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UP CLOSE: James Harris

UP CLOSE: James Harris


ACI Specialty Benefits Corp.

PREVIOUS POSITION: Mountain View, California-based head of sales, marketing and business development at Concern: Employee Assistance Program

LOOKING FORWARD TO: Working with a fantastic group of group-thinking, technology-savvy, customer-focused people.

ON LEADERSHIP: Lead by example. To have a strong vision and to translate that vision to time-specific action items. Really be a resource for the team.

CHALLENGES FACING INDUSTRY: There is a real challenge in continuing to educate companies about employee assistance programs ... to really help the market increasingly understand the value of the employee assistance program; how it helps companies not only attract but retain talent, that the collaboration with the employer-sponsored program really leads to a more focused employee, a reduction in absenteeism (and) an employee who is more present of mind. These employees also have a higher level of life satisfaction.

CRYSTAL BALL: I see more adaptation of more robust (employee assistance programs). You will see more focus on individual industries ... one size does not fit all.

FAVORITE QUOTE: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

OUTSIDE THE INDUSTRY, A DREAM JOB: I love the idea of remodeling homes. Or being a musician, touring around.

HOBBIES: I'm a frustrated golf fanatic. I'm into sports. I love a basketball game. I love a good workout. I love to try anything once. I went skydiving. I'm waiting to go zip-lining.

PETS: I rescued a female Maltese. Her name is Koko. She's my heart.

FAVORITE MEAL: Blackened filet mignon with a nice Australian lobster tail, sautéed mushrooms, asparagus tips and a wedge salad.

FAVORITE BOOK: “The Hunt for Red October” by Tom Clancy.

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