an inspired idea. “I worked with CMU to create an internship in the state senate,” she says, “and I worked for a Traverse City cherry farmer who’d been elected to the senate. Shortly before I graduated, I got my first job as a legislative assistant in the
Michigan House of Representatives.”

More jobs and opportunities in the political arena quickly followed, and multiple contacts and connections were made along the way, including one that now seems almost fated.
“I was the lowliest of the low interns,” Keith says, “and the highest staff job you could have in state government is chief of staff to one of the two speakers of the House. That chief of staff was a gentleman by the name of Dan Loepp. We became acquainted with each other as we moved through our careers.”

They stayed in touch, despite what might have been a deal-breaking conflict of interest in these current times of political acrimony. “In politics, everyone has their side of the aisle — they’re either right or left,” Keith says. “What’s remarkable is he and I were on opposite sides of the aisle.”

In 2000, Loepp left state government for an executive job at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “And as he moved up through the ranks,” Keith says, “we started talking about opportunities for me to join the company.”

Soon after Loepp became president and CEO in 2005, Keith joined the leadership team, earned an MBA from Michigan State University, and was the lead executive in consolidating several suburban office locations into a three-block urban campus in downtown Detroit.

“I’m actually leading our effort (now) in building out our capability in advanced analytics,” she says. “If you look at what happened in the retail or financial banking industries, I think they’ve been a little bit ahead of the health care and insurance industry in their use of predictive modeling. We want to harness the power of the data we have and fulfill our mission around affordability, in particular, but also improved quality.” — Tom Murray

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