Bluffton-based CareCore National promoted one of its vice presidents to chairman Monday, two days after the sudden death of chairman and CEO Donald Ryan.
Richard Weininger, a former oncologist and hematologist and executive vice president for CareCore's corporate strategies division, was named Ryan's successor as chairman during a special meeting of the company's National Management Committee, according to a company news release.
"We have a strong senior leadership team in place to ensure that there is no disruption to CareCore's business, and will be assessing the management needs of the organization over the coming weeks," Weininger said.
Ryan, who co-founded CareCore in 1994, was taken by ambulance from his Hilton Head home to Hilton Head Hospital at about noon Saturday, according to the Beaufort County Coroner's Office. Ryan died at the hospital at about 5:45 p.m. He was 64.
Coroner Ed Allen said Monday that Ryan died of "natural causes" but, citing the family's wishes, would not cite a specific cause of death. An autopsy was performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
Douglas K. Tardio, CareCore's president and chief operating officer, will take on many of Ryan's responsibilities until the committee chooses a CEO, Tardio said. Tardio has been employed at the company for nine years and has served as president for seven years, he said.
CareCore, which manages the cost, quality and safety of health insurance plans for companies such as Aetna Health, moved its headquarters from Wappingers Falls, N.Y., to Bluffton in 2007. The company employs more than 1,200 nationwide.
After the move to Bluffton, Ryan began efforts to recruit similar companies to the area. In February, he was one of five local businessmen asked by County Council Chairman Weston Newton to join a task force to study job creation.
The task force's plan to deliver its findings to the council Sept. 26 will go on as scheduled, according to David Tigges, task force member.
Tigges said Monday that Ryan was a vital part of the group's research and findings, but he was not scheduled to present the recommendations to council.
"We decided to stick with the original timetable and give the presentation next Monday," Tigges said. "Council never took us off the agenda, and we'll go ahead as planned."
Task force member Joe Fraser, president of Fraser Construction, said Ryan was integral to economic development in Beaufort and Jasper counties.
"He was involved maybe more than anyone else," Fraser said. "We worked together, but we were also friends. I'm in shock. This is a big blow to all of us."
In addition to his mother, Irene, Ryan is survived by his wife, Helen; daughter, Keri; son Kevin; and two brothers.
Funeral services will be at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Francis By the Sea Catholic Church, 45 Beach City Road, Hilton Head. A reception will follow at Hilton Head Plantation's Bear Creek Golf Course clubhouse at 237 Whooping Crane Way.
Donations may be made to John Paul II Catholic School, 333 Fording Island Road, Bluffton, SC 29910.
Follow reporter Cassie Foss at twitter.com/LcBlotter.
- CareCore CEO Donald Ryan dies at 64, Sept. 19, 2011
- Bluffton incubator to groom technology start-ups, Sept. 17, 2011
- Lowcountry Economic Alliance gaining steam, July 17, 2011
- Commerce park purchase rejected by County Council, May 10, 2011
- Art on display: CareCore lines its halls with works by county students, March 11, 2011
- Bluffton-based CareCore to change how it operates in wake of agreement with N.Y. officials, Feb. 3, 2011
- With business fee cap in place, CareCore CEO says jobs will remain in Bluffton, Aug. 13, 2010