Independence’s 2019 Urban League of Philadelphia Leadership Forum graduates, pictured from left, bottom row are: Lorraine Stewart, Tracey Carter, and MeLissa Pernell. Top row, from left are: Nicole Roberts, Sean Sanders, Thao (Katie) Vo, and Brandi Medley.
Seven Independence Blue Cross (Independence) associates were among the 60 recent graduates of the Urban League of Philadelphia Leadership Forum. The Forum aims to sharpen leadership skills, build relationships. and encourage community engagement. It was the largest graduating class ever for the forum, which is celebrated its 30th year in 2019.
Independence’s graduates include:
- Tracey Carter, manager, Case Management
- Brandi Medley, manager, Operations
- MeLissa Pernell, manager, Learning
- Nicole Roberts, product manager, Specialty Services
- Sean Sanders, manager, Risk Analytics
- Lorraine Stewart, lead network coordinator, Provider Network Services
- Thao (Katie) Vo, lead marketing analyst, Member Marketing
Graduates participated in a rigorous application and interview process before being selected for the Forum. While in the program, they learned about corporate culture and global awareness, defining and actualizing personal brands, and the importance of community service. The Forum ran from January to June with one day of programming per month.
“The leadership forum is a great experience for current and emerging leaders to participate in,” said John Clayton, director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Workforce at Independence. “The skills learned and the relationships built are essential to learning about yourself, experiencing multiple industries, and capitalizing on the value that you can add to your community.”
Leadership Forum winning team
The Leadership Forum curriculum included a community service project for Youth Empowerment Day at Citizens Bank Park. Participants created a one-hour presentation on empowering youth to a panel of judges comprised of local executives. Each group then gave a 20-minute presentation to the youth who attended the event at the ballpark. The team of seven Independence graduates won first place for Diversity and Multiculturalism. They demonstrated the power of diversity using ethnic games, music and snacks to teach Philadelphia 10th grade students about international cultures.