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Rising Up

Teresa White heads Aflac U.S.

Teresa White

Teresa White '88 credits her UTA education for honing her critical-thinking skills.

"I left UTA prepared and well-rounded," says White, who joined the insurance company Aflac in 1998 and steadily rose through the ranks.

In 2014, she was named president of Aflac's U.S. operations, becoming the company's first woman and first African-American president in its nearly 60-year history. That same year, she won the Women in Leadership Award from Insurance Networking News.

She looks back fondly to her days at UTA, where she was an information systems major and a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She's also carried on the sorority's tradition of collecting elephants-in the form of prints and sculptures that decorate her office in Aflac's Columbus, Ga., headquarters.

She particularly remembers the professors and assignments that challenged her.

"In one of my programming classes, we worked on a real case problem involving Qantas Airways, spending hours in the computing lab," she says. "I learned there's more than one way to solve a problem. You just have to be persistent."

At Aflac, White has worked closely with CEO Dan Amos to revise the company's sales organization with an eye to increasing sales. She also expanded mentoring opportunities, creating the first Career Success Center for employees.

In 2015, the non-profit Girls Inc. recognized her at their Celebrating Women of Achievement luncheon for inspiring girls to realize their full potential.

"She is a role model for our employees and for young people, particularly young girls, everywhere," Amos says. "We are proud to have her representing our company and our brand."