Charlene Estrada

  • Sr. Director/VP (Business Mgmt., Execution & Delivery, Operational Excellence)
  • Van Nuys, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Feb 16, 2022
Full time Consultant Executive Information Technology Professional Services Strategy-Planning

Personal Summary

I am an authentic and trusted leader known for cultivating talent and building high performing teams. I’ve recently shifted my focus and energy to the cannabis industry as an advocate for social equity and a proponent for medical and adult-use. My specialty honed over 25 years of experience includes leading high-stakes, high visibility programs, merger & acquisition integrations, bridging the gap between business and technology, fostering a collaborative work environment and leading teams through rapid change. I enjoy working in fast-paced environments and adapt swiftly to evolving market and organizational dynamics. One of my greatest strengths is my ability to pivot and reprioritize while maintaining the focus and engagement of teams and key stakeholders.

After 6 years with Blue Shield of California, I'm interested in a career pivot to the cannabis industry. I’m passionate about this emerging and evolving market as a catalyst for legislative reform and to help address healthcare inequities through expanded therapeutics and medical research. What particularly inspires me about cannabis is the vast number of users who find genuine relief and an improved quality life from pain, disease and mental health issues. I’m also drawn to the unique opportunity that cannabis provides to address economic and social inequities in the communities hit hardest by the failed war on drugs. I believe it’s an exciting time to join the industry’s evolution to help eliminate the stigma of cannabis and change the narrative through advocacy, education and legalization.

I’m looking to join an ambitious and fast-growing cannabis company that has a solid reputation and true desire to drive positive, sustainable change for social equity and restorative justice. I’m inspired by mission driven organizations that share my passion for improving the lives of the customers and communities they serve. What I offer to the cannabis industry is deep health care industry experience, extensive technology delivery expertise, and an understanding of complex regulatory and legal issues.

MY SPECIALTIES: Leading through change and ambiguity, building strategic relationships, developing next level talent, and bringing calm and order to chaos.

OUTSIDE OF WORK: I love creating beautifully curated spaces and interior designs that reflect one’s personality and style. As a life-long learner I am drawn to activities and experiences that help me continuously grow, especially traveling and pushing beyond my comfort zone.

Work Experience

Director, Business Platform Services
Nov 2015 - Dec 2021 Blue Shield of California

- Director, Business Platform Services, 2017 - 2021
- Senior Manager, Integration Management Office (IMO), 2015 - 2017

Led core capability transformation and maturity, team development, and talent management for enterprise delivery teams that leverage industry knowledge, expertise, and technical skill to bring together business, information technology, and external constituents to develop innovative solutions to complex business issues.

 Corporate Culture and Team Development – Led the successful turnaround of an enterprise delivery team by restructuring roles and responsibilities, evolving the skillset, and facilitating reputational team re-branding to be “brilliant at the basics”. Aligned the team to a new enterprise operating model based on a portfolio and product structure and trained and upskilled the team to become early adopters of Agile delivery.

 Business Growth and Optimization – Led an enterprise-wide team of ~400 resources through a multi-year corporate initiative to integrate the $1.2B Care1st Health Plan acquisition to further Blue Shield of California’s corporate mission. Developed and executed a three-year integration plan to migrate all Care1st employees, processes, and technologies to the Blue Shield enterprise platform, including introducing and maturing mission critical/core capabilities that enabled growth, scalability, and operational sustainability of Medicaid and Medicare business.

 Employee Engagement and Talent Management – Led the successful integration of two new teams within the enterprise delivery model. Established business readiness as a core competency by developing an integrated approach to change management, communications, and training for the adoption and sustainability of business processes and technical platform changes. Created a vendor governance team which evaluates operational and contractual vendor performance and provides an overall picture of health for the vendor platform and its operational efficiency.

Director, Portfolio and Program Management
Dec 2001 - Nov 2015 Anthem, Inc.

- Technical Program Director, Portfolio and Program Management 2012 – 2015
Led transformational initiatives utilizing artificial intelligence to improve member access to care.

- Operations Integration Director, Care Management (Medicaid and Medicare) 2010 – 2012
Integrated the CareMore Health Plan acquisition and leveraged predictive modeling to scale the senior care model across several Anthem regions to expand disease management support and preventative care for the most vulnerable and "at risk" seniors.

- Account Management Executive Advisor, Consumer Business 2008 – 2010
Bridged the gap between business and IT and drove alignment and delivery of strategic goals.

- Portfolio Director, Consumer Business 2006 – 2008
Development and adoption of portfolio governance, tools, templates, and performance metrics.

 Innovation and Enterprise Transformation – Led a leadership team that assisted the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in identify and implementing programs that supported care management and cost of health care (COHC) savings goals. Implemented an integrated care management model focused on a coordinated care continuum across physicians, specialists, nurses, case managers and skilled nursing facilities for “at risk” patients, resulting in reduced ER admissions and hospital stays, improved preventative care and enhanced integrated patient care coordination.

 Project and Program Management – Managed multi-year and enterprise-wide programs, integrations, and system conversions to solve complex technology and data issues to improve processes and compliance that drove better healthcare outcomes and an enhanced member experience. Led the Anthem Care Management Solution (ACMS) Program that integrated utilization management, case management and disease management to improve quality of care and help members navigate the complex healthcare system.


BS, Business Administration and Management
Sep 1994 - Jun 1996 California Lutheran University
Executive Leadership Program and Performance Leadership Program
Aug 2021 - Nov 2021 Cornell University
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Sep 2015 - Feb 2022 Project Management Institute (PMI)