Honoring the Best of the Best

The BCBSIL 2017 Volunteer of the Year "pays it forward" by sharing the advice she's been given over the years to help others reach their full potential.

Making Meaningful Connections in our Communities

Each year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) asks employees to nominate their fellow co-workers for the Volunteer of the Year award. This award celebrates the dedication of one outstanding employee for contributions to our communities. Our 2017 BCBSIL Blue Corps℠ Volunteer of the Year is Tracy Trice-Watts, assistant manager, Internal Audit in our Chicago headquarters office.

Tracy, whose love for giving back blossomed in her youth as a Girl Scout, realized that volunteering was part of her purpose in her 20s when she started teaching Sunday School and mentoring teen girls. Now, while most people like to relax after a busy day at work and on the weekends, Tracy can usually be found mentoring or chaperoning youth ministry outings and applying her financial skillset to her local church as a board member.


There is no greater goal than to help young women discover who they are in this world and help them navigate some of the pitfalls they encounter based on where they are from. - Tracy Trice-Watts, 2017 Volunteer of the Year

Mentoring Matters

Tracy’s ability to build deep relationships in her community have increased opportunities for her to mentor in other capacities. Her efforts with the Institute of Internal Auditors have opened the door for professional development for her mentees, helping them to further develop their skills.

In addition to volunteering at her church, Tracy served as a tutor for a young boy throughout his school year and is currently mentoring a young man pursuing a business degree at Roosevelt University. Tracy believes that there is no greater goal than to help young women discover who they are in this world and help them navigate some of the pitfalls they encounter based on where they are from. Keeping true to that belief, for the past two years Tracy has assisted a young couple who are new parents get a better handle on their finances by creating budgets that will help them plan for the future.

Encouraging Employee Volunteers

Tracy also dedicates her time in the office to helping co-workers understand the importance of volunteering. She has given presentations during staff meetings introducing the Blue Corps volunteer program to the department. She offers herself as a resource for team members who have questions or need help finding ways to get involved. She has also participated in several volunteer events with her team and even trained employees on how to track their volunteer hours.

BCBSIL is committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities. One way we do this is by encouraging our employees to establish meaningful connections with local nonprofits. In 2017, over 2,500 employee volunteers truly lived our company’s purpose by serving more than 600 nonprofit organizations and donating more than 53,000 hours in personal volunteer hours. From packing and sorting food at local food banks to cheering on runners and providing water at the Chicago Marathon, our employees are proud to promote health and wellness through their local contributions.

The BCBSIL 2017 Volunteer of the Year serves with the following organizations: