Looking back on a year full of challenges.
It’s fair to say that everyone was placed under some level of struggle and difficulty abnormal to the yearly challenges we typically face thanks to COVID19 and everything that has stemmed from that. It has definitely been tough on businesses and individuals alike. At Mid-States Utility, it has been no different. We’ve faced all sorts of tough trials throughout this year, but sure enough we pulled through and here we are almost at the end looking back on how we pressed through.
We want to take a step back and look at all the positives that came out of this year to remind us that, as we go into the new year, the year of 2020 will not be remembered as a “catastrophe” but rather use our 2020 hindsight to help us grow and keep our heads high as we go into 2021. We’ll be crossing our fingers for a smoother year, but remember that we made it through 2020 and we feel confident that means we can weather any struggle that comes our way.
We kicked off the start of 2020 with one of our salesman retiring. Bruce had been a salesman at Mid-States Utility for 4 years and although we were sad to see him go, we are truly thankful for all the time and awesome work he gave us while he was working with us!
We’re always big on employee achievements, even when those achievements aren’t work-related. One of our Omaha, NE employees, Kyle Bugge, bowled his first 300-point game at Leopard Lanes this past weekend. Nice job Kyle!
Another thing we’re big on is our company history. Because of our pride in our heritage we decided to create a video to commemorate how far we’ve come and to show the path Jim Keizer took to get us where we are today. Check it out below!
Even though COVID19 hadn’t taken a huge impact on the US by this point, we were still focusing on the importance of safety. Our Operations Manager from our Omaha branch, Mark, attended a special presentation and luncheon where Nebraska State Police discussed accidents and some various training on the steps to take in the case of a vehicle accident. It’s always important to stay up-to-date on policies and training!
Just for fun, we celebrated National Hat Day this year for the first time. Employees were encouraged to wear all sorts of hats and, of course, Mid-States Utility hats were available. We even gave some hats out to our customers!
Collaboration is key to success, we believe and strive to follow this motto in every aspect and department. In February we brought all the parts managers together from all of our locations to participate in all sorts of team-building activities, meetings, and product demos. This allowed for them all to gain all the knowledge, and hopefully inspire some great new ideas, to implement throughout the coming year.
Our Omaha location enjoyed the axe throwing so much that shortly after they decided to go out for some team building activities of their own. They went over to their local Axe Throwing location followed by dinner at Stay Sweet, Nicola’s in the Omaha Old Market.
Mid-States and Keizer Companies are always looking for great employees to bring in and add to our wonderful staff. We were reaching out to, and bringing in new employees for various positions all throughout the year of 2020. We’re constantly growing and want others to join us as we expand so if you or someone you know is looking for an awesome employment opportunity, please reach out to us!
Our parts and service department always stay on the cutting-edge of the products available to them. We had a fantastic opportunity, to get a presentation and demonstration from #ReeferBond on their product and how it can benefit us.
As a company that’s been dubbed as “essential” it’s important that, during this time of difficulty, that we maintain not only the highest of safety and sanitary moderation possible, but also to maintain morale within the company. Our Omaha location found an incredibly creative way to do just that.
Our Omaha location always finds some way to have some at any given time. One day, they decided to have a drawing contest between the employees to see who could make the best turkey! You can read all about it in the blog post above!
Back in the day, our Omaha Service Director Mark Golden would give out prizes to employees that went above and beyond in their work. He has decided to bring it back!
Today the traveling “Top Banana” award goes to Travis Bohl, Parts Salesman, for exceptional customer service and support. Thanks for the awesome work, Travis! Shortly after, Adam Keogh was awarded the “Kudos Coin” for going above and beyond in his work. Not long after that our service tech Dusty Rhodes received some employee swag as a reward for helping a customer out who then left a massively positive review.
We always appreciate any and all customer feedback. If you want to leave us a review you can do so on Facebook or Google Reviews! We’d love to hear from you! And if an employee really helped you out, let us know so we can thank them personally!
At Mid-States Utility, safety is one of our highest goals we strive to achieve on a daily basis. We are always continuing to find new and innovative ways to ensure our workspace is safe for our employees so they can focus on the work they’re doing and not dangers that can arise.
We were recognized, once again, for our safety efforts thanks to the hard work from our safety manager Tom, and the various safety teams and managers at all of our locations who are dedicated to making sure employees are out of danger’s way while at work. You can read more about it in our blog post above.
We don’t allow any drinking on the job, but mocktails (which contain no alcohol) are fair game. Our Omaha Service Manager Mark Golden is always finding new and fun ways to keep morale high! He whipped up a (non-alcoholic) mocktail drink for everyone!
Today is national Mock tail day! We made a tropical mock tail for the team to bring in some much needed smiles and say thank you.Thank you for hanging in tough and putting in work during this uncertain time. It is a proud time for the trucking industry right now. A tough family of people from around the globe that faced fear when it showed up and work tirelessly to keep the world moving.Mark Golden – Omaha Service Manager
Omaha parts manager Jenni Blum along with her team hosted a group movie day open to all employees that wanted to attend. They had a great turn out with tons of food, buttered popcorn, and laughs while they enjoyed viewing “Super Troopers” and “Dazed and Confused.”
Thanks to all that attended, it was great to see a team come together even in there off time to enjoy each other’s company and get to know each other better.
Every summer, for the last 10+ years, Mid-States Utility Trailer Sales, Inc in Sioux City, IA sets aside a refrigerated trailer for a specific purpose, to help a very special program known as the Siouxland Youth for Christ.
