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Courier names 2020 Employers of Choice

Courier names 2020 Employers of Choice

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WATERLOO—The 2020 Courier Employers of Choice honorees demonstrate the Cedar Valley’s diversity of career options and a continued commitment to healthy communities.

The group represents small and large privately owned companies; nonprofits; newer ventures; and companies with 90-plus years in business. They include:

• Accel Group

• Advanced Heat Treat

• Bartels Lutheran Home

• CBE Companies

• Cedar Falls Utilities

• Cedar Valley Hospice

• CPM Roskamp Champion

• Community Bank & Trust

• Exceptional Persons, Inc.

• Friendship Village

• Grainger-Waterloo

• Hertz Farm Management Inc.

• MercyOne

• Network Control

• Open Door Hospitality


• Peoples Clinic

• The VGM Group

• Veridian Credit Union

• Western Home Communities

While the honorees run the gamut in terms of industry, size and other factors, they share a commitment to competitive compensation, benefits and schedule flexibility; clearly articulated corporate values; and collaborative work cultures.

All honorees demonstrated superior skill in responding to the crisis swiftly, efficiently and effectively, with employees from each workplace highlighting their COVID-19 responses.

As a company that works on the cutting edge of telecommunications technology, Network Control in Waverly was swift to respond to recommended pandemic guidelines, says employee Chrstina Bouillon.

“Network Control … has dealt with the pandemic extremely well, allowing all 70-plus employees to work from home,” she explains.

Still, Mark Hearn, Network Control owner and president, was concerned for those who felt isolated by such precautions.

“For many people for whom working from home means working alone, these have been daunting times,” he says. “The office is the only opportunity some people have to experience their social persona, and the pandemic meant they’ve missed that piece for an extended period.”

Prior to the pandemic, PDCM Insurance had three employees working remotely, from different states. The crisis forced the company to set staff to work from home.

“The leadership team at PDCM did not skip a beat in working quickly to address the need to keep employees safe while continuing to be able to meet the needs of our clients and provide them with the service they deserve,” says Tammy Acuff, a 30-year PDCM employee.

Cedar Falls Utilities worked hard to ensure everyone was able to continue working during the pandemic, says employee Audra Heineman. Those who couldn’t work remotely solicited feedback from employees to make them feel safe, comfortable and appreciated while continuing to work.

“I also had to stay home with my three young children and manage to work full time,” says Heineman. “Our general manager and top leaders were very flexible with me, knowing all the new demands I was encountering. (They) allowed me some flexibility with scheduling and continually verbalized their appreciation.”

With scores of sites in 19 counties, Exceptional Persons, Inc. dealt with closures, sick clients and staff and families impacted in other ways by the pandemic.

“We had staff step forward and volunteer to go in and work where they knew someone had tested positive,” says Christopher Sparks, EPI executive director. “I have been choked up more in the last six months than I have in the last 35 years.”


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