15:01 PM

William “Rusty” Spears’ lifetime legacy honored

William “Rusty” Spears lived Nationwide’s values as a Columbus-based employee for more than 30 years, bringing a positive attitude and compassion to his work every day. This month he was recognized with a financial industry award for embodying those values to people far beyond Nationwide.

Eleven months after his sudden passing at age 61, Rusty was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award by SRP, an organization representing structured retail products in the financial sector. Rusty’s wife, Fiona, accepted the award on his behalf at the SRP Americas conference in Chicago September 15.

“Rusty was proud to work for Nationwide for so many years. He would be surprised and honored to receive this award and to have heard such heartfelt tributes from those he worked with,” Fiona said following the awards ceremony.

Rusty spent his entire career with Nationwide Financial after joining in May 1990. Years before joining Nationwide he became a quadriplegic, which required him to use a wheelchair. Despite this, he came into the office every day and became a knowledgeable, valued and respected Nationwider who demonstrated the value of inclusion to both individuals and companies.

“Rusty’s personality was infectious both to those inside and outside Nationwide,” said Michael Morrone, vice president of Annuity Business Development for Nationwide Financial. “Rusty was a person who received help from others but constantly returned the favor with his personality and caring nature.  He understood how important relationships were to getting things done.”

Rusty’s dedication to his work, along with his kindness to coworkers and business partners across the industry, remains an inspiration to all who knew him.