No. 7 Small Company: Cedar Rapids Kernels

By Jeff Holmes

For Jessica Fergesen, director of corporate sales and marketing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball team, coming to work every day is a ball.

“It’s the atmosphere,” she said. “Every day is something different. And no two days are ever the same. One day we might be passing out hot cocoa to the fans because it’s so cold and the next day handing out bottled water because it’s so hot.

“It’s just a fun atmosphere every day,” she said. “You come in to work every day wondering what new experience you can have.”

Ms. Fergesen said that the team’s recent affiliate switch from the Los Angeles Angels to the Minnesota Twins has made a big change in the community interest in the team.

“That’s been big,” she said. “Fans are more educated since there is more of connection with the Twins being so close.”

Figuring out ways to make fans happy is one of the cool aspects of working for the Kernels.

“Our organization is in the business of creating memories and having fun. We are given the opportunity every day to make someone’s day special. The organization provides us the tools and environment to fulfill our mission of creating special moment that our fans, young and old alike, will remember for a lifetime,” an employee stated in the nomination form. “Another reason the Kernels is a cool place to work is that we are all empowered to do the right thing. In fact our employee slogan is ‘Do the Right Thing.’ If we see a fan needs assistance or has encountered a problem, we have the authority to resolve the issue on the spot without going to management to obtain approval. Having this freedom and empowerment to take care of our customers, makes working at the Kernels pretty cool.”

And then there is the perk of having a cool office.

“It’s a baseball team. Every day when I go to work, I go to a sports stadium – how cool is that,” another employee stated.