Surveyor I, Madison WI
In 2014, Tyler Bergstrom worked as a land surveyor for Ulteig Engineering based in Cedar Rapids. Then, while travelling for work to Mineral Point, a tornado warning hit. He spent the weekend holed up in his hotel along with line techs from Alliant Energy. They told him the company was looking for a land surveyor. He applied the next Monday.
Soon after, he was invited to meet the hiring manager at Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids. Midway through the interview, the sky turned green. It began to hail. Another tornado.
Bergstrom, his interviewer and the other employees working on the floor sheltered in the elevator lobby. It wasn’t so bad: His interviewer introduced him to the other employees and the managers. Then, once the danger passed, they went into a cubicle to finish the interview.
“That was around July of 2014,” Bergstrom says. “Things worked out perfectly.” Bergstrom got the job and moved from Cedar Rapids to Madison, Wisconsin. “If I hadn’t talked to the line techs at that hotel in Mineral Point, I wouldn’t have known about the job. It was meant to be, I guess.”
At his previous position, Bergstrom worked mostly in the field and sent his data in to the office. But at Alliant Energy he works his own projects “start-to-finish.” He spends about half his time in the field, then makes his own maps and writes his own reports in the office. “I love that,” he says. “It’s made me a better surveyor.”
Bergstrom grew up in southern Minnesota in a strong union family. His parents, brother and sister have all been union members. He joined Wisconsin’s IBEW 965 Local union when hired by Alliant Energy. He has served on the RENEW committee, which encourages union participation among next generation of electrical workers under 35, the Scholarship Committee, the Safety Leadership Committee and as Chief Steward of the Madison office. And in 2019, he was elected to serve a three-year term as the union’s Vice-President.
The union has given him the chance to participate in local politics, international conferences and, last summer, he and a few of his fellow union members even got to participate in a Zoom call with former Vice President Joe Biden. He also volunteers for Adopt-a-Highway, a summer food drive for local children, and is a member of the Town of Dekorra Planning Commission.
After years of apartment living, he finally settled in and bought his first house in Wisconsin. One thing, however, has not changed.
“Since I am from Minnesota, I am obviously a Vikings fan,” says Bergstrom. “They say it takes 10 years to convert to a Cheesehead, but I say, NEVER! SKOL!”
Senior Community Affairs Program Manager, Cedar Rapids IA
In the fall of 1996, Leah Rodenberg lived in Des Moines and worked as an executive assistant to the president of the Chamber of Commerce. She loved her job.
“It was a dream job where I had the opportunity to do a variety of projects,” she says. She wrote speeches, ran local PR campaigns and even took a trip to Russia to help with the opening of the Chamber for their sister city.
Then she married a man from Cedar Rapids. She told him, “I love Des Moines. I’m not moving.” As winter approached, she said, “OK, bring home the Gazette.”
He did, and she spotted a listing for a special projects and events coordinator at IES Utilities. “It all happened in a week,” she says. “I applied, interviewed, they offered me the job. And I’ve never left.”
This year marks her 25th year at Alliant Energy.
“I have loved every minute of it,” says Rodenberg, now the Senior Community Affairs Program Manager for the Alliant Energy Foundation, where she helps direct charitable giving to community organizations.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than when the values of the company and the job fit perfectly with your personal values, when you feel like you are making a difference every day and that your work matters.”
At Alliant Energy, Rodenberg works with her colleagues on numerous programs to support our communities including Community Grants, Corporate Sponsorships, Matching Gifts, Scholarships, Employee Giving and Volunteer Engagement. She reaches out to non-profit partners within four focus areas: Hunger and Housing, Workforce Readiness, Environmental Stewardship and Diversity, Safety and Wellbeing to determine ways the company can partner and support their efforts.
In addition, Rodenberg leads by example by being very active in the community. She currently serves as Board Chair of Volunteer Iowa, chairs the HACAP Food Reservoir Advisory Council, and serves as a board member of the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Four Oaks, and Marion Public Library Foundation, among other committees including Women Lead Change and United Way’s Workplace Volunteer Council.
Rodenberg also serves as a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Rodenberg credits her parents, who taught their children to value community service. She grew up on a farm in Gladbrook, a small community north of Marshalltown. Her father was a state senator; her mother was president of the school board.
“My parents are very philanthropic and engaged in the community,” she says. “Growing up, that was just expected– you volunteered, you were involved.”
Rodenberg now shares her love of community with her husband, Tom, and two sons, who are both students at Iowa State University.
“Gandhi’s quote sums it up perfectly for me – ‘The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.’ I’m proud and grateful to work for a company who values giving back.”