We have the awesome opportunity to work with Siouxland Youth for Christ this summer as they sell peaches to raise money for their annual summer camp and other programs. Check out this article about all the details and also how you can support the organization! You can read more about it in our blog post above!
This is year 2 for us getting recognition by the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council. They have awarded us these plaques for Excellent Hazard Control. We truly appreciate the council and their commitment to safety and we too will continue moving forward with our commitment to safety for our employees, customers and facilities.
A good friend of our company, Scotty Briggs, sent us a letter thanking us for supporting him in the Special Olympics!
Companies all around the world have been experiencing a multitude of changes thanks to Covid19. Over this past weekend several of our managers went all the way out to Missouri to take a step back for a retreat.
Some of our employees over at the Omaha branch took a step back and went on an employee retreat where they did some team building activities, discussed future plans for the company, and just took a look at past and future. You can read more about it in our blog post above.
Some great pictures of the teams that participated in this year’s Nebraska Trucking Association Golfing Tournament. Our Omaha trailer salesman Dave Willman and our Omaha Outside Parts Salesman Mike Davis both hosted teams for this year’s tournament.
Our Omaha parts staff were greeted with a sweet treat one morning after the Parts Manager Jenni brought in a “Make Your Own Donut” kit that gave everyone their own choices to create their own donuts. A great example of a positive work environment!
Huge thanks to our owners Shane and Stacy who provided the service employees at our Sioux Falls location with free boots and a pizza lunch. Ensuring your employees have the necessities for success is how a business thrives!
We had our first ever competition for Open Enrollment signups with the goal to see which location could get the most employees to fill out their necessary open enrollment documentation before the end of the first week. Omaha took the win in the competition for Open Enrollment, managing to get 98% of the employees there were signed up by the deadline. To reward them they received the first-ever Keizer company blankets.
It wouldn’t be October at Mid-States Utility without a Halloween Party. This year, Sioux City joined in the festivities with their own Halloween celebration and several of the employees took advantage of the opportunity to dress up! Of course, it’s always hard to beat Omaha when they celebrate! They’re renown for their festivities during Halloween! Of course, all celebration was carefully planned with COVID-safety and restrictions in-mind.
We’ve turned our food drive into a yearly competition after seeing its success last year. The employees loved bringing in non-perishable food items for donations to their locations’ respective food bank. This year, we started the drive a little earlier and we’re glad we did because every single one of the three locations that participated broke last year’s donation records!
The final results are in for the Keizer Company Food Drive competition. We are incredibly proud to announce that all three locations surpassed last year’s donations for our respective food banks!
Retaining the 1st place title is the Sioux City location followed close behind by last year’s 2nd place Sioux Falls and finally Omaha who was close behind them. It’s been a great competition with a TON of participation from all of our employees, all finishing with over 6,000 food items for our communities! We truly appreciate the opportunity that all of our respective Food banks have given us to allow us to help our communities.
Safety can many times be a thankless job. And while each of our locations has an employee ran safety committee occasionally one of our team members go above and beyond when it comes to ensuring their coworkers are safe. Lyle Kummer, Outside Parts Salesman at our Sioux Falls store, is one of those special individuals. Lyle has been a member of our safety committee for some time now and according to our Safety Manager, Tom Johnston, “has been a true gem for our Sioux Falls team. I wish there was a way to clone him for our other locations. What him and the rest of the safety committee has achieved in Sioux Falls is nothing short of spectacular. His efforts have made my job easier along with helping to save the company money and most importantly keep his fellow coworkers safer!”
Safety Tom enlisted the help of Mark Eaton, former NBA All-Star with the Utah Jazz, to recognize Lyle’s efforts in Safety. You can see the video creation here!
Along with everything going on each month, here were some other events and achievements we participated in throughout the year of 2020.
Throughout the summer we did a number of giveaways including a die cast truck and trailer, as well as some awesome coolers for anyone who purchased a used reefer during the giveaway period. We had a ton of success and we’re excited to see what sort of giveaways we’ll be doing next year! To make sure you don’t miss these head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages and follow/like them to be notified whenever we share a post!
If there’s one thing we love doing it’s cookouts and pizza parties! Throughout the year our locations each had their own little celebrations giving food to our employees as a sign of appreciation for their hard work! Of course, we followed some strict COVID safety guidelines in order to safely host these cookouts such as gloves for everyone serving food, disinfected eating spaces, employee social distancing, and of course masks.
As the research and safety guidelines changed as the virus progressed so did our precautionary measures. The pictures you see above were taken at various points throughout the study of the virus so you may notice differing levels of precautions. Rest assured that, as these studies have discovered new information so have we changed our safety guidelines to assure maximum possible employee safety within the workplace.
As mentioned above, we’ve taken all sorts of precautions as studies have given us new information on the COVID19 virus. Employees were all given masks and various disinfectant products in order to keep their workspaces clean and sanitary. Additionally, we had to limit customer interaction and access to our facilities to ensure the safety of our employees. Because of this we have placed signs throughout our building to show customers where they can come in and speak with our staff without fear of potential infection spread.
We continue to have our safety drawings led by our fearless safety manager Tom giving out all sorts of gift cards and prizes to the employees for following our various safety procedures and ensuring a safe and positive work environment for all of our staff.
As we near the end of the year we want to offer our sincerest and most heartfelt thanks to all of you who have continued to support us through these trying times. Without you we couldn’t continue to offer our various products and services to our communities. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and we can’t wait to see you all on what will hopefully be a much safer year to come! Here’s to 2021!