Kelly Stern is the senior vice president of communications, corporate citizenship, and reputation at Blue Shield of California, a nonprofit health plan with $24 billion in annual revenue serving 4.8 million members in the state’s commercial, individual, and government markets. Stern has over 20 years of corporate communications experience including public relations, executive communications, employee communications, and crisis and change communications.
Stern is responsible for driving strategic communications to create clarity, confidence, and connection to the company’s mission, strategy, and brand and help protect and build Blue Shield’s reputation. She also oversees the Corporate Citizenship team, which focuses on helping the company becoming an industry leader in corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability. This includes elevating Blue Shield’s presence in the community through corporate giving, volunteerism, and community engagement.
Stern started her career in advertising in Los Angeles, working on various accounts including the launch of DIRECTV and pro bono work with the Rape Treatment Center.
She later joined the corporate practice at Burson-Marsteller in Washington, D.C., where she worked with Fortune 500 companies handling major challenges that included mergers and acquisitions, crisis, brand, transformation, and change-management, projects. During this time, Stern won the PRWeek Award for Crisis/Issues Management Campaign of the Year for the team’s on-site support to the United States Postal Service throughout the anthrax crisis.
Stern received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her first “career” began as a dancer, including study with New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet School.