Family means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To Elder Corporation and the Altoona community, it carries a shared definition.
What is it? Supporting the people around you to help them be their best.
Elder Corporation’s family-based mentality can be traced all the way back to its founding when a certain RG Elder—accompanied by his son, Jerry, and Jerry’s future wife, Judy—began digging basements in the Des Moines area.
They started with one rubber-tired Ford tractor, a lot of determination, and the thoughtful support of one another.
From there, they grew into the Elder Corporation (and helped build the Altoona community) we know today.
Watch this video with Elder Corporation’s own Steve Moyna and CJ Sherzan to learn about different ways their company helps build people up.
Helping Build Communities From the Ground Up
Elder Corporation moves literal mountains to give communities like Altoona a solid foundation.
As a full-service heavy civil construction partner, they tackle the crucial “down and dirty” aspects of construction work in a variety of different industries, shaping pretty much everything on sites except the buildings themselves.
Earthmoving, underground utility construction, demolition, materials recycling, soil stabilization, and grade control are among Elder Corporation’s numerous capabilities. They typically carry out this work in Iowa and Nebraska but will cover further out based on their customers’ needs.
At Elder Corporation, Family Comes First
Steve Moyna, Vice President of Business Development at Elder Corporation, has decades of experience under his belt. He’s witnessed firsthand how the construction industry has changed throughout the years.
He’s also seen how Elder Corporation has worked to change it for the better, especially for their own people.
“The old days of working from sunup to sundown, at least 6 to 7 days a week, have gone by the wayside,” he said. “We’re trying to focus on how we allow folks in our industry time off [and] make sure that they understand that the time they spend with their family is preeminent.”
Simply put, Elder Corporation knows that family comes first.
They work this into their operations with holidays off, efficient scheduling, and other initiatives. Steve described how this improves the employee experience.
“It does allow, also, the ability to get a lot of hours in, in a short timeframe in order to support their families. But we also realize they need time off,” he said, “to have time with their own families, to be recharged, and come back to work fully engaged.”
This family-first company attitude has been tremendously beneficial for CJ Sherzan, Project Coordinator at Elder Corporation.
She said, “Being a young mom, I can’t imagine working anywhere else and having that support of my company, making sure that being a mom is my top priority.”
“I bring my kiddos into work when I need to—all the guys downstairs know both of my boys.”
How they’ve helped shape Altoona’s landscape
Elder Corporation has lent a hand in shaping some of Altoona’s most well-known properties and amenities. And as CJ pointed out, many of them exist to bring our community’s families closer together.
“We want our Altoona community to have bike trails to be on. We want restaurants that families can go to,” she said, “building ponds…just everything within the community for options for young families.”
Elder Corporation has gone the extra mile to turn these “wants” into “works” for families in our city.
Elder Corporation’s services helped bring Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse, Burger Shed, Fairfield Inn Hotel, Hyatt Place Hotel, the Outlets of Des Moines, Bass Pro Shops, Spring Creek Sports Complex, and many other Altoona favorites to life.
But that’s only their on-the-clock impact.
Elder Corporation continues to invest in the Altoona community outside of work through things like Bernie’s Barnyard at Adventureland Resort, Southeast Polk High School’s after-prom celebration, the Altoona Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Trick or Treat night, Altoona Palooza, and more.
Why Altoona? The People
The City of Altoona and Elder Corporation have built a strong partnership throughout the years. What’s helped secure this close bond? Knowing the importance of community.
Residents of Altoona themselves, CJ and Steve both found this to be true in their personal and professional lives.
CJ said that helping Altoona grow (both in a physical and social sense) has had a tremendous impact on her.
“I never thought that I’d be able to drive through town and know that I was a part of that project,” she said. “My kiddo, he sees our blue trucks everywhere and he goes, ‘Mommy’s work! Mommy’s work!’”
“Knowing I’m a part of growing this community from the ground up is more than more I’ll ever be able to explain,” she said.
Steve and his family are deeply intertwined with the well-being of our city—it wouldn’t be the same without them.
“As a 30-year resident of Altoona, my growth within the community has also evolved with the Elder Corporation growth,” he said.
To Steve, Altoona really is set apart by the people. He said they’ve been fantastic to work and live with all this time.
“I’ve met so many good people,” he said, “across so many different avenues and trades that ultimately lead back to what we do as a company.”
Steve explained that these people have turned out to be customers, colleagues, friends, neighbors, and more.
He also said something that really personifies the way both the Altoona community and Elder Corporation think about building up the people around them.
He said, “Get out, be involved and engaged in the community, and good things will happen.”
Just east of Des Moines, Altoona is a growing community that offers a high quality of life, numerous amenities, a thriving business community, and a bustling entertainment scene.
Want to learn more about life in Altoona? Start here.
Or, if you’re interested in doing business here, you can learn more about our business-friendly environment here.