The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce ‘Businessperson of the Year’ award, presented by Staffworks, is given annually to an individual who has shown exemplary service to the Chamber and/or community, putting focus on individuals who are dedicated to improving and impacting the business climate of the Greater Utica Area. This year, the Chamber is proud to honor Eve Van de Wal, regional president of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Utica region as their 2024 Businessperson of the Year.

Eve Van de Wal of Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield at the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 in Utica, NY. (PHOTO BY NANCY L. FORD)

Van de Wal is a true leader whose commitment to improving the community has inspired countless others both within the organization and the community at large during her 40-year career. As a proud life-long resident of the Mohawk Valley, Van de Wal has been the “face” of Excellus BCBS in the region, creating and maintaining strong relationships with key community leaders.


She joined Excellus BCBS in 1998 and held several administrative positions prior to her current role. Throughout the course of her over 40-year career, she generously shared her extensive and diverse experience in health care delivery and health insurance, having enjoyed a successful career as a critical care and coronary care nurse before joining the health plan.


“We are incredibly proud of Eve and congratulate her on this well-deserved honor,” said Excellus BCBS President and CEO Jim Reed. “Her leadership and passion in making a difference within Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and her community through her volunteer efforts, board memberships, and commitment to her friends, family and neighbors is an example of her tireless dedication to the Mohawk Valley,”


In addition to her volunteer efforts at hundreds of community events throughout her career, Van de Wal has served her hometown and Excellus BCBS by serving on numerous boards including Adirondack Bank, Economic Development Growth Enterprises Corporation (EDGE), The United Way of the Mohawk Valley and Greater Utica Area, The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Health Workforce New York (HWNY), Northern Area Health and Education (NAHEC), Utica First Insurance Company and YWCA of the Mohawk Valley.


“Eve is a true leader by example. The depth of service Eve has given to the community through her service on various boards, coupled with her leadership at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and her unwavering support of the Chamber, made it an easy choice to recognize her with this year’s award” said Michael Bushard, chair of the board of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce.


Van de Wal has also been honored with many awards throughout her career, including Women of Distinction by the New York State Senate, On Point for College Foundation of Hope, American Red Cross Great Hero, The Genesis Group Joseph R. Carucci Legacy Award, Boys and Girls Club Living Legend Award, YWCA Salute to Outstanding Women for Healthcare, Oneida County Historical Society Hall of Fame Living Legends Award, Boy Scouts of America Public Service Leadership Award, Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award, and Successful Women in Business Award by the Mohawk Valley.


Van de Wal has announced that she will be retiring from her position at Excellus BCBS effective April 30, 2024. She is looking forward to spending her well-deserved retirement with her husband, Dale, their two grown children and their spouses, and her grandchildren.


The “Businessperson of the Year” celebration in Van de Wal’s honor will be held on Thursday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m., at Delta by Marriott in Utica. All community members are invited. Tickets and event sponsorships will soon be available at For more information call 315-724-3151.




The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization comprised of business and business-oriented members dedicated to the development of a prosperous economic climate that will enhance commercial growth and the quality of life for all who reside in the Greater Utica Area.