Executives

  • Jeff RoeJeff Roe, Chief Executive Officer and President of Premera Blue Cross

     Jeff Roe is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Premera Blue Cross.

    Jeff joined Premera in 1996, served in roles leading the company's Employer and Individual market segments, and became President in January 2014.

    His leadership in insurance also includes positions as Co-President of Safeco Insurance and Chief Marketing Officer for Torrent Technologies. Roe started his career in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Senator Slade Gorton and later consulted as a member of The Gallatin Group, a public affairs firm.

    Jeff serves on the Boards of the National Institute for Health Care Management, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Washington Healthcare Forum, University of Washington Foster School of Business, United Way of Snohomish County and the Visiting Committee of the University of Washington Economics Department.

    At the University of Washington, Roe earned Bachelor's degrees in Economics and Political Science and a Master's in Business Administration.

    Executive Vice Presidents

  • David BrazaExecutive Vice President, CFO & Chief Actuary

    David Braza is Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Actuary at Premera. In these roles, he provides leadership over Finance and Investments, Underwriting, Actuarial Services and Healthcare Economics. Additionally, he leads all the Data Analytics functions within Premera, including oversight of the Data Warehouse, Data Science Platform and other data assets.

    Braza has had increasing leadership responsibilities since joining Premera in 1999, assuming the Chief Actuary role in 2009. He brings over 25 years of experience in the actuarial profession. He started his career working for a subsidiary of Zurich Insurance as a Casualty Actuary. In 1994 he moved into the healthcare industry, working at Milliman USA, HealthNet, and Premera.

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

    Jim MessinaExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

    Jim Messina is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Premera Blue Cross. He is responsible for effectively servicing the needs of Premera’s customers with oversight of all operational functions, from customer service to claims processing. Messina also leads Sales and Marketing, responsible for growth and earnings across all markets and business lines throughout the Premera family of companies. He also drives continuous improvement throughout Premera using LEAN methodology and ensures business activities are data-driven in order to achieve sustainable growth.

    Messina joined Premera in January 2009 as Vice President and General Manager, leading sales efforts for national, labor and special accounts, and consulting services. His career spans over 30 years in the insurance industry, where he has held various strategic, business, and financial planning positions with a number of health plans.

    Prior to joining Premera, Messina served as President and Chief Executive Officer of CareSite Pharmacies. He previously served as CEO and President of HealthMarket, a consumer-driven insurance company. Messina also served in senior level roles at CIGNA and UnitedHealth Group.

    Messina received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Arizona.

    John EspinolaExecutive Vice President, Healthcare Services

    John Espinola, MD, MPH is the Executive Vice President of Healthcare Services for Premera Blue Cross. He provides leadership for Premera's healthcare strategy, including provider network development, value-based contracting, clinical solutions, and healthcare quality. He leads Premera’s collaboration with healthcare providers and other partners to develop innovative solutions that meet the needs of Premera’s customers. He also leads Premera’s innovation and strategic investments efforts.

    Espinola joined Premera in 2010. Prior to that, he served in various roles at other health plans. He also practiced geriatric medicine in the Seattle metro area in a variety of settings.

    Espinola is board certified in geriatrics and internal medicine. He trained in internal medicine at Scripps Clinic in San Diego and in geriatrics at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He has Doctor of Medicine and master’s degree in public health from Tufts University School of Medicine, a master's degree in business administration from the University of Washington, and a bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

    Kitty CramerExecutive Vice President, Chief Legal & Risk Officer

    Kitti Cramer is Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Risk Officer for Premera Blue Cross. In this role, she oversees legal, congressional and legislative affairs, regulatory affairs, internal audit, compliance and enterprise risk management, and corporate communications.

    She has been with Premera since 1998 in positions of increasing responsibility in the Legal & Regulatory Affairs Department, most recently serving as the Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs.

    Cramer holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in psychology and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington, where she also earned a master's degree in health administration. Cramer received her Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law.

