On April 20, UCP Detroit Board Member, Ken Bluhm, will be named "Employee of the Year" at the 25th Annual CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine's awards dinner and reception.
Ken began his advocacy efforts early in life. At 3, he was fundraising for United Way at local auto assembly plants in Michigan as the poster child for their campaign. His efforts helped the United Way exceed their goal, which in today’s dollars would be just shy of $400,000. As a young man, Ken decided he wouldn’t allow himself or others to place limits on what he could do or accomplish. While he has lived life on his own terms, his cerebral palsy diagnosis has influenced both who he is and how he thinks. He’s overcome challenges most couldn’t imagine and appreciates the joy in everyday life spending a significant amount of time giving back.
Ken holds a Masters in Tax along with a CPA. As a director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Ken and his team are responsible for ensuring the company complies with all federal and state accounting rules. For a $20 Billion dollar company, that is no small task. In his 23 year career at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Ken has overseen tax and business strategy efforts that have saved the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Beyond his financial skills, Ken is known for his ability to build relationships with internal colleagues, external stakeholders and regulators alike. Recently, Ken took a leadership role in creating an organization for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan employees called, Bright Blue. The mission of this employee driven network is to promote integration of individuals with differently-abled skill sets into the workforce and the community.
Ken is very engaged in the community, taking on leadership roles in many organizations. He’s served as Treasurer of the church he and his wife and two children have attended for over 25 years. He also served on the Walsh College alumni board. He currently is a director on the board of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Metropolitan Detroit. The organization is working to advance the independence of people with disabilities and their rights to live self-determined lives. Through Ken’s actions and leadership, UCP awarded Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan the “Community Partners Award” in 2016. Ken is also a board member of the Accounting Aid Society, which provides free income tax preparation, financial management coaching and IRS assistance to middle and low-income households. Ken volunteers his time to help others with their taxes during what any corporate finance professional will tell you is their busiest time of year. The Accounting Aid Society has returned more than $350 million to families in the metro Detroit area.
Ken’s professional accomplishments, community involvement and advocacy for those who are differently abled are a few of many reasons we are so proud he has been named “Employee of the Year” and continues to be a role model for living a life without limits.