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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is focused on being a powerful presence and force for good in the community. Blue Cross President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp demonstrated that commitment personally when it came to the 38th annual Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan “Salute to Distinguished Warriors” Dinner on March 16 at the Renaissance Marriott. He served as honorary chair for the dinner, which honored five individuals, including Blue Cross board members Mel Larsen and James “Jimmy” Settles, Jr., for their lifelong commitment and contributions to civil and human rights. Mr. Loepp praised Larsen and Settles in his remarks at the dinner, saying “People like (Larsen and Settles) are the reason that getting involved and standing for our communities is engrained in our DNA at Blue Cross.”

Mr. Loepp also invoked the memory of heralded Michigan Chronicle publisher, the late Sam Logan.

“When I see what Charles Anderson and the people of the Urban League do each day and each year, I am reminded of the words of a dear friend who left us too soon … Michigan Chronicle Publisher Sam Logan. Sam said ‘do not be afraid to make a difference.’ We take those words to heart.”

The dinner surpassed its fundraising goal by raising about $315,000 to sustain Urban League programs and services.

Mr. Loepp also participated in the Urban League’s annual Youth Dialogue the morning before. That event connected close to 200 Detroit high school and college students with “Distinguished Warriors” past and present. It also connected Mr. Loepp, who grew up on Detroit’s east side at Kelly Road and Houston Whittier, with students who are either growing up today in the same neighborhood, have a passion for making a career in health care, or both. Mr. Loepp told the students he was excited at the prospect that some of them may wear the familiar cross and shield on their ID badges as future Blue Cross employees.

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