Of all the admirable qualities that distinguish Jackie Bauer – and there are many – the one that stands out is her commitment to connecting the front office of the Knoxville (Iowa) Plant with its production area. Not only is it illustrative of Jackie’s warm hospitality and sense of teamwork, there’s a practical element as well.
“I wouldn’t have a job without them,” she said of her coworkers.
Jackie serves as the plant’s general accounting clerk, but in a small location such as the Knoxville Plant, she noted she isn’t restricted by her job description. “There are only four of us in the office,” she said. “We all wear many hats.”
Indeed, her habit of “wearing many hats” is the main reason Jackie received the Pride of the Jersey award recently, notwithstanding her dedication to her accounting role.
“When you come up to the front office, Jackie’s the first person you see,” said Plant Manager Pat Kranz. “We’ve added a lot of people, and she is willing to help everyone out.”
Jackie joined the team in 1987, leaving behind a career as a dental assistant for a position in quality control with Hormel Foods. Though she likes to keep up with the “dental stuff,” suffice it to say, her home is with Hormel Foods now. In her more than 30 years with the company, she has worked for all of the plant managers except one and even met Phil – her husband of nine years – there.
Jackie grew up in Albia, some 30 minutes south of Knoxville. By her own account, she has two sons and “one beautiful daughter-in-law.” She spends her free time walking her pair of miniature schnauzers and taking in athletic contests that feature her kids and Phil’s grandkids.
She is also somewhat of a fixture in the small community of Knoxville, thanks to involvement with her church and a good many events in town. “I went to pick up cupcakes the other day, and the lady in the bakery knew Jackie,” Pat laughed, adding an even loftier endorsement.
“Without her, we wouldn’t be as tightly a knit group.”
She deflects the compliment in her characteristic way.
“If I can make someone feel special, that’s what matters to me,” she said.