John Bloomhall has worked through his share of trials, tribulations and tests. How, after all, can you not be tested in some manner every day when you operate a business for more than a decade? But there has been no greater test than the flood waters that continued to rise.
In June 2008, flood waters poured across Iowa, and especially across Cedar Rapids, where Bloomhall works as president and CEO of Diamond V Mills Inc. The company develops proprietary technologies for animal and human nutrition and has multiple buildings in the city. Its manufacturing facility was hit with more than 3 feet of water, enough to swallow most employees to their waists. Its headquarters filled with more than 9 feet of water, engulfed to the ceiling tiles on the first floor.
Bloomhall did think about the company, of course, about the future, but not before he thought about his employees. He wanted to make sure they knew their positions and salaries would be secure, no matter the damage, and that they would receive financial assistance to repair their homes. He also wanted to return to normal as soon as possible. Within eight days of re-entering the manufacturing facility, the company shipped product. Within three months, the headquarters was gutted, rebuilt and in use.
Diamond V has never broken stride with its ambitious entrepreneurial plans, even during and after the flood. The company has expanded with subsidiaries in China and Mexico and opened sales offices in the Netherlands and Thailand. More than 30 percent of its sales are diversified in 40 countries.
Add to that the fact that more than half of all company revenue comes from products introduced during the last 10 years and you have the blueprint for a business that is both resilient and smart.
How to reach: Diamond V Mills Inc., (800) 373-7234 or www.diamondv.com