This month, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) welcomed 21 returning and 24 new board members across eight employee groups, which all share a common goal: Creating a space where employees can make an impact in the office and the community. 

The employee groups include six employee resource groups (ERG), the Diversity and Inclusion Group (DIG) and the Wellness Committee. These groups help create a sense of belonging and support employee well-being.  

“ERGs bring our individual identities and passions clearly into view,” Amanda Merfeld, new DIG board member at BCBSNE, said. “They show you that you’re not on an island. You have a community here in so many ways.” 

BCBSNE’s ERGs host events throughout the year to encourage and inspire diversity, equity and inclusion in the office and the community. So far in 2023, ERG activities included marching in the Heartland Pride Parade, honoring Juneteenth at Omaha Freedom Festival and participating in National Volunteer Month, among others.  

Stephen Condon, Military Families United Together’s (MFUT) new president, said he’s looking forward to opportunities to support military families in the community during his term with his ERG. 

“One of the reasons I decided to join MFUT was the idea of getting closer to my coworkers with similar backgrounds, but also encouraging that sense of belonging in the community,” Condon said. “When I was on military leave, Blue Cross really made an effort to support me and my family, and I want to pass that on to more people.” 

In addition to community and work events, the company’s ERGs offer learning opportunities covering subjects from shared elements of identity to the understanding of implicit bias and avoiding microaggressions. Jami Erickson, board member at large for Fearlessly You @ Blue (FY@B) explained it’s important to her to “be at a company that provides a space for employees to be themselves but also encourages them to grow within the community.”  

Community representation is at the heart of why many board members either chose to get involved as a new member or have stayed involved year after year.  

“As the new vice president of BLUE, I look forward to continuing to show up in our community,” Natalie Smith, Building Leaders Like us for Excellence (BLUE) member, said. “Not only representing the BCBSNE brand, but also showing up as a Black woman being there for our community and members.” 

The new group of board members were voted in by existing members and will start their tenure in the following weeks.  

“I’m thrilled with the new group of board members and the members who chose to continue their term,” Jay Warren-Teamer, BCBSNE’s director of diversity and inclusion, said. “So far, they’ve all shown great interest in continuing our goal of fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable. I’m excited to see how they put their plans into action to reach that goal.” 

Meet the Board Members 

*New board members 


Mission – To foster an inclusive environment where everyone, no matter their ability, feels comfortable bringing their whole self to work at BCBSNE. 

  • Leah Bond* 
  • Ashley Daum* 


Mission – To develop opportunities and support  our internal and external military communities.  

  • Stephen Condon* 
  • Lynda Crouch*  
  • Christy Schuler* 

Young Professionals Connect 

Mission – Provide opportunities for employees to connect with one another and their community through volunteer outings, networking events and professional development offerings.  

  • Alex Covalt  
  • Jenna Topalian 
  • Amanda Duquette*  
  • Kimberly Rodenbarger  
  • Lexi Carder*  
  • Cassie Jahn*  
  • Justin Rathbone*  


Mission – We exist to serve as advocates for Black employees at BCBSNE by promoting education, cultural awareness and inclusion in the workplace. 

  • Catrina Dunbar 
  • Natalie Smith*  
  • Jarvis Mock*  
  • Dionne Whitfield* 
  • Annette Hickman* 

Latinos Empowered to Achieve their Potential 

Mission – To promote cultural awareness in the workplace and support our Latino familia to develop, retain and promote their advancement. 

  • Christian Gallardo  
  • Amber Samuelson


Mission – We believe in the importance of bringing our whole, authentic self to work and the need for all to feel safe doing so.  

  • Katrina Wulf  
  • David Jorgenson 
  • Miranda Mayer 
  • Jami Erickson*

Wellness Committee 

Mission – Promote and model healthy behaviors, as well as provide the tools and resources to encourage a culture of health for all BCBSNE employees.  

  • Jeremy Kaliff  
  • Cori Mooberry*  
  • Josh Heitland*  
  • Cassandra Pfeiffer*  
  • Janet Brunk*  
  • Kimberly Rodenbarger*  
  • Brett Young  
  • Cayla Kelly   
  • Geni Evans   
  • Joni Shaw   
  • Lisa Burnham   
  • Lynda Crouch   
  • Tracy Nickel   
  • Jay Warren-Teamer   
  • Molly Billings   
  • Carrie Kahnk 


Mission – Provide a safe forum for discussion and learning for all BCBSNE employees. 

  • Alex Covalt* 
  • Brad Smith* 
  • Shannon Ward* 
  • Amanda Merfeld* 
  • Jarvis Mock* 
  • Jen Wichern*