Jim Reed

Jim Reed

President and CEO, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Years in current role: CEO since 2021, President and CEO-elect since 2020

What has been your organization’s biggest success over the past year?

Our success is tied to our culture. It is a central focus of our organization. Employee culture enables us to achieve our mission: to improve the health and well-being of our communities. I’ve witnessed how our business has strengthened as our culture has improved. I believe the fact that we are a local health plan with more than 2,000 employees who live and work here gives us a strategic competitive advantage.

It was moment of pride for our organization when we were ranked No. 2 on the Forbes 2023 list of America’s Best Midsize Employers. This recognition is due to our employees, who take great pride in our culture of passionately serving our customers and fulfilling our mission.

What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your industry?

Communication and relationship skills are important tools to be effective in any industry. Relationships matter. I learned very early in my career that people want to do business with people they know and like. Take the time to establish relationships with the people you work with whether they’re inside the organization or outside, such as customers or business partners. Relationships establish a foundation from which you can build and grow your future.

What do you enjoy most about working in the Rochester area?

The collaborative spirit of this community. Like many communities, we face challenges, however it’s the coming together to tackle some of our area’s toughest issues that stands out. Rochester is a philanthropic community. There’s a unique willingness to give time, resources and financial support to organizations and initiatives that advance the well-being of our community. We have high-quality health care in the greater Rochester community because providers, insurers, employers, and community organizations are always so willing to partner. Together we can create change, and build a stronger, healthier community.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 30 Accounting & Insurance list for 2023. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at rbj.net.