FOSTERING IMPACT.

Author:Luckow, Kaitlyn
Position::EXECUTIVES: AFLAC
 
FREE EXCERPT

Catherine Hernandez, Chief Brand and Communications Officer of Aflac, is a warm-hearted, passionate Latina who hopes to make a positive difference in the world. And that's exactly what she's doing.

Catherine Hernandez-Blades, though now the Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Aflac, didn't start her career in the insurance world. Instead, she followed her dream of being a broadcast journalist. When that dream changed, she literally worked in rocket science, which eventually brought her to where she is now.

Hernandez-Blades' dedication, empathy and resourcefulness make her a powerful leader on the Aflac team.

History of Her

Although Hernandez-Blades is originally from the New Orleans area, she lived in Texas and California before a family emergency brought her back to the southem United States. That is where Hernandez-Blades' career started at Aflac.

"Everything worked out as it needed to ... I've been blessed," Hernandez-Blades said. "I've had a very fortunate and charmed career, and it's continued here. I am very grateful for that." As Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Aflac, Hernandez-Blades is in charge of branding, advertising, PR and anything else you would typically find in a communications department. Through her position at Aflac, Hernandez-Blades was able to work with a team to continue to foster a new kind of corporate culture in insurance.

Hernandez-Blades explained how Aflac was founded more than 60 years ago when three brothers dealt with their own father dying of cancer. The cancer not only took an emotional toll on their family, but a financial one, as well. So, they started an insurance company for cancer patients that paid cash directly to the policyholder to help cover expenses not covered by insurance.

That philosophy still runs Aflac today and has taught Hernandez-Blades the most important lesson she's learned while working at the company: Making a Hernandez-Blades explained that companies can engage in good work and still make a profit. "Insurance companies provide a promise, but we want to be able to provide more than a promise, and that is very much ingrained in our culture," Hernandez-Blades said. Aflac is currently working with the Aflac Cancer Center, an organization that they have given over $127 million to over the past 23 years.

Hernandez-Blades is also working on a special project involving bringing in special robots to provide comfort and...

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