President, BCBSLA Foundation
Michael Tipton began as President of the Blue Cross Foundation in June, 2015 after having served as Executive Director of Teach For America – South Louisiana from 2007 until early 2015 and after having founded Tipton Consultants which worked with non-profit organizations on talent recruitment, strategic representation and expansion across Louisiana.
Michael is a native of Louisiana and a graduate of LSU with degrees in political science and history. He earned a master’s degree in teaching from Pace University in New York while teaching high school English and History in the South Bronx through Teach For America. Michael is a graduate of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Leadership Baton Rouge and the Council for a Better Louisiana’s Leadership Louisiana programs, was named to the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Top 40 under 40 list in 2007 was LSU’s Young Alumnus of the Year in 2013 and received the John W. Barton Sr. Excellence in Nonprofit Management Award from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in 2012.
Karen Bolles is the Office Manager for the BCBSLA Foundation and the Community Relations departments. She is responsible for all daily internal operations over the department, overseeing P&P and compliance, contracting and administering annual budgets of between $2 million and $5 million in granting and corporate giving. Karen also supervises all part-time and contingent staffers.
Since January 2015, Karen has also administered corporate sponsorships. In this role, she oversees strategic community investments and evaluates proposals on behalf of Community Relations and the Foundation.
Karen has over 30 years in administrative and financial management. Before coming to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, she worked for Medical Mutual of Ohio, a former Blue plan.
Karen is a native of Cleveland and is a proud Buckeye.
Foundation Initiatives Manager
Lauren Fowler serves as the Foundation Initiatives Manager at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. She oversees and executes a variety of the Foundation’s efforts, ranging from the Angel Awards to new and ongoing grant programs.
Lauren’s professional background is in non-profit and volunteer management and Major Gift fundraising. She previously served as the Director of Major Gifts for Capital Area United Way and as a Director of Development for Louisiana State University. She is a 2015 graduate of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s Development Fellows Program. Lauren is a member of Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, Junior League of Baton Rouge, Forum 35 and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Lauren is a native of Monroe, Louisiana and a graduate of Louisiana Tech University. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her friends and family, and playing with her two bulldogs.
Community Relations Consultant
Kellie Duhon joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana as a Community Relations Consultant after serving in government and nonprofit management for over ten years.
She most recently served as Chief of Staff to First Lady Supriya Jindal and Executive Director of The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children. Kellie helped the Foundation raise over $2 million to improve technology and access to interactive hands-on tools in classrooms across Louisiana.
In her role at BCBS, she oversees corporate sponsorships, strategic community investments and evaluates funding proposals on behalf of the corporation.
Kellie has had the privilege of working on the campaigns of Lt. Governor Bill Bolling (VA) in 2005, Congressman Dave Reichert (WA) in 2006, and Governor Bobby Jindal (LA) in 2007. She is a graduate of Northwestern State University in Nachitoches, Louisiana.
Kellie hails from Rayne, Louisiana and is married to Jeffery Duhon of Crowley, Louisiana. They have two children, Audrey and Julian.
Ben Mahoney joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana in 2009 as a writer in the Corporate Communications department. He is a marketing and development professional with over a decade of experience in strategic planning, communications, advertising and fundraising. He has worked with teams in healthcare, the arts, higher education and economic development. Together, those teams have won many awards in advertising, print media, digital media and development, though Ben is proudest of a being named “Most Funnest” by his young nieces and nephews at family holiday functions.
In January 2015, Ben joined Blue Cross’ Community Relations department as the interim director. In that role, he helped the team increase employee giving, set a new direction of corporate social responsibility programs and leverage a $1 million community investment portfolio focusing on health, education and social entrepreneurship. In March 2016, he started as the Communications Manager for the BCBSLA Foundation. Ben is also a Gallup-certified StrengthsFinder coach, focusing on professional development for nonprofit executives.
Employee Giving Administrator
Paula Neck is the Employee Giving Administrator at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. In that role, she is responsible for coordinating all employee giving and volunteerism activities. This includes overseeing workplace giving campaigns, raising upwards of $250,000 each year in support of Blue Cross’ major community partners. Paula also coordinates all Team Blue employee volunteering activities, along with our company’s matching gift program. Since 2010, she has helped employees log over 13,000 hours of community service.
Paula has been with Blue Cross for 26 years, and started as the executive assistant to then-President and CEO, P.J. Mills. Before coming to Community Relations, Paula also served as an executive assistant to the chief marketing officer, as well as the company’s legislative coordinator.
Paula is the liaison to our community school partner, Jefferson Terrace Elementary. She serves on the planning committees for the Louisiana Men’s Health Conference and Wellness Day for Women. Before joining Blue Cross, Paula attended LSU for paralegal studies.
Community Relations Assistant
Since 2009, Tanja Foil has held the position of part-time Community Relations Assistant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana where she assists team members in coordinating employee volunteer activities, fundraisers, and grant and sponsorship program management. Prior to this, Tanja was a grant writer for Girl Scouts-Audubon Council. She holds a BA in Journalism from the LSU Manship School.
An active community volunteer, Tanja has served on the boards of many non-profit groups. In 2015, she was recognized with the Blue Cross Foundation’s Blue Angel Award for her work with Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge, a non-profit serving individuals with disabilities and their families. The Junior League of Baton Rouge also named her their 2017 Sustainer of the Year in recognition of her volunteer efforts in the community.
Community Relations Assistant
A native of Baton Rouge, Garrett is a part-time Community Relations Assistant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, where he assists team members in coordinating employee volunteer activities, fundraisers, and grant and sponsorship program management. During his time with the company, Garrett has served as Blue Cross’ representative to the Cerebral Palsy Association’s Board of Directors and has also assisted in raising $25,000 as the American Heart Association Team Leader for the 2013 Heart Walk.
Before joining the Community Relations team, Garrett attended Louisiana State University where he graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Sociology. During his time at LSU, Garrett worked at KLSU, the campus radio station where he served as a sports reporter and for a time as assistant sports director. While at KLSU, Garrett delivered on air sports news and contributed to KLSU’s weekly sports show, “Out of Bounds”. Garrett is a die-hard LSU Basketball and LSU Baseball fan.