Officers and Directors

Executive Team

Steven S. Martin
Chief Executive Officer

Steven S. Martin is chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and is a member of the board of directors and the company’s executive management team. He also serves as chief executive officer for Genesys Innovations, LLC, a new company owned by BCBSNE focused on information technology innovations for the health insurance industry.

Martin joined BCBSNE in 2002 and currently serves on the board of directors of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) in Chicago, as well as Chairman of the BCBSA Brand Enhancement and Protection Committee. Martin also serves as a board director for Prime Therapeutics LLC and Travel and Transport, as vice chair and board director of the Wellness Council of America and as Chairman of the Board for BCS Financial Corporation.

Before joining BCBSNE, Martin was the founding president, CEO and a board director for Prime Therapeutics Inc., a comprehensive pharmacy benefi ts solutions company. Prior to joining Prime Therapeutics, Martin spent 12 years with BCBSNE. His previous positions included vice president of health services research and reimbursement and senior vice president for ProPar Services.

Martin also held management positions at American HomeCare Inc., the Upjohn Company, HealthCheck Inc. and the Menninger Foundation. Martin is active in community service and currently serves on the following boards:
  • Children’s Scholarship Fund
  • Governor, Knights of Aksarben
  • Lauritzen Gardens
  • Nebraskaland oFundation
  • Strategic Command Consultation Committee
  • The Durham Museum
  • The State Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Martin earned a bachelor’s degree from Washburn University and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska. He is a certifi ed professional in the Academy of Health Care Management and a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Board Leadership Fellow.

Lewis E. Trowbridge
President and Chief Operating Officer

Lewis (Lew) E. Trowbridge is president and chief operating officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and is a member of the company’s executive management team. He also serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Genesys Innovations, LLC, a new company owned by BCBSNE focused on information technology innovations for the health insurance industry.

Trowbridge joined BCBSNE in 2006 and has management responsibility for all internal operations. He currently serves on the boards of CoreLink Administrative Solutions, LLC, Fargo, North Dakota and Security National Bank in Omaha, where he also chairs the audit committee. Previously, Trowbridge held president and chief executive offi cer positions at World Marketing and SilverStone Group, both Omaha-based organizations, as well as managing and regional partner positions at the international accounting fi rm KPMG, LLP. He is a certified public accountant.

Trowbridge has been active in community service throughout Omaha for many years. He currently serves as a trustee of the W. David Scott Charitable Foundation and is a member of the Board of Policy Advisors for the Peter Kiewit Institute. Trowbridge is also a past chairman of the board for both the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of the Midlands.

He received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati. He is also a graduate of the International Executive Education Programs of both the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School and Stanford University and the Institute for Strategy Development at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Steven H. Grandfield
President and Chief Operating Officer of Genesys Innovations, LLC
Executive Vice President, Strategy Innovation

Steven (Steve) H. Grandfield is president and chief operations officer for Genesys Innovations, LLC, as well as executive vice president, strategy and innovation for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. He is also a member of the company’s executive management team.

Grandfield joined BCBSNE in 2003. He is responsible for Genesys Innovations, LLC, a new company owned by BCBSNE focused on information technology innovations for the health insurance industry.

Before coming to BCBSNE, Grandfield was senior vice president, general manager at First Data Corporation. He currently belongs to the AIM Institute.

Grandfield earned bachelor’s degrees in business management from Northwest Missouri State, and in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska.

Grandfield is active in community service and currently serves on the Ak-Sar-Ben Board of Councilors, United Way of the Midlands Board of Directors and the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Executive Staff

Pat Bourne
Sr. Vice President, Sales and Account Services

Patrick (Pat) J. Bourne is senior vice president, sales and account services for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and is a leader on the company’s marketing team.

Bourne is responsible for health care solutions, account management, account services, broker relations, individual and small group sales, and client reporting. He also plays a pivotal role in the company’s government affairs.

Previously, Bourne served two terms as a state senator, representing Omaha’s District 8. As senator, he served as chair for the Judiciary Committee, where he oversaw the passage of key legislation, including “Jason’s Law,” which established the Missing Persons’ Clearinghouse for Nebraska. He also served on numerous other committees, including Appropriations and Education.

Bourne continues to be active in community service and currently serves on the board of directors for the Concord Center and Holy Name Housing.

