Vision for the future

Welcome to the seventh annual Innovation in Business Conference, presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. As this event’s co-founder and major corporate sponsor, Anthem hopes you find this year’s conference among the best as we honor our region’s most innovative minds for their vision for the future.

Northeast Ohio executives are currently planning for the year 2006 and beyond. They are responsible for the vision of both their organizations and our region. This planning work and vision of future success is key to our ability to reach positive outcomes for individual organizations and our regional economy.

It is my belief, and that of Anthem, that our communities are the foundation of our success. Anthem’s philanthropy reflects this belief with its philosophy, “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies and Healthy Communities.”  Anthem’s commitment to the future of our communities extends beyond health care to education, the arts, community development and more.

Our communities offer all of us countless opportunities to invest in the future through volunteerism and corporate giving. The Anthem Foundation each year contributes approximately $3 million to the communities we serve. This April, the foundation awarded $500,000 to life-enhancing programs throughout Ohio <m> half of that money came back to Northeast Ohio.

The programs benefiting from this contribution include an obesity program in the Cleveland Public School District, nursing scholarships for students at Cuyahoga Community College and the one I’d like to bring your attention to, the Cleveland Revitalization Project of the Historic Warehouse District.

The goal of the Warehouse District project is to promote economic development, attract and retain talent in our region and reinforce Northeast Ohio as a destination for new business through beautification of this emerging downtown area for business, residential and commercial growth. You will see a visible statement of Anthem’s commitment to our region’s future when you see flowers in the Warehouse District.

As Northeast Ohio’s business leaders, we all have the opportunity to invest in our communities big and small. With a positive vision and shared commitment, we can make seemingly impossible success a reality.

Joseph M. LaGuardia is regional vice president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Reach him at (216) 573-4412.