    Kacey KempExecutive Vice President, Operations

    Kacey Kemp is Executive Vice President of Operations for Premera Blue Cross. In this capacity, Kemp oversees claims, customer service, membership and billing, and national account operations. She is the executive leader for Premera's Business Continuity, Crisis Management Team, Lean and Data Governance.

    Kemp has held a number of leadership positions at Premera, including Executive Vice President of IT and Senior Vice President of Operations.

    Kemp graduated from the University of Washington's Foster School of Business Executive Development Program. She has served as an ambassador for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign in King County and on the Board of Trustees for Childhaven. Currently, she serves on the Board of Sherwood Community Services. Kemp enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.

    Mark GregoryExecutive Vice President, Chief Information Officer

    Mark Gregory joined Premera Blue Cross in March 2015 as Senior Vice President, IT and Chief Information Officer for Premera Blue Cross. He was promoted to Executive Vice President, IT in July 2016.

    Gregory oversees technology and all technology services, cybersecurity, and enterprise delivery. He is responsible for ensuring Premera’s technology roadmap aligns with Premera’s business strategy.

    Before joining Premera, Gregory served as Senior Vice President and CIO for HomeStreet Bank, one of the largest community banks on the West Coast. He previously held multiple senior leadership positions during his 17 years with Safeco Insurance.

    He is a past president of the Mukilteo Lacrosse Board, past member of the Mukilteo Family YMCA Board, and current member of the Snohomish County Strategic Advisory Board.

    Gregory earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science at Park College in Kansas City, Missouri.

  • Senior Vice Presidents

  • Bill AkersSenior Vice President, Washington Market

    Bill Akers is the Senior Vice President of Premera’s Washington Group Market. He also oversees the Product and Market Solutions functions for the company. Akers joined Premera in January of 2004 as Regional Director for Eastern Washington, and served as Vice President for Health Care Delivery Systems until 2014, then served as Vice President & General Manager of the Washington market. In his current role, Akers is accountable for 500,000 Washington-based members who receive group coverage through Premera. He has been active on many community boards including the American Heart Association, Project Access, The Seattle Chamber, the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County as well as Greater Spokane’s Health Industry Leadership Group.

    Prior to joining Premera, Akers was District Administrator with Group Health Cooperative in Spokane. He oversaw all of Group Health’s Eastern Washington staff and facilities, as well as its regional financial performance. In addition to network management, Akers was responsible for communications and community relations, legislative affairs, and Foundation activities.

    Cecily HallSenior Vice President, Employee Experience

    Cecily M. Hall is Senior Vice President of Employee Experience for Premera Blue Cross. Hall is responsible for human resources, real estate & facilities, and publishing services.

    Hall joined Premera in 2013 and has been leading business transformation efforts through the redesign of the company’s people initiatives. With a focus on implementing innovative programs, Premera is striving to become a destination employer where employees can do their best work.

    Prior to Premera, Hall served as Director of Employee Benefits at Microsoft for nearly 18 years. She managed more than 65 benefit plans and programs, serving 140,000 employees and family members. Her contributions to Microsoft’s benefit plans and strategies gained recognition from the Clinton White House. In 2009, she was asked to speak with President Obama and his staff on healthcare strategies that improve health and reduce costs. She previously has held leadership positions at Nordstrom, Carena Inc., and MedEncentive.

    Hall has been honored for her leadership by The American Cancer Society, The Autism Society of America, and Families for Early Autism Treatment, The Florida Association for Behavioral Analysis, and The University of Washington Experimental Education Unit. She has served as a visiting faculty member for the Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education.

    Hall previously served on the boards of Virginia Mason’s Bailey-Boushay House, Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Building Changes, and the Business Advisory Group for the Joint Commission.

    Jim GrazkoSenior Vice President, Alaska Market & Chief Underwriting Officer

    Jim Grazko is Senior Vice President, Alaska Market and Chief Underwriting Officer. In Alaska, Grazko establishes Premera’s direction and focus in the $300 million market with innovative healthcare delivery models. He provides leadership for the company’s long- and short-range operational, membership and financial goals. In his underwriting role, he drives the company’s strategic plan to achieve membership and financial objectives. He leads a team in underwriting multi-state-driven product segments, including stop loss, alternative risk sharing, self-funded contracts, large group health plans, among others.

