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Member Spotlight - April 6: Jonathan Black, Aflac Insurance

Jonathan Black, of Aflac Insurance, is a huge fan of the arts. The Blue Door Theatre, a non-profit organization on Garland Avenue which features improv comedy performances and classes throughout the week, is a frequent destination for Jonathan, who became the President of the Board last year. Several Friday evenings throughout the month of April, he will perform in Poet’s up, a show that pairs local poetry with on-the-spot improv to create an ongoing story. On Saturday nights, The Blue Door caters to a more adult crowd with fast-paced improv comedy games and scenes. Jonathan became involved in the arts while he lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, volunteering for the Arts Council of Silicon Valley and helping the group rebuild their webpage.

Jonathan was raised in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor of Secondary Education in Communications Arts at Clarion University and returned for his Masters in Corporate Communications at Duquesne. After school, Jonathan caught on to the “dot-com” bubble and assisted companies trying to adapt to the emerging digital business world. He has contracted with IBM and McAfee, and two “E-bay-like” supply chain companies, and then finally settled using his technical proficiency as a system administrator for a private school. However, Jonathan values face to face human interaction more than all else, and found himself mildly frustrated with the impersonal nature of computers and technical support.

After moving up to Washington, the prospect of helping people in person became a reality. Jonathan says that a sales position with Aflac sounded perfect. He was able to meet new people while offering them a product that helps them. A large factor in taking this step was that Jonathan trusted Aflac’s product. “I’ve seen the plans change peoples’ lives. They pay aflac-logocash to the holder in the time of need, and I truly believe they are the best supplemental health insurance plans out there. They’re transparent and dependable.”

Jonathan describes himself as a self-starter: “The key is harnessing that energy and then being positively assertive with your actions. It’s more than just setting goals, it’s about giving yourself permission to accomplish goals.” He is passionate about his profession as well as his hobbies. Jonathan is a regular member of Toastmasters, waking up to meet with a group every Monday morning at 6:15 am. Lamplighters Toastmasters, who meet at Perkins by the river near Division and Olive, is the longest running Toastmasters group in Spokane.

Jonathan’s passion for communication is also expressed through traveling. Recently, he traveled from San Francisco through Joshua Tree National Park and Las Vegas, passing through Grand Canyon and Austin en route to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans. When he’s not traveling, meeting new people, or introducing folk to Aflac, he thoroughly enjoys the perks of living in such a beautiful region. This summer he hopes to attend more local theater events and do more hiking.

Jonathan plans to stay in the Inland Northwest, continuing on five years both with Aflac and as a proud member of INBA.

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