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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > UA 2004 Executive of the Year

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

Champion for affordable health care coverage, L. Ben Lytle, chairman emeritus of Anthem, Inc., selected as The University of Arizona 2004 Executive of the Year

TUCSON, Ariz. – April 8, 2004 – The Eller College of Business and Public Administration names L. Ben Lytle, chairman emeritus and presiding director of Anthem, Inc., as The University of Arizona 2004 Executive of the Year. Lytle will be honored at a luncheon on Friday, April 16, 12:30pm at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson.

The Executive of the Year Award recognizes national leaders who exemplify exceptional achievement in the administration of private enterprise and public service. The award luncheon brings together university students, faculty and members of the Arizona business community to celebrate the recipient’s accomplishments, particularly as a role model for business students. Over 400 attendees are expected at the luncheon next week sponsored by Wells Fargo, more than half of which are current students hosted by members of the Eller College National Board of Advisors.

L. Ben Lytle has been a leader in the health insurance industry for more than 25 years. A native of Greenville, Texas, he joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana in 1976 as director of information systems, becoming chief information officer in 1979 and serving as chief executive officer from 1989 to 1999. He stepped down as chairman in 2003, but continues to serve on the board as presiding director. In 1993 the company began a series of mergers and acquisitions resulting in the formation of Anthem, Inc., an Indiana-domiciled publicly traded company. The mission of Anthem is to improve the health of the people it serves, believing that the best health coverage helps people stay healthy.

Through its subsidiaries, Anthem provides health care benefits to more than 11.9 million people and is the fourth largest publicly traded health benefits company in the United States. Anthem is the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee for Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Maine, and Virginia, excluding the immediate suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Lytle is an active member of many boards, including the Eller College National Board of Advisors. He has served the College as Executive in Residence and is a frequent guest lecturer to students and faculty. Lytle received his bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University and is a 1980 graduate of the Indiana University School of Law.

Martha Taylor Thomas, Eller College National Board of Advisors chair commented, “With health care at the forefront of domestic issues, we are pleased to honor and hear L. Ben Lytle speak. He has been at the center of health care issues and Anthem has again been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of the ten most admired health care companies in America.”

Event Information

Tickets for the award luncheon held at 12:30pm on Friday, April 16th at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, 7000 North Resort Drive, are $60 per person or $600 per table of ten. Tickets are available by contacting Mary Hanson at 520-621-9954. Members of the media are invited to come at no charge.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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