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President of Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth Operations
Pattie Dale Tye is president of two of the largest commercial insurance markets, the Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth operations, of Louisville, Ky.-based Humana Inc. She is responsible for overall management and strategic planning of commercial health, dental, vision and worksite wellness products. In that role, she has been on a mission to increase Humana's visibility in Texas by engaging in activities that help address broader health and wellness issues, such as Houston's first Corporate Games, the American Heart Assn.'s Heartwalk and Go Red for Women campaigns, and the United Negro College Fund Walkathon, among other philanthropic activities. Ms. Tye also is president of Baylor College of Medicine's Baylor Research Advocates for Student Scientists, which provides scholarships and research funding to promising young biomedical research scientists.
WHAT'S THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
My father told me the breaks will come, and true to form those breaks have come. But when he said it, he made sure I understood that I had to be ready for them. It meant that every day that break may come, but every day you show up doing your best work.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
It's a wonderful opportunity. There are worlds of growth, if you are interested in this incredible field of medicine and the medical miracles that take place every day, if you're into this concept of wellness, well-being and prevention. If you're analytical and bring with your atmosphere a lot of trust—because our business is built on trust and relationships—the sky's the limit.
OUTSIDE OF WORK AND FAMILY, WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?
Columbus or Lewis and Clark or Neil Armstrong—risk takers who had a strong vision of where they wanted to get to and did it for the greater good. I work with a lot of organizations in Houston that help women. I think a woman who leaves an abusive relationship is to be admired.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
I was a businessperson, taking notes and faking typing when I was 6 years old. I did homework in my father's office, went back into the computer room, where there were these huge mainframes. That's what I majored in college at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
"Forrest Gump." The reason it really resonates with me is he was so pure in terms of his thoughts, his approach to life. He overcame so much adversity without even knowing it, and he brought people along with him.
WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE YOU'VE BEEN?
South Africa. Going on safari, I wasn't prepared for seeing animals up close in their own environment, the hierarchy of nature, survival of the fittest. Everything from the river bed to the elephant has its place in the pecking order and has its purpose. There's nothing more pure than seeing that landscape and no human intervention.
WHAT DO YOU PREFER AND WHY: PHONE OR E-MAIL?
For just routine work, I prefer e-mail. When I've got issues involving a client or need a deeper response from an associate, and always for family, I prefer the phone.
Business Insurance's annual Women to Watch feature is our attempt to identify and recognize individuals doing exceptional work in risk management, benefits management, commercial insurance and related fields.