Lewis and Fedeler celebrate anniversaries with Heartland

July 6, 2015

Heartland Executive Assistant Kathie Lewis and Accountant Sharla Fedeler have both been employed with Heartland since they graduated from college. For Lewis that has been 38 years and Fedeler 35.

“Sharla and Kathie’s longevity is a rare commodity in today’s workforce,” said Heartland CEO Russell Olson. “Not many people stay with a company long enough to put down the cornerstone for a 38 or 35 year career. I appreciate both of their work ethics and attention to detail, and am grateful they are both still here.”

Lewis joined Heartland as a secretary on June 6, 1977 after graduating from Dakota State College (now Dakota State University), and became the company’s third full-time employee. Heartland’s first office had opened just six months earlier.

“I never imagined when I was hired I would be working here this long and would have only one job after college,” said Lewis. “Heartland has been a great place to work and it’s amazing how fast the years fly by!”

Throughout here 38 years at Heartland, Lewis has worked for six different general managers in three different office buildings. Her main responsibilities today include answering the phone, making travel arrangements, preparing for board meetings, scanning accounting records and some accounting duties.

A native of Madison, Lewis has been married to her husband Al for 36 years. Their family includes son Nick, his wife Alaina and their two children Addisyn and Gavin; daughter Lindsey and her husband Riley. In her free time she enjoys bowling, golfing, camping, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Fedeler joined Heartland in 1980 as a bookkeeper. It was her first job after graduating from Nettleton College in Sioux Falls, SD.

“When I first started, all the accounting was done by hand,” said Fedeler. “I used an old posting machine and a calculator—we didn’t have computers.”

Heartland was going through a bond issue when Fedeler first began working at Heartland. She said she remembers thinking she would never see the year 2015 when that bond issue would be paid off, but “I am actually still here!”

Today Fedeler is responsible for accounts receivable and payable, customer billing, assisting with audits and budgets, and more. During her tenure, she has worked under four general managers and four supervisors.

Also a Madison native, Fedeler and her husband Dave have two children, Ryan and Sara, and three grandchildren, Avery, Emmett and Jaxon. In her free time she enjoys walking, being outdoors, attending her grandchildren’s activities and spending time with her family.

Congratulations Kathie and Sharla!