Virgil Miller, President, AFLAC Individual Insurance

posted by AHIP

on February 19, 2021

Mr. Miller leads AFLAC’s U.S. teams driving individual benefits. He served as a U.S. Marine and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Georgia College and a master’s degree in business management from Wesleyan College. He serves on the board of trustees for Claflin University, the Palmetto Business Forum, the Prisma Health Foundation, and the Columbia Urban League. He is also the co-chair of the 2019 SEUS-Japan Association. 

 
 

The first steps providers can take start with the composition of their workforce. You cannot advocate for diversity if you do not focus on diversity in your own house.

 

What are some specific steps insurance providers can take to build better bridges to Black and Brown communities?   

I think the first steps providers can take start with the composition of their workforce. You cannot advocate for diversity if you do not focus on diversity in your own house.  

Aflac’s workforce is nearly 50% minority and 66% female. Our Board of Directors is 36% women and 36% minority, including two African Americans. Our president of Aflac U.S. and our General Counsel are African American women, as is our Senior Vice President of Brand and Creative Services, which is a primary conduit to the public through our advertising and brand standards.  

As President of Aflac Individual Insurance and an African American man, I am keenly aware of the need to build these bridges so that all Americans have access to the health care they need as part of our nation’s bridge building toward racial equality for all.  

Which health care leader who is African American do you most admire, and why? 

I truly admire current Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier. He is the first African American man to lead a major pharmaceutical company, and he has been touted as a champion within the community as Co-chair of OneTen, a coalition of organizations focused on the training, hiring, and promotion of one million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs.   

That said, I do not have to look far, as I have long admired the careers of Aflac U.S. President Teresa White and General Counsel Audrey Tillman. Both of these strong leaders are pioneers within the African American corporate landscape and continue to be an inspiration to so many other African Americans within our organization and community.  

While there are certainly others I could add to this list, I would rather leave this thought: “We happen to be, but not because of…”  What I mean by this, is we earned the right to be in these positions through the fortitude, resilience, hard work and value creation added to each respective organization; however, it just so happens we are also African American. I know I speak for many within the African American community who have been fortunate enough to achieve success in leadership in the health care industry: While it may not have been easy, we would certainly do it again and are proud of the journey. 

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