Homesteaders Life Company recently presented its annual Homesteaders Heroes awards to employees who support the company’s mission and values and make a positive impact on the success of the company and its customers. In 2022, nearly 50 employees were nominated; an internal selection committee reviewed each candidate to determine the recipient of each award in five categories:
Rising Star Award Allison Schaeffer, business analyst. This award recognizes an employee who demonstrates an eagerness to learn, along with commitment and engagement with both the company and peers, early in his or her career. Upon joining Homesteaders, Schaeffer hit the ground running and quickly became widely respected as a critical member of her team.
Innovation Award Jeff Shepherd, director of project management. Recognizes an employee for the successful implementation of a new or updated product, service or program that results in a measurable improvement in the company’s performance, processes or brand strength. Always innovating, Shepherd recently revamped Homesteader’s initiative tracking system.
Outstanding Teamwork Award Ariana Rodriguez, senior graphic designer. Recognizes enthusiasm, cooperation, problem-solving skills, commitment to success and a consistently positive attitude. Rodriguez’s organization, persistence and willingness to drive things forward kept teams moving ahead.
Inspiring Leadership Award Jason Richards, project manager. Recognizes an employee who shows leadership skills and can be described as inspiring, decisive and visionary, yet also humble and willing to give credit to others. In his 11 years with Homesteaders, Richards has served as a humble leader willing to tackle every new challenge with calmness, insight and a focus on the best manner to achieve the business objective.
Enduring Impact Award Judy Ralston-Hansen, executive vice president of human resources. Recognizes an employee for a significant, long-term contribution or body of accomplishments that make a lasting impact on the company’s success. Since joining Homesteaders in 1997, Ralston-Hansen has dedicated her knowledge, skill and heart to the people of the organization and has always gone above and beyond, never giving less than 100% of her time and effort.
In other news, Homesteaders promoted Laurie Covington to senior vice president of enterprise strategic planning. Since joining the company in 2012 as director of application development, she has led a wide range of organizational initiatives, including a major shift to Agile Methodology and the development of Engage CRM.
Covington holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Dordt University and an MBA from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. homesteaderslife.com