Here at Walsworth, we’re lucky to have many excellent employees. These are the people who make our company run. Some of them interact with our customers every day, but many of them don’t. We’re lucky to have these people, and are sharing a little bit about them in our Behind the Scenes series.
Lindsey Ecklund is about to hit her 10-year anniversary with Walsworth. She’s an active mom, outdoor enthusiast and avid reader. At Walsworth, she’s the Human Resources (HR) person whom Walsworth employees go to when they have questions about their benefits.
She took the time to answer questions and share a look at her life, both at work and at home.
How did you end up coming to Walsworth?
Lindsey Ecklund: I actually started in the hospitality industry. That was my first job after graduating college. I started as a front desk clerk. After that, I was able to move up the ladder into a supervisory role and then on to become a guest services manager.
I then moved over to a property accountant and human resources manager position. That's really where I fell in love with HR and decided that that was a career path that I wanted to move into.
I have a degree in both in both human resources management and business management, so I had a couple of different directions I could go, but I really fell in love with the HR side of things.
I was working in that position in Kansas City when a human resources position opened in Marceline. With that opportunity, we were able to move back to my hometown and join the Walsworth family.
What is it about Human Resources that you liked so much?
LE: I like HR for many reasons, but there are probably two that are at the top of my list. The first one is my love for people. I love being able to help and work with people every day. We have some great employees here, and I'm pretty lucky I get to work with just about each and every one of them.
The second reason is the scope of my duties. When I come in to work in the morning, I never know what to expect. I don't think any two days are ever the same. There's very little repetition because we work in an ever-changing environment. Our processes, laws and our people are always changing, so I get to learn something new and different almost every day.
Let's talk a little bit about what you do.
LE: Benefits are my world. I manage all of the benefit plans and programs here at Walsworth, including the health plan, Cobra, flexible spending, our dental plan, employee assistance program, short-term and long-term disability, and our life insurance as well as our retirement plan. So if it's benefit-related, it typically comes my way. I also handle the leave of absence process and FMLA administration.
So even though you're not working directly with our customers, you're a pretty integral part of this company.
LE: Yes. The Human Resources department helps provide service to our internal customers, our employees. I believe we must first service our employees, so they, in turn, can service our external customers.
You work very hard to help employees and keep our lives running smoothly. You keep us up to date on all our benefits. Why is that important to you and how does that benefit the overall health of Walsworth?
LE: Our employees work very hard on a daily basis. I want to make sure they are fully educated and taking advantage of all of their benefits. My goal is to give them the tools to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
Let's talk a little bit about your life outside of Walsworth. Tell me about your family?
LE: My husband, Tom, and I have two boys. We have a 16-year-old, Daton, who is a sophomore at Brookfield high school; and then I have a five-year-old, Owen, who is a preschooler, getting ready to start kindergarten in the fall. They keep us pretty busy.
Is your 16-year-old looking at colleges yet?
LE: He's just started driving, so college has not really been in the forefront at this time. He is looking at going into an engineering field at MU or Missouri S&T. We're not sure yet, but we still have two years.
And the five-year-old?
LE: He's a preschooler now. He'll start kindergarten in the fall, so his biggest focus right now is what’s for dinner.
Do you have any hobbies or interests?
LE: Typically, I'm either working or with the family — spending time with them and being outside. Whether we're fishing, riding four-wheelers, going to car shows or just heading out to go swimming for the day, our family time is how we relax and refresh for the upcoming week.
I do love to read in my spare time. Historical fiction my favorite genre. It's my go-to. I really like Philippa Gregory books, and I'm currently reading the Outlander series. I love the kind of books you start and can just get lost in.
You said you're originally from the Brookfield/Marceline area?
LE: I am, yes. I was born and raised in Brookfield, Missouri. I was really excited to be able to come back. Not everybody gets that opportunity.
You've been with Walsworth for 10 years. You must enjoy working here.
LE: I do. When I started, I was actually the employment specialist. I just moved into benefits in 2014.
Moving over to benefits has been really good for me because I’ve been able to become a more well-rounded human resources professional.
Is there anything else you want to talk about, Lindsey?
LE: I will forever be grateful to Walsworth and the Walsworth family because they provide a wonderful opportunity for families like mine.
When most people make the choice to move to a rural area, they don't have the opportunity to pursue their career. I get to have the best of both worlds. I was able to move back to my hometown and raise my kids around my family and friends, but also able to follow the career path that I've chosen and that I love.
Do you foresee yourself being one of those long-time "lifer" employees that we have so many of?
LE: I'm happy with the path I am on and want to continue to advance, as well as expand my knowledge. Walsworth offers a good way to do that.