Sixth Annual Homesteaders Heroes Program Honors Outstanding Employees

West Des Moines, Iowa —Homesteaders Life Company, a national leader in preneed funeral funding, has announced the recipients of its annual Homesteaders Heroes awards. The peer-nominated awards recognize employees who support Homesteaders’ mission and values, making a positive impact on the success of the company and its customers.

Homesteaders Heroes Logo“Our team continues to bring their best every day, and those efforts are reflected in the Homesteaders Heroes award recipients,” said Homesteaders Executive VP-Human Resources Judy Ralston-Hansen. “The fact that these awards are peer-nominated makes them even more special.”

Homesteaders Heroes award recipients were named in five categories:


Jacob HeiligerRising Star Award: Jacob Heiliger, Application Developer

This award recognizes an employee who demonstrates eagerness to learn, commitment to Homesteaders and engagement with the company and peers early in his or her career. Since joining Homesteaders in 2020, Heiliger has played a key role on many IT project teams and has become a go-to contributor.


Brian SchwartzInnovation Award: Brian Schwartz, Salesforce Administrator

This award recognizes an employee for the successful implementation of a new or updated product, service or program that results in a measurable improvement in the company’s performance, processes or brand strength. Schwartz was recognized for his work on the development of a new technology system for Homesteaders’ customers and his positive impact on expediting a number of technology solutions, enhancing our customers' success.


Tammy McDanielOutstanding Teamwork Award: Tammy McDaniel, Senior Agency Advisor

This award recognizes enthusiasm, cooperation, problem-solving skills, commitment to success and a consistently positive attitude. Dedicating much of her time to the successful implementation of a key initiative, McDaniel enthusiastically shares her knowledge and problem-solving skills to ensure future success.


Ron CrawleyInspiring Leadership Award: Ron Crawley, Director-Strategic Integrations

This award recognizes an employee who has shown incredible leadership skills and can be described as inspiring, decisive and visionary, yet humble and willing to give credit to others. His peer-nomination explained, “Crawley is the embodiment of inspiring leadership. He shows true humility – putting the goals of team and individual team members ahead of his own.”


Dan LodermeierEnduring Impact Award: Dan Lodermeier, VP-Field Sales

This award recognizes an employee for a significant, long-term contribution or body of accomplishments to Homesteaders that make a lasting impact on the company’s success. In addition to his impact as a 30-year employee, Lodermeier inspires others daily to give their very best through the energy and passion he shows his team and Homesteaders as a whole.


Homesteaders Life Company, a mutual company owned by its policy holders, is the national leader providing products and services to help people design a better farewell.