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Brian D. Pieninck

President and CEO
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

As President and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Brian D. Pieninck leads a team of more than 8,000 employees dedicated to transforming the health care system to be more equitable, affordable and accessible for the 3.5 million people they serve in Maryland, the District of Columbia and northern Virginia.

Pieninck first joined CareFirst in 2015 as its executive vice president of the Large Group Strategic Business Unit. Two years later, he was named the company’s chief operating officer. In 2018, he was unanimously chosen to his current leadership position. Before his time at CareFirst, he previously worked for nearly 20 years at Aetna in various leadership positions.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

Recently, the proudest moment I’ve had as CEO of CareFirst was the collective accomplishment by our CareFirst Difference makers who came together to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We joined together to protect individual and community health not only as employees of CareFirst, but for our families and friends. We live by “One Company One Team” at CareFirst and this display of personal responsibility to one another and the way our company showed up to model the behavior … was a significant accomplishment.

What’s is the most important life lesson you learned?

One of the most important life lessons I learned came from my parents who taught me the value of dedicating oneself to hard work, being diligent and understanding how the quality of what you produce, no matter the job.

My parents modeled this work ethic, and I carry the lesson with me each day. I also try to approach every interaction I have by assuming positive intent. I find when I expect folks to be starting from a place that serves the greater good, it quickly creates trust and removes barriers to working and creating together. It’s simple but it works.