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AF Group: Building a People First Culture

Wednesday, January 16, 2019  
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Lisa Corless learned how the insurance industry helps people at the young age of 13. Her father who worked as CEO of an insurance company brought her to work one day and assigned her the job of reorganizing a group of files. She soon realized that each file contained a story about how her father’s company was helping people put their lives back together. Corless, who has spent more than 30 years in the insurance industry, now serves as president and CEO of Lansing-based AF Group. She shared her leadership insights during an appearance at Lansing Economic Club in December. Reflecting on her learning experience as a 13-year old, Corless told the crowd that insurance is about ‘people helping people.’

 

“We get an opportunity to do that day in and day out,” said Corless.

 

The insurance industry supports 10,000 jobs in the Lansing region. Corless noted that a large number of retirements in the industry are causing major challenges in attracting and retaining talent. She said AF Group has been strategically working to build a people-oriented culture aimed at attracting a talented millennial workforce. Corless said millennials are looking for opportunities for creative, out-of-the-box thinking, workplace flexibility, work-life balance and social engagement.

 

“They care that our company is giving back to the community,” said Corless.

As part of AF Group’s commitment to give back to the communities where we work and live, AF Group made a $10 donation on behalf of each of the more than 290 attendees at the luncheon to either Lansing Promise or empowerHER. Each luncheon attendee had the opportunity to choose the direction of their donation.  AF Group employees contributed more than $266,000 to local and national charities around the country in 2018. The company matched that total. More than $532,000 was raised and will soon be distributed.

Corless also told the crowd that building a people first culture is paying big dividends for AF Group.

“Remarkable cultures produce remarkable results,” said Corless. “I am grateful for the remarkable culture they have created that I get to be part of.” 


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