You have to be a part of a community to understand it

For 85 years, the city of Holland and almost six million tulips welcome the world to West Michigan to celebrate Dutch culture in America, Lake Michigan’s sandy beaches, and the beautiful scenery in the city.

One of the many traditions of the festival is the Tulip Time luncheon before the Volksparade, where the sitting governor of Michigan joins the street sweepers along the parade route.

Kicking of this year’s luncheon was Jeff Connolly, BCBSM vice president and president of West Michigan Operations and Managed Care. While addressing the crowd, he talked about why Blue Cross is proud to be a member of the Holland community.

Afterward he had this to say:

Question: Why is it important to sponsor Tulip Time this year?

Answer: We have been a Tulip Time sponsor for many years, and like any other year, this is a very important event for the Holland community. It’s very important for us as a member of the community. We have an office here and employees, so it is part of being a good corporate citizen.

But it is also in line with our social mission, which is, in part, to sponsor significant events in communities that are for the betterment of the community, the health and wellness of the community, and support the economic picture of the community.

Q: There has been a lot of investment in this region and in this market by BCBSM. Why is this a good market strategically for the company to be involved in?

A: We identified the Holland/Lakeshore market a number of years ago as growth opportunity. We began to invest in Holland like we would in any other community. One of the things we know is that if you want to grow in a community, you need to be a part of the community to understand it.  So we are happy to say we’ve grown significantly. But by growing, you’re a bigger part of the community, making it even more important to support events like Tulip Time.

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