When Brenda Wichman began her career, she didn’t know she wanted to pursue a leadership position.

“I wanted to travel,” she said.

So, Wichman found a role that enabled her to do just that at American Express while working in business operations for customer service corporate travel. Taking on a new job, she began to support employees in their day-to-day activities.

“One of the things I really liked in that role was coaching individuals,” Wichman said. “It wasn’t until I moved into a manager role that I really fell in love with leading and guiding people.”

Wichman’s career “blossomed” once she found her passion. In the years since, she has held a variety of leadership positions. Currently, she is vice president of member services at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE).

At BCBSNE, Wichman leads several departments, including customer service, enrollment, provider services and an information services team. Each of her areas fulfill a different business need, but all employees align to support one goal: serving BCBSNE’s customers.

“Everyone here in this organization is a part of customer service,” Wichman said. “Whether you’re serving another BCBSNE team, our members or the doctors we work with, the job you do is very important.”

Wichman said her departments look for areas to align and support one another and the company. As a leader, she looks to support others as well.

“I like to give feedback and see others succeed and feel good about their achievements,” she said.

Wichman’s team members appreciate her assessments, said Michelle Greene, customer service manager.

“Her feedback is positive with just the right amount of constructiveness, so we feel supported and encouraged,” Greene said. “She expects us to stretch to what we’re capable of, but when we fail, she picks us back up.”

Greene has worked with Wichman for 13 years and said she has no doubt Wichman was always meant to lead.

“You don’t just stumble on your purpose,” Greene said. “You find it. It wouldn’t matter what Brenda was doing before. She was always going to find it.”

For more articles like this one, click here.