Select an executive to read their full profile.

Stephen Harris

Stephen Harris


Stephen Harris was appointed president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) in March 2022.

As president, he is responsible for the overall financial performance, long-term growth strategy and strategic planning of the state’s largest health insurance company, which serves almost 9 million members with over $22B in revenue.

He also leads the team that manages the Plan’s commercial markets sales including group and individual, provider relations and network contracting, care management, regulatory and customer relationships and BCBSIL’s hyperlocal community engagement initiatives.

Stephen has over 20 years of experience spearheading business development and performance improvement initiatives for top health care organizations. Previous to being named Plan president, Harris led the Health Care Service Corporation’s (HCSC) Medicaid line of business; responsible for driving growth, operational excellence, and financial performance. Prior to joining HCSC, Stephen was regional vice president of Health Plan Operations at Molina Healthcare.

Stephen is a certified public accountant and holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and a BA from Michigan State University. 

Back to top


Derek J. Robinson, M.D., MBA, FACEP, CHCQM

Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Derek J. Robinson serves as vice president and chief medical officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), where he is responsible for clinical leadership, care management operations, and the Institute for Physician Diversity®.

Previously, Dr. Robinson was vice president at HCSC, where he established the Enterprise Quality and Accreditation department and was responsible for clinical quality performance, health plan accreditation, and related operations across multiple states. He established the HCSC Health Equity Steering Committee and served as chairman from 2015 to 2021.

Dr. Robinson is an active member of the community and was appointed in 2021 to the Medical Advisory Committee for the State of Illinois. He is a member of the board of directors at the Cook County Health Foundation and vice-chairman of the Board of Trustees at Xavier University of Louisiana. Dr. Robinson is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, where he is the 2020-2022 chairman of the Young Leaders Committee. He also volunteers as an official with Illinois Swimming and is a nationally certified judge with USA Swimming. 

Dr. Robinson is the recipient of numerous awards including Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40, 40 Game Changers Under 40 - Ariel Investments, and the 2019 Leadership in Healthcare Award by National Medical Fellowships, Inc. Savoy Magazine recognized Dr. Robinson in its list of 2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America.

An active emergency medicine physician, Dr. Robinson is board certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and holds degrees from Xavier University of Louisiana, Howard University College of Medicine, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Back to top


Krishna G. Ramachandran

Divisional Senior Vice President, Health Care Delivery

Krishna G. Ramachandran currently serves as divisional senior vice president of Health Care Delivery at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL). In this role, he is responsible for contracting and collaborating with providers in Illinois to improve health outcomes, reduce costs, and enhance the quality of care for BCBSIL's more than 8,000,000+ members by aligning incentives and using actionable analytics and data exchange capabilities.

In his prior role, Ramachandran led the Network Solutions team for HCSC, which operates the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. At HCSC, he was responsible for developing and executing strategy and operations for company-wide initiatives such as value-based care, health data exchange and provider analytics and reporting.

Ramachandran is passionate about collaboration, innovation, and use of analytics and incentives to improve patient access, outcomes, and to reduce cost of care. Prior to joining HCSC, he served as chief administrative officer, chief information and transformation officer, and executive director of value-driven health care at DuPage Medical Group (now Duly Health and Care) and its subsidiary managed services organization. He also served as director of technical services of Epic Systems Corporation, a leading provider of health care software, working with health systems across the nation.

Ramachandran holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (India); a Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago; and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Ramachandran is also an instructor in The University of Chicago’s Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics program, teaching the "Big and Little Data in Health Care" course. He has also been a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow since 2020.

In his free time, Krishna volunteers on the board for nonprofit organizations like the LGBTQ+ Center on Halsted and Mercy Housing Lakefront, advises start-up companies, and enjoys traveling to different countries. 

Back to top

Brian Snell

Brian Snell

Divisional Senior Vice President, Illinois Group Markets

Brian Snell leads Sales and Account Management for all Illinois group market segments and works to ensure that BCBSIL continues to deliver customer-first operational excellence by anticipating customer needs and offering data-driven solutions.

