SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2018 THE N'WEST IOWA REVIEW/SHELDON, IA E12 CHANGING LIVES ONE JOB AT A TIME “ I just like to pay my own bills and have a nice life. ” That pretty much sums it up for Floyd. The Sioux Center, Iowa man finds pure joy in being able to go to work to stock shelves, load vans and clean up other people’s messes. His job at ServiceMaster in Sioux Center, Iowa is giving him more than just a paycheck. It’s providing him a livelihood and giving him the opportunity to bring value to his community. Floyd is one of the many individuals who found competitive employment in the community thanks to the partner agencies of Sioux Rivers Partners. This unique partnership of five Iowa agencies works together to bring awareness to local businesses about Iowa’s untapped and very capable workforce. “Ask anyone in town and they’ll tell you staffing is a big issue,” says Sioux Center ServiceMaster manager, Josh Christians. “We had a need to have someone help us out with all sorts of tasks… we contacted them and it worked.” said Christians. “Floyd makes work fun. He’s energetic— more energetic than anyone I’ve ever met. He’s a huge part of our culture here.” “We were looking for some creative ways to integrate other assets in the community, as well as just looking for a different avenue from a hiring and recruiting standpoint,” said Nicole Ellermeier, Executive Director of Whispering Creek in Sioux City, Iowa. “I wouldn’t have guessed two years ago that it would have been this successful. We found two of our more tenured employees through the process.” Stephanie, a member of the Sioux Rivers Partners organizations, works in the kitchen at Whispering Creek cleaning dishes, organizing them, and coordinating any meals that need to be brought to residents. She too is a shining example of how Iowa businesses can benefit from hiring some of the state’s most capable and untapped workforce. But the benefits to Stephanie go far beyond a paycheck. In the years since joining the retirement community, she has flourished – volunteering to perform extra duties, making friends with her coworkers and bringing smiles to the residents of Whispering Creek. Working with Sioux Rivers Partners, Bob Taylor, a Human Resource Manager at Hy-Vee in Sioux City, Iowa, says he has found an employee that is a role model for all who work at the store. “Sara is always positive. Always ready to go. Always friendly with everyone. And that’s very important,” he said. “[Sioux Rivers Partners] contacted me about placement and coaching, and I said ‘we’d love to try that.’ And she’s been a great influence all around. When you talk to the people who work right next to her, day in and day out, they’re are always happy to see her,” said Bob. “That’s what inspires me most about her. If everyone would be like her…it would be wonderful.” All jobs are important and having meaningful employment can make a big difference in someone’s life. That’s the message the member organizations of Sioux River Partners want all Iowa businesses to know. Meaningful employment empowers people of all abilities, giving everyone the chance to find dignity, value and a livelihood through an honest day’s work. “It’s been a pleasure and a joy to partner with Sioux Rivers Partners,” concludes Ellermeier. “The culture you can create, seeing someone’s life improve…it’s more than just filling a spot.” For more information on how to become a Valued Workplace and employer member of Sioux River Partners, please visit SiouxRiversPartners.org DIGNITY VALUE LIVELIHOOD
SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2018 THE N'WEST IOWA REVIEW/SHELDON, IA E13 JEREMY KOOPMANS IRETON Owner and operator at Koopmans Feedlot BY LANA BRADSTREAM LBRADSTREAM@NWESTIOWA.COM IRETON—The owner of Koopmans Feedlot got bit by the cattle bug at the young age of 10 when he was feeding just a few Holstein bucket calves. Twenty years later, Jeremy Koopmans has taken that bite and transformed it into a 1,800- head feedlot cattle operation northeast of Ireton. Koopmans feeds all of the cattle daily, and personally owns 1,000 head in the feederto-finisher operation. “I get all different weights of cattle in and sell them as fat cattle,” Koopmans said. Most of the cattle he feeds are sent to Tyson in Dakota City, NE, and Cargill in Schuyler, NE. The daily feeding routine consists of giving the cattle specific rations to the weights they are. With the cattle sorted into pens based on weight, the task is easier. Koopmans also provides daily bedding for the livestock comfort and keeps the pens clean by scraping the yard. He provides vaccinations and treats the ailing cattle. Koopmans also owns for his own trucks for transporting the livestock and moving the manure to fields. Since he spent some time as a cattle trucker after graduating from college, he has plenty of experience with transportation. During his brief time as a cattle trucker, he realized that cattle were his passion, and trucking was not going to allow him time to devote