Senior VP and Chief Brand & Communications Officer, Aflac
Catherine Hernandez-Blades is senior vice president, chief brand and communications officer at Aflac. She is responsible for Advertising, Brand Strategy, Cause Marketing, Sponsorships, and Social Media and leads the Corporate Communications department, including the company’s Sabre award-winning corporate social responsibility program.
With 25 years of professional success in optimizing operations, driving revenues, decreasing expenses, and building high-performing diverse teams, Hernandez-Blades is a metrics-focused strategist, marketer, tactician and leader who understands the business side of the business. An acknowledged change agent, she spent the last 15 years building organizations from the ground up and orchestrating and implementing large-scale turnarounds in highly regulated industries for international public companies in the Fortune 500.
Hernandez-Blades was named one of the Top 10 Corporate Executives of the Year by LATINA Style magazine and a Top Latino Executive in Corporate America by Latino Leaders magazine. Hernandez-Blades was recognized by PRWeek as a 2018 Outstanding In-House Professional. In 2017, she was inducted into the PRWeek Hall of Femme and the PR News Hall of Fame. She also won the World Communications Forum Davos “Relations of the Future” award.
Under her leadership, Aflac’s award-winning CSR program has also received top honors from the 2018 Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil Awards, The Holmes Report’s 2018 SABRE Awards and PR News’ 2018 Platinum PR Awards. Aflac also has been named PR News’ Top Places to Work in PR for four consecutive years.
The immediate past chair of Operation Homefront’s board of directors, Hernandez-Blades is an officer with The Seminar, a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and an Institute of Public Relations Trustee. A past member of the Marketing 50/M50, she is currently a member of the Communications 50/C50 and serves on the Communications Advisory Board for the Ethisphere Institute. The co-author of three books, she has been recognized by ExecRank as a Top 30 CMO and is an Accredited Business Communicator.
Hernandez-Blades earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is a Loyola University Environmental Communications Fellow.