Humana Inc. - Product Developer of the Year

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Company: Humana Inc., Louisville KY
Company Description: Humana Inc. is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve.
Nomination Category: Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Product Developer of the Year

Nomination Title: Sharon Parsons, Integration Product Category Leader

Tell the story about what this nominee has achieved since January 1 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Since January 2016 Sharon has had many notable accomplishments which make her a candidate for this award.

Sharon successfully leads the Integration Product Category, which includes product development and management of the Employer Group Specialty portfolio as well as the integration of corporate capabilities and services across the entire product portfolio. She leads cross-functional teams to drive results across the organization and leads product and program development for board level corporate goals.

Since January 2016, Sharon has successfully launched new products into the marketplace simultaneously while continuing to provide product management for her portfolio as well as continued design of new programs and services for board level corporate goals. She released a newly designed vision plan (May 2016) with a greater focus on wellness in addition to a first of its kind well-being rider (June 2016) she designed for the Workplace Voluntary Product line, which won a 2016 Bronze Stevie Award for Women in Business. In addition, Sharon has also set strategic direction for products that need to be updated or retired to maintain the profitability and ensure the success of all of products in her lines of business. She also continues to coach her team on the product development discipline.

Her passion for product development and leadership earned her an election to the Board of Directors of the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) in January of 2016. PDMA is a professional society of researchers, academics, and practitioners of the Product Development and Management discipline. The membership is worldwide and they publish the award winning Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM) which is held in numerous University libraries.

Sharon was also recognized this year by LIMRA as one of the top 25 rising stars in distribution under the age of 40. LIMRA stated in their press release that “the outstanding young professionals who were selected demonstrate ingenuity, innovation and imagination in their respective roles. They represent LIMRA member companies of all sizes across the globe.” LIMRA is a worldwide research, learning and development organization which focuses on retirement, insurance and distribution insights and analysis.

Additionally, Sharon won a 2016 Bronze Stevie Award for Women in Business for Employee of the Year – Business – All Other Industries category.

Sharon’s expertise in her field has also led to her selection to speak on the “Thinking outside the Product Box” panel at the LIMRA 2016 Group & Worksite Benefits Conference this fall. Sharon worked with members from other companies in the industry to design the content and materials that were used during the panel discussion at the conference.

Finally, Sharon continues to find time to mentor other women in business through Humana’s Women’s Network Resource Group. Sharon continues to volunteer as a mentor for other members of the group on various topics. This past July she was mentoring a group on the topic of collaboration.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) accomplishments of the nominee since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words).

-She was placed in charge of board level projects and developed new services and solutions - she achieved the set corporate goal.
-Launched a first to market well-being rider which won a 2016 Bronze Stevie Award for Women in Business
-Handles the product development and management for multiple product lines and handles the integration of Humana's capabilities across the entire Employer Group portfolio.
-She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Product Development and Management Association in January 2016.
-She was selected as one of LIMRAs Top 25 Rising Stars of Distribution under 40 in March of 2016.
-She won a 2016 Bronze Stevie Award for Women in Business for Employee of the Year - Business - All other Industries Category.
-She was selected to speak on a panel about product development at an industry conference.
-She volunteers as a mentor for other women in business.