to his own business. “Then, the opportunity came to purchase my own place,” Koopmans said. “From there, I started improving my cattle yards and started custom feeding. As my operation grows, I continue to look for ways to expand and better my facilities by pouring more cement yards and building a bedding barn.” The feedlot owner knows a lot about growing an operation. During his high school years, he already owned 200 head of cattle. When he bought the acreage near Ireton in 2009, Koopmans poured 5,000 yards of concrete for cattle pens and installed 900 feet of fencing. A lot of the work was done solo, but he also had help from his family. “I get assistance from my father, brother and brothersin-law,” Koopmans said. “My nephews come out to the farm often and enjoy helping, too. I PHOTO BY LANA BRADSTREAM would not be where I am today without the help of family.” The help certainly does not go unnoticed in a business that he described as “risky,” but still his “retirement plan.” Despite the risk, the workload and the long hours, Koopmans does his AT A GLANCE: Age: 31 Education: Diesel technology degree from Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon in 2005. Experience: Cattle trucker; owner and operator at Koopmans Feedlot near Ireton since 2009. Family: Wife, Aftan; stepson, Gage, 11. Interests: Going camping, outdoor activities such as fourwheeling, buying cattle, sitting at sale barns. best to see the silver lining. “I feel that it’s important to keep my overhead low and make wise decisions,” he said. “I try to remain optimistic and realize that in this business, you sometimes break even and other times you lose money, but I just keep trying to look forward toward the future.” MATTHEW LAMMERS SIOUX CENTER Financial adviser at Zeutenhorst Financial Inc. in Sioux Center BY RYLAN HOWE RHOWE@NWESTIOWA.COM SIOUX CENTER—Matthew Lammers is a numbers guy. So it would make sense he made his way into the world of financial planning. “I’ve always enjoyed numbers,” Lammers said. “In high school I began taking a lot of business and ag classes. I really enjoyed the business end of operations and thought accounting was definitely an interest.” Lammers, who has called N’West Iowa home his entire life, graduated from Sioux Center High School in 2000, but not before getting a head start on his college courses. During his senior year he had begun taking courses at Dordt College in Sioux Center, where he eventually would earn bachelor’s degrees in accounting and business: information systems. After spending several years working in finance for major AT A GLANCE: Age: 35 Education: Bachelors of arts in accounting and business: information systems from Dordt College in Sioux Center in 2004. Experience: Vander Haag Inc. in Spencer; Pizza Ranch companies in the area, Lammers made his way to Zeutenhorst Financial, Inc. in Sioux Center, where he has worked as a financial adviser since 2015. Lammers has earned his Iowa Health and Life licenses as well as the Series 7 and Series 66 investment certifications. He has developed a focus of working with clients on financial planning and investment management as well as Medicare and Social Security planning. “When this opportunity corporate office in Orange City; financial adviser at Zeutenhorst Financial Inc. in Sioux Center since 2015. Family: Single. Interests: Playing organ in church, cooking. came up in 2015, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to be in a position to serve clients directly, face-to-face and hands-on,” Lammers said. “I enjoy the interaction and developing relationships with clients.” That face-to-face work has been one of the highlights. “I definitely enjoy working with clients to help them more comprehensively understand either their big financial picture or their insurance, the Medicare system and the products we’re able to help them with,” Lammers said. With each client comes a specific set of circumstances and needs, which leads to another one of the highlights of the job for him. “There is no such thing as a typical day, which is part of what I enjoy about the job,” Lammers said. “Meeting with clients and discussing what products they might use with us here, maybe signing them up with Medicare programs, just basically getting people educated and signed up for whatever program they’ll be working with our office on.” When he has free time from work, he spends a lot of it playing music. Specifically, he plays the organ for a handful of local congregations. “That’s been a long-term interest,” Lammers said. “I grew up in church admiring what the organist did, so I start- PHOTO BY RYLAN HOWE ed lessons with the intention of being and organist and had the opportunity to work with some excellent teachers.” On the job, Lammers looks forward to continuing working with the team at Zeutenhorst Financial to provide a service for people in his community. “We have a great team and people that specialize in several areas. We can tailor our team’s help to meet each client’s complete needs,” Lammers said.