From learning with Legos to sharing passions, employees who attended Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) YP Engage Summit experienced a day of development unlike any other.

The summit, held annually by the company’s Young Professionals (YP) Connect employee resource group, began with an ice breaker. Attendees worked together in teams to build a structure only one person could see.

“Each team had viewers, runners and builders,” said Courtney Merriman, summit organizer and customer insights and experience senior lead. “The viewers could see what the structure was supposed to look like and tell the runner. The runner had to tell the builders who then built it.”

The exercise, which illustrated communication breakdowns, was Merriman’s favorite part of the day.

“Everyone had a really good time with it,” Merriman said. “We assigned teams randomly. As those 15 minutes went on, everyone just got louder and louder because they got more comfortable with each other while trying to accomplish their goal.”

The summit featured a variety of speakers, including community leader Jason Feldman.

Feldman, the keynote speaker, shared how he found his passion for community projects and creating spaces for people to engage. Leading attendees through an interactive exercise, he illustrated how people could use their own passions to invest in the community.

Malorie Maddox, BCBSNE’s chief communications and marketing officer, interviewed Carmen Tapio, founder and CEO of North End Teleservices. Tapio discussed how she combined her passions for business and the community to create a company that changes lives in north east Omaha.

Brianna Johnson, a consultant with ConvergenceCoaching, shared habits and tools to help attendees stay on track to reach their goals.

Michelle Greene, BCBSNE customer service manager, and Michael Curry, BCBSNE customer service trainer, teamed up to close out the day with a hands-on demonstration on connectivity using Legos.

“We knew we wanted to have an interactive session, but we didn’t know exactly how that was going to look,” Curry said. “While we were idea dumping, we read about a university that uses Legos to connect students to the materials being taught.”

So, Curry and Greene used Legos to illustrate connectivity throughout the company.

“As presenters, Michelle and I were blown away by the incredible energy we received from the participants,” Curry said. “There’s no other word but awesome to describe it.”

The summit closed with the Annual YP Awards. Employees nominated their coworkers for several categories. Vincent Wellington, BCBSNE business process analyst, received the Outstanding Innovator award.

“I see the award as a testament to the teammates, peers and leaders at BCBSNE that have invested their time in me,” Wellington said. “I am thankful to have a support network within our organization that enables me to deliver value while making friends along the way.”

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