Chief Operating Officer
Aflac U.S.
Columbus, Ga.

As a child in Dallas, Texas, entrepreneurs surrounded Teresa White. She knew then that she wanted a career in business. Although she later considered a career in law and began to work in information systems, she eventually returned to business. Today, White is executive vice president and chief operating officer at supplemental insurance giant, Aflac, leading the support for sales, marketing and service for the firm’s voluntary products on both individual and group platforms in the United States. She oversees 4,000 employees and more than 70,000 independent sales agents.

White began her career at Aflac in 1998 and held various positions, most recently overseeing Administration and Information Technology as executive vice president of Internal Operations and chief service officer. Under her watch, Aflac was named to Computerworld’s list of Best Places to Work in IT and Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work. Her success is driven by her ability to bounce back. “I don’t always get it right, but when I don’t get it right, I recognize it as such and then I get back up, driven to do better and do it right the next time,” she says. Sometimes, “doing it right” means stepping out of a comfort zone, which White sees as “an essential part of learning and development and an expansion of your growth.”

Seeing people grow tops her list of exciting aspects about her role at Aflac. “It is great seeing someone promoted and knowing that I had a little part in that promotion,” she says. White holds a master’s degree in management from Troy University, and a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute, currently is chairman of the board of directors of Communicorp Inc., and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.