The Co-Line facilities were spotted with red on Feb. 13, in recognition of National Wear Red Day, held at the beginning of February. The special day brings attention to the fact that one in three women die of heart disease and stroke, even though 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Co-Liners were encouraged to not only wear red but to also take steps to live longer, healthier lives.
The Hometown Press took home 11 awards from the Iowa Newspaper Association (INA) Awards Banquet on Feb. 6. The Co-Line-owned newspaper earned four first places, two seconds, and five thirds.
In only its third year of being eligible for awards, the Hometown Press finished second in general excellence judging in the Weekly Class 1 division for papers with a circulation of 1,150 or under, a significant accomplish for the paper considering it’s only five years old. The Hometown Press accumulated a total of 26 points, behind The La Porte City Progress-Review with 34 points as the top newspaper based on points for awards received.
Three members of the Hometown Press staff, Faye Brand, LeAnn Hjelmeland, and Margaret Vander Weerdt, spent the day with Iowa newspaper professionals at the annual INA Convention.
The INA Awards Banquet was held at the Marriott in Des Moines. The theme for this year’s event, DIG-IT-ALL, encouraged convention-goers to embrace everything digital while at the same time recognizing the rich tradition of the newspaper industry.
Aside from placing second in general excellence, another standout accomplishment was the Hometown Press also received third place overall for its first-place ad featuring financial, insurance, or other professional service when all the categories were judged together.
The 11 awards the Hometown Press received was more than double what it received for the past two years, five awards each year, since it became eligible for awards.
Best Ad Featuring Financial, Insurance, or Other Professional Service (14 entries)
First Place and Third Place Best of Weekly Class I Advertising: JH Travel
Second Place: Dowie Pest Control
Best Ad Featuring Grocery/Food/Entertainment (16 entries)
Third Place: ZIP IN
Comments: Graphic is so clean and the food looks good. Easy to read with an eye-catching heading. Like the change in typestyles in the copy.
Best Newspaper Website (4 entries)
First Place: www.hometownpressia.com
Best Feature Page (5 entries)
First Place – 8/14 Fopma’s Aronia Berries, 2/27 Wooden Spoon, 7/24 Harthoorn Family Double Blessing
Comments: Enjoyed all the pages and stories. Creatively designed with photos. Good headlines also.
Best Newspaper Marketing (8 entries)
Third Place: 12/26 Hometown Press page ad, front page graphic, and page three article all announcing the launch of the newspaper’s new website
Comments: Catchy ad. Great use of color. Creative content. Nice.
Best Sports Feature Story (8 entries)
First Place – “The Final Quarter”
Comments: Nice narrative lead draws in reader. The writing leaps off the page and is fun to read.
Third Place – “Once a Hawk, Always a Hawk”
Comments: Fun-to-read feature on a local prep football player.
Best Use of Graphics (8 entries)
Third Place: 2/6 Kennedy Roland feature, 10/17 Stella Turnbull feature, 12/19 front page, 2/27 FFA Salute, 7/17 Van Kooten Mustang feature, 12/5 Jasper County Freedom Rock feature
Eric Brand purchased the old welder pictured above for his dad, Dale Brand, in honor of Co-Line’s 35th anniversary. The welder is just like the original Millermatic 35 welder Rail bought back in 1978 – one of four pieces of equipment he had back then.
Paul Peterson of Airgas (formerly Wright Welding) was one of the first welding equipment salesmen to ever call on Rail, and Paul assisted Eric in finding the Millermatic 35 look-alike. “I had looked for quite some time, and it was difficult finding a nice condition, working unit from the 1970s!” Eric said.
Eric surprised Dale with the welder at the quarterly meeting at the end of January.
“I had asked Eric to go looking for one, but I had no idea he’d found one,” Dale said.
The story goes that Dale used to weld so much on gates with his Millermatic 35 that one time he actually melted one of the plugs on the front from running it so much!
Dale will add this welder to his collection as he already has his original work bench saved in his newly-finished barn at home. He also has his original stick welder.
As for the Millermatic 35, Dale said it’s one of the coolest gifts he’s received in a long time.
“It probably doesn’t mean much to anyone else, but it sure means a lot to me,” he said, adding that the sentimental value is not so much in the welder itself but rather in what the welder represents – the hard work and thousands of hours spent using that equipment years ago.
Co-Line Wellness Program kicks off at quarterly meeting
Back for a second year and here to stay is the Co-Line Wellness Program. The 2015 Wellness Team of Linda Russell, Jack Nicholson, and Jay Mitchell revealed the 2015 Wellness Program at the quarterly meeting on Jan. 28.
