COLUMBUS, Ga., Aug. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac (NYSE: AFL), the No. 1 provider of supplemental and guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States, announced today that it has named two senior executives to its sales leadership team to support the continued growth and success of Aflac and its 70,000 sales agents and network of brokers who provide valuable voluntary insurance protection to businesses and individuals.
Byron H. Matthews has been named Aflac's senior vice president of sales distribution, and Jon A. Pace has been tapped as Aflac's vice president and director of the field force. Both Matthews and Pace join Aflac from global human resources consulting giant Mercer, where they also held senior-level positions.
The addition of Matthews and Pace represents an infusion of highly experienced senior-level talent into Aflac's marketing and sales leadership team under the direction of Michael Zuna, Aflac executive vice president and chief marketing and sales officer. Zuna took over the role of leading Aflac's newly consolidated sales and marketing operations in late June, after serving for 18 months as the company's chief marketing officer.
"We are delighted by the addition of Byron and Jon, both of whom have significant sales management experience along with a deep understanding of the key factors of the rapidly evolving health care and benefits landscape," Zuna said. "Aflac's highly valued field agents and network of brokers are working every day to provide businesses with much-needed insurance policies at no direct cost, while offering workers financial security and protection that goes beyond major medical insurance. Byron and Jon will assist our agents and broker partners in maximizing the tremendous growth opportunities we see before us."As senior vice president of sales distribution, Matthews will have overall responsibility for all sales functions — directing and enhancing Aflac's product sales across existing channels, developing and expanding support and tools for the Aflac sales force, driving sales strategy and execution, and leading recruitment efforts. Matthews previously led Mercer's Global Sales Consulting Practice, where he developed and implemented global sales strategy while planning and developing policy across all eight of Mercer's businesses in the Americas, Europe, Canada, Latin America and the Asia Pacific. He also designed and implemented Mercer's firm-wide business development structure and governance model while achieving global sales targets in excess of $1.4 billion. Matthews holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. In an entirely new role as vice president and director of the field force, Pace will be charged with ensuring that Aflac's 70,000 strong agent field force continues to function as a world-class sales organization by enhancing training and agent support tools, and developing new programs that will help agents provide even more effective consultation and greater service to the 465,000 businesses that offer Aflac products in the U.S., and by implementing programs to attract and retain high-performing agents. Pace previously served as Global Sales Leader for Mercer Health & Benefits, where he developed and implemented a sustainable sales plan, significantly strengthened Mercer's sales channels, and built sales leadership and sales professional teams. He earned a master's degree in business administration from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. "This is an exciting time to be involved in marketing and sales at Aflac, and we look forward to having Byron and Jon join our team and make major contributions as we chart a very bright future," Zuna said.