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Delta Dental of Kentucky names new CEO

Insurance administrator, former Papa John’s executive to lead Kentucky’s largest dental insurer
Jude Thompson
Jude Thompson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2017) – Delta Dental of Kentucky has appointed J. Jude Thompson to the position of chief executive officer. Thompson’s previous experience includes serving as president and co-CEO of Papa John’s International Inc., senior vice president of Wellpoint, Inc. and president of individual business for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Thompson was named CEO after Delta Dental conducted an executive search. He had been interim CEO of the Louisville-based organization since March and has been an active board member of Delta Dental of Kentucky since 2009.

Thompson takes the helm on the heels of Delta Dental of Kentucky’s 50th anniversary of providing oral health care for Kentuckians through dental benefits programs, community outreach and philanthropic efforts. Delta Dental is the oldest and largest dental plan in Kentucky, and is part of a multi-state affiliation that composes one of the largest dental insurance companies in the nation.

“Jude is laser focused on excellence and we know he will continue to build on Delta Dental’s track record of providing a high level of customer service, consistent growth and financial strength,” said Bruce Smith, board chair for Delta Dental of Kentucky. “While we conducted a broad search, we are so pleased to continue working with Jude and capitalize on his expertise and his involvement with the company over the years.”

In addition to providing a range of dental benefit programs for employers and individuals, Delta Dental of Kentucky donated more than $2.7 million to more than 120 charitable organizations last year, and its Teeth on the Go elementary school program brings oral-health education to thousands of Kentucky students each year.

“Delta Dental has such committed employees who are truly invested in not only delivering superior dental insurance products and service, but also our mission to be involved in our communities,” Thompson said. “We’re all about improving the oral health across the Commonwealth so we can keep Kentuckians smiling.”

Thompson lives in Louisville and is an alumnus of both the University of Kentucky and Lindsey Wilson College. He serves on the board of directors of Stampede Meat, The Rawlings Group, Wynnchurch Capital, Central Bank and The Oliver Group.

About Delta Dental of Kentucky
Delta Dental of Kentucky, founded in 1966, is the oldest and largest dental plan in Kentucky. It is a not-for-profit dental service corporation. In April 2006, the company moved into the new corporate headquarters in Louisville’s east end. Delta Dental of Kentucky—with its affiliates in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee—is part of a family of companies that collectively is among the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. In 2016, the Enterprise paid out more than $3.6 billion for dental care for 12.9 million enrollees. Delta Dental of Kentucky also is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, America’s largest, most experienced dental benefits system. Together, the plans provide coverage to more than 56 million Americans and operate the nation’s largest network of participating dentists.