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BlueCross BlueShield CEO to keynote Chamber luncheon
Keynote speaker Vicky Gregg, chief executive officer of Chattanooga-based BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, will speak at the 2012 Mel Bedwell Small Business Person of the Year luncheon on Monday, May 7, at the Museum Center at 5ive Points at noon.
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 based BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state’s largest health plan that serves more than 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country, Gregg occupied 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 over 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-TN) 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. Mel 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.
More Business News
Last Update on September 02, 2014 17:28 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. manufacturing grew in August at the strongest pace in more than three years as factories cranked out more goods and new orders rose.
The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index rose to 59 from 57.1 in July. Anything above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing.
A gauge of production rose to the highest level in four years, and a measure of new orders jumped to its highest in 10 years. That suggests that the sector should continue to grow in the coming months.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. construction spending staged a strong rebound in July, rising by the largest amount in more than two years. All major categories of construction showed gains in an encouraging sign that spending on building projects will help boost the economy in the second half of this year.
The Commerce Department says construction spending rose 1.8 percent in July, the biggest one-month gain since May 2012. It followed a 0.9 percent decline in June, the largest setback in a year. That decline had been blamed in part on soggy weather which depressed construction activity in many parts of the country.
The July rebound pushed total construction to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $981.3 billion, the highest level since December 2008. Spending on housing, non-residential and government projects all increased.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices rose in July but at a slower rate compared with earlier this year.
Real estate data provider CoreLogic says prices rose 7.4 percent in July from July 2013. That was slightly below June's year-over-year increase of 7.5 percent.
Prices rose 1.2 percent in July from June.
The smaller price gains should make homes more affordable and support sales. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.1 percent last week, the lowest in a year. And the number of available homes rose 3.5 percent in July to the most in nearly two years. A greater supply tends to limit the bidding wars that inflate prices.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- The International Monetary Fund says Ukraine will need billions of dollars in additional support if the fighting between the military and Russian-backed separatists in the country's east persists.
In its first in-depth assessment since granting the country a $17 billion bailout program in March, the IMF said Tuesday "risks loom large" for the country's economy.
It says the bailout program already faces a $3.5-billion funding shortfall through 2015, with the economy forecast to shrink by 6.5 percent this year. Analysts say Ukraine's gross domestic product might tumble even more.
It says if the fighting in the eastern region -- representing about 16 percent of Ukraine's GDP -- were to persist through next year, Kiev would likely need additional support worth $19 billion only to shore up its central bank reserves.
NEW NATURAL GAS PIPELINE
NEW YORK (AP) -- Dominion Resources, Duke Energy and other partners have proposed building a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with the prodigious supplies of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Gas is being relied upon to generate more of the nation's electricity in recent years because the enormous new domestic supplies have drastically lowered its price and it burns cleaner than the nation's other most important fuel for electric power, coal.
The 550-mile project will begin in Harrison County, West Virginia and stretch to Robeson County, North Carolina, in the southern part of the state.
The partners, which included Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources, expect to receive regulatory approval by mid-2016 and to start operating the pipeline in 2018.
HOUSTON (AP) -- Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The settlement, which is subject to court approval, will be paid into a trust until appeals are resolved over the next two years.
Halliburton was BP PLC's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf in April 2010, killing 11 workers and triggering the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
The deal will settle claims assigned to Halliburton as a result of BP's settlement in 2012 and punitive damages from the loss of property or commercial fishing activity resulting from the oil spill.
DOLLAR GENERAL-FAMILY DOLLAR
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Dollar General is boosting its bid for rival Family Dollar to approximately $9.1 billion and says it's now willing to more than double the number of stores it would shed to avoid trouble with regulators.
The newest bid from Dollar General is worth $80 per share, up from $78.50. Dollar General's previous bid, worth nearly $9 billion, was rejected by Family Dollar in favor of an offer of about $8.5 billion from Dollar Tree Inc.
Dollar General Corp. says it will now divest 1,500 stores to steer clear of antitrust issues. It previously said it would divest up to 700 stores. The Goodlettsville, Tennessee company has also agreed to pay a $500 million reverse break-up fee to Family Dollar Stores Inc. if the deal runs into antitrust roadblocks.
UNDATED (AP) -- Private equity firm Thoma Bravo is spending about $2.5 billion to buy Compuware and take the software developer private.
The companies say Compuware stock owners will receive about $10.92 for each share they own. That price includes mostly cash and some stock from Compuware spin-off Covisint.
It represents a premium of about 17 percent to the Detroit company's Friday closing price.
Compuware says its board unanimously approved the deal and recommends shareholders vote for it as well. Activist investor Elliott Management has already agreed to vote in favor of the deal. Elliott holds more than a 9 percent stake in Compuware Corp. and tried to acquire the company last year.
Thoma Bravo and Compuware expect the deal to close early next year.
Shares of Compuware are soaring in morning trading.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE-PRESTIGE-ACQUISITION
NEW YORK (AP) -- Norwegian Cruise Line is getting into the luxury cruise business by acquiring Prestige Cruises International in a deal worth about $3 billion.
Prestige operates high-end cruise lines Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., based in Miami, values the deal at $3.025 billion, when debt is included. Its shares are up more than 10 percent today.
Prestige is owned by the private equity firm Apollo Global management LLC, which also owns a large stake in Norwegian.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
1-800-FLOWERS-HARRY & DAVID
1-800-FLOWERS buying Harry & David for $142.5M
CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (AP) -- 1-800-FLOWERS.COM Inc. is buying Harry & David for $142.5 million to help broaden the assortment of foods that its customers can choose as gifts.
The deal includes Harry & David Holdings Inc.'s brands, websites, 47 retail stores, some plants, orchards and its headquarters in Medford, Oregon.
Harry & David's fruit, food and other gifts are housed under brands including Wolferman's, Cushman's and its namesake. Products include Royal Riviera pears, Wolferman's specialty English muffins and Cushman's HoneyBells citrus gifts.
1-800-FLOWERS' brands already include Fannie May, Cheryl's and The Popcorn Factory.
The transaction is expected to close in October.
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