Delta Dental of Illinois on Monday announced the hiring of Rheaana Guess as vice president, people and diversity officer.
In the newly created role, Guess will oversee human resources at Delta Dental of Illinois and its subsidiary companies.
This includes the development and growth of team members, recruitment, succession planning and employment counsel. Guess will also be responsible for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives including trainings and programming, employee affinity groups and mentoring programs to continue fostering an inclusive culture that will attract, hire and retain a diverse workforce.
“This new position reflects how important diversity, equity and inclusion are to Delta Dental of Illinois as we further our mission to improve the overall health and well-being of those we serve,” said John Maples, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Illinois. “Rheaana Guess brings extensive experience, making her uniquely suited to help us continue enhancing our culture and operations, and ensuring we reflect our communities and customers as we grow.”
Guess has a bachelor’s, master’s, and law degree from Northwestern University and more than 15 years of experience in labor and employment law, with a specific focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. This includes:
• Wipro Limited: As head of employment law for North America, Guess oversaw all employment law-related matters for an employee population of over 25,000. She created and facilitated trainings on human resources, and diversity and inclusion. She was also a founding member of the company’s Black Advisory Council, which worked to increase equity and inclusion at Wipro.
• Hitachi Consulting/Hitachi Vantara: As global senior employment counsel and director, Guess helped implement corporate best practices in human resources and provided guidance in complying with state and federal employment laws. She developed and conducted anti-discrimination training and was a member of the African American Employee Resource Group.
• Jones Day: As a labor and employment associate, Guess counseled clients on employment matters including hiring. She also developed and directed implementation of diversity, affinity group and professional development activities.
“Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion and creating equal opportunity in the workplace,” Guess said. “I am thrilled that my role at Delta Dental of Illinois will allow me to not only continue this focus, but also oversee the employee life cycle, building programs that foster employee engagement, learning and growth. I look forward to collaborating with the entire team as we continue to build the company’s culture and embed diversity into the company’s foundation to ensure we are a true reflection of those we serve.”
Delta Dental of Illinois’ emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion has been nationally recognized. Last fall, the Delta Dental of Illinois Board of Directors was 1 of 10 boards named finalists for NACD NXT, a national award recognizing exemplary board leadership practices that promote greater diversity and inclusion.
Guess will combine her expertise in labor and employment with company data and information to provide Delta Dental of Illinois with guidance, insights, best practices and strategies for continued improvement.
About Delta Dental of Illinois
Delta Dental covers 1 in 3 Americans who have dental coverage. Delta Dental of Illinois is one of 39 member companies that make up the national Delta Dental system. Based in Naperville, Illinois, Delta Dental of Illinois provides dental benefit programs to more than 6,000 Illinois companies and covers 2 million members nationwide, including more than 50,000 Illinoisans with individual dental benefits coverage. Delta Dental’s commitment to oral health is furthered by the work of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation.