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Aflac Announces Three Internal Promotions Aflac U.S. Promotes James J. Hennessy to Senior Vice President, Pre-Sales Operations and Aflac Group Operations; Jeramy D. Tipton to Senior Vice President, Distribution Expansion and Consumer Markets; Shannon L. Watkins to Senior Vice President, Brand and Creative Services

COLUMBUS, Ga., Jan. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac Incorporated announced today the promotions of three of its officers from vice president to senior vice president.

James J. Hennessy has been promoted to senior vice president of Pre-Sales Operations and Aflac Group Operations, reporting to Virgil R. Miller, executive vice president; chief operating officer, Aflac U.S. and president of Aflac Group. In this role, Hennessy is responsible for leading the planning, development and implementation of Aflac U.S. Pre-Sales Operations and driving the culture, strategy and operational plans for Aflac Group operations. Hennessy joined Continental American Life Insurance (now Aflac Group) in 1996, and for more than 20 years has helped guide the Aflac Group teams through tremendous growth in a variety of leadership roles in areas including asset management, compliance, operations and distribution. He has been recognized for his insightful review of existing operations, streamlining and improving processes and increasing operational efficiencies and performance. He was promoted to vice president in 2013, most recently serving as vice president of Strategic Asset Management, focused on group account retention. Hennessy holds a bachelor's degree in political science and criminal justice from Canisius College and previously served in the United States Army. He has also served on the board of the Association of South Carolina Life Insurance Companies (ASLIC) and the board of Palmetto Children's Hospital, where he continues to serve in a voluntary capacity. He recently served on the board of the Prisma Health Children's Cancer Center and currently serves on the board for the March of Dimes ELT.

Additionally, Aflac Incorporated announced that Jeramy D. Tipton has been promoted to senior vice president, Distribution Expansion and Consumer Markets, reporting to Richard L. Williams Jr., executive vice president; chief distribution officer. In this newly expanded role, Tipton is responsible for leading the fully aligned direct-to-consumer business market to execute on Aflac's U.S. growth strategy. He is also responsible for driving sales and leading all of the financial, marketing and operational aspects of the direct-to-consumer business, including oversight of partnership programs, digital expansion and driving profitable growth. Tipton joined Aflac's marketing team in 2011 as second vice president, where he was responsible for developing sales tools and innovative marketing strategies to drive broker sales among large employers. Tipton brings both breadth and depth of over two decades of marketing and sales experience including extensive work in the broker and personal producer space, and he has worked to develop marketing and sales concepts for many of the largest voluntary benefits transactions in the history of the business. He was promoted to vice president in 2014, where he led the strategy to develop Everwell, Aflac's web-based enrollment platform for small businesses. Since its introduction, Everwell has grown tremendously and ultimately served to replace Aflac's legacy enrollment technology in the U.S. Most recently, Tipton was responsible for driving growth for Aflac by leading the product development, technology and operations for Aflac's consumer market initiative that focuses on innovative, digital-first consumer insurance products. Prior to joining Aflac, he served as director of marketing and communications, and later, as assistant vice president of marketing and communications for Allstate Insurance Company. Prior to that, he served as vice president of sales and marketing at NetLook Inc. Tipton holds a bachelor's degree in communications and media studies from the University of Oklahoma.

Aflac Incorporated also announced that Shannon L. Watkins has been promoted to senior vice president, Brand and Creative Services, reporting to Teresa L. White, president of Aflac U.S. As Aflac's head of Brand and Creative Services, Watkins is responsible for driving and leading all aspects of brand strategy, advertising, media, experiential marketing, creative services and event production. Watkins joined Aflac in April 2018 as vice president, Brand and Creative Services, and within her first year landed Aflac's fully integrated campaign that added the Southeastern Conference and the SEC Network to the company's national media focus. With more than 20 years of advertising experience and expertise, Watkins is a recognized brand leader and has received a number of prestigious industry awards including a Clio and a Cannes Bronze Lion. Other honors she has received include distinction as a "woman to watch" by Brand Innovators and the Kelley Brand Leaders award from Indiana University in 2018. Prior to joining Aflac, Watkins served in various brand, management and leadership capacities at companies including The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods and Procter & Gamble. Watkins holds a bachelor's degree from Fisk University and earned a Master of Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where she serves on the board of the alumni association. Watkins also serves as a board advisor for the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing for the Association of National Advertisers, and she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America.

Commenting on the promotions, President of Aflac U.S. Teresa L. White shared: "Jamie, Jeramy and Shannon are all industry veterans and proven experts in their respective fields, each of them bringing unique talents and perspectives, a wealth of knowledge and experience, and tremendous leadership and vision to their teams and to Aflac as a whole. Their promotions to senior vice president are all very well deserved, and I look forward to their continued contributions to Aflac as we strive to accomplish our mission to deliver innovative product solutions to our policyholders. As we refine our strategies to take Aflac to the next level in terms of growth, customer experience, marketing and branding, I have every confidence that we have the right visionaries in place to help lead the way."

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company, helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan where it insures 1 in 4 households. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative in the United States, for eligible claims, Aflac can process, approve and electronically send funds to claimants for quick access to cash in just one business day. For 13 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. Fortune magazine has recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for 20 consecutive years, and in 2020 Fortune included Aflac on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 19th time. To find out more about One Day PaySM and learn how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York.

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" to encourage companies to provide prospective information, so long as those informational statements are identified as forward-looking and are accompanied by meaningful cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in the forward-looking statements. The company desires to take advantage of these provisions. This press release contains cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected herein, and in any other statements made by company officials in communications with the financial community and contained in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forward-looking statements are not based on historical information and relate to future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments. Furthermore, forward-looking information is subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties. In particular, statements containing words such as "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "goal," "objective," "may," "should," "estimate," "intends," "projects," "will," "assumes," "potential," "target," "outlook" or similar words as well as specific projections of future results, generally qualify as forward-looking. Aflac undertakes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.

The company cautions readers that the following factors, in addition to other factors mentioned from time to time, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements:

  • events related to the ongoing Japan Post investigation
  • difficult conditions in global capital markets and the economy
  • exposure to significant interest rate risk
  • concentration of business in Japan
  • foreign currency fluctuations in the yen/dollar exchange rate
  • limited availability of acceptable yen-denominated investments
  • U.S. tax audit risk related to conversion of the Japan branch to a subsidiary
  • deviations in actual experience from pricing and reserving assumptions
  • ability to continue to develop and implement improvements in information technology systems
  • competitive environment and ability to anticipate and respond to market trends
  • ability to protect the Aflac brand and the Company's reputation
  • ability to attract and retain qualified sales associates, brokers, employees, and distribution partners
  • interruption in telecommunication, information technology and other operational systems, or a failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data residing on such systems
  • failure to comply with restrictions on patient privacy and information security
  • extensive regulation and changes in law or regulation by governmental authorities
  • tax rates applicable to the Company may change
  • defaults and credit downgrades of investments
  • decline in creditworthiness of other financial institutions
  • significant valuation judgments in determination of amount of impairments taken on the Company's investments
  • subsidiaries' ability to pay dividends to the Parent Company
  • decreases in the Company's financial strength or debt ratings
  • inherent limitations to risk management policies and procedures
  • concentration of the Company's investments in any particular single-issuer or sector
  • differing judgments applied to investment valuations
  • ability to effectively manage key executive succession
  • catastrophic events including, but not necessarily limited to, epidemics, pandemics, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, war or other military action, terrorism or other acts of violence, and damage incidental to such events
  • changes in accounting standards
  • increased expenses and reduced profitability resulting from changes in assumptions for pension and other postretirement benefit plans
  • level and outcome of litigation
  • allegations or determinations of worker misclassification in the United State

Aflac Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Aflac)

Analyst and investor contact – David A. Young, 706.596.3264 or 800.235.2667 or

Media contact – Catherine H. Blades, 706.596.3014; FAX: 706.320.2288 or

SOURCE Aflac Incorporated