Ohnward Bancshares logo

Add a Maquoketa, Iowa-based holding company to the growing list of companies pledging to share the wealth with their employees in the wake of the tax relief bill passed by Congress.

Ohnward Bancshares, the parent of Ohnward Bank and Trust, Maquoketa State Bank, First Central State Bank and Gateway State Bank, announced it will pay a $1,000 tax relief, holiday bonus to every company employee. The bonus is separate and in addition to the normal bonuses paid based on company performance.

The move puts Ohnward in good company with corporate giants such as AT&T, Boeing, Comcast, Wells Fargo and others, all of which have announced plans to pass the tax savings on to their workers in one form or another.

"There has been a lot of debate about what a tax cut will do for the nation's economy," Ohnward's leadership team of Abram Tubbs, Brigham Tubbs, Alan Tubbs and Kendra Beck said in statement. "This sweeping tax reform will create economic growth in our communities, but only if the expense savings are shared."

In fact, the leadership encouraged its team members to "spend it at locally owned businesses or consider making a donation to a local, charitable organization."

The billion-dollar bank holding company employs more than 260 full-time and part-time employees across its 22 financial offices in Eastern Iowa.

Brigham Tubbs, the CEO and president of First Central and president of Ohnward, said the bonuses were paid to every active employee — including one who just came on the job Wednesday and another with just two weeks on staff.

In fact, he said in an email Friday that when the news was announced there was some disbelief. "Our IT department has been doing some training on spam/fraud emails. We had several employees contact our IT department concerned that the email message was fraudulent."

Once they realized it was real, "We had a lot of very happy people and lots of energy in all of our branches," Tubbs added. "We have a great desire to pay this to our team as they are the engine behind what we do everyday."

Ohnward is locally owned by shareholders living primarily in the Iowa counties of Jackson, Clinton, Scott, Jones and Linn.

Quad-City companies earn accolades

Two Quad-City workplaces are enjoying awards received thanks to the perceptions their employees have of their employer.

Royal Neighbors of America, a Rock Island-based life insurance and annuities provider, has earned the distinction as a Great Place to Work in the Quad-Cities and in Mesa, Arizona, where it also has operations. While Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., with operations in Davenport and Clinton, has been honored with a Glassdoor Employees' Choice Award that recognizes it as one of the Best Places to Work in 2018.

Royal Neighbors, founded in 1895 by nine women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and their families, was honored by Great Place to Work, an independent research firm and global authority on workplace cultures. The award recognizes outstanding workplace cultures.

For the award, Great Place surveys companies and certifies them based on employees' ratings of their employer's challenges, atmosphere, rewards, pride, communication and managers. 

"Royal Neighbors invests in creating a positive and productive work environment that supports our mission of empowering women," said Cynthia Tidwell, Royal Neighbors president and CEO. "Our employees take pride in knowing they come to work each day to an organization that values respect, fairness, credibility and camaraderie."

The Glassdoor award bestowed on Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. is based on input of employees who provided feedback on their jobs and the company's dog and cat food and litter brands. The award now is in its 10th year.

"Our passionate associates make the culture at Purina, where we work every day to enrich the lives of pets and the people who love them," said Steve Degnan, Nestlé Purina's chief human resources officer.

The St. Louis-based Nestlé Purina employs more than 8,000 associates across the country and operate 20 manufacturing facilities across the country.

"We know today's job seekers are more informed than ever about where they go to work, researching everything from company culture to career opportunities to pay philosophy and more," said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor CEO and co-founder.

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or jdewitt@qctimes.com