Blue Cross’ Shlynn Rhodes Honored With Top Diversity Award

Kathleen Gardner

| 2 min read

Shlynn Rhodes is passionate about women’s issues and a tireless champion for diversity and inclusion. This week, she is being recognized for her dedication, when Diversity MBA magazine honors her as a member of its Top 100 under 50 Diverse Emerging Leaders winners.
Shlynn Rhodes Rhodes, who is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s administrative manager for Commercial Business in West Michigan, was so shocked by the honor that she deleted the congratulatory announcement email from Diversity MBA when it arrived in her Outlook inbox, thinking it was SPAM. “I’m honored to receive this recognition and thankful to work for a company whose leaders value diversity and inclusion, who have always supported and encouraged my work in this area,” she said. “My family, like many others, is a hodgepodge of races, cultures, and ethnicities, so diversity and inclusion are intrinsically part of me.” Jeff Connolly, BCBSM senior vice president, Large Group Business, and president, West Michigan, said the honor is richly deserved. “Shlynn has been an amazing ambassador for our corporate diversity program and mentor to many of her peers. But Shlynn’s work doesn’t stop within the boundaries of our corporate environment. She is an active advocate in our community and a continuous learner,” Connolly said. “Shlynn willingly shares her time and knowledge with others so that we all can grow from her experiences. She is an amazing attribute to our team as an employee and diversity champion!” Kellie Norton, BCBSM director, West Michigan Upper Peninsula Administration, said Rhodes lives out the ideals of diversity personally and professionally.
"Shlynn initiated relationships with key area businesses to help them develop, promote and partner with Employee Resource Networks within each of their business cultures," Norton said. "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan joins Diversity MBA in honoring Shlynn’s sincere work to bring together the benefits our diverse workforce offers.” Rhodes is active in a number of community organizations. She is vice chair of the board of directors of the Women’s Resource Center, a Grand Rapids-based program that encourages economic independence for women, and serves on the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Community Leadership Council. She co-leads a Corporate Inclusion Council made of regional corporations with global reach and previously was a member of the YWCA West Central Michigan’s board of directors, as well as a graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids. At Blue Cross, she served as a regional diversity champion for over a decade. Rhodes joins a diverse group of 2015 winners that includes honorees from AT&T, Warner Brothers Entertainment, the City of Chicago and J.P. Morgan Chase. See the list. Photo Credit: Ignite New Zealand
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