2 weeks ago

N'West Iowa Business



SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2018 THE N'WEST IOWA REVIEW/SHELDON, IA E3 MANDY BOERSMA HOSPERS Business manager for Fred’s Plumbing & Heating Inc. of Hospers RACHEL BECKER SHELDON Assistant O’Brien County attorney based in Sheldon BY MARK MAHONEY MMAHONEY@NWESTIOWA.COM SHELDON—Rachael Becker likes having law and order in her life. The Sheldon woman is one of two assistant O’Brien County attorneys who work for county attorney Micah Schreurs, who is based in Sheldon. Becker has worked in the part-time position since May and said she has enjoyed every minute of it, including the time she spends often at the county courthouse in Primghar. “It’s been really fun,” she said. “It’s such a cliche way of saying it, but I have enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot through it.” As part of her job, she mainly handles criminal cases that involve simple misdemeanors in magistrate court and serious and aggravated misdemeanors in district court. “With the misdemeanors, that includes traffic court, mental health and substance abuse committals,” Becker said, noting that magistrate court deals with traffic violations and mental health and substance abuse cases. She sometimes helps out with civil litigation and felony criminal cases when Schreurs requests assistance. “If they go to trial, then I will assist our county attorney, if he needs my help,” Becker said. She recalled going for her juris doctorate — law degree — at the University of Nebraska College of Law in Lincoln. “Whenever I was in law school, one of my least favorite courses was criminal law,” Becker said. “I just didn’t get it.” She mentioned a criminal law professor of hers who used the Socratic method, a means developed by Greek philosopher Socrates of arriving at the truth by continually questioning, obtaining answers and criticizing the answers. “I just couldn’t get his method of how to teach criminal law, but when I started studying for the bar, it made sense,” Becker said. “It just clicked, and I got it. It was my best subject.” She passed the Iowa bar exam in February 2017 and was sworn in to the Iowa State Bar Association two months later. While she was in law school, she had thought she would focus on wills, trusts and real estate once she became an attorney. “I really enjoy those, but after I passed the bar, I was seeking employment,” Becker said. PHOTO BY MARK MAHONEY AT A GLANCE: Age: 33 Education: Bachelor of science in agriculture from University of Georgia in Athens in 2007; juris doctorate from University of Nebraska College of Law in Lincoln in 2011. Experience: Law clerk for The Hoppe Law Firm in Lincoln, NE, January 2010-May 2011; agent for Farm Bureau Financial Services in Omaha, NE, October 2011-December 2011; escrow closing agent for All States Real Estate Services/Nebraska Default & Title Services Inc. in Omaha December 2011-August 2012; claims professional/claims research specialist for Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Insurance Co. in Omaha April 2013-June 2016; part-time assistant O’Brien County attorney since May. Family: Husband, Ryan; children, Eli, 5; Evie, 2. Interests: Working with youth in community, volunteering, working out, baking. “I had spoken to Micah, too, about, ‘Well, I’m not sure about doing trial work and that kind of thing, but I’m interested in what work you do.’” When Becker started working as an assistant O’Brien County attorney in May, she came in as then-Osceola County attorney Bob Hansen, who had been assisting Schreurs’ office temporarily, was getting ready to retire in July. “Bob Hansen was helping us out with the magistrate part of it, so I started taking the magistrate part,” she said. “I was kind of thrown into that one, which is a good place to be thrown into.” Schreurs then started giving the Rochelle, GA, native more misdemeanor cases, and Becker has not looked back. “It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said. BY MARK MAHONEY MMAHONEY@NWESTIOWA.COM HOSPERS—Mandy Boersma cannot imagine working anywhere else. She has worked since October 2002 as the business manager for her family’s company, Fred’s Plumbing & Heating Inc., which is based in Hospers. “I love my job; I really do,” Boersma said. “Just the people you get to meet and talk to throughout the course of the day and talking to the employees and getting to know their families — it’s a lot of fun.” The Hospers native and resident detailed her job’s dayto-day duties. “It’s scheduling — getting the employees to the places where they need to go,” Boersma said, along with, “Payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable, helping the customers as they come through the door, just kind of keeping everybody organized here.” She said being able to assist the company’s customers gives her a sense of purpose. “It makes you feel good that you can help somebody out,” Boersma said. Even though she has worked for Fred’s for nearly 16 years, Boersma has been around the company since she was 4 years old. Her paternal grandfather, Fred Falkena, started the family business that bears his name in 1972 and owned and operated it for many years as AT A GLANCE: Age: 36 Education: Bachelor of science in business administration: finance and management from Northwestern College in Orange City in 2002. Experience: Business manager for Fred’s Plumbing & Heating Inc. of Hospers since October 2002. Family: Husband, Josh. Interests: Coaching volleyball, spending time outdoors and fishing. his wife, Vel, handled managing the office. The Falkenas’ son Mark — Boersma’s father — is the company’s owner and president. Boersma joined the family business about two months before she graduated in December 2002 from Northwestern College in Orange City. In addition to her father, she works with her brothers, Kris and Tim Falkena, as well as with her father’s sister, Sarah Otto, and Sarah’s husband, Dean. “It’s been good,” Boersma said. “It’s nice that we can talk about our differences and then agree on something, work together and compromise. Our whole family gets along really well, which is great. “It’s a challenge some days,” she said. “We can get kind of mad at each other, but the nice thing is that you can yell at each other and then you’re over it.” During her time at Fred’s, the company has tripled in growth and opened a second location, which is an expanded shop for sheet metal manufacturing and storage space for equipment in Sheldon. The business’ headquarters in Hospers is home to its main office and showroom. Boersma also is the business manager for PM Builders, a Hospers-based company started by her father that constructs condos and duplexes for resale. She contributed her success — especially at Fred’s — to her family. “Growing up in a family business with grandparents whose honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and hard work has taught not only their children, but their grandchildren, how to treat people and how to build a business on a solid foundation,” Boersma said. PHOTO BY MARK MAHONEY