One of Blue Cross Blue Shields top Executives Retires

One of Blue Cross Blue Shields top Executives Retires

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

By Floyd MillerOne of our most beloved citizens, Ms.Dee Moore, retired on June 30th 2017. She took time out to visit with me about her illustrious career. I enjoyed visiting with her. I hope you enjoy this article. “Ms. Moore, I appreciate you sitting down with me today. I understand that you have been with Blue Cross Blue Shield for 47 years {{more}} and you are about to retire.” Ms. Moore expressed with, “Yes Mr. Miller, when I leave on June 30th it will be 47 years and 9 months!” I think we all want to know how someone maintains a career for one company for such a long period of time. She states, “I started during my college years. I had reached the point where I decided to take a one year break from school to see what BCBS had to offer. Forty seven years later and I am still here.”Curiosity struck and I wanted to know when she knew that BCBS was her place to be in the world. She said, “I didn’t, each year brought something different. I enjoyed the freedom of being an adult and I liked the salary I was receiving.”When asked to elaborate on adult hood, I asked Delores,” when you look at young people now, when do you feel they have reached adulthood?” she responded, “I happen to be a Baby Boomer, but I am fully aware there are truly distinct differences in every generation, no matter who is looking at them. I look at my parents who were from the Silent Generation and they were both very hard working individuals, with a very long work history, such as myself. I don’t believe the longevity factor is as prevalent in some of the younger generations, but their knowledge for technology is great. Therefore, in my opinion, my definition of when one reaches adulthood in this era would range from 30-35 years of age.” “You mention your parents; tell us a little about where you grew up and what it was like”. “When I was young my dad went to fight in the Korean War. My dad would later pass away at the relatively young age of 58. I lived with my Grandparent’s in Palestine, TX until my Grandmother passed away. I was the only grandchild for the first 8 years. After my grandmother died I moved with my mother to Wichita Falls. I had a wonderful childhood that consisted of parents and family members that truly loved, protected, and took care of me. When I look back I see hard working parents who gave up things for themselves to insure they provided for us. The work ethic of my mother who was with her employer for 41 years inspired my devotion.”I asked Dee what advice you would give someone who is just starting their career. “I would tell them to find something that fits your passion. You can get a job that can make you a fortune, but if you don’t like what you are doing, then who is the disservice to, you or who your employer?” I then wanted to know who was inspirational in her successful career, and asked about her mentors, both outside and inside the company. She stated “Of course I am going to say my mother because of her strong work ethic. She would say ’ You don’t quit a job just because you have a bad day, week or month’. And within this organization my mentor and coach would be Jackie Hamilton. She has since retired. She helped me find my way through BCBS.”Looking back on her youth I thought it would be interesting to get a glimpse into what she was thinking about as a young lady. I asked her, “Can you remember what you were thinking about when you got out of high school, what were your dreams, where did you think you would end up? “Well Floyd, my graduation speech was on the topic of Job Opportunity, how fitting! When I graduated I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to Midwestern College in Wichita Falls. Once I started I was no different from any other excited youth. At some point during my education I realized I wanted something different, so I went to Business College over the summer. There, if you passed the Key Punch class they would guarantee you an interview with BCBS in Dallas. I and two other students passed and received interviews and were hired that very day!”When asked how long she had been in Abilene she said they had just celebrated 20 years in the Big Country. .We all know Ms Moore has been an active ambassador for BCBS, and I wanted her to elaborate on some of her extracurricular activities. She has an extensive list! She has served on half of the 501C3 boards, Big Brothers big Sisters, Day Nursery of Abilene, American Heart Association, Kiwanis, DCOA , AIF she has sat on the board of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, and the Abilene Black Chamber, Hendricks Bioethics, Abilene Taylor County Child Advocacy as well as the Betty Hardwick Center and the list could go on and on.“If you could have dinner with one person Dee, who would that be, and why?” “Well, there’s not just one person, but I would begin with Maya Angelou. The small book called ‘I Wouldn’t Take Nothing for my Journey Now’ is very dear to me. Abe Lincoln and Martin Luther King would be on my list. I would just like to know, what were they thinking that particular day, what was their drive and their passion.”When asked what the most rewarding part of her job was, I was not surprised when she said it was the people she works with. Her response, “The people are the most rewarding thing about my job. They are the ones doing the work. When we are out in public and I’m introduced as The Boss, I always respond with “No, we work together..”When Dee was asked what she thought her employees would say about her leadership skills, her response was sincere. “My dream is that they would say, ‘I like her, she is fair, and she listens.”I wanted Dee to share with us a little about her family. She stated she has one daughter, one son-in-law and two grandsons. Her oldest grandson is about to start his second year at Texas State University in San Marcos and her youngest grandson is in the 4th grade.Dee then proceeded to tell me about her farewell party and celebration. She stated, “When the company gave us the option of doing a voluntary separation and retirement, I decided to do both. I wanted to do something with my management team. It’s not just the professionals, it’s my whole team, my supervisors who have been with me this whole time as well as some corporate and city board members and some of my church family. We are trying to include as many people in the community as we can”.Of course I had to ask what she would be doing if she had not accepted the position at BCBS. She responded with laughter saying”…. I have no earthly ideaMs. Moore has more tenure than anyone on the BCBS senior management team. I asked her what experience she had that would be unique to her. She said,” I have known and personally met every Blue Cross Blue Shield President of Texas, except for the very first one. I have physically shaken hands and said ‘hello’ to each one, and I do not think anyone else can say that.” I asked Dee what her vision of retirement looks like. She said, “Everyone tells me I’m going to be bored, my vision is to sit back, relax and finish up things that have been on the back burner, visit family and friends, and to travel. I have been pondering getting a second Master Degree in Arbitration Negotiation, maybe set myself up as an independent contractor in our community.”“What are some of the major changes you have seen in your career over these years? To no surprise, her answer was “technology.”To conclude my interview with Ms .Delores Moore I wanted to know if there were any words of wisdom she would like to share. She closed with an inspirational comment on finding your passion. She stated, “Passion, Please find it, it will make your life so much better. Even here , people say they want to promote, I say don’t just promote to promote, find that one certain job that you want. Find your brand, what identifies you. I like to ask the question ‘What is going to be my legacy?’ my legacy is what the World says and thinks about me. My Brand is that I am a people person, I love to meet new people everywhere I go.”Ms Moore assures us she will be staying active in the Abilene community and maintaining her spot on as many Boards as she can. “I remember when we first opened this Abilene office. This young girl told me, ‘once you have been here 5 years, its home, you won’t want to leave this area ’she was right. I love living in and working in this community, and BCBS afforded me that opportunity!”