Garrett Black, Colleen Connors, Jim Eppel, Rochelle Myers, Patsy Riley and Dave Spalding promoted to new positions; Jim Egan joins leadership teamEAGAN, Minn., April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) today announced new appointments to its leadership team, including the naming of James (Jim) Eppel as chief operating officer (COO) and the arrival of James (Jim) Egan as chief information officer (CIO). Blue Cross President and CEO Kenneth Burdick also announced an expansion of duties for Senior Vice President Patricia (Patsy) Riley – who adds government affairs and public policy to her existing government programs responsibilities – and Senior Vice President Colleen Connors, who adds communications and community relations to her existing responsibilities in human resources and facilities. Other leadership appointments include the naming of Garrett Black as senior vice president of health management; Rochelle Myers as vice president of strategic planning and portfolio management, and David (Dave) Spalding as senior vice president of business development. "I am very pleased to announce these additions to the leadership team of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota," said Burdick. "These are very collaborative and accessible leaders who get actively engaged in delivering results. I know that their collective expertise, along with their shared commitment to our non-profit mission, will allow our organization to deliver even stronger products and services that address the needs of our members and the community at large." Jim Eppel – COOAs chief operating officer, Eppel oversees commercial markets; government programs; health management, business development, service, strategic planning, and portfolio management. Eppel previously served as Blue Cross' senior vice president of health management and commercial markets, a position in which he was accountable for all aspects of health management, including network contracting and relationships; integrated health management; and products and services for individual and commercial group clients. Before joining Blue Cross in 2007, Eppel held senior leadership positions with Allina Hospitals & Clinics, UnitedHealth Group, and Medica. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jim Egan – CIOIn his role as chief information officer, Egan is responsible for leading the company's overall technology strategy in support of current and future business endeavors. Egan's information technology career includes executive experience in health care strategic planning, complex enterprise technology planning, and business transformation. Before joining Blue Cross, Egan had served as CIO for Outcomes Health Information Solutions, Ingenix (UnitedHealth) and Cardinal Health. Egan earned his bachelor's degree in computer science from California State University – Chico. Colleen Connors – SVP, human resources, communications, community relations and facilitiesColleen Connors joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in 2008. In her capacity as senior vice president, Connors is responsible for all functions within human resources; facilities management; internal and external communications; and community relations. Prior to joining Blue Cross, Connors served as senior vice president and global head of talent strategy at The Bank of New York Mellon. Her career also includes human resources leadership positions for Aetna Healthcare and Prudential Healthcare. Connors holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. Patsy Riley – SVP, government programs, government affairs and public policyRiley has more than 30 years of professional experience in health and human services concentrated in the area of government programs. Before joining Blue Cross in 2006, Riley was president and CEO of Stratis Health, a non-profit quality improvement organization for the State of Minnesota. She also has led government program initiatives at United Healthcare Corporation and Aetna Health Plans, and served as director of the Minnesota Medicaid Demonstration Project. Riley has a master's degree from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs in Minneapolis with a concentration in gerontology and public policy. Garrett Black – SVP, health managementAs senior vice president of health management at Blue Cross, Black leads network management, health economics, medical management and integrated health management. Black joined Blue Cross in 2010 as vice president of network management. Previously, he served as chief strategy officer for Children's Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota and as system director for strategic development at Allina Hospitals & Clinics. Black earned his bachelor's degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee and holds both an MBA and an MHA from the University of Minnesota. Rochelle Myers – VP, strategic planning and portfolio managementIn her position as vice president of strategic planning and portfolio management, Myers is responsible for leading the development and execution of Blue Cross' strategic plan, overseeing the company's strategic planning and enterprise portfolio management disciplines. Myers most recently served as director of strategic planning, leading the development of the company's health care reform strategy. She has served in a number of key leadership positions at Blue Cross, with experience in health care consulting, finance, business development, information technology and operations. Prior to Blue Cross, Myers worked in the banking and financial services industry. She has a bachelor's degree in corporate finance from Minnesota State University – Moorhead and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. Dave Spalding – SVP, business development As senior vice president of business development, Spalding oversees affiliate companies, revenue diversification, and innovation. Previously, Spalding was vice president of ancillary business lines at Blue Cross and chief executive officer of SelectAccount, Blue Cross' subsidiary organization that provides administrative and custodial services for consumer-directed spending accounts, including health savings accounts. He holds a bachelor's degree in Asian studies from the State University of New York at Albany and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.