If you are too young to have watched the Jefferson’s in the 70’s, you should really consult YouTube or MeTV. You’ve been missing out on a classic! I’ll spare you my rendition of the theme song, but … we are “Movin’ on Up!!” just like George and Weezy. Yes, Interstates is also movin’ on up, which is pretty cool. Just like the Jefferson’s, the movin’ on up is only part of the story, and in reality the least important part of the story.
For 50 years, Interstates has called Building 1520 in Sioux Center, Iowa, home. That is a long time and was the first real office of Interstates. To say there’s a lot of history in that building, is an understatement, as that history has shaped our organization. We are grateful for all of those years and the success that Interstates has experienced. Now have the opportunity to do things differently. We wanted our new space in Sioux Center to better fit for how we work. We want to encourage collaboration and do our best work. The new building was designed with collaboration in mind; featuring many open areas, a work cafe, and more. It will take some time to get used to, but I’m confident that the best is yet to come!
What Our People Think
It is a bittersweet move as we are sad to leave, but we are also excited for the new things that will take place within the walls of 1520. Family Crisis Centers will be moving in soon and they will continue the important work that they do in a building that provides a lot of opportunity for them to grow. We might also be providing accidental “free” lunches for them until we can get the local restaurants to adjust our new delivery addresses!
I asked a couple of employees who have called Building 1520 “home” what it feels like to move out. Here’s what I found out:
“I rarely came to the Interstates office for the first nine years that I worked here. In 1986 I moved into the office on a full-time basis. So that means that for over 32 years, I have been at this location. There were times that I felt like I spent more time in the office than I did at my home. It became my “safe space” over the years. But growth means that sometimes you have to move out of your traditional “safe” places and experience new things and different locations. I am excited to see that we have outgrown our office. Yes, we need more spots for people to sit at a desk, but we also need new ways to work together in a collaborative manner. I think the new office will provide many opportunities for Interstates to continue to grow and build the teams that will help make our customers and their projects successful. Will the last one out, please turn off the lights!”
– Brandt Bensema, Interstates VP Business Development
“Every day since January 8 (of this year) I have driven to B1520. Now that I’ve gotten settled here, and feel like I know my way around, they are making me move to a different building so I can get lost all over again…”
– Laura Eekhoff, Interstates Executive Administrative Assistant
Keep Moving Forward
Time for a pop quiz! What was the first address of our current building? Trick question. The answer is — it depends. If you ask the US Post Office, the answer would be 1520 N. Main Ave. If you could have asked our founder, John A. Franken, it was 1520 Industrial Park. And from 1969 to 1997, John A won. He just started using it and putting it on every letterhead and brochure Interstates had. And it worked – we got our mail. It was not changed until we got a letter from the US Post Office stating that they would not deliver mail to us unless we used the correct address. At the time, we had no idea we were using the wrong one. So, two years after John A retired, we finally started using our correct (real) address. Because old habits die hard, I might be driving to “1520 Industrial Park” for a while.
There’s a quote from Walt Disney that seems fitting for this chapter of the Interstates Family Story: “Keep moving forward.” I want to thank each of you for being open to these changes and encourage everyone to move forward together – living out the Interstates core values and leading the Interstates way!