Leadership Team

David J. Lesar

Board Member and Interim CEO, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
Dave Lesar is a board member and interim CEO of HCSC, the nation’s largest customer-owned health insurer. He joined HCSC’s board of directors in 2018 because of his strong belief in helping people gain access to quality, affordable health care.

A Wisconsin native, Lesar began his career in 1978 with Arthur Andersen, where he spent 16 years as a certified public accountant in its Dallas office and Chicago headquarters. Lesar then spent 25 years in the energy industry, including 17 as a CEO.

Over his nearly 40 years in business, Lesar has served on the boards of Cordant Technologies, Southern Company, Mirant, Lyondell Chemicals, Agrium and PetroStar Services.

Lesar holds a bachelor’s and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Maurice Smith

President, HCSC

As president, Maurice Smith is responsible for overall strategic direction of the company including the organization’s long-term growth strategy. He previously served as president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois where he was responsible for the overall financial performance, long-term growth strategy and strategic planning of Illinois’ largest health insurance company, serving more than 8 million members.

Smith began his career as an intern at HCSC in 1993. Since then, he has held a number of executive roles with increasing responsibility, including senior vice president, Business Development and Subsidiary Management, divisional vice president, Business Development and Subsidiary Management, and vice president of Corporate Transactions and Business Analysis. He also served as the chairman of the board of directors for Dearborn Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of HCSC.

Smith’s current philanthropic endeavors include actively serving on the boards of the Chicago Sinfonietta (chair), Chicago Civic Consulting Alliance, Chicago Civic Federation, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Roosevelt University and the Common Ground Foundation. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Roosevelt University.

Jill Wolowitz

Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, HCSC

Jill Wolowitz is responsible for HCSC’s federal government relations and health policy, communications and is chief of staff to the chairman, CEO and president.

Prior to assuming her current role, Wolowitz led the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) state and local government relations and community affairs efforts. In this position, she advocated for policies to support a stable health insurance market and increase Illinoisans’ access to health care, served as the company liaison to the Illinois Legislature and state regulatory agencies, and oversaw BCBSIL’s grants and community outreach programs.

Previously, Wolowitz served as the company’s federal health policy expert, focused on implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s requirements for the private insurance markets. She began her career at BCBSIL as a health insurance regulatory attorney. Wolowitz has also held positions in the law departments of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and the American Dental Association. 

Wolowitz serves on the boards of the Civic Federation, Illinois Manufacturing Association and Chicago Cares. She has a Juris Doctor and an LLM in health law from DePaul University of College of Law in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Monica Berner, M.D.

HCSC Clinical Officer

As HCSC’s clinical officer, Dr. Monica Berner is responsible for leading the company’s Clinical Strategy, Physical and Behavioral Health Care Management, Quality and Accreditation, and Community Health.

Previously, Dr. Berner served as president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, where she was responsible for operations, including sales and account management, government and public relations, provider network management and medical management. Dr. Berner also served as chief medical officer and medical director at the Montana Plan.

Prior to joining the Montana Plan in 2009, Dr. Berner spent 12 years working in direct patient care. She had a private medical practice in Aloha, Oregon, before joining the Lewis and Clark County Community Health Center in Helena. She then became a Veteran Affairs staff physician in the outpatient clinic at Fort Harrison, Montana’s Veteran’s Hospital. Dr. Berner was named the Montana Medical Association’s 2016 Merit Award winner for her leadership in health care innovation and her extensive work on behalf of Montana physicians.

Dr. Berner holds a degree in medicine from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Opella Ernest, M.D.

Senior Vice President, HCSC Operations

As the senior vice president of HCSC Operations, Dr. Opella Ernest leads Service Delivery Operations, Information Technology, Health Analytics, Network Solutions and Business Management Operations.

Previously, Dr. Ernest served as senior vice president and chief clinical officer of HCSC, divisional senior vice president and chief medical officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. Prior to joining the Illinois Plan, Dr. Ernest served as senior vice president of Medical Management for HealthSpring, Inc., where she was responsible for supporting care management for Medicare Advantage Plans.

Dr. Ernest is chairman of the American Heart Association’s Metro Chicago board of directors and a member of Chicago United’s board of directors. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a degree in medicine from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Jeffrey Tikkanen

Senior Vice President, HCSC Markets

As senior vice president of HCSC Markets, Jeffrey Tikkanen is responsible for leading the company’s five state Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans, Pharmacy Programs, and Federal Government Relations. He is also responsible for overseeing Market Enablement, and Growth and National Account Strategies.

