published Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Business Digest: BlueCross names Harris director

BlueCross names Harris director

Ronald Harris has been promoted to director of workplace diversity for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state's largest not-for-profit health care plan and Chattanooga's largest private employer with more than 4,500 local employees.

Harris previously served for 11 years as manager of workforce diversity. In this new position, Harris will take a greater role in ensuring that diversity and inclusion are strategically aligned with corporate strategies and values. Along with his new responsibilities, he will maintain current assignments on diversity awareness training, recruitment, employee development and community outreach.

"As our members, providers and employees are becoming increasingly more diverse, Ronald is the ideal trusted adviser who will work tirelessly to ensure we're cultivating a culture that celebrates inclusion, and that we use that inclusive spirit to better serve our business and community," said Karen Ward, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for BlueCross.

Harris joined BlueCross in 1986 and has served in various management roles throughout his tenure, each with increasing responsibility. Prior to joining BlueCross, he was employed as the personnel director for Central Soya.

Harris is a co-founder of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Diversity Alliance, which connects various Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans throughout the country to share best practices and address diversity awareness. Harris is a regular speaker at business functions and conferences throughout Tennessee and around the country on diversity topics that impact the workplace.

Lehmkuhl opens near Eastgate

The Lehmkuhl Insurance Agency has opened an office in the 5700 Building, across from the Eastgate Town Center in Chattanooga.

The agency owned and operated by Bill Lehmkuhl provides insurance for individuals and businesses in the areas of auto, home, commercial and life through Farmers Insurance Group. The business is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Collier relocates to Main Street

As Collier Construction Co. enters its 10th year of business, the general contractor has relocated to East Main Street.

"We have experienced tremendous progress this year, and we anticipate further growth in 2012," said Ethan Collier, president and CEO of Collier Construction. "Our new offices will enable us to better meet the needs of our employees and our customers as we continue to expand."

Since 2008, Collier Construction has completed more than a dozen projects in the Main Street area, including Tennessee's first LEED Platinum buildings as well as a sustainable urban hostel, The Crash Pad, which is slated for LEED gold certification. LEED is the U.S. Green Building Council's rating system for the design and construction of energy efficient and green buildings.

"We feel very at home on Main Street and are glad to be neighbors with many friends and customers," said Collier.

Stewart Title moves to North Shore site

Stewart Title of Chattanooga recently relocated its Chattanooga office into the Terrace at Frasier Building on the North Shore.

Stewart Title, a subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp., offers Stewart Online, MyFiles mobile app, Lender Express Quote and NetSheet Apps, among other real estate products and services.

"Just like Stewart Title, the North Shore blends a long, colorful history of the latest trends," said Lexi Beegle, manager of the Chattanooga office. "At the new office, we'll continue to provide our clients with excellent customer service, a dedicated staff and sales team, and access to premier products and services."

Business digest is published every Sunday to highlight career moves and promotions of managers of Chattanooga area companies and agencies. Announcements should be send to Business Editor Dave Flessner at dflessner@times freepress.com or by calling 757-6340.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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