Bourne earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Juris Doctorate from Creighton University. He is a member of the Nebraska Bar Association.

Jerry Byers
Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Gerald (Jerry) Byers is senior vice president and chief financial officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), and is a leader on the company’s fi nance and organizational development team.

Byers leads the actuarial, underwriting, enrollment, accounting, finance and facilities functions. He is also vice chairman of the Board of Directors for AmeriHealth Nebraska Inc., a Medicaid Managed Care Organization jointly owned with AmeriHealth (subsidiary of Independence Blue Cross, BCBSNE and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan).

Previously, Byers managed BCBSNE’s actuarial department. He held similar positions at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri and General American Life Insurance Company.

Byers is active in community service and currently serves on the board of Hope Medical Outreach Coalition. He is a longtime TeamMates mentor, and a member of Leadership Omaha Class 32.

Byers received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Susan Courtney
Sr. Vice President, Special Projects

Susan Courtney is senior vice president, special projects, and is focused on optimizing strategic partnerships.

Previously, Courtney held managerial positions at Ford Motor Company, Hormel Foods and First Data Resources. She is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where she was a Naval Flight Officer for six years.

Courtney is active in community service and currently serves on the Women in IT Task Force and as a board member for the Child Savings Institute. In 2012, Courtney was named “Technology Leader of the Year” by the AIM Institute. She was also recognized as one of Insurance & Technology’s Elite 8 Technology Executives for 2014.

Courtney earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Minnesota.

Lee J. Handke
Sr. Vice President, Providers and Products

Lee J. Handke is senior vice president, providers and products, for Blue Cross and
Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE). He is responsible for hospital, professional and pharmacy network strategy and product development.

Handke is a registered pharmacist and adjunct faculty member at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Pharmacy, where he serves on the admissions committee. He is on the foundation board of the Metro Omaha Medical Society. He is also a delegate for the Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha and a member of the Exchange Club of Omaha.

In 2006, Handke was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans by the Omaha Jaycees, and in 2009 was awarded the Early Career Achievement Award by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Handke is a graduate of Leadership Omaha Class 30 and the Institute for Career Advancement Need’s FOCUS program for executive leadership.

Handke received a bachelor’s degree in life science from Kansas State University in 1993. In 1999, he graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Pharmacy with a doctorate’s degree in pharmacy. Following graduation, he completed an ASHP/AMCP accredited residency in managed care pharmacy at Walgreens Health Initiatives in Deerfi eld, Illinois. Handke graduated with a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2005.

Jennifer Richardson
Sr. Vice President, Operations

Jennifer Richardson is a senior vice president, operations, for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), and is a leader on the company’s service team.

Richardson started at BCBSNE as a staff attorney before taking responsibility in Claims Processing. Today, she is responsible for all aspects of Claims Processing, Information Services, Data Analytics and our Continuous Improvement teams.

Richardson is active in community service and currently serves on the following boards and committees:
  • Kids Can Community Center, board member and secretary
  • March of Dimes, board member
  • Children’s Respite Care Center, board member
  • Women’s Center for Advancement, board member and secretary
  • Institute for Career Advancement Needs, board member
Richardson was a member of Leadership Omaha, Class 33 and participated in the Influence and Bringing Spirit to Leadership programs for Executive Leadership.

Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a juris doctorate’s degree from Creighton University.

Sarah Waldman
Sr. Vice President, Administration

Sarah Waldman is senior vice president, administration, for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

Waldman is responsible for customer service, legal, compliance, privacy, audit, security and the development of initiatives designed to maintain an ethical culture.

Previously, Waldman served as staff attorney; vice president, human resources; and vice president, ethical practices for BCBSNE.

Waldman is active in community service and currently serves on the following boards:
  • AmeriHealth Nebraska Inc.
  • Community Alliance
  • Greater Omaha Alliance for Business Ethics
  • TeamMates
  • United Way Women’s Leadership Council
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha Alumni Association
Waldman was a member of Leadership Omaha Class 29, and a 2007 recipient of the Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award. She is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association and Society for Human Resource Management, and is certifi ed as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). She is also a TeamMates mentor.

Waldman earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, graduating magna cum laude, and a juris doctorate’s degree from Creighton University, graduating cum laude.

