Kevin Reed, Director, Sales Administration began his career in customer service and steadfastly built it by taking full advantage of various resources and support while building a strong and reliable brand. His career path includes different professions and roles, as well as volunteering, formal education, training and mentoring.
Kevin’s earliest roots in customer service began in the retail industry at Abraham & Strauss (A&S) in their Management Training program after graduating from Upsala College. After several years there, Kevin continued his career as an assistant and then an associate buyer for Bamberger’s (now known as Macy’s). Working in retail helped carve out a strong foundation and ongoing commitment to customer service.
Kevin left the retail industry to pursue a career in banking at the Carteret Saving Bank as an Assistant Branch Manager. Although he loved his role at the bank, he left banking when the bank was sold. Kevin was recruited to join Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey as a Call Center Service Associate in 1995.
Since joining Horizon BCBSNJ, Kevin has experienced all aspects of Operations, Service, Process Improvement and Project Management. He has been through several reorganizations, lateral moves and promotions. His career path looks like this:
- Call Center Service Associate
- Senior Customer Service Associate
- Senior Classroom Instructor
- Complaints and Appeals Manager
- Senior Project Manager
- Manager, COB Governance
- Manager, Third Party Liability
- Manager, Account Installation
- Director, Sales Administration
Kevin learned a lot in every position, especially when he was in Complaints and Appeals handling escalated complaints on the CEO line. In this role, Kevin was able to build many connections and contacts at every level both inside and outside of our business. His early customer service experience really came in handy as he addressed many of the most difficult and irate customers.
Simultaneously, as Kevin built his career, he also completed a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) degree at Seton Hall University and later a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree at St. Peters University. He was also one of the charter members of Horizon BCBSNJ’s Diversity Council where he has proudly served in that capacity for seven years. Kevin takes great pleasure in his volunteering efforts with a local performing arts high school and leading the Diversity Showcase here at Horizon BCBSNJ.
When asked for his career advice, Kevin humbly shared the following:
- Be a leader (act “as if”…present yourself and the company well).
- Take advantage of career coaching, educational opportunities and developmental courses.
- Be willing to take on new things and stretch yourself through volunteering, special projects and stretch assignments, etc.
- Develop relationships with others by seeking formal and informal mentors both inside and outside of the company. Use these relationships to seek advice and perspectives from others.
- Mentor others.
- Build a positive personal brand by demonstrating strong work behaviors, a good attitude and high integrity.
Throughout Kevin’s 30+ years managing others off and on, he has become a highly regarded leader with a proven track record. He applies his ongoing learning in every day work experiences. He proudly gives credit to others who have been instrumental in his career and expressed gratitude for Horizon BCBSNJ’s Career Development Program. Kevin has participated in our Steering your Career class, several Lunch & Learn workshops, our Dress for Success events, and 1:1 career coaching. He found the career coaching most helpful for giving him clarity around his career aspirations.