Sonny was born and raised in Louisiana, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northwestern State University. He played baseball throughout college, receiving numerous awards including being a part of an MLB draft. Upon receiving his degree (1989), General Electric hired Sonny into their Management Trainee Program and upon graduation, encouraged Sonny to pursue Human Resources as a career.
In 1992, Sonny joined Poulan/Weed Eater where he eventually served as the human resources manager for plant operations. After six years with Poulan, Sonny was hired by A.O. Smith Corporation, a leading manufacturer of water heating equipment where his duties included directing and managing the division succession planning process, the performance management program, executive coaching, and developing executive and non-executive training programs. Sonny was offered the CHRO position as the business moved its corporate headquarters to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but chose to stay in Nashville.
In 2004, HealthSpring Inc. recruited Sonny to serve as the senior vice president of human resources. At the time HealthSpring was a $600M managed care medical service plan provider focusing on Medicare plans. Sonny helped lead the company through a period of accelerated growth to an $8B, nine states, and 4500 employee entity. Sonny was a key leader in the IPO process, taking the company public in 2005. In 2010, Cigna acquired HealthSpring.
Sonny has provided guidance and participated in mergers, acquisitions, organizational change strategies, and enterprise wide organizational integrations. He has established full cycle talent management initiatives, competency models, succession planning processes and developed scalable organizational designs to accommodate growth initiatives.
Sonny and his wife Kim reside in Franklin, Tennessee, with one daughter (Hunter) who is a rising high school senior.