• Executives

  • Barbara Magusin

    Senior Vice President for Human Resources

    Magusin has oversight responsibility for all human resources functions, including recruiting, compensation, benefits, training, consulting and HR systems. Magusin also oversees facilities, real estate and administrative services for the company.

    Magusin has extensive leadership experience in HR strategy, leadership development and coaching, change management and performance evaluation systems. She leads the Corporate Citizenship initiative for Premera; including its charitable giving organization, Premera Cares.

    Prior to joining Premera, she was vice president of human resource planning for Ceridian Corporation. She has held various positions in Human Resources for Sea-Land Services, Inc., Paccar, and the former Seafirst Bank.

    Magusin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and holds a master’s degree in education from California Lutheran University.

    David Braza

    Senior Vice President, Health Care Informatics and Chief Actuary

    David Braza is Senior Vice President, Health Care Informatics and Chief Actuary at Premera. He is responsible for all analytics functions of the Finance Department, including Healthcare Economics, Knowledge Management Consulting, Healthcare Informatics Analysis, Corporate Informatics, and Actuarial Services. He previously served as Vice President & Chief Actuary, Actuarial Services at the company.

    Braza joined Premera in 1996 and has over 20 years of work experience in the actuarial profession. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society, and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He started his career working for a subsidiary of Zurich Insurance as a Casualty Actuary. Since 1994, he has moved into the healthcare industry working first with Milliman USA as a consultant, HealthNet, and Premera.

    Braza has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgia State University, majoring in Actuarial Science.

    HR Brereton (Gubby) Barlow

    President and Chief Executive Officer

    H.R. Brereton (Gubby) Barlow is President and Chief Executive Officer of Premera Blue Cross. Having joined the company in 1997, he served as Chief Operating Officer prior to being named CEO. The Premera family of companies provides health insurance and related services to 1.6 million people in Washington, Alaska, and Oregon.

    Barlow’s career includes chief financial officer stints with two other healthcare organizations: Health Net, a major subsidiary of Health Systems International, a $3.1 billion HMO with 2 million members in six western states, and AHI Healthcare Systems Inc., a primary and specialty care provider network. Prior to these, Barlow was a partner at Deloitte Touche.

    Barlow serves on several boards including: Emeritus Corporation; National Institute for Health Care Management; University of Washington Business School; Washington Healthcare Forum; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Premera Blue Cross.

    A native of South Africa, Barlow holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Cape Town and is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at the University of California at Los Angeles.

    Jaja Okigwe

    Senior Vice President of Strategic Development

    Jaja Okigwe is Senior Vice President of Strategic Development for Premera. He oversees Premera’s corporate development function, which includes strategy formulation, strategic initiative development, incubation of new healthcare programs, vendor management, program management and Premera’s Innovation Programs.

    Prior to joining Premera, Jaja was Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for McKesson Medication Management, a division of McKesson Corporation. His responsibilities included new service development, alliances, partnerships and acquisitions. Jaja also held several positions with Deloitte Consulting where he led projects to develop strategy, implement new technology, and redesign processes for insurances companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and healthcare providers.

    Jaja holds an honors degree in government from Harvard University, and he earned an MBA from HEC in Paris, France

    Jeff Roe

    President of Premera Blue Cross

    Jeff Roe is the President of Premera Blue Cross. He leads a team of executives responsible for corporate performance and all day-to-day functions – including operations, healthcare services, sales and marketing, information technology, strategic planning, human resources, legal, finance and administration – for the Premera family of companies. The position of President reports to CEO Gubby Barlow.

    Most recently Roe served as Executive Vice President of Premera’s Employer and Individual Markets. Roe’s responsibilities included sales for all individual markets and employers with up to 5,000 employees. Those markets include all served by Premera Blue Cross as well as Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, and LifeWise Health Plan of Washington.

    At the University of Washington, Roe earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science and a master’s degree in business administration. He serves on the board of the Seattle Police Foundation and the Visiting Committee of the University of Washington Economics Department.

    Jim Messina

    Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Executive

    Messina has responsibility for national accounts, public plans, and labor business, as well as marketing, business development, member engagement, and ancillary products including Calypso and Vivacity.

    Messina joined Premera in January 2009 as vice president and general manager, leading sales efforts for national, labor and special accounts and consulting services. Messina’s career spans 25 years in the insurance industry where he held various strategic, business, and financial planning positions with a number of health plans.

    Prior to joining Premera, he served as president and chief executive officer of CareSite Pharmacies. Messina previously served as chief executive officer and president, and as executive vice president of operations, of HealthMarket, a consumer-driven insurance company.

    Prior to HealthMarket, Messina served as senior vice president at CIGNA Health Care where he led their health care underwriting organization and as senior vice president of Uniprise Operations, a UnitedHealth Group company. In this position, he was responsible for all administrative functions for both the Uniprise and UnitedHealth Care companies.

    John Pierce

    Senior Vice President, General Counsel

    Pierce joined Premera in 2005 and has been senior vice president and general counsel since March 2008. Pierce has been instrumental in resolution of major outstanding litigation and in repurposing the Legal and Regulatory Department to create stronger relationships with its customers within Premera.

