An LGBTQIA+ Provider Success Story


Nick Lanzi didn’t at all times envision a profession in advertising and marketing and communications. With an accounting diploma from Penn State, he spent the primary a part of his profession in finance, serving as CFO for one of many area’s largest direct advertising and marketing corporations. His publicity to that trade sparked his curiosity in launching his personal enterprise, Direct Alternative, in 1995.

Practically three many years later, he and his group have developed a specialised method for assembly the calls for of direct advertising and marketing for nationwide and regional manufacturers. Now, as a pacesetter within the LGBTQIA+ enterprise group, Lanzi sees the affect that investing in and dealing with various suppliers can have.

Working with Independence Blue Cross

Lanzi and his group have been doing enterprise with Independence Blue Cross (IBX) for practically twenty years, specializing in digital, direct advert, and mailed advertising and marketing campaigns.

“My company works on behalf of our purchasers to determine the perfect prospects to achieve out to. Then, we create and deploy communications to get these prospects to take motion,” Lanzi mentioned. “With Independence Blue Cross, our work consists of renewing people and teams and advertising and marketing Inexpensive Care Act and Medicare plans. No matter their want is, we offer an answer.”

Each IBX and Direct Alternative profit from working collectively. Direct Alternative’s versatile and enthusiastic expertise helps IBX talk with members successfully; and the cooperative partnership has helped Direct Alternative acquire purchasers within the trade.

“Having Independence Blue Cross in your record of purchasers is like gold as a result of they’re the gold commonplace, particularly within the Philadelphia market,” mentioned Lanzi. “I’ve been in a position to entice different companies as purchasers over the previous 17 years due to our relationship.”

Shared Alternatives

The connection between IBX and Direct Alternative is rooted in shared beliefs and a shared dedication to group. Benefitting extra than simply the 2 organizations, it has helped to advance others within the diverse-owned enterprise group.

“My vendor companions allow me to supply Independence Blue Cross with high-quality and reasonably priced merchandise that we ship on time,” defined Lanzi. “Not solely does that make me appear and feel actually good, it additionally incentivizes Independence Blue Cross to provide us extra work — and that rolls downstream to my various vendor companions. So, it feeds the system.”

Integrating various suppliers into enterprise fashions has helped IBX and Direct Alternative strengthen the native financial system, increase innovation, help the hiring of native expertise, and higher serve members and purchasers by rising illustration for historically underrepresented communities.

“I’m joyful to say that almost 25 % of Direct Alternative’s annual vendor spend is with women-, BIPOC-, veteran-, and LGBTQIA+-owned companies,” mentioned Lanzi.

At IBX and our subsidiaries, the provider range program continues to develop, with $317 million spent with various suppliers in 2023, a rise of 13 % since 2022.

Impression Past “Simply Enterprise”

Lanzi’s dedication to supporting different various companies extends past his hiring of these suppliers. He additionally sits on the board of the Unbiased Enterprise Alliance, which is the Philadelphia chapter of the Nationwide LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Lanzi leverages that function to have a larger affect on LGBTQIA+ causes and companies within the space.

“Independence Blue Cross helps the LGBTQIA+ group in a manner I’ve by no means skilled earlier than. They’re main sponsors of quite a few organizations within the Philadelphia space and so they actually put their cash the place their mouth is,” Lanzi mentioned.


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