From coaching soccer to watching Protective’s loan portfolio, find out how one man is thriving


Thomas Gallow, Seth Grice, Viren Dial, Andy Yactayo, Kaity Forbes, Whitney Lankford (Bham Now)

Andy Yactayo moved to Mobile from Lima, Peru when he was just a child. For two years now, he’s been working as an associate in Protective‘s lending group here in Birmingham, monitoring the company’s loan portfolio. In his spare time, he volunteers with Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!) and coaches at Vestavia Hills Soccer Club. Here is his story.

Meet Andy Yactayo

Andy Yactayo
Andy Yactayo (Bham Now)

Yactayo Initially came to Birmingham in 2019 from Mobile so his wife Cierra could attend Cumberland School of Law. She’s now a member of the Alabama State Bar and works for Navy Federal Credit Union. Together, they have two loving pets—an Airedale terrier and a Goldendoodle. On May 27, they’ll celebrate their fourth year of marriage.

Coaching soccer with Vestavia Hills Soccer Club

Andy Yactayo, Protective
Andy Yactayo coaches soccer with Vestavia Hills Youth Soccer (Andy Yactayo)

You don’t have to talk to Andy Yactayo for long to see how much he loves soccer. Not only did he play in high school and college, but he’s been a volunteer coach with Vestavia Hills Soccer Club since 2019. He sees it as a way to continue his coaching education and give back to his community.

“Vestavia has been kind to me, letting me help develop their children through the sport of soccer. It’s my understanding that my success as a soccer coach comes from helping those children reach their full potential.”

U8 and U11 are the ages he coaches and sees as the most crucial years for a child to master basic skills before moving onto the competitive stage.

“The Birmingham community as a whole is growing in terms of soccer—there are so many opportunities you’re not really going to find anywhere else in the state of Alabama. I’m certainly glad to be part of that growth.”

Serving on the Junior Board of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!)

Andy Yactayo, HICA Junior Board
Yactayo serves on ¡HICA!’s Junior Board. (Andy Yactayo)

Yactayo has been part of the ¡HICA! Junior Board since 2021, and as such, has worked on multiple events to raise awareness of the Latino community in Birmingham and the state of Alabama. 

Their biggest fundraiser is an annual pig roast in August, and many of the proceeds go toward providing impoverished Latino families the resources they need to get by on a daily basis.

They also help other Latino organizations, whether by fundraising or attending their events. 

“I feel very blessed to be part of that organization, especially considering that I am Latino myself.”

Building a career at Protective

Whitney Lankford, Kaity Forbes, Seth Grice, Thomas Gallo, Viren Dial, Andy Yactayo (Bham Now)

In August, Yactayo will celebrate two years at Protective, where he says his experience has been wonderful.

“Everybody is understanding. There hasn’t been a time where I asked for help and got any pushback at all. Everybody is very inclusive and has an open mind about what we do. It’s an all-hands-on-deck approach.”

He monitors the company’s commercial loan portfolio and new projects for their investors, and served in a similar role previously at a local bank.

Making a difference in the community

In addition to the group he works with, Yactayo loves that Protective gives employees opportunities as well as paid time off to make an impact.

Just last week, he was able to read at Phillips Academy, and there are other efforts like river cleanups where employees can easily volunteer.

For Yactayo and others, this translates into employee happiness:

“People are just happier here—whether you walk into the elevators or the little cafe, everyone has a quick and easy hello. I think the culture and mindset here are really positive.”

Work for a company that encourages you to give back. Explore open jobs at Protective today.

Last words

Seth Grice, Whitney Lankford, Kaity Forbes (Bham Now)

I asked Yactayo what he would want others who are considering working at Protective to know. Here’s what he said:

“I wish I knew about this company and that Protective was more than a life insurance company back when I moved to Birmingham in 2019. It’s a great company to begin your professional career with—there are vast opportunities.

From my understanding, managers here love to promote from within. If you pique the interest of another group, they’ll help you transfer over to that other group.”

Does this sound like somewhere you’d like to work? Protective is hiring.

Sponsored by:

Protective refers to Protective Life Corporation and insurance company subsidiaries, including Protective Life Insurance Company, Nashville, TN, and Protective Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Birmingham, AL. Protective is a registered trademark of Protective Life Insurance Company.

Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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