CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Board of Directors has elected Lamar J. Partridge as its chairman. He succeeds outgoing chairman DeWitt Ezell.

A member of the BlueCross board since 1992, Partridge brings health care industry knowledge, community service and business acumen to his new leadership position.

“Lamar’s broad business experience, health care industry insights and passion for service are attributes that will benefit BlueCross and its members,” said Vicky Gregg, president and CEO for BlueCross. “With his discipline and decisiveness, I can think of no one better suited at this time to help guide our company’s efforts to transform the health plan model and provide continued peace of mind for our fellow Tennesseans.”

Partridge is a former president of Valley Capital Corporation, a small Chattanooga-based firm that provides financing to minority businesses. He has 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, including roles as audit senior and audit manager at Arthur Andersen & Co., manager of the commercial and industrial conservation loan program at the Tennessee Valley Authority, and CEO of Valley Management, Inc., a venture capital fund.

Partridge graduated from the University of Tennessee, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He is a past chairman of the board of directors for the RiverCity Company and Siskin Hospital for Rehabilitation and currently serves on the board of the Southeast Local Development Corporation.

“I’m honored by the responsibility bestowed on me by my fellow board members to lead us in our efforts to find solutions to health care’s most pressing issues—quality and affordability,” said Partridge. “Working with the talented management at BlueCross, I’m confident that we can continue to bring value to those Tennesseans that rely on us for their health care needs.

The BlueCross Board of Directors also elected Betty DeVinney as vice chairman. DeVinney is the former senior vice president of Eastman Chemical Company, where she was employed for 30 years. Before her retirement, she oversaw human resources, communications and public affairs. DeVinney has served on the BlueCross board since 2002.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Board of Directors is comprised of 16 members, including Gregg.

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 www.bcbst.com.