Oyauma Garrison ’96 to Serve as Executive-in-Residence
President and CEO of A Kid Again, Inc., Oyauma Garrison joins Denison University’s Global Commerce Program as one of three new Executives-in-Residence for the academic year 2021-22. In addition to his expertise in non-profit leadership, Garrison has more than twenty years of experience in the insurance industry, going from State Farm to Nationwide, where he became one of the youngest elected officers at the company, and then joining Allstate in a leadership role.
He subsequently became an executive leader at the Jacobson Group bringing his vast years of experience and knowledge to the firm. Throughout his insurance tenure, he maintained a multi-functional focus with roles in sales, underwriting, pricing, claims, marketing, and operations.
Garrison’s path to the non-profit world began on October 1, 2016 when his daughter unexpectedly fell ill. “Life has a way of pushing you towards the things that matter most,” Garrison says, “I was incredibly imbalanced and focused on the wrong things…in those moments when life-saving decisions were being made, I realized that family is the most important. I wanted to help make a meaningful difference in the lives of others and A Kid Again matched my purpose and passion. Since September 2017, I have had the honor and privilege to serve as the CEO leading transformational change and growth for the organization as we look to serve the over 1.5 million kids across America facing a life-threatening illness or condition.”
Throughout his career in insurance, Garrison built up an extensive network of mentors and connections to help him further his career. He continued to tap into this network as he made the transition to the nonprofit world. Combining his own business acumen and strategic leadership experience with that of his network, Garrison brings innovation to A Kid Again, implementing new service models to deliver greater impact and creative ways to improve on value execution. Garrison is applying his experience in the for-profit sector to help expand A Kid Again into a national presence and under his leadership, the organization is becoming licensed and fully operable in all 50 states.
Reflecting on his own career journey, Garrison notes that it was a Denison alumna who influenced his entryway into the insurance industry. “To be able to contribute back to the university as an Executive-in-Residence brings things full circle” notes Garrison, continuing that “helping students explore possibilities for their own futures, helping them to cultivate their own networks of support is incredibly rewarding…these are the next generation of business and civic leaders.”
“We are thrilled to have Oyauma Garrison join the Executives-in-Residence team this year,” says Jane Palmer, Associate Director for Global Commerce Programs. “He brings a natural connection to the campus community as an esteemed alumnus and incredible expertise in business strategy and organizational development,” she continued. Garrison’s residency for the academic year includes open office hours and group discussions to engage with students, faculty, and staff; he will also serve as a consultant for the global commerce senior capstone group presentations.