BCBS VP Sets Course for Learning
By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager
As the Vice President of Enterprise Learning and Development at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Adri Maisonet Morales is charged with keeping over 5,000 employees and contingent laborers on the cutting edge in a rapidly changing business environment. Equipped with two degrees from Bellevue University, she is ready to do just that.
Blue Cross NC is a not-for-profit North Carolina company with major operations centers in Durham, Fayetteville, Winston-Salem, and an office in Charlotte. It employs more than 4,700 North Carolinians and serves more than 3.89 million customers.
“In my role, I collaborate with senior leaders across the organization in order to set an enterprise learning strategy that ensures competitive skills, capabilities and knowledge across all levels of our workforce,” Maisonet Morales said. “The disruption in healthcare over the past seven years has increased the amount of complexity, change and variety in my job."
Having completed an undergraduate program from Kansas State University years prior, Maisonet Morales earned her first degree from Bellevue University in 2011, a Bachelor of Science in Leadership, and followed with a Master of Science in Organizational Performance in 2013.
“I had a significant role change that required me to learn the nuts and bolts of leadership development in my search for a program that would apply to real world challenges, Bellevue University kept surfacing,” she said. “The program promised the rigor that I was looking for along with the flexibility that I needed to handle the coursework.”
Collecting the data and then interpreting the data, while taking into account the real human being behind those numbers was a key component of her Organizational Performance program.
“I think my biggest takeaway was that organizational performance is both an art and a science.” She said. “As a senior leader, I am trained to focus on the bottom line. After completing the MSOP program, I developed a much deeper appreciation for the human capital side of that equation which has proven to be an invaluable skill."
Maisonet Morales praised the efforts of Dr. Stephen Linenberger in particular.
“He is the one that actually made me feel like I made the right decision,” she said. “Dr. Linenberger challenged my conventional thinking about leadership and pushed me to do my best work."
Maisonet Morales gives about as strong a recommendation as possible when she promoted the school to her daughter, Tiffany Joyner. Much like her mother, Joyner had already completed a degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Biology at the University of North Carolina, and was already active in the workforce. After deciding to complete her graduate studies she struggled to find the right fit for her busy life at a traditional school.
“She didn't feel like the graduate school that she was attending accommodated working adults and was struggling to balance school, family and her budding career,” Maisonet Morales said. “After watching her struggle to find her rhythm, I sat her down and encouraged her to consider Bellevue. I assured her that online degree programs can be just as rewarding as a traditional brick and mortar program if you select the right school and that she couldn’t go wrong with Bellevue."
Maisonet Morales stated that her daughter took her advice and went on to earn her Masters of Health Administration Joyner earned her degree in Health Administration in 2011. A huge advocate for Bellevue, Maisonet Morales passes on the same advice she gave to her daughter to others seeking to continue their education.
“I find that fear is often the biggest barrier of people furthering their education," she said. "I hear everything from I am too old, to I don’t have the time or the money, which I promptly dismiss. I tell them that the way that the world is evolving, investing in your education is the best thing that you can do for yourself and your family; it is critical to your future success."
Maisonet Morales and Joyner can attest to the attributes that make Bellevue University a great fit for adult learners, Washington Monthly backs that up by rating the school at No. 5 among its Best Colleges for Adult Learners.