Eighth Annual ASPIRE Awards Honor 10 OneAmerica® AssociatesIndianapolis, March 2, 2022
OneAmerica® recognized ten associates as ASPIRE honorees, celebrating their outstanding performance on behalf of the life insurance, retirement and employee benefits organization.
The associates were honored at the company’s eighth-annual ASPIRE Awards gala an in-person event held at the Indiana Historical Society on Feb. 16, and available virtually. The ASPIRE principles — Achievement, Stewardship, Partnership, Integrity, Responsiveness and Excellence — guide about 2,400 OneAmerica associates in all work endeavors. Associates are nominated for the annual honor by peers, supervisors or project partners. This year, 330 total nominations were submitted, and 209 individuals received nominations.
“These 10 individuals exemplify the ideal of empowerment with accountability and lead the way in our commitment to deliver on the promises that we make daily to our customers,” said Scott Davison, chairman, president and CEO of OneAmerica. “They embody every ASPIRE core value while inspiring their colleagues and direct reports to produce, innovate and succeed.”
Nelvia Washington Rent, a contracts consultant in Legal, was presented with the ASPIRE Distinguished Achievement honor. In her 41st year at OneAmerica, she has applied her strong work ethic and attention to detail, making her a valuable and longstanding resource to her team. Rent, of Indianapolis, first applied and interviewed for a job at American United Life Insurance Company® (AUL), a OneAmerica company, in 1981 after seeing a previous iteration of the famous company signboard at its former home on Fall Creek Parkway. For the past 15+ years, Rent has worked to keep products in compliance in the various states in which they do business. In 2021, that amounted to 188 different filings and “lots of uncountable contributions,” according to her supervisor, Jay Williams.
The ASPIRE Excellence in Execution honorees were: Mark Goff, senior forensics operations analyst in Enterprise Operations; Tracy Van Auken, product consultant in Retirement Services; and David Wiese, lead applications engineer in IT.
Goff, of Indianapolis, joined OneAmerica in 2013 and was the first member of the forensic team. Nominators highlighted his ability to combine deep knowledge with relationship building; he created tools that have prevented distribution processing errors and cut processing times for retirement plan participants. He dedicated his award to his late mother, an artist, and father, a World War II veteran. Goff holds a Bachelor of Science degree from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science degree from Baylor College of Medicine.
Van Auken, of Martinsville, Indiana, has 31 years of experience in the retirement services line of business. She loves learning new skills and is considered the “glue” that connects teams and inspires confidence. Among many accomplishments, her work made the retirement plan advisor compensation workflow more accurate. Van Auken, who earned an education-related degree at Purdue University, gives back to the faith community as a Sunday school teacher.
Wiese, of Indianapolis, is in his 13th combined year of service at OneAmerica, having joined AUL in 1997. Known for his calm demeanor and keen insights, his work in IT is instrumental to the company’s data modernization efforts, specifically for the disability claims programs. He and his wife have four children between ages 10 and 14, and their personal goal is to have the family visit every state before they finish high school – they have visited 41 so far. Wiese holds a degree from the University of Indianapolis.
The ASPIRE Excellence in Partnership honorees were: Paula Carstens, senior case manager with Individual Life and Financial Services (ILFS); Cindy Lamey, meeting and events manager in Enterprise Marketing and Communications; and Shelley Schumacher, key accounts senior director in Retirement Services.
As confirmation of her popularity within ILFS, Carstens, of Greenfield, Indiana, was nominated by 20 field colleagues and has been up for an ASPIRE honor every year during her tenure with the company. She is known as an associate with an authentic, caring style and as someone who makes processes more comfortable for all involved. She and her husband have two adult sons. She is a graduate of Anderson University.
Lamey, of Fishers, Indiana, has 28 years of service with OneAmerica and has spent 23 of those years on the meeting and events team. Through Cindy’s thoughtful and positive manner, she has enhanced the caliber of events at the company and created meaningful experiences. She has made a career out of two of her passions: celebrating others and traveling. Although the pandemic caused businesses to cancel or significantly alter meetings, gatherings and conferences, Lamey navigated these challenges and adapted. As a meeting and events manager, she impressed stakeholders across the organization by managing complex event logistics and changing course as needed. Her husband, Joel, also works at OneAmerica. Lamey is a Purdue graduate.
Schumacher, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been with OneAmerica for more than five years and has more than three decades of financial services experience. Nominees cited her business acumen, intellectual value and desire for human-centered experiences, all of which help Retirement Services to retain key clients. Schumacher’s philosophy is team strength: Whether we win as a team or lose as a team, it’s all about the team. Schumacher has two adult sons with her husband of 34 years, and she is a graduate of St. Norbert College and Concordia University-Wisconsin, where she received a master’s degree.
The ASPIRE Outstanding Team Impact honorees were: Tara Cooksey, Salesforce manager in IT; and Bonnie Welch, data engagement director in Data and Analytics.
Cooksey, of Indianapolis, is in her 25th year with the company. She is a go-to resource on all things Salesforce at OneAmerica, with a deep understanding of how to effectively implement the many benefits of the platform. She is known to motivate and strengthen her colleagues as well. Cooksey has been married for 18 years and has a teenage son and daughter.
Welch, of Greenwood, Indiana, has been with OneAmerica since 2013 and is known for developing useful standards and processes while also delivering solutions to help her team; in fact, a nominator said there were 29 instances when the data team was “stuck,” and she helped find a solution. Welch has two college-age sons and has been married for 23 years. She is a graduate of State University of New York at Fredonia.
James Yang, vice president, Information Security, IT was the ASPIRE Outstanding Leadership honoree. Yang, of Carmel, Indiana, leads the company’s cybersecurity program and is tasked with keeping OneAmerica secure, reducing vulnerabilities, and helping customers feel confident that their assets are safe. Yang, who has been with OneAmerica since 2018, is results-focused with a growth mindset for his team. James and his wife have three children, ages 21, 14 and 6. He is a graduate of Purdue University and Washington University in St. Louis, where he received a master’s degree in information management and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in finance from the Olin Business School.
The ASPIRE Awards program was created in 2014 to celebrate top-performing OneAmerica associates who live the company’s ASPIRE values and have demonstrated a consistent track record of success serving our customers and financial professionals.
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A national provider of insurance and financial services for more than 140 years, the companies of OneAmerica help customers build and protect their financial futures. OneAmerica offers a variety of products and services to serve the financial needs of their policyholders and customers. These products include retirement plan products and recordkeeping services, individual life insurance, annuities, asset-based long-term care solutions and employee benefit plan products. Products are issued and underwritten by the companies of OneAmerica and distributed through a nationwide network of employees, agents, brokers and other sources who are committed to providing value to our customers. To learn more about our products, services and the companies of OneAmerica, visit OneAmerica.com/companies.
OneAmerica® is the marketing name for the companies of OneAmerica.
Jonathan Neal, Public Relations Manager, 765-524-1901