Leadership Team

Dan Alm
Vice President, Underwriting & Chief Underwriting Officer

Daniel (Dan) Alm is vice president, underwriting and chief underwriting officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and is a leader on the company’s finance and organizational development team.

Alm is responsible for the actuarial services function, and small and large group pricing, including renewals, prospective business, and association accounts. Other responsibilities include case installation for individual and small group business, broker administration, and large group renewal processing.

Alm is active in community service and currently serves on the board of the Millard Athletic Association. He is the past president of the Nebraska Association of Health Underwriters and also serves on the board of the Omaha chapter of Health Underwriters.

Alm received a Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and is currently working toward his MBA designation.

Jeni Alm
Vice President, Network and Product Innovation

Jeni Alm is vice president, network and product innovation, for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

Since first starting as an intern in the marketing department 20 years ago, Alm has taken on numerous roles throughout BCBSNE, including actuarial manager, director of group products, director of health network intelligence and, most recently, senior director of network and product development.

Alm is active in community service and is the treasurer of the Ted E. Bear Hollow board of directors, as well as a member of the Compassion Circle. She is also a United Way bridgebuilder. Previously, Alm was on the ICAN Advisory Board and is a 2011 graduate of INFLUENCE.

Alm earned her bachelor’s degree in business/fi nance from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and is currently participating in the executive master’s of business administration program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a Six Sigma black belt.

Dave Anderson
Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Accounting Officer

Dave Anderson is vice president, treasurer and chief accounting officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), and is a leader on the company’s finance and organizational development team.

Anderson has responsibility for the company’s financial operations, including all accounting, budgeting, reporting and tax functions, as well as the company’s owned and leased facilities. He also manages core investments, banking relationships, commissions, accounts payable, billing and collections.

Previously, Anderson served as chief financial officer, treasurer and member of the board of directors at Millard Lumber Inc.

An Omaha native, Anderson has been active in community service. He is treasurer of the Millard Public Schools Board of Education. He also serves as immediate past president of the board of directors of the Nebraska Association of School Boards. He is a past chair and current member of the board of trustees of Goodwill Industries.

Anderson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and an MBA from

Dan Archuleta
Vice President of Innovation, Genesys Innovations, LLC

Daniel (Dan) Archuleta is vice president of innovation for Genesys Innovations, LLC.

Archuleta has nine years of experience with BCBSNE, where he has also served as a project manager/business analyst, senior director of claims and vice president of CoreLink administration and business processes. Most recently, he was responsible for customer service and membership operations in his role as vice president of member services.

Archuleta is active in the Lincoln community, including volunteering for his church. He serves as a board member on the Wellness Council of the Midlands.

Archuleta received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota, and a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he studied information systems management and strategic management.

Ovell Barbee
Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development

Ovell Barbee is vice president, human resources and organizational development for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBNSE). He is responsible for providing leadership in all human resource areas, including talent acquisition and workforce inclusion, compensation and benefits, HR administration and organizational development.

Barbee has extensive experience and a demonstrated track record in developing and leading HR initiatives at large and diverse companies. He has served in HR leadership roles of two start-up organizations established by Fortune 50 companies: General Motors (OnStar) and Dow Chemical (Dow Kokam).

Before joining BCBSNE, he served as Global HR leader at Dow Kokam, with responsibility in the United States, France and China. Other experience includes roles with Steelcase, Motorola and General Motors. Barbee was named one of the country’s “Top 50 Executives Under the Age of 50” by the National Black MBA Association.

A Grand Rapids, Mich., native, Barbee received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and he has another Master’s degree from Michigan State University. He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resource by the Society of Human Resource Managers.

Barbee is an avid runner, having successfully completed marathons in 2009 and 2011, and enjoys physical fitness activity and traveling.

Russell Collins
Vice President, General Counsel & Board Secretary

Russell (Russ) Collins is vice president, general counsel and board secretary for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and is a leader on the company’s finance and organizational development team.

Collins supervises BCBSNE’s legal department, which provides legal services to all areas of the company. As board secretary, he provides counsel to the board of directors and assists with the implementation of best practice governance processes.

Collins was previously an attorney with Kutak Rock, LLP.

Collins is active in community service and serves on the board of the Omaha Children’s Museum, the Prairie Lane Neighborhood Association, and the Benson Mural Project / Art Omaha. He is a member of Leadership Omaha Class 31.

Collins received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University of Chicago.

