Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has named Fran Gary as Senior Vice President (SVP) of Government Markets, Gerald Petkau as SVP of Commercial Markets and Karla Mizelle as Chief Operations and Member Experience Officer. The seasoned and results-driven leaders will assume critical roles as the company sharpens its focus on transforming health care across North Carolina while navigating the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m excited to welcome Fran and Karla to Blue Cross NC,” said Blue Cross NC CEO and President Dr. Tunde Sotunde. “They are proven leaders who will bring their deep experience to our company as we work to make health care better, simpler and more affordable.”

Fran Gary will oversee all Government market segments including Medicare, Federal Employee Plan (FEP) and the Healthy Blue offering serving Medicaid beneficiaries. She joins the company with more than 27 years of leadership and health care delivery experience. Her proven track record has delivered superior financial, service and quality results in Medicaid, Medicare and Commercial business. Gary was previously the president of Anthem’s Medicaid Business Unit (East Region) where she was responsible for Medicaid and related State Government Business in the East Region comprised of 11 markets in eight states, including the District of Columbia, with 2.8 million members and more than $13 billion in annual revenue.

Karla Mizelle most recently served as SVP and Director, Digital Banking Strategy at First Citizens Bank and brings more than 25 years of experience in operations, customer experience, process improvement, digital strategy and business automation in the financial and manufacturing industries. Under Mizelle’s leadership, Blue Cross NC’s expanded operations division will centralize advanced analytics and manage its overall digital strategy and total member experience to provide a connected, innovative customer experience. 

Gerald Petkau, Blue Cross NC’s current Chief Operating Officer will oversee all commercial markets including the individual under 65 business and employer group business as SVP of Commercial Markets. Gerald has been with Blue Cross NC since 2004 and has also previously served as Chief Financial Officer. 

Blue Cross NC welcomes Gary and Mizelle on January 4, 2021 and has made several additional changes to better serve its customers and improve health care:

Sonny Goyal has been named SVP, Diversified Business Group & Chief Strategy Officer following two years as Blue Cross NC’s VP, Head of Corporate Development. Prior to joining Blue Cross NC, Goyal held roles in corporate development with Echo Health Ventures and Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Danielle Gray’s current role as Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary will expand to SVP, Chief Legal & Administrative Officer. Gray will oversee Marketing & Community Engagement and Corporate Communications in addition to Legal, Government Affairs, Audit, Compliance and Health Policy.

These changes follow the retirement of two senior leaders announced earlier this year:

John Roos, Chief Growth Officer will retire after 22 years of service overseeing sales, marketing and communications for the company. Under Roos’s tenure, the company’s revenue grew from $1.5 billion to $9.5 billion, while adding 1 million members. Among other milestones under Roos’s leadership, the company launched Affordable Care Act (ACA) products to individual customers, making Blue Cross NC the only company committed to covering all 100 counties since the ACA began.

Patrick Getzen, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, is retiring following 25 years of service with the company. Getzen started at Blue Cross NC in 1996 as an entry-level actuary, eventually progressing to Chief Actuary. In 2018, he was selected to create the Data and Analytics division and became the company’s first Chief Data and Analytics Officer. Patrick led many key strategic initiatives with a focus on making health care affordable. He helped lead the transition to the Affordable Care Act and more recently has been using data to drive insights for our customers to improve the access and quality of care. 

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina since 1933, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. Blue Cross NC serves its customers and communities of more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1.1 million on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at All other marks are the property of their respective owners.