COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A key member of the Aflac team died Wednesday at Piedmont Columbus Regional following a brief illness.

Jim Poole spent more than two decades as a key adviser to Aflac Chairman Dan Amos.

“Jim Poole was an integral part of the Aflac organization for more than 20 years, significantly contributing to our success. Jim once told me before retiring that he was proud of how his footprints, or his “Duckprints,” can be seen throughout the company, and I fully agree with that,” Amos said in a statement released by the Columbus supplemental insurance company. “I frequently turned to Jim for his opinion. He was a smart, principled person whose dry wit and quiet approach had a way of keeping everything in perspective. I will miss Jim. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his beloved wife Linda and his entire family.”

A native of Lanett, Ala., and a graduate of the University of Alabama, Poole was 63 years old.

Before going to work for Aflac in an office that was adjacent to Amos’ in the Aflac tower on Wynnton Road, Poole was a newspaperman. He started his career at the LaGrange Daily News. In 1985, he was hired by the Columbus Enquirer to be the LaGrange Bureau chief. He was brought into the Columbus office to become Business editor.

Jim is survived by his wife Linda, brothers Joe, Don Patrick; his sister Lisa Poole Davis; and his stepson David A. Downs.