Executives

  • Senior Vice President of Human Resources

    Cecily M. Hall is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Premera Blue Cross. Cecily is responsible for recruiting, talent development and training, benefits, compensation, HR-related compliance, and associate relations.

    Prior to joining Premera in 2013, Hall spent nearly 18 years with Microsoft Corporation as the Director of Employee Benefits. While at Microsoft, Cecily was responsible for managing 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 for innovative benefits. In 2009, she was asked to advise the President and his staff on health care strategies that improve health and reduce costs. Hall also has previously held leadership positions with Nordstrom, Carena Inc., and MedEncentive.

    Cecily has been honored for her leadership by The American Cancer Society, The Autism Society of America, 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.

    Cecily serves as a board member of Virginia Mason’s Bailey-Boushay House. She previously served on the Board of Directors for Overlake Hospital Medical Center and the Business Advisory Group for the Joint Commission.

    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.

    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

    Chief Executive Officer and President of Premera Blue Cross

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

    Roe 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.

    Roe serves on the Boards of the National Institute for Health Care Management, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Washington Healthcare Forum, 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 Masters in Business Administration.

    Vice President and General Manager Underwriting and Contract Services

    Jim Grazko is President of Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska & SVP of Underwriting. Jim has responsibility for establishing and achieving long- and short-range operational, membership and financial goals for Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska. In his underwriting role Jim works with the business to achieve membership and financial objectives, providing pricing and underwriting support for all products lines. He also oversees production of group, member and provider contracts. Jim participates as a member of the Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP) Board of Directors where he chairs the Grievance Committee.

    Prior to joining Premera, Jim served as Director of Underwriting for Health Net, where he ran underwriting for their western region. Jim also worked as a consultant with Ernst & Young in the firm’s Actuarial, Benefits and Compensation practice.

    Jim 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.

    Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Executive

    Jim Messina is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Executive. Jim has responsibility for top line growth and bottom line results across all markets and business lines throughout the Premera family of companies. These markets include those 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. In addition, Jim is responsible for Premera’s Marketing, Business Development, Member Engagement, Wellness and Consumerism activities and Premera’s Ancillary Products including Vivacity, a Premera affiliate.

    Messina joined Premera in January 2009 as Vice President and General Manager, leading sales efforts for National, Labor & 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 CEO of CareSite Pharmacies. Messina previously served as CEO and President and as Executive Vice President of Operations of HealthMarket, a consumer driven insurance company. Messina also served in senior level roles at CIGNA and UnitedHealth Group.

    Messina received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Arizona.

    Executive Vice President, Health Care Services

    John Espinola, MD is the Executive Vice President of Health Care Services. He was formerly Vice President of Quality, Medical Management and Provider Engagement at Premera Blue Cross. He provides leadership for Premera’s strategy to ensure customers receive healthcare services they need with the customer experience they want and deserve. Healthcare Services is comprised of two departments. Healthcare Delivery Systems is primarily responsible for provider contracting and provider services, while Integrated Health Management offers programs that improve quality and safety of care and the member’s experience with healthcare services

    John 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.

    John is board certified in Geriatrics and Internal Medicine. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Clinic and in Geriatrics at Harborview Medical Center. He has a Doctor of Medicine and Masters of Public Health degrees from Tufts University School of Medicine, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

    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.

    Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs

    Kitti Cramer is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs. In this role, she oversees Congressional and Legislative Affairs and Corporate Communications. Cramer also has direct oversight of the Regulatory Affairs Program, Privacy Program, and the company’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the Exchanges. Cramer also serves as Deputy General Counsel and Privacy Official for Premera.

    She has been with Premera since 1998, in positions of increasing responsibility in the Legal & Regulatory Affairs Department, most recently serving as the Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs.

    Kitti holds a bachelors of science in psychology as well as a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Washington. Kitti received her JD from the University of Washington School of Law.

    Senior Vice President of 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, Wellness and Consumerism at Premera; in addition, Chandler 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.

    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.

    Executive Vice President, IT and Operations

    Kacey Kemp is Executive Vice President of IT and Operations for Premera Blue Cross. Kemp oversees claims, customer service, membership and billing, national account operations, information technology business systems, infrastructure, information security, and the alignment of information technologies with overall business strategy. She is the executive leader for Premera’s Crisis Management Team.

    Kemp has held a number of positions at Premera since joining the company in 1979, most recently as Senior Vice President of Operations. Her leadership has been a critical component in the company’s evolving and expanded use of Lean to improve operational efficiency in serving the customer, since Premera began using Lean in 2004.

    Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

    Dr. Rakesh “Roki” Chauhan is Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer at Premera Blue Cross. He is responsible for leadership, strategic planning, and implementation of Premera’s Integrated Health Management programs, which includes Quality, Medical and Pharmacy Management, Clinical Programs, and Clinical Innovation. Dr. Chauhan also acts as senior medical director for National Accounts as well as the Alaska and Oregon markets.

    Dr. Chauhan has been with Premera since 1999.

    Dr. Chauhan attended medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. He completed his residency and fellowship in Family Practice at the University of California, San Francisco at Santa Rosa, CA. As a board-certified family physician, he was in clinical practice for ten years in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area and five years in a multi-specialty clinic in Seattle.

    Dr. Chauhan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the American College of Physician Executives. He also completed a Fellowship in Managed Care with America’s Health Insurance Plans. He previously held a position as Assistant Clinical Professor in Family & Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

    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.

    Senior Vice President, Operations

    Sharon Chastain is Senior Vice President of Operations. In this this role, Sharon oversees the Customer Service, Membership and Billing and Claims functions. Sharon also has responsibility for our National Account Operations, Federal Employee Program.

    Sharon graduated from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Executive Development Program. She serves on the American Heart Association for Puget Sound’s Board of Directors.

    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.

  • About Premera Blue Cross

    Our mission is to provide peace of mind to our members about their healthcare coverage. We provide health insurance and related services to 1.5 million people in Washington and Alaska. Premera Blue Cross has operated in Washington since 1933, and Alaska since 1952. Premera Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

    Premera Blue Cross is a member of a family of companies based in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, that provide health, life, vision, dental, stop-loss, disability, and other related products and services. For more information, visit www.premera.com.