Previously, he served as president of Plan Solutions and Market Delivery, where in addition to the five state Plans, he oversaw HCSC’s network solutions and provider partnerships, policy and government relations, pharmacy, branding and stakeholder impact, and HCSC’s subsidiary, Dearborn Life Insurance Company.

Tikkanen also served as president of HCSC’s Emerging Markets, where he was responsible for government programs and retail markets, as well as federal government relations. While at the helm of the retail business, Tikkanen transformed a relatively small part of the organization to a significant portion of its business, which provides access to health care to more than 1 million members.

Tikkanen has been with HCSC since 1993 and served in a variety of management roles before being named a divisional vice president in Illinois National Accounts in 2005. In 2008, he moved to Oklahoma to assume the role of vice president of Sales and Marketing.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Joseph R. Cunningham, M.D., FACOG

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK)

Dr. Joseph R. Cunningham is responsible for the overall strategic direction of BCBSOK, including operations, sales and account management, network management, health care management, medical policy and external affairs. BCBSOK is the state's oldest and largest private health insurer.

Dr. Cunningham joined BCBSOK in 2007 as the medical director of Medical Services over Utilization Management and Case Management Departments. In 2009, he was named the company’s vice president of Health Care Management and chief medical officer. In 2014, Dr. Cunningham became the vice president of Health Care Delivery and chief medical officer, overseeing both medical and network provider areas. In 2015, he was named BCBSOK’s divisional senior vice president of Health Care Delivery and chief medical officer, where he was responsible for the transition from fee-for-service to fee-for-value and value-based program development. In October 2018, Dr. Cunningham was named Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma’s 10th president.

Prior to joining BCBSOK, Dr. Cunningham spent nearly 21 years in private practice in Tulsa. He is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is a member of both the Oklahoma State Medical Association and the Tulsa County Medical Society.

Dr. Cunningham earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry and attended medical school at the University of Arkansas. He also completed post-graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa.

Michael Frank

Senior Vice President HCSC Market Enablement, Interim President Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT), Chairman Dearborn Life Insurance Company Board of Directors

As SVP of Market Enablement, Michael Frank leads HCSC’s network operations, product development and implementation, small group operations, client and product analytics, plan performance, provider partnership, and group experience teams. As interim president of BCBSMT, Frank is responsible for all Montana Plan operations, including sales and account management, government and public relations, provider network management, and medical management. Frank also has oversight of and serves as chairman of the board of directors for Dearborn Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of HCSC. 

Frank has also served as senior vice president, Tri-State Plans, which included responsibility over the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Montana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Frank was previously CEO of BCBSMT and successfully lead the regulatory approval process and integration of BCBSMT into HCSC. Frank further served as president, chief legal and operations officer, chief administrative officer, vice president of Corporate Integrity and Human Resources, and vice president of Compliance and Ethics for the Montana Plan. Before joining the Montana Plan in 1999, he was a practicing attorney with Crowley, Haughey, Hanson, Toole & Dietrich, PPLP, headquartered in Helena, Montana.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Montana State University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Montana.

Steve Hamman

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL)

Steve Hamman is responsible for the overall financial performance, long-term growth strategy and strategic planning of Illinois’ largest health insurance company, which serves more than 8 million members.

Hamman joined BCBSIL in 1991 and has served in a variety of management roles within the company during his tenure at BCBSIL and at HCSC. He most recently served as senior vice president, Enterprise Network Solutions and Provider Partnerships, for HCSC.

Hamman currently serves on the boards of Innovista Health, and non-profits Eikon Group and New City Church while also actively participating on advisory councils for the Heritage Group and Madison Dearborn Partners. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics from Colorado College, and a master’s in Business Administration in Information Systems from the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University in Chicago.

Dan McCoy, M.D.

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX)

Dr. Dan McCoy is responsible for all Texas Plan operations, including the management for sales and account management, provider network contracting, medical management, government relations and public affairs.

Most recently, he served as divisional senior vice president of Texas Market Strategy and Texas chief medical officer. Dr. McCoy served in this role since 2014 and was instrumental in the Texas Plan’s growth and Latino strategies in addition to its efforts to lower the costs of care.

Dr. McCoy brings a broad perspective of the local health care delivery system as a physician for the past 21 years, former managing partner at Texas Dermatology Associates and medical director of the Melanoma and Skin Tumor Clinic at Baylor University Medical Center’s Outpatient Cancer Center.

He holds a bachelor's degree from Tarleton State University and a degree in medicine from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Kurt Shipley

President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM)

Kurt Shipley is responsible for developing and implementing the mission, vision, and strategic initiatives of BCBSNM to support membership growth and retention and ensure financial stability and long-term success of the organization.

