Travis Hill - Age: 39, UnitedHealthCare
What do you do professionally?
I work for UnitedHealthcare and am in charge of Employee Experience and Engagement programs to increase connections and morale of our employees. I lead several national programs to support our UnitedHealthcare employees to enhance the connectivity between colleagues by creating a sense of community and belonging virtually. I love the work I do! I feel so fortunate to be able to perform the work I do. It’s important we feel a sense of belonging and have a voice. When we feel valued, it’s easy to do a great job — and have a good time doing it.
How are you involved in the community? Do you volunteer with any organizations?
In my role with UnitedHealthcare I drive community involvement through social responsibility opportunities. I also strive to inspire employees in personally living our company’s mission by promoting social responsibilities, activities and events. Personally, I am involved in many community events and support nonprofit organizations in numerous ways. I have been on the board of directors with Age Well Arrowhead for the past four years. I have participated in the Duluth Polar Plunge on behalf of Minnesota Special Olympics for seven years and lead the efforts for our company; we recruit about 50 plungers and raise approximately $30,000 each year. I have also participated in Relay for Life on behalf of the American Cancer Society and hosted a dedicated walk at UnitedHealthcare on Rice Lake Road. We support the Boys and Girls Club, attending their annual gala and performing a back-to-school drive each summer.
What is important to you?
My family is everything. I am lucky to have my family all live in Duluth. I am married to my amazing wife, Kali. We have a 6-year-old daughter, Riley, and a pet pug named Bailey. Both my wife and I have our parents and siblings all living in Duluth. We spend time with all of them on a weekly basis.
How do you spend your free time?
I love to hike along the French River in northern Minnesota with Kali, Riley and Bailey. We walk up and down the river looking for rocks to paint and give to family and friends. Right now, it’s all about rainbows and unicorns. My wife and I are in the process of building a new house on the French River, so we are spending a lot of time in hardware stores.
Favorite things about living and working in the Northland?
I was lucky enough to be born and raised in Duluth. I have lived in other cities and states, but each time I find myself back in Duluth. It has a unique draw to anyone who has lived here and moves away. I am very fortunate to have my immediate family, in-laws and extended family living in Duluth. When I think Duluth, I think family and friendships! The city of Duluth is unmatched when it comes to the quality of our natural resources, health and safety services and career opportunities. Duluth has an amazing and unique landscape, which I have the privilege to appreciate every day.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming professionals?
Remember attitude is 90% and effort is 10%. There are so many opportunities ahead — you just have to have an open and positive attitude. Embrace change and become a lifelong learner. Be open to new opportunities and take smart risks. This will lead to new skill sets and career growth.
Favorite moment in life?
When my daughter was born, it was a stressful but remarkable moment in my life. The moment she took her first breath everything changed. I knew it was no longer just about myself, but this beautiful little girl. Also, when I got engaged to my wife, Kali, at Black Water Lounge right after Maxi Childs Trio sang our song, ‘Hallelujah,’ and then were joined by our family and friends to celebrate the occasion.
What is your favorite motivational quote?
There are two quotes that mean a lot to me, especially because of the author.
‘Happiness is a decision.’ ~ Michael J. Fox
‘Optimism is a cure for many things.’ ~ Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox inspires me. The Canadian actor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. His position on the disease and life is inspiring and uplifting. We all have a choice on how to live our lives and why not choose to be happy!
Anything else you want to add?
UnitedHealthcare recently named me an Everyday LifeChanger, as an exceptional employee who gives our members, providers and employees the best experiences possible.