Traci Kodeck started in 2000 as vice president with HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM), a Baltimore nonprofit that helps underserved Marylanders access health insurance and health care, and was promoted to CEO in 2015. HCAM and Kodeck’s mission is to end health disparities.
“I was driven by the mission and strategic focus back then and I continue to be proud of HCAM’s mission,” said Kodeck, who earned her master’s degree in public health from the University of Arizona in 1999. “I served as the No. 2 for many years, developing and building new programs and services. I truly loved the work I was accomplishing and never saw myself as the CEO of the organization. When the opportunity presented itself in 2015, I had to put both feet forward. I haven’t looked back and I am so humbled for the opportunity.”
How has the pandemic changed how you view your job or broader profession?
The pandemic required all C-suite leaders to step back and look at the way we are supporting our team members. As a leader in the health care space, we had to recognize that many of our team members lived in communities that were significantly impacted by the pandemic on many levels. We put a much stronger emphasis – even though I believe we did this previously – on work-life balance. We also realized that some of our work can be a hybrid model and we learned efficiencies with that new opportunity.
What’s your best advice for someone who aspires to your job?
Network! Put yourself out there in every opportunity you can and build pure and authentic relationships. You really never know what opportunity might be afforded to you during your career from networking.
Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
The most influential person in my life is my father. He worked extremely hard in his 40-year legal career and built relationships, personal and professional that he still continues today. He taught me never to burn bridges with someone as you never know when that person might be on the other side of the table from you. He treated all his colleagues with respect from judges to administrative personnel and that served him well in his career. I try to live up to that standard that he set in his career.
What do you do for fun and why?
Travel is one of my favorite activities to do for fun. It can be a weekend trip to Philadelphia or planning spring break for my daughter. I love to travel with my almost 10-year-old daughter, Zola, and see the world through her eyes. We are set to see all 50 states together before she graduates. I am glad that we can travel again together.