CEO, Aflac Incoroporated
Corporate Headquarters: Columbus, Georgia
Primary Business: Supplemental Insurance
Revenues: $18 billion
Employees: 8,000 including U.S. and Japan
2011 CEO in Action
As I write this essay, a colleague sent me an interesting article detailing a study from the California State Education Department. It notes that Latinos now make up a majority of California’s public school students, cracking the 50 percent barrier for the first time. Furthermore, 27 percent of students self-identify as white, and 23 percent identify as black, Asian or other.
As the future of our country becomes increasingly diverse, it underscores a dynamic that I, as CEO of a FORTUNE 500 company, must ingrain into the culture of our business. There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and the importance of sustaining a strong diversity program is no more a luxury than the air we breathe. You either do it, or you perish.
I’ve learned that true diversity, the kind that develops into an expansion of thought and experiences, won’t happen without a commitment from the top, which is why I insist on a strong diversity program. If we hired only people who looked and sounded like me, it would limit our success, so I celebrate our eclectic workforce. We have women – in particular, minority women – at the highest levels. More than 40 percent of our employees are minorities, while women account for more than half of our management team, including 30 percent of senior executives.
While having a naturally diverse employee pool is a privilege, embracing this good fortune provides the credibility we need to break into untapped or underrepresented consumer markets by showing decision makers, our potential customers, that we are serious about diversity, which makes us stronger as a company.
Turning Words into Actions
Since 2003, we’ve spent more than $100 million working with diverse suppliers, leading one magazine to name Aflac a Top 50 Corporation for supplier diversity and another to award us a spot on their top 40 list for diversity several times.
Aside from it just being the right thing to do, there is a strong business case for diversity. In 2010, we unveiled an improved, culturally sensitive Hispanic Web site in hopes of reaching this under-served market. We’re hiring more Hispanic agents to reflect the fastest growing population in America. Our country is diverse, our market is diverse. We welcome these demographic changes with open arms and an eye toward the future
Education: Bachelor’s in Risk Management, University of Georgia
First Job: 1973-1983 – State Sales Coordinator for Aflac
What I’m Reading: Stall Points, by Matthew Olson and Derek van Bever
My Philosophy: In college I heard the fundamental principles of risk management and have always employed them in my personal and business decisions
Best Advice: If you treat your employees well they will take care of your customers and your business
Family: Wife Kathelen, Children Paul II and Lauren
Interests: Family, art, fishing, and UGA football
Favorite Charities: Children’s cancer research and treatment at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta
Mr. Amos I thank you for the decisions that you and the staff here at Aflac make it shows that we are leaders in the business. As the Lord blesses I trust we will continue to press forward for a bigger and a better Aflac. May the Lord continue to bless what you do and thank you again. Officer William Harmon Aflac Security.
Dan, thank you for your vision and guidance in leading Aflac to be the diverse and inclusive workforce that it is.
Mr. Amos I thank you for your guidance in leading Aflac. Your leadership is like the say, “Leaders are like eagles they don’t flock… you find them one at a time.” As a Hispanic working in the Security Department and in a leadership position, it is and honor being named 500 Top Security Organizations three years in a row. As security professionals, it’s an honor to work for the best company in America. Again, I thank you.
After spending two years serving on the Diversity Council at Aflac, I can truly say that Dan’s vision is spot on. Life is all about the care and love of others, and if you help others and put them first, then everything else is easy. Risk can be a tough topic to handle, but putting the people first helps to decrease the risk and shows who we are at Aflac as a FAMILY. So Thanks Dan for your insight and vision, we are praying for you and your family and continued blessings of health and vision.
Mr. Amos thank you for you leadership, hard work, and dedication. Also thank you for being just a great person!
Your vision, sense of inclusion, and openness to fresh ideas have built a business truly deserving of all accolades. It is a priviledge and a pleasure to work here and to help in making the overall plan become reality. Diverse thought, open communication channels and committed willing workers add up to make us and to keep us leading our field with guidance from a most amazing leader. Thank you for being that leader.
Dear Dan, I was in the audience today at my university to hear your son, Paul , speak. I was very impressed with this very smart young man you and Kathelen have raised. He did a splendid job and keptme, the art professor, completely engaged. I was so proud to see someone of his caliber coming from my hometown. Warmly, Cynthia Colbert (Cyndy in high school)
Just to clarify, Kathelen is not Paul’s mother. She was a lovely lady by the name of Shannon, who raised Paul and supported Dan for the first 30+ years of his career. Sadly, she’s no longer with us. But she deserves to at least not have that stripped from her memory.