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Foundation Employee Chosen for Prestigious Program

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This profile was originally featured in the Fall 2022 Giving magazine.

An employee of the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation is one of just 20 people nationwide to be admitted to a prestigious nonprofit leadership program.

Foundation program officer Bree Bess has been named a 2022 fellow for the Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy.

“I take great pride in the work the Foundation has accomplished in South Carolina,” Bess said. “The issues we aim to address are often difficult to see progress in, but to be selected as a Terrance Keenan fellow recognizes that great work is being done in our state and strides are being made to improve health.”

As part of this program, Bess will attend a two-day program in the nation’s capital in October. With a focus on leadership development and relationship building, it will include structured sessions, small group discussions and informal networking.

“I am most looking forward to meeting and problem-solving with people who have similar roles to mine from throughout the country,” Bess said. “Looking at the list of other fellows and alumni, I know their experiences will provide a wealth of knowledge I can use to improve the Foundation’s work and impact. Much of philanthropy is about innovating and trying new ideas, and this opportunity will provide a pool of experiences to learn from and bring to South Carolina.”

Bess joined the Foundation in 2016. Her work focuses on building relationships with nonprofit and government partners to help support the mission of the Foundation: improving the health of South Carolina’s economically vulnerable. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree in public administration from Texas A&M University with a focus on nonprofit management.

Terrance Keenan was a leading visionary in the field of health philanthropy.