When I applied for my job at IAI 13 years ago, I was excited to put my love of math and numbers to good use and get paid for it at the same time! However, I loved the very small irrigation management company that I had worked at for just 3 short years and couldn’t imagine finding another company where I would have the same genuine family feel and be equally as happy. I was (and still am) absolutely terrified of the interview process, but interviewing with Paul Engstrom was so comfortable. He made me feel like I was already part of the IAI family (after all, he pointed out that we were nearly next door neighbors) by expressing how he appreciated my loyalty to the irrigation company. Yes, he had a few questions about my education, but it seemed that he was more interested in who I was as a person and thankfully he gave me the opportunity on the job to prove what I knew without any testing or grilling during the interview process.
While I worked just 4.51 years under IAI’s original ownership (Paul, Jan Mansheim & Penny Butler), I quickly came to realize that I had an equally great family feel at IAI. How many companies can say that they’ve had father and daughter, brother and sister, AND mother and daughter working together at the same time? It happened here! Paul’s infamous letter to his employees titled “I Believe” sums it all up for me and I read it often. The part it leaves out is how wonderful, hardworking and knowledgeable he is; he’s too modest for that.
April 30th was Paul and Jan’s last day at IAI. They have both entered into their next (well deserved) adventure, retirement! I’m sure they’ve planned well for it given their expertise in the retirement industry. We wish them both the best. Their retirement greeting cards from all the rest of us at IAI are overflowing with the same sentiment that I’ve conveyed here and with an overwhelming message that we will miss them both so much! I’m the lucky one since I will at least see Paul around our neighborhood. Watch for Paul on the golf course, and for Jan on the river fishing with her husband.