Spiedel grew up in Boise and attended college at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Washington, where he studied international economics and Spanish literature. He also attended the University of Granada in Spain.
After completing his undergraduate education, Spiedel spent a year volunteering at an understaffed boy’s orphanage, which was home to about 25 street boys, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He considers this experience to have been the most difficult, yet rewarding, year of his life.
Spiedel’s volunteer duties involved cooking three meals a day, taking the boys to doctor appointments and visiting school principals when they got into trouble.
He also negotiated custody rights in the Argentine courts.
“I was a friend and mentor to a lot of boys who had very few friends in life,” Spiedel said. “That year gave me a foundation for compassion, servant leadership, empathy, and dramatically broadened my world view, which I have applied to nearly all aspects of my personal and professional life in the 15 years since.”
After volunteering in Argentina, Spiedel moved back to Boise and was hired as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
He received his master’s degree from Northwest Nazarene University.
At age 36, he was named the director and branch manager for the Idaho UBS offices, the largest wealth management firm in the world. Today, he is one of the youngest branch managers in the country.
During his first year as branch manager, Spiedel was chosen over thousands of candidates to receive a John Lester Leadership award, which is given to inspirational leaders at UBS who embody courage, resilience and a fighting spirit of perennial optimism.
Colin Hawkes, market head at UBS Financial Services, can attest. He wrote a letter nominating Spiedel for this award.
“A beloved manager unexpectedly passed away, and Michael was there to not only step up and lead the office, but also provide support and guidance to the employee’s family,” Hawkes said. “In addition to being a strong business leader, Michael has often volunteered and given back.”