CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s Gary Steele has been named the winner of the 2008 Human Resources Professional Excellence Award by the Tennessee chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Steele, a principal human resources business consultant for the government business unit of BlueCross was recognized for his contributions to the Tennessee chapter of SHRM, the field of human resources and the Chattanooga-area.

SHRM presented the award at the recent annual Tennessee State Human Resources Conference and Exposition.

“I see the work I do pay off in the lives of the employees of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee every day,” said Steele. “To have that work recognized by this professional society is truly an honor.”

Karen Ward, director of human resources service delivery at BlueCross, noted, “This award is a tribute to Gary’s professionalism and his knowledge of our field—tools much appreciated by those he has served at BlueCross over the last 10 years.”

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at