The annual event, sponsored by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, honors an outstanding small businessperson in Cleveland and Bradley County for their success in six areas: staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales, innovativeness of product or service offered, response to adversity and evidence of contributions to the community.
“This is a time for us to acknowledge the economic contributions of small businesses in Cleveland and Bradley County,” Lois Egan, chairman of the Small Business Committee, said. “We also felt that addressing the healthcare industry would be an appropriate topic for this audience.”
Prior to becoming CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state’s largest health plan that serves more than three million members in Tennessee and across the country, Gregg held several senior leadership positions in the company, including president and chief operating officer, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Volunteer State Health Plan, the company’s Medicaid HMO.
Before joining BlueCross, Gregg worked for a national, publicly traded health plan where, as market vice president, she oversaw operations, strategic development, acquisition and health plan service-area expansion. A nurse by education, Gregg has more than 25 years of experience in diverse healthcare environments, including clinical care, hospital administration, long-term care and healthcare benefits and financing.
Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tennessee, appointed Gregg to the United States National Institutes of Health Commission on Systemic Interoperability in 2004, which worked to develop a strategy for building a nationwide electronic health records network. In 2006, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed Gregg to the newly created E-Health Advisory Council, a 16-member panel created to make recommendations on how to establish an interoperable healthcare data exchange in Tennessee.
Gregg currently serves on several national boards, including the BlueCross BlueShield Association, the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare and the Healthcare Leadership Council. She chairs the board of the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. Additionally, Gregg serves on the board of directors for America’s Health Insurance Plans where she previously served as chairperson.
She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including Modern Healthcare Top 25 Women in Healthcare, Health Ethics Fellow of the Trust, Vanderbilt School of Nursing Honorary Alumni Award and Business Tennessee’s Most Powerful list. Gregg was named the 2009 Tennessee Woman of Distinction.
She recently announced her retirement as CEO effective at the end of the year.
Gregg is married to Dr. Fred Gregg III, an ophthalmic surgeon, and has two children.
The Small Business Person of the Year award honors the memory of Mel Bedwell, who was known for his energy, determination, ingenuity, honesty, enthusiasm and loyalty, all traits necessary for a successful small business owner. Bedwell was an owner with Jack Smith of Cleveland Business Machines.
In addition to presentation of the Bedwell Award, a Business Showcase will highlight local businesses beginning at 11:30 a.m. Chamber members interested in participating in the tabletop exhibits should contact Bernadette Douglas, executive vice president, at 472-6587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets to the event also are available by calling the Chamber office at 472-6587 or by registering online at www.clevelandchamber.com through the events calendar. Single tickets are $20, and corporate tables of eight are $175.