James “Rusty” Hale, Champion of Character

The Edmond City Council and the Character Council of Edmond, recently recognized Edmond CPA James “Rusty” Hale, as “Champion of Character” for the character trait of generosity.

The trait of generosity is defined as, “Managing my resources so that I can freely give to those in need,” said Character Council president, Jim Hulsey, adding that, “It’s a trait that typically is found in people that have learned not only how to manage their resources well, but they also have a sincere heart to do what’s right by identifying the needs of others in order to invest in them. Rusty Hale is such a person.”

Hale was nominated as a Champion of Character by members of the Edmond Rotary Club, especially after they received notification, and a gift, from a family in Flat Rock, North Carolina.

On January 25, 2008, Jeff Dees, a CPA from Flat Rock, N.C., suffered a stroke, wrote his wife Bonnie Dees in a plea for help.

“Being a CPA, Jeff had already begun our tax return, but still lacking some information, he had not been able to complete before the stroke occurred,” wrote Bonnie Dees. “I went on-line to the software company asking if another CPA familiar with the software could finish our tax return. Rusty Hale replied, made a trip to Western North Carolina and finished both our corporate and personal tax returns. He did not bill us.”

Because of this display of genuine generosity the Dees family wished to “pay it forward,” wrote Bonnie Dees, with a sizable check made out to the Rotary Club of Edmond, “… in honor of Rusty, to help someone else.”

The members of the Edmond Rotary Club all agree that Rusty Hale practices the Rotary motto of “Service above self.” Hale has been a Rotary member for the past 28 years, serving as the club treasure “…reliably and always prepared,” wrote current Rotary president, Mitzi Hancuff.”

“Rusty is a true champion of character” added Rotary member Carol Hartzog.

Rusty Hale, a Shawnee native, received his accounting degree from Central State University (UCO), met and married his wife Lana, and they’ve resided in the Edmond community for the past 32 years, raising a family of four children; currently with two granddaughters and “a brand new grandson, Adler,” Hale reports. Rusty and his brother Ron have a public practice CPAbusiness in Edmond, and he’s served as a past president of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs.

“When we first contacted Rusty Hale regarding this recognition,” said Character Council president Jim Hulsey, “Rusty expressed a degree of ‘embarrassment over the attention.’ To me, this was just another positive sign that we made a good choice in Rusty. Not only has he exemplified true generosity, but he’s a person of true humility too – not wearing his virtues on his chest like some prouder people might. Others that know Hale have indicated the same.

Sir Winston Churchill wrote: “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

“I’d just like to say, ‘Thank you Rusty Hale,’ for being a Champion of Character by giving the Edmond community an example of what true generosity is all about,” added Hulsey.


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