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Cindy Langston Breaks Barriers as First Female CIO at Excellus BCBS

Analysis  |  By Jasmyne Ray  
   January 12, 2022

Langston is the first female in the organization's 87-year history to hold the position of chief information officer.

Earlier this month, Cindy Langston was appointed as senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in New York. She is the first woman to hold the role to CIO within the organization. 

Langston has three decades of experience in information technology and consulting, having worked for Dow Corning Corporation, and Aon Hewitt among other organizations. While working with a healthcare company 15 years ago, she was drawn to the insurance industry's mission.

"Excellus's is probably one of the best missions around, connecting with the community and connecting with the members," she said.

"Cindy is an experienced and strategic leader with a proven track record of building high-performing teams and delievering results," Jim Reed, CEO and president of Excellus BCBS, said in a statement.

Langston started at Excellus in 2014 as the vice president in information technology. In 2017, Langston was promoted as chief analytics data officer, moving away from her usually IT-centric duties.

As chief information officer, Langston will oversee new technology iniatitives and training for employees, to improve the way they connect with the business and understand its strategy.

"One of my long-term goals is to maintain our great culture. We have a lot of long-term employees who really know our members and know our culture," she said, going on to emphasize the importance of those employees staying up to date with the technology they use.

Her leadership capabilities carry over into her work in the community. Langston actively serves Excellus' surrounding community of Rochester, serving as a board chair of the local YWCA and member of the Women's Leadership Council of the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes. As a mentor and coach to many individuals, Langston emphasizes the importance of respect, often referencing her "Golden Fry" story, based on an unpleasant experience she had at her first job at a fast-food restaurant.

What she understood from that moment was that an employer has the authority to make an employee feel great at work or bad. Carrying that lesson with her, she's always conscientious of the things she does and says to the individuals she's working with.

"Every opportunity I have to speak with a female, especially a person of color, they have my attention, and they have my time," Langston said.

“Every opportunity I have to speak with a female, especially a person of color, they have my attention, and they have my time.”

Jasmyne Ray is the revenue cycle editor at HealthLeaders. 

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