Prior to assuming his current position, Brian served as vice president, Sales. In this role, he led new business growth in the small, middle, large and national/major account segments. He also had account management responsibility in the middle and large group segments in Chicago.

Brian is an accomplished leader with more than 30 years of experience with BCBSIL, having previously served in roles in underwriting, account management and sales.

Brian currently serves on the Board of Directors for Envision Unlimited, a nonprofit organization that provides care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Manufacturing Association. Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois and an MBA from DePaul University.

Back to top

Mark Tomaszewski

Mark Tomaszewski

Head of Market Strategy, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois

Mark Tomaszewski leads Market Strategy for Blue Cross Blue and Shield of Illinois. In this role, he is responsible for leading the development of financial and business plans, strategic partnerships and performance improvement initiatives to ensure a continued competitive position in the Illinois market.

Tomaszewski has more than 15 years of strategy, finance and operations-related experience, both as a management consultant and within the health care industry. He comes to this role from the HCSC Government Programs division, where he led financial and process improvement initiatives across Medicaid, Medicare and Duals programs, including for the Illinois Plan.

Tomaszewski also led the Government Programs project portfolio and was responsible for the Oklahoma Medicaid managed care business case and program implementation. Prior to joining the company, Tomaszewski spent more than a dozen years in the consulting world at Slalom and Towers Watson, predominantly advising health plans, pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), self-funded employer groups, health IT companies and provider systems.

Tomaszewski is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA) and Emory University (MBA and MPH). He resides in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys running, biking and Lake Michigan in the summer, and downhill skiing in the winter.

Back to top

Patrick Besler

Patrick Besler

Director of Government Relations

Patrick Besler leads state government relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. He is responsible for developing advocacy plans and health care communications for commercial and Medicaid lines of business, as well as legislation affecting employers and businesses. Patrick is passionate about public policy that promotes accessible, affordable, equitable, quality health care, and the company’s advocacy on behalf of BCBSIL members.

He has more than 10 years of experience managing regional, state, and local government efforts. In his previous role, he served as deputy director of research and appropriations for the office of House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. Prior to that he was a legislative analyst in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Patrick holds a BA in political science from the University of Illinois. He enjoys being a director on the board of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois where he supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. He’s an active board member for the Illinois Insurance Association where he reviews and identifies regulatory and legislative trends affecting the insurance industry. Patrick enjoys spending time with his family, watching golf, and cheering on his favorite sports teams — the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and the Chicago Bears.

Back to top

Tonita Cheatham

Tonita Cheatham

Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations

Tonita Cheatham is executive director of communications and community relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL). In her role, she leads the development and execution of strategies for internal and external communications covering corporate reputation, crisis communication, policy, public and media relations. She is responsible for managing efforts to improve community health and health equity across the state through BCBSIL’s community engagement work — Blue Door Neighborhood Center locations, volunteerism, health education and outreach, mobile Care Van programs, and community investments.

In her prior role, Tonita held key leadership roles in marketing, communications, and community engagement at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), a nationally ranked academic health care system. During her tenure at DMC, her marketing and branding strategies generated more than 100 million dollars in revenue for the system and comparatively, 300 million in Ad Value Equivalency (AVE) in earned media activations.

Tonita has served on several nonprofit boards including Neighborhood Service Organization, American Heart Association and March of Dimes. Tonita supports professional organizations including the American Heart Association and the Black Public Relations Society of America, and numerous other social and civic organizations. She is the recipient of many awards including Crain’s Detroit Business notable woman in marketing and communication, American Heart Association Community Service Award, US Marine Corps Award for Community Service, US Army Medical Commander Award for Community Service Excellence, and Michigan Chronicle’s Woman of Excellence.

Originally from Chicago, Tonita earned a BA in English from Tougaloo College (HBCU) and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Roosevelt University. She is a graduate of Leadership Detroit, a community leadership program for executives in southeast Michigan led by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Back to top

Last Updated: Feb. 28, 2023