Mark Dolsky
Vice President, Sales and Account Management

Mark Dolsky is vice president, sales and account management for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

Dolsky is a seasoned sales and marketing executive, with more than 25 years of experience driving business development and growth in health, dental, life and disability insurance sales. He previously served as vice president of human capital practice for Willis of Greater Kansas City Inc., a life, health and benefi ts provider. Prior to that, he worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas for 23 years, with most of his experience being in sales, consulting and management.

Dolsky earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emporia State University. He also has several designations, including Fellow, Academy of Healthcare Management (FAHM), and is Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) certified.

Debra Esser, MD
Vice President, Medical Policy and Quality Medical Director

Debra Esser, MD is vice president, medical policy and quality medical director. She is a member of the BCBSNE leadership team with responsibility for medical policy and medical review, as well as strategic oversight of quality management programs.

Previously, Dr. Esser served as chief medical officer for Aetna Better Health of Nebraska. Prior to that, she held leadership positions at Coventry Health Care Nebraska/Iowa, Omaha Physician’s Clinic and Methodist Hospital and United Healthcare Nebraska/Iowa.

Dr. Esser is actively involved in community service and currently serves as president of the Metro Omaha Medical Society, in addition to being a member of Live Well Omaha and Hope Medical boards. She is also on Senator Gloor’s Patient Centered Medical Home steering committee.

Dr. Esser completed medical school at the University of Nebraska at Omaha/Lincoln and her family practice residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She earned a master’s degree in medical management from Tulane University.

Dr. David Filipi
Vice President, Quality Advancement and Medical Director

Dr. David Filipi is vice president, quality advancement and medical director for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and is a board certified family physician.

Prior to joining BCBSNE, Dr. Filipi was vice president of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Methodist Physicians Clinic in Omaha.

Dr. Filipi currently chairs the Douglas County Board of Health and has served as President of the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians, President of the Nebraska Medical Association and has served on the Metro Omaha Medical Association. He served nationally on both the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Commissions on Socio-Economics and Quality, was the AAFP liaison to NCQA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Pathology Laboratory Reference Committee.

Dr. Filipi is a member of MOMS, NMA, AMA, NAFP and AAFP.

He graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, where he also completed a family practice residency, becoming chief resident. He earned an MBA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Shari Flowers
Vice President, Compliance and Ethics

Shari Flowers is vice president, compliance and ethics for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

She oversees regulatory compliance, privacy, security, enterprise risk management, business continuity and information assurance, and is a leader in ensuring the company maintain a strong ethical culture.

Flowers previously served as sr. corporate counsel and director of strategic business services at BCBSNE, where she has worked since 2006. She has worked in the insurance industry for 12 years, including previously at Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Company and Principal Financial Group.

Flowers received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a Juris Doctorate from Creighton University School of Law. She serves on the Leadership Council for the Alzheimer’s Association – Midlands Chapter and is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association.

Joy Hall
Vice President, Brand Management and External Communications

Joy Hall is vice president, brand management and external communications, for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

Hall is an experienced marketer with more than 15 years of diverse practice in management, brand development, marketing, communications, public relations and product development in both consumer- and business-to-business industries. She previously served as managing director for First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha, and senior global brand manager for Hasbro Inc.

Hall has also held marketing manager roles at Danaher Tool Group, Dorel Inc. and Newell Rubbermaid.

With a passion for volunteerism, Hall is continuously seeking ways to give back to the community. She is currently exploring potential nonprofit board opportunities.

Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in international business from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and completed eMBA coursework at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Rama Kolli
Vice President, Information Services and Chief Information Officer

Rama Kolli is vice president, information services and chief information officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and is a leader on the company’s service and technology team.

In his more than 11 years at BCBSNE, Kolli has been instrumental in many critical endeavors, including modernizing systems, building and leading the enterprise architecture team and championing the architecture that will be the foundation of the company’s technical future. He also was a member of the business innovation team responsible for providing strategy in addressing the challenges of the health care law.

Previously, Kolli worked as a developer consultant at noteClip in New York, Niku in Silicon Valley and at DSQ Software Ltd in India before coming to the United States.

Kolli earned a bachelor’s degree in science from Nagarjuna University, India and a master’s degree in computer applications from the University of Chennai, India. He serves as a board member for the AIM Institute, is a member of the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) technical committee and sits as a proxy on the eHealth Council of Nebraska Information Technology Commission.

