Hockenson news bittersweet

Monday, August 31, 2009

It was bittersweet news we received last week when Hy-Vee announced the promotion and reassignment of Tod Hockenson, Assistant Vice President of Distribution at the Cherokee Hy-Vee Distribution Center.

Hockenson has been promoted to vice president, distribution, and will take over the company's entire inbound and outbound delivery efforts Oct. 1.

Hockenson is a nine-year member of the company's distribution team. He currently directs the efforts of Hy-Vee's Cherokee Distribution Center. The promotion means he will move his family to Chariton, home of the company's main distribution facility.

"Efficient movement of goods is a key part of any retail operation, and Tod has exhibited an outstanding leadership style in overseeing our Cherokee operation," said Ric Jurgens, CEO of Hy-Vee. "We are confident that he will play a key role in coordinating the many facets of a delivery system that will get product to our customers quickly and efficiently."

We are happy for Hockenson attaining such a pinnacle in his career, but we are saddened that it means he and his family will be leaving Cherokee.

In such a competitive business, Tod recently lobbied for, achieved, and oversaw a nearly $13 million expansion that added 230,000 square feet to the Cherokee facility. Under his tutelage here, the Hy-Vee Warehouse work force has doubled.

Throughout his stay in Cherokee, Hockenson has been an avid community booster on all fronts. He has continually showed without fail an enormous pride in his local Hy-Vee work force and sings its many praises on a daily basis - even crediting his employees for being integral in the recent warehouse expansion occurring at Cherokee, further cementing its future here.

In our many dealings with Hockenson on all avenues, from corporate business issues to coaching youth sports, his integrity, compassion, kindness, and community spirit were always in the fore.

With wife Teri, a Cherokee school teacher, Tod has raised his wonderful family of former Braves and now young adults Andy and Matt, and current Cherokee students T.J. and Kelsey, in a community they obviously love.

When job promotions force you to leave one community for another, it's tough on everybody involved. In Hockenson's case, we know leaving his dedicated and accomplished work force only exacerbates the situation.

But Tod Hockenson has proven he has a lot to offer Hy-Vee and it's obvious that Hy-Vee knows that well.

This community will greatly miss the Hockensons. But we remain proud and indebted that they were a part of our lives.