The Liles File
NAME: Scott Liles
COMPANY: Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.
Born: Austin, Texas
Education: Bachelor’s degree, politics and economics, Texas A&M University; master’s degree in economics, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; a master’s degree in business administration, London School of Business.
What did your experience learning on three different continents teach you? I gained a true empathy and perspective of global opportunity. I lived in South Africa after I got my degree and when I moved to Cape Town, it was 1990 and Nelson Mandela had just gotten out of prison. So the country changed enormously over those years.
I lived in South Africa, Vietnam, South America and Europe. It gives you a real intellectual flexibility and curiosity. You are open to a lot of different options because there are many ways of doing things. Your intellectual flexibility increases, as does your empathy. You have to take time to truly understand what people are thinking and where they are coming from.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? My wife, Maureen, has played a very influential role. We met overseas, we were working together in South Africa. So she was a risk taker and she has been very influential in me being open to new possibilities and taking chances and doing the things I do. My boss at Nationwide, Terri Hill, is very supportive of the types of changes we have made and is very encouraging of taking risks and taking chances. That’s not always what you get from a big mutual insurance company. So that’s very refreshing.