In 2015, AEU LEAD was developed as part of the loss control division of The American Equity Underwriters, Inc., the nation's leading provider of workers' compensation insurance to the maritime industry. The goal of AEU LEAD was to help companies improve their safety programs through skill development and structured change management.
As we engaged with companies to help them strengthen their safety programs, owners and operators began to share their challenges with us. Skilled labor shortages. Ineffective middle managers. Low morale. High turnover. Lack of training and development resources. These conversations weren't about safety problems, but rather mid-level management problems.
As a result, we discovered an unmet need in industries that historically have not focused on leadership development for front-line supervisors. With a steadfast belief that middle management is critical to a business's success, AEU LEAD shifted its focus to meet that need and we've grown rapidly ever since.
Today, we are still part of The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. as a stand-alone division. We primarily work with companies in labor-intensive industries, specializing in providing supervisors, foremen, and lead personnel with the people-oriented
skills required for success in front-line leadership roles.
Director of AEU LEAD
As Director of AEU LEAD, Joe White focuses on helping members transform operational goals into actionable plans through a structured change management process. Prior to joining AEU, Joe was a senior consultant for E.I. DuPont’s consulting division, DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS). He joined DSS in 2011 to develop the next generation of safety practices using extensive research in behavioral sciences he’s compiled over a period of nearly two decades. His efforts resulted in the development of The Risk Factor, which is now the flagship instructor-led offering for the consulting division. Combined, Joe has 26 years of operational safety experience, the majority of which was with DuPont. Joe has been published in Occupational Health & Safety Magazine for his prominent work in safety relative to behavioral and neurosciences and is an event speaker at many leading industry conferences including National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expos, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA). Joe is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and has a B.S., in Safety and Risk Administration.
Business Development Manager
Abby Galjour joined The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. in January 2020 as a Business Development Manager for AEU LEAD®. Prior to joining AEU, Abby was with DuPont Sustainable Solutions for 15 years where she worked with a variety of organizations to build sustainable employee safety solutions and helped employees assess risk and understand that safety is ingrained into everything they do. Abby received her B.B.A in both Marketing and Management from Radford University.
Leslie Lash joined The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. in 2016 as Director of Marketing. In this role, she also oversees AEU LEAD's marketing strategy. Leslie has 17 years of strategic marketing, communications, advertising and brand management experience. Prior to joining AEU, she was Director of Group Communications and Advertising for the nation’s largest wholesale broker of specialty lines insurance, Amwins Group, Inc. Leslie serves on the Board of Directors for the Insurance Marketing Communications Association (IMCA) and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in marketing.
Willingness to try new things; working with a team that operates and thrives on mutual respect and humility
Traveling to new places, keeping plants alive, self-improvement, making product recommendations (I should’ve been an influencer), and catching a sunset
Senior Marketing Manager
Maggie Hudson joined The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. in 2012 and serves as Senior Marketing Manager. She works closely with the AEU LEAD team to execute marketing campaigns and strategies. Earlier in her career, Maggie was a Director of Marketing for a travel agency. Maggie holds a Master of Business Administration from Spring Hill College.