The Indy Chamber is proud to welcome the leadership of newly elected 2015 Board Chair, Rob Hillman. Hillman serves as President and General Manager at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana and began his year-long term as Indy Chamber Board Chair on January 1.
IC. What’s the best advice you’ve been given over the years that has helped steer your career to where you are today?
RH. I’ve had the benefit of having many outstanding mentors in my career with Anthem. Each one has given me valuable advice that has guided my life and career. I would summarize what they’ve taught me into five guiding principles that I try to adhere to each day. First, relationships matter. In the digital age, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that relationships—both business and personal--are the most important thing any of us possess. Second, do what you are asked to do. This advice seems obvious, but not everyone follows it. Set high expectations, do your work, do it really well. Third, step outside your comfort zone. Resist the temptation to cling to what’s familiar because that doesn’t help you grow. Fourth, do not be afraid to fail. Learn from failure. If nothing else, it teaches us what not to do. And lastly, balance is important. I try to keep two things in mind every day: the people I care about and my own sense of purpose. So that even when the task is difficult and the challenges seem impossible to overcome, I will always know two things: who I am, and what I’m working for.
IC. You are a busy guy! Of all of your community activities, what drew you to the Indy Chamber?
RH. I’ve always believed that a successful business climate is an essential part of a vibrant community. The Indy Chamber has long been a critical element in supporting and advocating business needs, initiatives and interests. Michael Huber, our Indy Chamber President and CEO, is a dynamic, energized leader, who believes as I do, that the Indy area’s best days are ahead of us. However, we cannot afford to watch quietly on the sidelines. Mike and his staff and others have developed a strategic plan which includes specific priorities to leverage our strengths and further enhance the Indy area as a place to live, work and do business. I think the business community realizes now is the time to focus with a sense of urgency on creating new partnerships and engaging our next generation of leaders. I’m excited about the future of the city and the Indy Chamber.
IC. Reflecting on this past year, what has been your favorite moment of 2014?
RH. On a personal level, the best moment was welcoming our new grandson, Oswald. He’s is the sixth grandchild for me and my wife Melissa. On a business level, I continue to be impressed by the effort that Anthem associates have put forth since the passage of the Affordable Care Act four years ago now. It wasn’t easy and wasn’t always smooth, but adapting to health care reform has probably been the most challenging (and exciting) task I’ve experienced in my 32 years in the health care industry. Our team has done an outstanding job of staying focused on our customers and executing in a new and often uncertain environment.
IC. Imagine you are on a staycation in Indy. What's your plan? (i.e. restaurants, attractions, etc.)
RH. It would be a busy weekend because Indy has so much to offer. My wife and I are big fans of local bed and breakfasts. We’d check in at the Villa Inn Restaurant and Spa. Friday, we’d head to Iozzo’s on South Meridian, then to Mass Ave for a night cap at Mesh or Chatham Tap. Saturday morning, breakfast at City Café. Saturday afternoon, stroll around downtown, shop on Mass Ave and definitely a stop at Sun King for tastings. Saturday night, catch a ballgame at Victory Field on the lawn because Melissa and I are sports fans. Sunday, a massage and breakfast at the Villa. Before heading home we’d try to squeeze in a visit to either the Zoo or the Indiana State Museum.
IC. What should business leaders expect to see from the Indy Chamber in 2015?
RH. Business leaders will see an increasingly visible and active Indy Chamber as we continue to execute on our strategic objectives and priorities. There’s some momentum following several successes in 2104. We’ve invested time and energy on creating coalitions, collaborations and partnerships that will pay off in 2015 and beyond.
My personal focus as Indy Chamber board president will be on resource development and growing membership. The strength of the chamber lies in the strength of its membership. A strong chamber results in an active, engaged and passionate business community that’s committed to making this area an even better place for business. And that leads to a better quality of life for everybody who lives here.