By Carla Short
2018-07-122018-07-12https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Les Viegas came to WVU from Bombay, India with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and three years’ experience working for a British Engineering Company. He always aspired to do post graduate work in “industrial management” in England, but when he looked at their graduate programs they seemed to focus primarily on “mechanical engineering”. He heard about WVU’s Industrial Engineering Program from a friend and applied. In addition to WVU, he was accepted at a few other universities but chose WVU because of the possibility of obtaining an assistantship.
Les got a summer job at Union Carbide. When the summer was over, he was offered a full-time job that was kept open pending graduation. When Les graduated, he had several job offers from some of the top corporations in America. He chose to work for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel (WPS) working with Charles Cook, a WVU alum and Assistant Professor, who was brilliant in operations research and systems development. While at WPS, Les worked with Cook developing optimization models. They even developed an early version of a system that performed liked Excel.
Les followed Charles Cook to a consulting firm, CBM. In addition to offering management consulting services to a number of state and local governments, CBM pioneered in the development of using regression models to do real property valuations. Les started a branch of CBM in Arizona and competed a computer based reassessment of all residential properties for the State of Arizona. Les returned to CBM in Charleston to become their Executive Vice President.
Les left CBM to join the Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young) consulting firm. He quickly became a partner. Les worked for E&Y for 6 years. He eventually got tired of the travel and joined AAA Michigan as Vice President and Corporate Secretary where he had a variety of responsibilities including Corporate Governance, IT, Customer Services, Emergency Road Services, Entertainment ticketing, among others.
Les was at AAA for six years and was recruited by Blue Cross Blue Shield (Michigan). Les wanted to move away from information technology and move into more of an operations management position. Les got his wish and was responsible for 5,000 people initially and retired as the Executive Vice President responsible for the Automotive and National Business unit responsible for over $5 billion of revenue.
Les has served on a number of corporate boards, including a 10-year stint as Chairman of the Board of Atlanta based company, NASCO, and remains professionally active after 17 years with Blue Cross.
Les is a retired senior corporate executive with over 40 years of extensive experience managing large business organizations. His experience spans a number of corporate functions (strategic planning, marketing, operations, information technology, business process improvement, labor union/management relations and financial management) as well as a variety of industries including healthcare insurance, property and casualty insurance, trucking, steel, and management consulting. He has also served on several corporate boards during his active career and is currently active on the boards of the condominium associations where he and his wife reside.
His past corporate experience includes positions with the following companies:
• Executive Vice President , Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Michigan (1991 -2008)
• Vice President and Corporate Secretary, AAA Michigan (1984-1990)
• Partner, Arthur Young & Company (1978-1984)
• Executive Vice President, CBM, Inc (1971 -1978)
• Sr. Systems Analyst, Wheeling-Pittsburg Steel Corp ( 1967-1971)
He is serving or has served on the Board of Directors of several for profit and non-profit organizations including the following:
• The Clarendon Condominium Association, Highland Beach, FL ( President)
• Maple Hill on the Lake Condominium Association, West Bloomfield, MI (Vice President, Treasurer)
• Novo 1, Dallas, TX
• Leoville Holdings, LLC, Chicago, IL
• NASCO LLC, Atlanta, GA (Chairman of the Board)
• Consortium Health Plans, Baltimore, MD (Chairman, Finance Committee)
• Blue Health Intelligence, Chicago, IL
• Detroit Public TV, Detroit, MI
Les holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Poona University, India and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University.
Les and his wife, Chris, who recently retired as the Deputy General Counsel at The Auto Club Group, Michigan, enjoy spending winters in Highland Beach, FL and summers in Michigan where Chris serves as the President of Pine Lake Owners Association for the past several years. They have four grown children who reside in various parts of the country.