Lynda Leahy
Vice President, Claims and Support Services

Lynda Leahy is vice president, claims and support services, for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

Leahy has been with BCBSNE for more than 28 years. During her tenure at BCBSNE, she led several claim operational areas and support teams and oversaw numerous project initiatives. She started as a regional consultant in the provider relations department and most recently served as a senior director in the claims department.

Leahy is active in community service and serves as a committee chair on the BCBSNE United Way Cabinet.

Leahy earned her bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She is Six Sigma certified

Cameron Ludwig
Vice President, Analytics and Enterprise Services

Cameron Ludwig is vice president, analytics and enterprise services, for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

Ludwig has served in a variety of roles at BCBSNE. He began as a consultant in 2001 and moved to the information services department in 2004. Since then, he has worked in IS, marketing and operations, leading the client and analytics team, small group account management and service and consumer sales teams.

Most recently, Ludwig focused on corporate data governance, analytics and enterprise process optimization.

Ludwig has a background as a technology consultant and analyst with a number of firms, including Cap Gemini and Sogeti. He is active in community service and currently serves as a long-time mentor through the TeamMates Mentoring Program.

Ludwig earned a bachelor’s degree from Union College and a master’s degree in business administration from Bellevue University.

Dr. Joann Schaefer
Vice President, Medical Care and Management

Dr. Joann Schaefer is vice president, medical care and management for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska and is a leader on the company’s health and wellness team.

Dr. Schaefer previously served in a dual role as chief medical officer and director of the division of public health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2013. Before that she practiced family medicine and served as a tenured associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Creighton University Medical School.

Dr. Schaefer is committed to creating a culture of wellness and helping Nebraskans lead healthier lives. She leads by example and believes a healthy lifestyle along with a positive attitude can make a difference in life and longevity.

She has overcome health challenges as a liver transplant patient, having completed 11 half marathons and two full marathons.

Dr. Schaefer graduated from Creighton University Medical School and is board-certified in family medicine. She has been recognized by both Creighton University Medical School and California State University-Fullerton, where she received her undergraduate degree, for her service and as a distinguished alumnus.

Brenda Wichman
Vice President, Member Services

Brenda Wichman is vice president, member services for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE). She is responsible for all customer service operations.

Wichman is a seasoned executive with years of experience in the customer service field. Previously, she served as the director of member services at BCBSNE for eight years. Prior to that, she held a similar position at American Express for 19 years.

With a passion for volunteerism, Wichman is a longtime member of the BCBSNE United Way campaign planning committee. She plays a substantial role in seeking ways to creatively engage employees in the annual campaign, helping the organization surpass our goal year after year.

Wichman graduated from the Spencer School of Business.

Board of Directors

  • George G. Beattie
    Chairperson of the Board of Directors
    Past President,
    Nebraska Bankers Association

  • Steven S. Martin
    Chief Executive Officer
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska

  • Karen B. Aman
    Vice President
    Mid America Computer Corporation,
    HunTel Systems, Inc.

  • Richard R. Bell
    Chairman Emeritus of
    HDR, Inc.

  • Lyndee J. Black, CPA
    Partner
    Thomas, Kunc & Black, LLP.

  • Allen D. Dvorak, M.D., FACR
    President
    ADDRAD, LLC.

  • Marvin B. Dvorak, D.D.S.
    Dentist, Consultant and Chief Examiner for Central Regional Dental Testing Service Inc.
    Consultant to the Nebraska State Board of Dental Examiners

  • Dan E. Ernst, ED.D.
    Associate Executive Director
    Nebraska Council of School Administrators

  • Keith R. Olsen
    Farmer and Past President,
    Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation

  • Anthony J. Raimondo, Jr.
    President and Vice Chairman,
    The Behlen Group

  • Jeffrey L. Schumacher
    President and CEO, Capitol Casualty Company
    Vice President of Insurance Crete Carrier Corporation and
    Hunt Transportation and Transportation Claims, Inc.

  • Todd S. Sorensen, M.D., M.S.
    Past President and Chief Executive Officer,
    Regional West Health Services and
    Regional West Medical Center

  • Robert E. Synowicki Jr.
    Executive Vice President,
    Werner Enterprises, Inc.