Shipley is responsible for company-wide performance, membership growth, financial management, product development, network management, marketing and sales, public relations, government/legislative affairs, community relations and media relations. In addition, he oversees the administration of the Indian Health Service/Purchase Referred Care program, which provides services for 2.3 million eligible Native Americans and Alaska Natives across the United States. He also has responsibility for the performance of the Blue Cross Community Centennial Medicaid contract.

Shipley joined BCBSNM in 1996 and was named New Mexico Plan President in 2012. Prior to joining BCBSNM, Shipley worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado and was responsible for internal and external financial reporting.

Shipley is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Brigham Young University.

Kevin M. Cassidy

HCSC Chief Growth Officer

As HCSC’s chief growth officer, Kevin Cassidy is responsible for growth initiatives including organic growth, new margin opportunities, strategic partnerships and strategic step level growth. He also oversees HCSC’s marketing, brand management, competitive analytics, collaboration with other Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans and the company’s C1 Innovation Lab in Dallas.

Prior to assuming his current role in 2019, Cassidy was HCSC’s president of Employer Solutions, focusing on all employer market segments as well as product development, employer group market operations, investments, the company’s distribution strategy and performance management.

He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Economics from Illinois State University.

Thomas Lubben

Senior Vice President, Compliance, Audit, Security, Special Investigations, Privacy and Regulatory Oversight, and Enterprise Risk Management; Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

Thomas Lubben is responsible for Health Care Service Corporation’s (HCSC) Compliance, Audit, Security, Special Investigations, Privacy and Regulatory Oversight divisions (CASSIP) and Enterprise Risk Management.

Previously, Lubben was vice president and corporate secretary of HCSC, where he oversaw corporate secretarial and governance matters. He joined HCSC's Legal Division in 1996 where he provided legal support in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, pharmacy, compliance, human resources and litigation.

Lubben has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Calvin College and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois, College of Law.

Andy Napoli

Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Service Officer

Andy Napoli is responsible for claims, customer service and membership administration for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

A veteran of nearly 15 years in the U.S. Army, including a combat tour during the First Gulf War, he has worked at a number of other major companies, including The Hartford Financial Services Group, Nationwide and Progressive.

Napoli is a West Point graduate with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, and he has a master’s degree in statistics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Blair W. Todt

Senior Vice President, Legal, Compliance and Business Performance

Blair W. Todt is responsible for HCSC’s Legal, Compliance, Audit, Security, Special Investigations, and Privacy (CASSIP) divisions, as well as Corporate Strategy and Business Performance Monitoring. In addition, he oversees other enterprise risk management services, including corporate governance and transactions, state and federal regulatory affairs, litigation and CASSIP matters affecting HCSC and its five Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. Todt also serves as HCSC’s chief legal officer.

Before joining HCSC, Todt worked at WellCare Health Plans, where he held several senior management positions, including senior vice president, chief legal and administrative officer and secretary.

Todt earned a bachelor’s degree in political communication from George Washington University and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School.

James Walsh

Senior Vice President, Finance

As SVP of finance, Jim Walsh provides direction and management to the finance, accounting, treasury and tax planning teams. He also advises business and financial planning, manages financial forecasting and budgets, and oversees the preparation of all financial reporting.

Walsh has held positions of increasing responsibility within HCSC’s finance division for over 12 years. Prior to joining HCSC, he was a partner at Ernst & Young LLP where he acquired a deep understanding of insurance company operations, accounting practices and internal controls over financial reporting.

Walsh holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Illinois State University and is a registered CPA. He is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant and member of the Illinois CPA Society and AICPA.

Marvin Richardson

HCSC Chief Information Officer

As HCSC’s chief information officer, Marvin Richardson is responsible for all information technology initiatives and operations, including digital innovation, information security, delivery of technology solutions and initiatives, cloud and internal technology operations. He also serves as dean of Technology & Innovation at the company’s employee education program, “Blue University,” where he seeks to provide opportunities for all employees to strengthen their technology knowledge and innovative spirit.

Previously, Richardson served as the company’s head of applications, focusing on the delivery and operations of all HCSC applications supporting our members, providers, employees, producers and other stakeholders. Before joining HCSC in 2016, Marv served as chief technology officer for Fortune 500 firms Aon and Electronic Data Systems (now DXC Technology), worked as a technology leader at Oracle, and was co-founder and leader at two successful startups.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Manitoba in Canada and was awarded the Governor General’s gold medal for highest standing.