Those planning to attend the 2012 Mel Bedwell Small Business Person of the Year luncheon on Monday, May 7, are reminded tickets are available only through Thursday.
To get under way at noon, the annual Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce gathering will be held at the Museum Center at Five Points. A “Business Showcase” featuring information booths and product displays of area businesses will kick off at 11:30 a.m.
Those interested in participating in the tabletop booths should contact Bernadette Douglas, Chamber executive vice president, at 472-6587, or send an email to email@example.com.
Tickets to the luncheon also are available by contacting the Chamber of Commerce number or by registering online at www.clevelandchamber.com through the events calendar. Single tickets are $20, and corporate tables of eight are available for $175.
The annual luncheon honors an outstanding small-business person 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.
Lois Egan, chairman of the Chamber’s Small Business Committee, believes the annual gathering is especially significant because of the economic contributions made year after year by small businesses in this community. Monday’s luncheon is even more relevant because of the keynote speaker and her topic.
She is Vicky Gregg, chief executive officer of Chattanooga-based BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
Prior to becoming CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee — which is the state’s largest health plan serving more than 3 million members in Tennessee and across the nation — 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 BlueShield, she worked for a national, publicly traded health plan where she served as market vice president. In this critical role, 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 health care environments. This includes clinical care, hospital administration, long-term care and health care benefits and financing.
Gregg is no stranger to high-level appointments. In 2004, she served on the United States National Institutes of Health Commission on Systemic Interoperability which worked to develop a strategy for building a nationwide electronic health records network. In 2006, she was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to the newly created E-Health Advisory Council, a 16-member panel created to make recommendations on how to establish an interoperable health care data exchange in Tennessee.
Currently, Gregg 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 Healthcare Management Foundation. Gregg also serves on the board for America’s Health Insurance Plans where she previously served as chairperson.
In 2009, she was named the Tennessee Woman of Distinction.
Monday’s luncheon is a celebration of small business. It is a tribute to a former Cleveland businessman — Mel Bedwell — who believed in the role of small business and its importance to our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown.
We encourage attendance at this very worthwhile event.
But order your tickets now!