Virgil Miller, who joined Aflac’s management team in 2004, has been named chief of the supplemental insurance company’s Group Operations headquartered in Columbia.
The 48-year-old Miller, whose title is senior vice president, chief administrative officer, replaces former executive vice president and COO Dan Lebish, who left the company earlier this summer, a spokesman said.
Prior to assuming responsibility of the Columbia operation, Miller already was in charge of Aflac internal operations and 3,000 employees who work at the company’s corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ga., as well as Columbia and locations in New York and Nebraska.
“Now I have responsibility for the Aflac Group of business,” Miller said. “Being located in Columbia, South Carolina, I make sure we have the right presence of leadership and the same commitment that we continue to have, and really drive the growth in the organization that we have been achieving the last five years.”
A native of Gray, Ga., Miller joined the Marines when he was 17 and attended boot camp at Parris Island. Miller, who rose to the rank of sergeant, spent eight years in the Marines with active-duty and reserve units and is a veteran of Desert Storm.
Miller said he joined the Marines so he could use the G.I. Bill benefits to help put him through college, earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Georgia College & State University in 1992, and later a MBA from Wesleyan University. He’s in the dissertation phase of a doctorate from Creighton University.
Miller is married and the father of two daughters.
Aflac took root in Columbia in 2009 when it acquired Columbia-based Continental American Insurance Co., which had 160 employees at its 2801 Devine St. headquarters. Aflac now has 1,000 employees and expanded its footprint by moving into at neighboring office buildings 400 Laurel and 1600 Williams, located along Huger Street on the edge of downtown Columbia. The company has another unit nearby at 500 Taylor.
The Devine Street location has been sold and is being transformed into a mixed-use development.
Since its acquisition of Continental American, Aflac has added 30 times more active accounts and invested $50 million in technology, Miller said. He added that the company is in the process of installing a new technology system that will help grow and sustain the business, providing more efficient and effective service for customers and agents.
The company also will continue to increase its philanthropic presence in the community, Miller said.
On Wednesday, Miller represented Aflac, which has partnered with Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in the fight against childhood cancer, in presenting Duckprints Awards to four people who have left their footprints in battling the disease. Over the past 20 years, Aflac has contributed more than $108 million in the battle against childhood cancer.
Miller added that Aflac has been active in promoting Habitat for Humanity projects and the March of Dimes and is planning to team with the Central Carolina Community Foundation.
“We think there’s a perfect alignment here of corporate community citizenship,” Miller said.