Aflac chairman and CEO to speak at Whitman Day April 6

April 19, 2011

Aflac chairman and CEO to speak at eighth annual Whitman Day April 6

March 31, 2011

In honor of the school’s namesake, Martin J. Whitman ’49, the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University will host its eighth annual Whitman Day on Wednesday, April 6. Dan Amos, chairman and CEO of Aflac, will deliver the keynote address, “How a Brand Took Wings,” at 2 p.m. in the Lender Auditorium.

Amos will discuss his recent trip to Japan after assessing the effects of the earthquake and tsunami in March, as well as the company’s response to the tragedy in a country that is vital to their business. Aflac conducts approximately 75 percent of its business in Japan, employs more than 5,000 people there and has roughly 115,000 independent sales agents. Immediately following the earthquake, Aflac donated 100 million yen ($1.2 million) to the Red Cross for its relief efforts.

Amos joined Aflac in 1973 and worked in sales before being named president in 1983, COO in 1987, CEO in 1990 and chairman in 2001. The company, which insures more than 50 million people worldwide, is the leading provider of individual insurance policies in the workplace in the United States and the largest life insurer in Japan, insuring one of every four households.

During Amos’ tenure as CEO, revenues have grown from $2.7 billion to $20.7 billion, and the company launched its popular Aflac Duck advertising campaign. Today, Aflac is a top national brand, regularly included among Fortune magazine’s “Most Admired Companies” and “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The company has also been named a World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute.

Whitman Day kicks off at 8:30 a.m. in the Milton Room in the Whitman School building with a panel discussion led by Whitman, founder and co-chief investment officer of Third Avenue Funds, and Jean-Marie Eveillard, senior investment adviser of First Eagle Fund.

The 2011 Whitman Distinguished Service Award will be presented to SU Trustee and alumnus Bernard Kossar ’53, L’55. The award honors alumni and friends of Whitman who have made significant contributions to the school, SU, the corporate world and their communities. Kossar is a Whitman donor, Whitman Advisory Council member and current chairman. He is also a member of the SU College of Law Board of Directors.

“Whitman Day is always a special day for us each year as we recognize Marty Whitman for his commitment to his profession and school,” says Melvin T. Stith, dean of the Whitman School. “This year, we are honored to have Dan Amos, the leader of a Fortune 500 company, as our keynote speaker, and to recognize Bernie Kossar for his dedication and support of Whitman.”