    Prior to joining Premera, Grazko served as Director of Underwriting for Health Net, where he ran underwriting for their western region. He also worked as a consultant with Ernst & Young in the firm’s Actuarial, Benefits and Compensation practice. Grazko graduated from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio with a BS in Mathematics. He also holds a Masters degree in Health Services Administration from George Washington University in Washington, DC.

    Jim HavensSenior Vice President Individual & Senior Markets & Marketing

    Jim Havens is Senior Vice President of the Individual and Senior Markets for Premera Blue Cross. In this capacity, he focuses on strategy as well as the financial, membership and overall performance for the Individual and Medicare lines of business. In addition, Havens leads the Marketing and Brand areas for Premera. In this capacity, he focuses on the internal and external positioning of the Premera brand, advertising, social media strategies, and member and producer communications. Before joining Premera in 2012, Havens worked at Safeco Insurance for 19 years, in a variety of positions, concluding with Senior Vice President of Marketing. He also currently serves as President and CEO of LifeWise of Washington.

    Havens currently serves as the Sponsorship Chair on the Board of Directors for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Guild. He has previously held positions as Board President for the Puget Sound affiliate of the Susan G Komen for the Cure and as a board member on the 5th Avenue Theatre.

    Havens holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California-Riverside.

    Ken ChandlerSenior Vice President, National Accounts

    Ken Chandler is the Senior Vice President of National Accounts for Premera Blue Cross. Prior to this, he was the Vice President/General Manager of National Accounts, Labor, and Public Programs. Chandler has over 25 years of experience in the health insurance industry.

    During his career Chandler has held senior leadership positions with several large multi-state insurance carriers. He has been responsible for overseeing operations with hundreds of employees, and has designed and implemented processes to establish efficient/cost effective work environments. Chandler was also the Director of Internal Audit for two large hospital systems in California. He is currently responsible for all sales activities related to National Accounts, Labor, Public Programs, and Wellness at Premera; in addition, Chandler oversees the Sales Operations areas and also continues to be the Account Executive for the Microsoft account. Previously, Chandler was accountable for the operational functions for all National Accounts business. Chandler has also served as the Vice President of Operations for LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, with responsibilities for customer service, claims payment, membership and billing, and system maintenance.

    Chandler is a Certified Fraud Examiner, a Certified Internal Auditor, and a Certified Financial Services Auditor. Chandler is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board for Consortium Health Plans.

    Phil Colmenares, M.D., MPH, CHIESenior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

    Dr. Phil Colmenares, MD, MPH, CHIE, is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Senior Vice President, Healthcare Services at Premera Blue Cross. His responsibility is to establish the strategic direction and achieve results for all clinical programs (utilization management, pharmacy, care management), quality, risk adjustment and accreditation. Dr. Colmenares joined Premera in June 2016.

    A retired U.S. Navy veteran, he achieved the rank of Commander. Dr. Colmenares served aboard the USS California as the Chief Radiation Health and Chief Medical Officer. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. He was a staff physician in the Emergency Department at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Rota, Spain, and Chair of the Emergency Department at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Sigonella, Italy.

    After leaving the military, Dr. Colmenares worked in increasing capacities as a clinician at Dean Clinic and a medical director at Dean Health Plan in Madison, Wisconsin. In August 2012, he became interim Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Senior Medical Director (SMD) for Security Health Plan in Marshfield, Wis. In October 2013, he became the first CMO of WPS Health Insurance and Arise Health Plan, also in Madison, WI.

    Dr. Colmenares holds a bachelor's degree from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania his medical degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, and his master's in Health Policy and Administration (MPH) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) and holds a Certificate of Health Insurance Executive (CHIE) from America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). He has a special interest in Health Technology Assessment, Quality and Appropriateness Analytics. Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Colmenares also has a special interest in immigrant and Latino health issues.