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J.B. Sobel

Dr. Sobel joins Cigna as chief medical officer for Medicare

Joseph B. "J.B." Sobel, formerly chief medical officer of senior products for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in Chattanooga, has joined the health insurer Cigna Corp. as chief medical officer for its Medicare business. Dr. Sobel, who joined Cigna last month, serves as the clinical lead for Cigna's Medicare business, overseeing medical policy, behavioral health solutions and innovation strategies to support customer health, well-being and peace of mind.

"Dr. Sobel is an outstanding medical expert who will expand our innovative clinical programs to serve a growing number of Cigna Medicare customers," said Aparna Abburi, president of Cigna's Medicare business. "As a board-certified physician executive, he has a unique combination of clinical, business and management expertise. His well-rounded perspective and wealth of Medicare experience will help advance our efforts to provide quality, affordable health care for Cigna Medicare customers."

Dr. Sobel holds his undergraduate degree from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, and his doctor of medicine from Temple University's Lewis Katz School of Medicine. He obtained his master's degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh and his master's degree in business from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He holds active medical licenses in South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee and is a board-certified emergency medicine physician.

Cigna continues to expand its Medicare Advantage offerings to more states and counties across the United States. Last year, the company entered 108 new counties and three new states, increasing geographic presence by nearly 30 percent.


BlueCross selects Kumar as director of infrastructure, operations, support

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has chosen Sudhir Kumar as director of infrastructure operations and support in the company's Enterprise Information Technology division.

In this role, Kumar will oversee teams and processes that monitor BlueCross technology systems' performance, respond to information technology issues, perform information technology service management, and execute disaster recovery plans.

"Sudhir has extensive familiarity in leading information technology teams in the health insurance industry as well as experience in the fields of higher education and financial services," said Jennifer Weaver, vice president of infrastructure, operations and end-user services at BlueCross. "We feel confident in his ability to support the sophisticated needs of our company in this key leadership position."

Kumar comes to BlueCross from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, where he served as the director of IT infrastructure. Earlier in his career, he led IT teams and programs at Comerica Bank, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Maryland and Fiserv.

Kumar earned a master's degree in technology management from Penn Engineering and the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in information architecture from Capitol Technology University and a bachelor's degree in commerce from Patna University in Patna, India.


Cleveland State president up for CEO of the Year honor

Cleveland State Community College President Bill Seymour is a finalist for the CEO of the Year Award by the American Association of Community Colleges.

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Dr. Bill Seymour

"The biggest and best honor of my career has been working at Cleveland State," Seymour said n a release. "Just being considered for this national award is icing on the cake. I achieved nothing by myself. The accomplishments during my tenure have only been possible due to an awesome faculty and staff at CSCC."

The American Association of Community Colleges provides a national voice and advocacy for more than 1,100 two-year, associate degree-granting institutions and nearly 12 million students. This year, there are seven awards of excellence. CEO of the year is a new award this year and Dr. Seymour was identified as one of the six finalists.

Seymour began his CEO duties at the college in January 2014. He has promoted significant change at the college focused on student success and continuous improvement. After doubling the graduation rate, the college has yielded some of the highest completion numbers in the history of the college.

After 43 years in higher education administration, which has included large state universities, small private colleges and community colleges, Seymour will retire June 30.


RP Homes hires Sanders, Roach

Home design and building company RP Homes announced it is expanding its business into home selling with RP Realty. This expansion has opened new positions at RP Homes including two sales consultant positions filled by Chelsea Sanders and Chris Roach.

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Chelsea Sanders

Sanders, a new real estate licensee, is a member of the National Association of Realtors and comes to RP from Los Angeles.

"RP Homes is a great fit for me because of my passion for helping customers and families find a new home that is uniquely their own," Sanders said in a release.

With a background in retail buying and planning, corporate aviation and entertainment, Sanders has a unique and varied skill set that makes her both relatable and knowledgeable.

Roach grew up in Northwest Georgia where he spent many of his young days on construction sites with his father, who was a homebuilder. His adoration for architecture and roaming newly built homes started as soon as he could walk.

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Chris Roach

"We all find our purpose in what we do. Joining the RP Homes team allows me to encapsulate all that brings me joy — my love for real estate, helping families find their dream home, being along for the ride of the build and watching a community come together," Roach said in the release.

His diverse experience includes many years in sales, working on the set of National Geographic's TV "Building Wild," where he assisted in the design execution of luxury cabins in the mountains of Vermont and being the right hand of the CEO and founder of a local IT security firm in Chattanooga.


Kuehnel named Signal Mountain office broker

Real Estate Broker Amy Kuehnel has been named principal broker for the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Center Signal Mountain office. She will be the eighth broker at the location that has served the Signal and Walden communities since 1978.

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Amy Kuehnel

"Amy will join and bolster an impressive list of real estate leaders who have headed the office that my mom opened on Taft Highway when she first earned her broker's license over 40 years ago, " said Byron Kelly, owner of the firm in a statement regarding Kuehnel's role.

Kuehnel joined the firm as a sales agent in 2014. A lifelong resident of Hamilton County, she graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and also holds a master's degree from Tennessee Tech. Before representing clients in real estate transactions, Kuehnel was an educator.

Along with her broker's license in Tennessee, she has earned her place in the top 10% or better of all 55,000 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices sales associates in North America every year since 2018 as represented in gross commission dollars.


Corcoran joins The Company Lab's team

Chattanooga leader Austin Corcoran has joined The Company Lab as director of special projects and will be a strategist, connector and knowledge bank for entrepreneurs in the community.

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Austin Corcoran

"Austin brings a unique and valuable skill set, as well as a wealth of knowledge to our already impressive team," CO.LAB CEO Lindsey Cox said in a release regarding his hire.

Corcoran previously worked for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce as director of talent engagement and oversaw Chattanooga Chamber strategies for developing and retaining talent, including facilitating Leadership Chattanooga, Leadership Chattanooga Alumni Association, Young Professionals of Chattanooga, Protégé Chattanooga and ChattaNewbies.

A native Texan, Corcoran holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Bryan College. He serves as president of the Rotaract Club of Chattanooga and is a board member on the Chattanooga Technology Council.

Corcoran is an active volunteer with Lookout Mountain Conservancy, Chambliss Center for Children and the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Chattanooga.


Harris opens local CPA firm

Harris & Associates accounting firm has opened in Chattanooga.

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Tyler Harris

Tyler Harris, a former restaurant manager and owner who is now a certified public accountant, opened the business in his home earlier this year. The firm offers tax and accounting services for individuals and businesses.

"We're here to help you resolve your tax problems and put an end to the misery that the IRS can put you through," Harris said in his website about the new business, which may be contacted at (423) 320-9476.

— Compiled by Brandi Dixon

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