Two Nationwide Associates Named Working Parents of the Year by Seramount
Nationwide’s focus on workplace culture, flexibility, benefits and resources to help working families succeed at home and work earned the company a spot on Seramount’s 2022 100 Best Companies list.
“Helping parents succeed benefits everyone at Nationwide,” says Angela Bretz, Chief Diversity and Talent Acquisition Officer. “We are committed to a work-life balance at Nationwide that appreciates our associates’ whole lives. We are so pleased to be recognized by Seramount.”
As part of this honor, Nationwide associates nominated parents they felt deserved to be recognized, and from that list, two outstanding parents were chosen. Read their incredible stories, what they’ve learned from their journeys, and their advice for other working parents.
Doug Allen, Regional Wholesaler, Retirement Solutions
When our second child, Kate, was born, it was hard to imagine that one day she would be the most popular person in our neighborhood. Kate, now aged 7, was born with Down’s Syndrome, and she’s taught my wife and I, our children, JD, 8, and Sara, 4, what really matters in life—and it definitely isn’t our stuff! She keeps us grounded because to her, relationships are what matter most, and she always wants us to be present. So that’s my advice for working parents, too: set a good example for your kids by being present, no matter how many distractions you have around you. Practicing being present wherever I am is the only way I can participate fully in both my amazing career with Nationwide and with my treasured family at home. That hasn’t always been easy because the demands on our time and attention really do seem to multiply. There’s always another rung on the career ladder to climb, or another sports team or activity for the kids to join, another house project to begin. But when we say yes to something, we’re also saying no to something else—and that something else might be more important than we think it is, like downtime to just be with each other and enjoy what we already have. I’m the parent of three wonderful kids, and I work for a wonderful company—these are things I get to do, not things I have to do. When I focus on the reality that even the ups and downs of life are part of those blessings, then everything falls into place.
Lisa Dillon, Paralegal Specialist, Nationwide Financial Legal Staff
When you’ve held your baby in your arms and realized that he might die, the rest of your troubles fade away. That’s what I learned when Sam, my youngest, was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer when he was just 18 months old. We spent a full year doing chemotherapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, then six weeks of specialized radiation in Chicago—and I still had three older children to care for! I’d gone through so much already, first as a single mom to my oldest son, Will who’s now 19, then struggles with infertility until my twins, Ben and Ava, now 10, were born. Then my surprise baby – just a year and a half after the twins. Sam is 9 now, and thankfully cancer-free. And after all that, it was the pandemic that nearly did me in! I managed to care for four kids while they learned remotely as I was working. By ten in the morning, I wanted to crawl under my desk and cry! I was so thankful for the flexibility Nationwide has given us because it did change our lives, particularly when Sam was diagnosed with special learning needs last year. I also learned to reach out, to connect with others. That’s one thing I know we must do more of as working parents – we have to ask for help and we have to take help. Now, I’m finding my real strengths, because I get to give that help back to parents who are dealing with similar things. All these struggles didn’t turn out to be obstacles at all; instead, they made me the mom I am today.