    Pierce is responsible for the legal and regulatory affairs of the Premera family of companies, including providing counsel to the board and senior management on legal issues, defending litigation brought against the company, managing outside counsel, and executing a proactive regulatory strategy.

    Pierce has been involved in the healthcare industry in this region for the past 20 years, much of that time as an executive with Regence Blue Shield and more recently with responsibility for business development strategies for Script IQ. Pierce received his Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School and his bachelor of science degree from Washington State University.

    Kent Marquardt

    Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

    Marquardt is responsible for the Premera family of companies’ finance, actuarial, knowledge services, underwriting and healthcare economics departments. He is president and CEO of NorthStar, Premera’s joint venture investment entity in China.

    Marquardt came to Premera Blue Cross from American Dental Specialist Inc., where he served as chief executive officer. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer of western operations and chief financial officer of the western operations of MedPartners, Inc., the nation's largest publicly held physician practice management company. He has also held positions in healthcare management with PriMed Management Consulting Inc. He was with KPMG Peat Marwick for 19 years and was a partner in the Los Angeles and Phoenix offices.

    Marquardt holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin.

    Kirsten (Kacey) Kemp

    Executive Vice President of Operations

    Kemp oversees claims, customer service, membership and billing, and national account operations. In addition, she leads the company’s Lean Initiative, a methodology developed by Toyota to deliver customer value through the elimination of waste. Kemp also has responsibility for the company’s large business systems initiatives.

    Previous to her current position, Kemp served as senior vice president of core operations. Since 1979, Kemp has held a number of leadership positions, including vice president of operations, with responsibility for claims, benefit configuration, core systems configuration, acceptance testing, auto adjudication and overseeing project implementations, including leading the Dimensions implementation team.

    Kemp graduated from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Executive Development Program.

    Kirsten Simonitsch

    Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

    Simonitsch is Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Premera Blue Cross. She is responsible for IT business systems, infrastructure, governance, information security and the alignment of IT and business strategy for all Premera companies.

    Simonitsch came to Premera in 2005, and has since led many important initiatives to develop and grow the Information Technology division, leading to successful outcomes in cost optimization, operational excellence, process improvements, consulting and analytics, and growing the strategic role of IT. She has also demonstrated her leadership by sponsoring company-wide business initiatives beyond IT.

    Previously, Simonitsch served as Vice President of IT Infrastructure and Information Security Officer for Premera Blue Cross. She has more than 25 years of experience, and has held a number of leadership roles across multiple disciplines within information technology at the local, regional and national levels.

    Prior to joining Premera, she served as IT Operations Vice President and General Manager at AT&T / Cingular Wireless. Prior to AT&T/Cingular Wireless, Simonitsch worked for Electronic Data Systems.

    Simonitsch holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts. Simonitsch was named IT Leader of The Year by the Seattle Business Magazine in 2011.

    Richard Maturi

    Senior Vice President of Health Care Delivery Systems

    Maturi is responsible for provider contracting, provider service, and network development.

    Previously, Maturi served as senior vice president of development for Cancer Treatment Centers of America and as senior vice president of business development for CareAdvantage, a medical management outsourcing company.

    Maturi spent 16 years with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association where, as senior vice president of health affairs, he worked with Blues plans around the country to develop managed care products and some of the first managed care programs for multi-state employers. During this time, he served on the initial development committees of the National Committee on Quality Assurance and on the founding board of directors of the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission.

    Roki Chauhan, M.D.

    Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

    Dr. Chauhan is responsible for leadership, strategic planning, and implementation of Premera’s Integrated Health Management programs, which includes Care Management, Pharmacy, and Clinical Quality.

    During his tenure at Premera, he has served in a number of key positions including vice president of medical services and medical director for quality. He has been the senior medical director for the Alaska, Oregon and Arizona markets. He is a board-certified family physician with 19 years of clinical practice experience, both in private practice and in a multi-specialty clinic setting. He previously held a position as assistant clinical professor in family and community medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

    Dr. Chauhan received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He completed his residency and fellowship in family practice at the University of California, San Francisco at Santa Rosa. He holds a bachelor’s in science degree in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    He joined Premera in November 1999.

    Yoram (Yori) Milo

    Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Public Policy Officer

    Milo is a member of the executive management of Premera, has responsibility for the Corporate Services division, and serves as the chief legal officer. In those capacities, he oversees various departments and functions including Public Policy, Legislative and Congressional Affairs, Human Resources, Corporate Communications, Internal Audit, Compliance & Business Integrity, as well as Legal and Regulatory Affairs. He also has responsibility for the company’s Enterprise Risk Management program.

    Milo joined Premera in 1996 from Preston Gates & Ellis (currently known as KL Gates), where he served as chair of the firm’s business department, and as a member of the firm’s partner management committee. While at Preston, he acted as counsel on some of the prominent and complex realignments among institutional healthcare entities in the Puget Sound region, and worked extensively in the healthcare regulatory area.

    Milo holds a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University, where he also received his bachelor’s degree. During his doctoral candidacy, he was a Fulbright-Hays Fellow. Milo received his Juris Doctor degree from UCLA Law School, where he was on Law Review and received Order of the Coif.