Taking family business to the next level
As a century-old family-owned and operated business, the importance of family values as a core driver for success is visible all over CITY’s company culture.
“It’s about coming together and contributing,” Colin Wetlaufer, CITY’s president said. “In my family, this business is it and so are its employees and anybody who works with us.”
Apart from Colin being part of the Wetlaufer family’s CITY legacy, 15 CITY employees are related. From Route Service Representatives to office and production employees. The importance and literal meaning of family carry throughout CITY’s operation.
“As a president of a company, there’s no greater compliment than saying, “Hey, I want my family to be here,” Colin said. “It gives me overwhelming pride that somebody would feel so comfortable and so excited to share their work experience that they want their family to be part of CITY.”
Eric Mast has worked at CITY for 14 years. While he is now a production team captain, he started helping out during the summers before accepting a fulltime position. He found his way into CITY’s plant because of his dad Rick. Rick has worked at CITY for 28 years and Rick’s mother also worked for the Wetlaufers for decades. Today Eric’s wife Heather works alongside her husband giving Eric tremendous pride to be a third-generation CITY employee and to keep working at a family-owned business together with his family.
“It’s so special,” Eric said. “Just having access to family right here and being able to see them every day. “It’s a family atmosphere here at CITY and we really feel like everyone cares for the person next to you just like family.”
Other members of the CITY family built on their experience and motivated their family members to join the business. Hildy Webb has been a sales representative at CITY for five years. Four years ago, her brother Barney came on board and is now a District Manager in Des Moines.
“I have always wanted my brother on the team,” Hildy said. “CITY is very people-oriented and we care for each other. My brother and I have always been really close and being able to share this is awesome.”
The familiarity of being able to talk to everyone honestly and directly made Barney want to join his sister in Des Moines. Being able to meet with Colin and go to football games with him, showed Barney that he wasn’t just a number but truly part of a family. Now, both Webb’s enjoy being able to talk about their jobs and share stories of a family-owned business at the family dinner table.
“It’s funny we still talk about CITY all the time,” Barney said. “We don’t see each other much during the day so when we get together as a family, it’s the perfect way to talk about what we love, our jobs.”
Someone who has embraced the CITY spirit and who’s worked for the Wetlaufer family for 40 years also made CITY a family affair on his own. Mark Ballo, CITY’s Des Moines Regional Manager welcomed his daughter Brenna into the business as she became Colin’s Executive Assistant.
“CITY has been part of my entire life,” Brenna said. “I’ve seen what a good life it can provide and the Wetlaufers have been a part of my family for so long. It’s truly like a family within a family.”
Roger Wetlaufer and his wife Mary both came to Brenna’s high school graduation. Colin has known her for several years and is excited to have her be part of the CITY team.
“It’s so special to me because CITY is so personal,” Brenna said. “It’s cool to work with my dad, I root for him and I want him to be successful. If you come in and you have a great experience, you tell people about it, you get excited about your job and you want people to come to be a part of that.”
From decorating CITY Christmas parties with her mom to attending CITY’s 100-year celebration, Brenna has a profound connection with her place of work, all because it doesn’t just feel like family, it is family.
“Colin as the president knows everybody’s name,” Brenna said. “CITY is so focused on family values and it’s a great place to work because of it.”