My new interview series, REMARKABLE PEOPLE 2014 includes experts in technology, the arts, well-being and social good. It is an exciting group of creative thought leaders and enlightened personalities. Some are extraordinary examples of social responsibility; others are creating game-changing paradigm shifts in their market segments.

Profile: Ellen Maidman-Tanner is the executive vice president of member relations, focusing on issues of quality and service excellence for PinnacleCare’s members. Ms. Maidman-Tanner inspires efforts designed to support the company’s mission – to exceed member’s expectations and do everything possible to ensure their optimal health and promote good healthcare experiences.

Prior to joining PinnacleCare in 2004, she served for several decades as a marketing and strategic planning executive within a variety of industries, including consumer goods and the legal profession. When she moved to the Washington, DC area from Toronto in 1990, she undertook work in the non-profit arena, including work for: the Canadian Embassy; a homeless shelter; Financial Executives International, a professional association; and, just before coming to PinnacleCare, Ms. Maidman-Tanner helped found the national Organization for Autism Research (OAR), which funds applied research studies.

Ellen embodies a sense of personal integrity and radiates energy, vitality and will. Clarity is one of her most powerful attributes. She has a fabulous sense of humor. She’s a great listener and conversationalist and has a genuinely caring humanity. She is a thinker, writer and artist. She has evolved a model for building trust and deeply valued relationships in the health advocacy industry.

Mary Olson: How have your views changed as you look back on your experience?

Ellen Maidman-Tanner: Over time, I have come to appreciate the value of common sense, compassion and remaining true to objectives. There is a huge place in business for speaking from the heart. No matter what we are trying to accomplish, we are typically working with other humans, and it is a respect for the common experiences and feelings we all share that can help us achieve our goals in a more efficient and harmonious manner. That is something I strive for on a daily basis.

Mary Olson: How do you see the way the world is emerging?

Ellen Maidman-Tanner: Obviously, our amazing and recent interconnectivity is changing the way we view ourselves. Are there really more wars, super storms and epidemics than there were before, or are we simply more aware of them? I am concerned by the rise of fundamentalist tribalism, the degradation of our planet, and the seeming loss of the moral compass previously the result of the better side of our religious practices. My hope for us as a species lies primarily in reason, education and the tremendous discoveries delivered every day by science.

Mary Olson: Ellen, what do you think about as you look forward?

Ellen Maidman-Tanner: The adoption of new discoveries toward the betterment of people. This is something we all do each day at PinnacleCare, by helping people access great medical care. It is something blossoming all around us. At a very rudimentary level, you see the plastic bottle light bulb invention, while at the upper end you see nanotechnology being adapted for disease interventions, and the creation of solar roadways. Overall, I am an optimist, a ‘possibilist’.

Mary Olson: What else would you like others to know about you?

Ellen Maidman-Tanner: Intuition, spirituality and creativity are important to me. We are all stewards of our lives. We all share the same biology. I find the challenge of the transitory nature of our existence fascinating. As Matthiessen said, “The gap between what I know and what I am.”

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