Audrey Boone Tillman’s lessons for life

Be willing to take risks. Perform with excellence. Surround yourself with positive people. Do the right thing. Treat people well. According to Audrey Boone Tillman, executive vice president and general counsel at Aflac, these are her rules for life. Boone Tillman spoke to a large crowd on Wednesday night at Mount Mercy University as part of the university’s annual Barbara Knapp Speaker Series. Aflac, of course, is well-known for the “Aflac” quacking duck in its insurance company commercials. But when the company first introduced the commercial, it was a bold move. Combining insurance and humor? Who would have thought insurance could be funny, Boone Tillman said in her presentation Wednesday night. Now, many insurance companies have talking animals and humor incorporated into their advertisements. Boone Tillman’s life was revolutionary from the start. She remembers when she chose the residence hall she would live in at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Not knowing that all the students of color traditionally lived in two residence halls, she selected a different one. She also shared a powerful instance from her law career. Boone Tillman remembers being well dressed to represent a male client who was white and also wearing a suit. As the pair approached an area, someone assumed Boone Tillman was the defendant and not the attorney, simply because she is black and the client was white. Throughout her presentation, Boone Tillman focused on the importance of getting out of your comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens, she said. She also shared advice she was given by her grandmother. The world is too small to be kind only to the…