Greg Ward Shares How Being Open-Minded Makes Us Better Allies
This Black History Month, Centene is highlighting its diverse employees and sharing how they are making an impact. Greg Ward joined Centene in 2018 as Lead Physical Security Officer. He has a strong background in law enforcement and corporate security and is now responsible for maintaining the safety of the Centene Corporate campus in Clayton, Missouri. Learn more about Greg, his role, thoughts on allyship, and the importance of educating youth about Black history and the contributions of African Americans.
Q. Tell us about your background and your current role at Centene?
A. I have been in the law enforcement/corporate security field for the past 15 years. Before coming to Centene, I worked for BJC HealthCare for 11 years. I started as a security officer and quickly became the lead trainer for the security department. During that time, I received multiple instructor certifications and taught classes on a variety of safety topics.
I also assumed responsibility for the bike patrol unit and a team who enforced parking and provided security around the medical campus. I became a police cyclist instructor through the International Police Mountain Bike Association and currently teach classes at the St. Louis County Police Academy. Before leaving BJC, I was promoted to evening shift security supervisor. I was responsible for overseeing 32 officers, day-to-day operations, and serving as incident commander for emergencies.
I have been with Centene for four years and oversee daily operations at Centene Plaza – the corporate headquarters in Clayton, Missouri. I also assist with special security details, including providing tours of the plaza and security escorts.
Q. What is the most meaningful part of your job?
A. The most meaningful part of my job is the level of security that I assist with providing at the plaza. Our team is small, but I work alongside a group of very skilled people who care about the safety of our employees, tenants, and guests.
Q. Who influenced you most during your career and why?
A. My grandmother has been my biggest influence and supporter. She has always pushed my entire family and me to be great and do whatever makes us happy. She has sacrificed so much to make sure I received an education and stayed on the straight path.
Q. How do you feel about Centene's approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
A. I feel that Centene has a very strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The company values diversity and allows all employees the opportunity to advance in their careers within the company.
Q. What is the importance of allyship to you, and how can employees be better allies?
A. It’s important to understand that everyone has different perspectives and views. I think that listening and being open-minded can help us all to be better allies.
Q. What are your thoughts on the significance of Black History Month?
A. Black History Month is very important. Not only does it spotlight the history of Black people, it also educates us on how things used to be and why we have the freedom that we have. There are so many things that Black people have invented that today’s youth do not know about, and I think it is important that we educate them. Often, people forget about the struggle that Black people went through to be in the positions that we are in such as executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, politicians, and even President of the United States. The struggles are now opportunities to teach our children where we come from.