Jeff Connolly, Senior Vice President and President of West Michigan and Upper Peninsula, Announces Retirement after 18 Years of Service

Meghan O'Brien

| 3 min read

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Mar. 28, 2024 – Jeff Connolly, Senior Vice President and President of West Michigan and Upper Peninsula at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has announced his retirement after 18 years of dedicated service. His last day with the organization will be December 31, 2024.
Connolly has had many professional accomplishments during his time as the leading Blue Cross executive serving the West Michigan and Upper Peninsula regions of the state. He led the expansion of Blue Cross’ business in West Michigan and the U.P., particularly with Blue Care Network in the Grand Rapids and Lakeshore markets. He also oversaw the introduction of Blue Care Network health plan offerings into the Upper Peninsula market while successfully retaining and recruiting many significant employer group customers.
“Jeff has been deeply instrumental in growing Blue Cross’ business and our presence in West Michigan and the U.P. over the past 18 years,” said Daniel J. Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “I applaud Jeff for the many professional milestones he has achieved, all while contributing time, energy and effort to local communities and organizations in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.”
An active member of many community organizations, Connolly previously chaired the Grand Traverse Area and Grand Rapids Chambers of Commerce. Connolly has been a community leader in efforts to attract and retain talent to the West Michigan region. He was an early engaged business leader in Talent 2025, now TalentFirst. He helped lead efforts to support connecting veterans to education and training resources in West Michigan, and led efforts to bring business leadership to supporting emerging young leader ideas like ArtPrize and LaughFest to the region. He also hosted a number of business leader connection efforts between Grand Rapids and the Lakeshore as well as West Michigan and the Grand Traverse area so that Michigan business leaders could more strategically engage.
Connolly has been recognized three times as one of the Top 200 Most Influential Leaders by Crain’s Grand Rapids, and received the 2024 Grand Rapids Chamber Champion Award. He has served as a board member for the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids YMCA, The Right Place, Talent First and Grand Valley Health Advisory Board. Connolly is also one of the founding board members of the Covenant House Grand Rapids, supporting homeless youth.
“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has been a catalyst in helping me and our entire team engage and support the economic stability of the communities we serve,” Connolly shared. I have actually had some fun tracking my mileage over these past 18 years; and I’m up to about 1.3 million miles so far! It’s been a wonderful journey to get to know and help connect our customers and communities with their health providers and to support them with the highest level of quality affordable health benefits.”
Succeeding Connolly as Vice President, West Michigan and Upper Peninsula for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will be Joe Hune. Hune currently serves as director of West Michigan Health Plan Business. He joined Blue Cross in 2019 after serving in the Michigan Senate as a State Senator for the 22nd District from 2011-2018 and the Michigan House of Representatives as a State Representative of the 47th District from 2002-2008.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, provides health benefits to nearly 5.2 million members. The company is committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses and individuals. Based in Detroit since 1939, Blue Cross supports impactful community initiatives and provides leadership in improving health care across Michigan. Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit and

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