“Optum certainly has the data and the tools and the analytics that drive the ability to understand health care trends, and where costs are, as well as quality insights.”

About Willman: Born in Omaha, Willman earned a degree from the pharmacy school at Creighton University. She grew up in Aurora, Ill., so Willman says she knows the pain of Chicago sports fans.

Personal file: With three kids 19 to 24, Willman says: “We’re in the college years pretty heavy here.”

What’s big in 2015: Willman is working to develop Medicare exchange platforms for employer groups and individuals, so consumers can consider optional coverage to enhance benefits through the federal health program. Previously, Willman developed employee wellness programs. The variety reflects the breadth of Optum, which generated more than a third of UnitedHealth Group’s $97 billion in revenue through the first nine months of 2014 and is captivating Wall Street analysts who say the information technology and health services division is key to revenue.

Final word: “I felt like there was a need for some kind of health care infrastructure to better manage all the data and information that we had to allow for both clinicians as well as patients to become involved in their care.”