Improvements to the program include monthly incentives that will be rewarded quarterly rather than a year-long program like last year. Each month, employees will have an option for an exercise goal or an eating goal. Spouses are also eligible to participate. Employees have the ability to earn $120 for themselves and $120 for their spouse, along with other great prizes and perks throughout the year.
New this year, smoking cessation product reimbursements; athletic competition reimbursements including for 5K, golf tournaments, CrossFit competitions, etc.; as well as $50 cash for getting your annual physical were all added to the wellness program.
All employees and their spouses are invited to participate in the program. It’s often much easier to embark on new healthy habits with a partner, so encourage your spouse to join you and bring home an extra log to encourage your spouse’s participation. The additional benefits noted on the wellness schedule in your packet, (tobacco cessation reimbursement, competition reimbursement, and annual physical reward) are for employees only.
This is the year to get healthy!
Inspirations preschoolers now know ins and outs of how snowplows work, thanks to a visit from Marty Van Wyk and a Co-Line snowplow truck. Van Wyk brought the truck to Inspirations Preschool in Sully on Thursday, Jan. 22. The visit came during a week dedicated to winter activities – a bit of a tricky task considering Sully was basically snow-less that week. Inspirations staff, including director Dawn Allbee, let their creativity flow as they worked around not having any snow.
The children had questions about snowplows, so Allbee said they were excited when Co-Line and Van Wyk were willing to help them out by bringing a snowplow to the Inspirations parking lot.
“When the children walked out the door of the building, I heard 17 woahs!” Allbee said. “They were very impressed to get so close to it.”
Van Wyk showed the preschoolers how the blade moved and explained how and why the truck spreads sand on the road. The preschoolers were able to touch many parts on the truck and ask questions as their knowledge of snowplows grew.
“I expect the next time any of the children see a snowplow on the road, they will be able to tell their parents all the information they learned,” Allbee said. “When asked what their favorite part of the truck was, we got many different answers, so I think the whole thing was a hit!”
Dale Brand and the Co-Line/Goalsetter sponsored alcohol funny car team were honored at the NHRA Division Five West Central Banquet in Overland Park, KS on Saturday, Jan. 24. Team Co-Line/Goalsetter were crowned champions of the alcohol funny car class with 383 points. Second place was Kris Hool of Evansville, WY with 277 points, and third place went to Shane Westerfield of Anaheim, CA with 267 points. Brand had three division wins, one national win, and four semi-final appearances in 2014. Team members attending the banquet included Dale and Tana Brand, Eric, Faye, & Carter Brand, deWayne Lemons, and Marty and Trisha Van Wyk.
Plans for the 2015 season have not been decided yet, but drag racing has been in Brand’s blood since the early 1990’s!
In light of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Co-Line would like to honor the 14 people at Co-Line who have served or are serving in the United States military. Thank you for your dedication, courage, and sacrifice, whether it was in 2014 or many years ago. We are proud to have you in our midst.
- Jeff Davis
- Ged Leffler
- Ron Van Baale
- deWayne Lemons
- Byran Phillips
- Mike Philby
- Tillie Ford
- Ashely Lemons
- Terry Oswalt
- Gaylord De Jong
- Dennis Nolin
- Craig Cunningham
- Dan Tool
- Brian Whitehead
Remember to honor and thank those who have served in the United States Armed Forces on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11 – and throughout the year.
“This nation will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis
Co-Line held its employee quarterly meeting with bakery treats served on Wednesday, Oct. 22. Eric Brand welcomed new faces to the group, including 15 new hires for quarters two and three. Safety metrics were reviewed and each employee received a “Who are you working safe for?” magnetic picture frame.
Measurements for on-time delivery, quality, and productivity were reviewed. New this quarter, the profitability piece was added back into the bonus calculation. With this addition, the employee bonus was doubled.
New business opportunities and future building expansions were also shared with the group. At this time, doubling the size of the south facility is slated for spring of 2015.
Health Insurance costs were reviewed, but at the time of the meeting, no finalized numbers were available for the 2015 renewal year.
Eric also thanked everyone who helped the race team throughout the season. The team finished first in the central division and second overall in the nation.
Faye Brand and Rail Brand played some 35-year trivia games. Items included a 35-year-old white work shirt, stainless steel sign with mailbox letters, a deer rack with a plate and fork, and a bucket of dirt. Employees enjoyed some time hearing Rail reminisce over the years.
The meeting ended with all employees showing off their pink “Arky Strong” bracelets and taking a group photo for receptionist Linda Arkema, who is going through chemo treatments for breast cancer.