June 10, 2023

UMW’s Executive-in-Residence Emphasizes “Leadership with Heart” During Two-Day Visit

UMW's Executive-in-Residence Thomas P. Nerney (right) spoke to leaders and community members at business breakfast

For Thomas P. Nerney, University of Mary Washington’s 2012 Executive-in-Residence, business is about putting the heart first, with a clear focus on the people in the organization and an emphasis on company culture.

Nerney, chairman, president and chief executive officer of United States Liability Insurance Group (USLI), spoke to about 100 regional business leaders and community members at a business breakfast on Friday, March 23 at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center. John F. Chappell, former chairman of worldwide pharmaceuticals for SmithKline Beecham, served as a moderator.

“We create a team culture,” Nerney said of USLI. “We wake up every day with the goal of being the best we can be.”

During the two-day Executive-in-Residence program, Nerney met with students, alumni, faculty and community members to share his experience at the helm of an A++-rated Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary.

In the course of the breakfast, Nerney explained how the company focuses on cultivating a positive environment for its 700 employees.

“‘Leadership with heart’ comes down to the principle that every decision you make, you own,” he said.

Nerney spoke to two business classes on Friday, March 23

Nerney also shared his message with UMW business students during two class sessions.

“You shouldn’t just jump in feet first,” he said of beginning a career, “You should jump in heart first.”

Established in 1989, the Executive-in-Residence program is coordinated through the UMW College of Business and the Division of Advancement and University Relations.  Since its inception, the program has brought 40 well-known and established business leaders to the university.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.