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Press Release

Former IBC President and CEO accepts William Penn Award from Greater Philadelphia Chamber

Award is the region's highest business honor

Philadelphia, PA - April 15, 2011 - Joseph A. Frick, vice chair of the Independence Blue Cross (IBC) Board of Directors, and former IBC president and CEO who retired in December 2010, tonight accepted the 2010 William Penn Award.  More than 500 chamber member and business professionals attended the gala, which was held at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue. 

Presented by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the award is the highest honor given to a business executive in the region. Awarded annually since 1949, recipients are chosen for their outstanding contributions toward the betterment of the region, their professional accomplishments, and their commitment to charity as well as to the community.

Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, said our region is a better place due to Frick's commitment and determination. "Joe Frick has been an invaluable leader for the Greater Philadelphia business community," said Wonderling. "He is a tireless professional who has dedicated a tremendous amount of his time to improving the corporate and civic communities of this region."

Chamber Chairman Bill Hankowsky said that Frick legacy was youth development, which included launching a partnership between the Chamber and the Philadelphia Youth Network to create paid summer internships at regional companies for Philadelphia youth.

Frick was seated with and introduced by two former IBC interns he mentored: Jannette Rivera and Ricardo Johnson. In their remarks, both commented on Frick's leadership and friendship. "With guidance from Joe and others at IBC, I learned how to appreciate diversity, teamwork, and the importance of civic engagement and leadership," said Rivera.

Added Johnson: "As my mentor, Joe has made the most indelible mark on my life. He taught me that the right choice is not always the easy one, and that the path to doing what is right is often hard."

In his acceptance remarks, Frick recognized the Chamber's leadership and its members' shared commitment to invest in the region's future growth and vitality, including improving high school drop-out rates, fighting chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes, and deepening the talent pool of diverse, progressive future leaders.  He also talked about focusing on "critical areas for a vibrant community such as infrastructure, transportation, economy building, education, and business competitiveness."

Frick also recognized and thanked Johnson and Rivera for their heart-felt remarks.  "It is particularly meaningful for me to share this podium tonight with Janette and Ricardo, two special people in my life who are also representative of the countless future leaders in our midst who will keep our community strong and vibrant," said Frick. "To see you grow, thrive in a business setting, discuss your hopes and dreams, and celebrate our diversity, shared values, and friendship has been so rewarding."

Mr. Frick was named president and CEO of IBC in January 2005. Prior to that, he served for eight years as IBC's senior vice president of human resources and administration. In October 2008, Mr. Frick completed a two-year term as chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. 

Past William Penn Award recipients include:

  • Charles Pizzi, Tasty Baking Company President and CEO;
  • H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, cable TV pioneer and philanthropist;
  • Constantine Papadakis, Ph.D., President, Drexel University;
  • William R. Sasso, Esq., Chairman of Stradley Ronon LLP;
  • Nick DeBenedictis, Chairman and President of Aqua America Inc.;
  • Ed Snider, Chairman of Comcast-Spectacor;
  • Judith Rodin, former President, University of Pennsylvania;
  • G. Fred DiBona, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Independence Blue Cross;
  • Ronald Rubin, President, Pennsylvania Realty Investment Trust;
  • Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg; and
  • Rev. Leon Sullivan, Founder of OIC.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in Southeastern Pennsylvania. IBC and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.3 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

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