Angela Interview

Kerry Graves Interviews Angela Celestin EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Kerry Graves Interviews Angela Celestin EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

Watch the Full Interview Here

Angela Celestin joined CareFirst in 2019 as Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer. She is responsible for shaping the employee experience and driving robust and progressive HR thought leadership throughout the organization.

Over a 20+ year career, Angela has led HR and employee development activities within consumer product and financial services industries, including roles with Pepsi Cola, OneMain Financial, Citi, and Money Mart Financial Services. Angela has successfully negotiated outcomes in both union and non-union environments, drove transformational culture initiatives, and spearheaded change management practices which will all serve useful in her role as CHRO. Angela and her team continue to look for ways to improve the employee experience while driving better business outcomes.

A native of New York, Angela received her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Angela actively supports our member communities, including board leadership roles and DEI insight at Port Discovery’ and the United Way of Central Maryland.

Connect with Angela on LinkedIn

Kerry Graves serves as the Executive Director of NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore. In her role, she leads NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore’s mission of improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness, and has helped growNAMI Metro Baltimore to reach a record 18,000 people in need of mental health support as of Fiscal Year 2023.

In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore, Graves serves as the chief liaison with media, community organizations, and key constituency groups.

NAMI Metro Baltimore is one of the largest and most active local affiliates of NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization.

Before coming to NAMI in 2018, Kerry held management roles at several local area health advocacy non-profits, most recently as VP of Development for the DC/MD/VA chapter of the ALS Association.

Connect with Kerry on LinkedIn

Interview questions:

Q1: With your extensive background in human resources across various industries, could you share insights into how shaping the employee experience contributes to an organization like CareFirst?

Q2: What does the 2024 LOUDER Achievement Award mean to you and the work you are doing at Carefirst?

Q3: What inspired you and Carefirst to prioritize mental health resources and stigma reduction in the workplace?

Q4: How did you identify the specific mental health resources and programs needed for your employees?

Q5: How has NAMI’s Stigma-Free workplace presentations contributed to fostering a positive workplace culture at CareFirst, including encouraging open discussions about mental health and wellness?

Q6: How do you integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion insights into your HR practices at CareFirst, especially regarding mental health support and awareness?

Q7: Reflecting on your career journey, what have been some of the most impactful lessons you’ve learned about HR leadership and employee development, particularly in the context of elevating conversations about mental health in the workplace?

Q8: Are there any new mental health initiatives or enhancements to existing programs planned for the near future at Carefirst?

Q9: How do you see the field of HR evolving in the coming years, and what implications might this have for organizations like CareFirst, especially in terms of promoting mental health and well-being among employees?

Q10: What message would you like to share with employers and employees about the importance of mental health resources and ending the stigma in the workplace?


NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore, a NAMI affiliate serving Baltimore City and Baltimore County, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals living with mental health conditions, their families, and communities through education, support, and advocacy. With a legacy of 40 years, NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore remains a beacon of hope and support for over 18,000 individuals and family members annually.