11:45 AM

Kristi Rodriguez honored for diversity and inclusion leadership and impact

Kristi Rodriguez has a passion for increasing racial diversity, driving greater equity and fostering inclusion within the financial service industry. As senior vice president of Nationwide Retirement Institute®, Rodriguez has been the driving force behind many diversity efforts across the industry and has been described as “a champion for equity” and “a visionary.”    

Her advocacy efforts were recently honored at the Conference of African American Financial Professionals by the American College of Financial Services, where she was named the recipient of the 2022 Lang Dixon LEAD Award. The prestigious award recognizes a Black financial services professional who has made a significant impact on the industry’s diversity and inclusion through his or her outstanding performance and leadership.    

“Kristi is strongly committed to making her community, Nationwide and the financial services industry better,” said John Carter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nationwide Financial. “She continues to model, inspire and drive diversity and inclusion within her company and the industry.”   

Rodriguez drove the creation of the Financial Alliance for Racial Equity (FARE) by partnering with leading financial service organizations, industry associations, and six historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). FARE’s focus is on increasing the number of Black professionals entering the financial services industry and supporting them once there by providing resources, scholarships, training and connections to diverse students and professionals.  

Recently, FARE awarded seven Black professionals up to a $7,000 CFP® certification scholarship and was recognized with the Diversity Champions Award at InvestmentNews’ Excellence in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion event.   

Rodriguez also initiated a new Diverse Markets Initiative within Nationwide aimed at driving retirement planning opportunities, education and awareness for women, Black, LGBTQ, Hispanic and rural communities. The goal of this program is to provide increased access to retirement planning resources and solutions in underserved markets.