West Des Moines, Iowa — Homesteaders Life Company, a national leader in preneed funeral funding, recently announced the winners of its annual Homesteaders Heroes program. The peer-nominated awards recognize employees who demonstrate Homesteaders’ mission and make an impact on the success of both the company and its funeral home customers.

“This year we were thrilled to have 48 employees nominated for their contributions to Homesteaders,” said Judy Ralston-Hansen, Executive VP-Human Resources. “Since nominations are submitted by colleagues within the company, the Homesteaders Heroes awards are particularly meaningful. They are a testament to the level of support and appreciation among all of our employees.”

Homesteaders Heroes award winners were named in five categories:

Rising Star Award – Ron Crawley, Director-Strategic Integrations
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.

“In his short tenure, Ron has been instrumental on many fronts,” noted one of his nominators. “He fosters innovation and creative problem solving among his peers. His energy and passion create a high level of excitement and commitment.”

Outstanding Teamwork Award – Jennifer Corrigan, Manager-Payroll and Benefits
This award recognizes an outstanding member of a team who has demonstrated enthusiasm, cooperation, problem-solving skills, commitment to success and a consistently positive attitude.

“Jennifer is one of Homesteaders’ unsung heroes who quietly does her job without a lot of fanfare,” described one of her nominators. “She treats fellow employees with kindness and compassion, while consistently demonstrating high standards with her exceptional attention to detail and dedication.”

Innovation Award – Cole McFarland, Research Application Developer
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.

“One of Cole’s greatest strengths is his passion for technology and using it to deliver innovative solutions which help differentiate Homesteaders,” mentioned one of his nominators. “When many would turn away due to risk of failure, Cole sees the opportunity and seizes it.”

Inspiring Leadership Award – Steve Brodie, Senior Account Executive
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.

“Steve is a true professional who values the contributions of others and wants what’s best for the organization,” wrote one of his nominators. “I am truly humbled by his knowledge, kindness, professionalism and expertise.”

Enduring Impact Award – Patti Banks, Director-Sales Administration
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.

“Patti’s concern and loyalty to Homesteaders makes her a perfect fit for this award,” explained one of her nominators. “She is a tireless advocate for her co-workers and has their best interests in mind, while also creating solid customer relationships.”


Homesteaders Life Company is a national leader providing products and services to promote and support the funding of advance funeral planning and end-of-life expenses. Visit homesteaderslife.com to learn more.