After 23 years working at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), Andy Seymour still feels motivated by helping to give people peace of mind. “I want to make sure that the one thing [our union members] don't have to worry about is how their health benefits are operating,” Seymour said. Since the creation of the National Labor Office (NLO) in 1965, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) companies have been committed partners with the labor community. BCBS companies currently serve more than 17 million unionized workers, retirees and their families – more than any other insurer. Local plan representatives pride themselves on providing an unmatched customer service experience for labor unions, plan sponsors and ultimately, members of the labor community. Each year, one of these highly specialized representatives is awarded the NLO Labor Representative of the Year honor for his or her work, not only in the workplace, but as a trusted partner in his or her community. Seymour was the recipient of this year’s award. During his more than two decades at BCBSIL, Seymour has served as underwriter and an account executive in both marketing and labor sales and servicing. Seymour says that he was drawn to the labor sales and servicing role because the team members seemed to really enjoy doing their jobs. “When a position opened up on that team, I applied and was lucky enough to get it,” Seymour said. To learn more about Seymour and his work, we spoke with him about his time with BCBSIL. Why is it so important to make sure the labor community is represented effectively? “I feel that the labor community is unique in that the most important things are the relationships that you build. Community is the right word because if you stand by them, they'll stand by you and it's almost a throwback to a time where a handshake was as good as a contract. Labor is a key part of our business and they deserve the best we can give them.” What is one specific customer story that has resonated with you? “During the economic downturn when a lot of members were out of work, I was in a Trustee meeting and they voted to extend medical coverage to members ‘on the bench’ beyond an already generous package. To me, this showed the dedication the Trustees had to their members and what the labor community stands for.” Describe the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand in one word. “Integrity - I'm proud to work for a company that has such a respected brand and that stands behind its mission of doing what's right for its members.” What makes you feel most proud about your work? “I'm most proud when meeting a member and hearing a story about how they love Blue Cross Blue Shield and that when they needed medical care, Blue Cross Blue Shield was there for them.” On behalf of the BCBS NLO, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of our plan labor representatives across the country for their dedicated, tireless commitment to our more than 17 million labor members. Visit the BCBS NLO website to learn more about how to connect with your local representative.