Independence Blue Cross Executive Honored by Women's Business Enterprise Council

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At a luncheon today, the Women's Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) will honor Susan Kozik, senior vice president and chief information officer of Independence Blue Cross (IBC), with its 2012 Advocate of the Year Award for her extensive efforts in mentoring and supporting women business owners.

The Advocate of the Year Award is given to a corporate employee or government member who has provided extraordinary support to women business enterprises by serving as a leader in the promotion and utilization of women-owned businesses. The award winner is selected through a blind nomination process.

"It's a privilege to work with Sue and to have the opportunity to nominate her for this award," said Peggy Gionta, president, Partner's Consulting, Inc. "Leveraging IBC's supplier diversity program, Sue encourages women business enterprises to step forward, and she is eager to give them a chance. She is also helping the IT industry at large move into a new era — one in which women business enterprises play an integral and equal role."

"I'm pleased to say that 11 percent of the products and services we use at IBC come from diverse suppliers — and that number is growing thanks to strong advocates like Sue," said Charles Stefanosky, IBC director of strategic sourcing and procurement.

In her role as IBC's chief information officer, Kozik is responsible for leading the information services division and guiding the company's strategic use of technology.

"It is an honor to accept the WBEC Advocate of the Year award on behalf of my colleagues at Independence Blue Cross," said Kozik. "I'm proud to be part of a forward-thinking company that values the importance of supporting women-owned businesses and understands how diverse suppliers can enrich our organization."

Established in 2000, WBEC provides national women business enterprise certification in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and southern New Jersey; assists corporations in creating and building world-class supplier diversity programs; and offers educational, networking, informational, and procurement-related programs and services.

The Advocate of the Year Award will be presented as part of the WBEC's one-day conference, expo, and luncheon being held in downtown Philadelphia. In addition to participating in the awards luncheon, IBC will host an exhibitor's booth at the conference expo.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. For nearly 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

CONTACT: Kathleen Conlon 215-241-4576 Kathleen.Conlon@ibx.comSource:Independence Blue Cross