Business Digest: Sekharan, Meller rise at Unum

Business Digest: Sekharan, Meller rise at Unum

May 4th, 2014 by Staff Reports in Business Diary

Sekharan, Meller rise at Unum

Steve Meller

Steve Meller

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Unum recently welcomed Preetha Sekharan to the company's global business technology department as vice president of information technology strategy and consulting. The company also announced the promotion of Steve Meller to vice president of business technology solutions for Unum US.

Sekharan will help define the technology strategy and agenda for Unum in alignment with business goals and priorities. Prior to Unum, Sekharan was in management consulting with McKinsey & Co. and Booz & Co. and held numerous positions of increasing responsibility at Infosys Technologies, an $8 billion technology consulting firm.

Sekharan holds a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India and a master's in business administration from Duke University.

In his new role, Meller is responsible for the delivery of technology applications and services. Prior to this role, Meller was the leader of an enterprise center of excellence for application portfolio rationalization. Meller has been with Unum for 18 years and has held leadership roles in the enrollment, policy administration and shared technology areas.

Meller has a bachelor's degree in computer information systems from Clemson University and is chairman of the Chattanooga Technology Council.

Barclay named vice president

Marc Barclay

Marc Barclay

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has appointed Marc Barclay as vice president of provider networks and contracting.

In this role, he will be responsible for the day-to-day operations associated with BlueCross's extensive provider networks including contracting.

"Maintaining healthy, mutually beneficial relationships with health care providers in Tennessee is critical as payment models in our industry continue to shift from fee for service to a higher focus on quality care," said Larry Nall, senior vice president of provider network management at BlueCross. "Our members want affordable access to their preferred doctors, and Marc will make sure we continue to be able to offer them that peace of mind."

Barclay comes to BlueCross with more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry. He has worked in network management for a variety of employers since 2003.

Prior to joining BlueCross, Marc served as senior director of Regional Network Management at Centene Corp., where he was responsible for negotiating complex provider contracts. He earned his bachelor's in business administration from Belmont University and master's in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis.

Roy joins Full Media

Internet marketing and website development company, Full Media, recently hired Natalie Roy as an Internet marketing analyst in the company's Chattanooga office.

Roy joins Full Media with an extensive background in public relations and marketing. A Chattanooga native, she is dedicated to the community and growing businesses within it. "I care deeply about Chattanooga, so it's exciting to work for a business that values this community as much as I do" said Roy.

Roy is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she double majored in English literature and communication. She has previous professional experience as a managing editor at a local media outlet and marketing coordinator for a Chattanooga-based construction company.

Walldorf earns certification

Eda Walldorf

Eda Walldorf

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Eda Walldorf, a sustainable designer of Green & Lofty LLC, has been implementing restorative and new construction practices in Chattanooga since 2012 with an energy efficiency emphasis.

On Baker Street in north Chattanooga, Walldorf took a dilapidated bungalow with a very choppy floor plan and refurbished it with an open floor plan and sustainable framework. Natural light poured in through sky-lights in the kitchen and through many new energy efficient windows. Walldorf had a third party energy audit conducted on the home and performed all feasible recommendations to meet the highest possible standards.

On April 9, Walldorf flew to New York City to attend a Regreen training conference with other prominent designers, architects and industry professionals including some renowned sustainability authorities from California. After completing all of USGBC and ASID's required Regreen courses, Walldorf became certified as a Regreen Trained Professional as of April 21. Walldorf is the only Regreen Trained professional in Chattanooga and is currently one of only two professionals who have been certified by Regreen in Tennessee.

Salerno joins HR Business Solutions

HR Business Solutions LLC has added Susan Kosciolek Salerno to its staff of business advisers.

"My entrepreneur spirit loves working with start-up companies and helping them grow," Salerno said. "Businesses start with an idea, that first baby step in what can be an overwhelming process. Breaking down what might otherwise be overwhelming into manageable pieces helps transform ideas into successful enterprises."

HR Business Solutions provides a full menu of business services including Human Resources training, full spectrum of bookkeeping, Quickbooks and payroll services, business coaching as well as HR Audit and Tax Audit services. HR Business Solutions strives to be an affordable solution while guiding clients through the complexity of business management.

Salerno has over 25 years experience in a variety of project and business management environments: restaurant, commercial and retail food industries, architectural industry, entertainment industry and residential property. She received her master's in research psychology and her bachelor's in psychology from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Schwartzkopf, Farmer recognized

Two Chattanooga Realtors were recognized as the highest performing Re/Max real estate agents across Tennessee at a recent award ceremony in Nashville.

Nickie Schwartzkopf was honored with the BrokerFirst award for utilizing Re/Max's BrokerFirst interactive program designed to help Re/Max brokers successfully grow and manage their businesses. Schwartzkopf was selected for the award for embracing BrokerFirst and actively integrating the program into all aspects of her business.

Jason Farmer, broker and owner of Re/Max Renaissance Realtors, earned the Showcase Average Commission Award for his team. The Showcase Award is based on agent growth, average monthly and yearly commission per agent, percentage of productive agents and other metrics of success. Farmer's team ranked highest out of all other offices of similar size (31 to 50) across the state.

"Nickie and Jason have set the gold standard for excellence and Re/Max loves to publicly recognize members of our team who achieve outstanding results for their clients," said John Crimmins, senior vice president of Operations. "Home buyers and sellers in the Chattanooga area can rely on these two realtors plus the many other Re/Max agents in the area to achieve their home ownership goals."

Unum wins awards for clarity, website

For producing clear and concise documents, Unum of Chattanooga and Portland, Maine, captured two national awards from the Center for Plain Language. Unum won a ClearMark Award, the highest category award, and a ClearMark Award of Distinction as a role model in plain language. For designing a website that is organized, friendly and clearly directed to its target audiences, Unum captured a ClearMark Award in the category of website, private from the Center for Plain Language.

The judges said that as an employee benefits company, Unum's website is designed for three audiences: employer clients, their employees and families, and insurance brokers and consultants. Also the website's purpose is obvious from the home page, and it is well organized, friendly and easy to navigate.

Unum also was honored with a ClearMark Award of Distinction in the category of original, private for its Health Care Reform: Key Steps and Strategies for 2013 and Beyond.

"Anytime a government agency turns two long, head-scratching forms into one that's shorter, clearer and easier to use, the Center for Plain Language rejoices," said Dr. Annetta L. Cheek, chair of the board of directors, Center for Plain Language. "The testing that went into this redesign is impressive and shows in the results."