By Lorie Lewis Ham
This month we have the final article in the Mennonite Aid Plan (MAP) history series celebrating their 100 years in business. They originally formed as a way for the brotherhood of believers to care for their own. The motto of Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ” was adopted and remains the official motto today. You can find parts 1 and 2 of this series on the website. We have covered the highlights of the last 100 years, and now we are going to focus on those who currently work for Mennonite Aid Plan/Mennonite Insurance Services.
Jerry Linscheid is the current General Manager and CEO. That means he is the person who receives direction from the board of directors and tries to figure out how to implement that direction with all of their staff. He began working there on June 1, 2009, just ten days after the previous General Manager, Ron Licata, passed away. “I was not able to work with him and had to learn my role from our staff, board members, and others. I am grateful for their guidance.”
One of Jerry’s favorite memories from his work there involves a customer who thought her ring had been stolen from her home. “She wasn’t sure who might have taken it and didn’t want to wrongly accuse someone. We paid the claim as a theft loss. About six months later she called and said that the ring had slipped behind something and now was found. She returned the amount we paid to her. That embodies the relationship we want to have with all our customers, one where we trust each other and know that we are looking to do what is best for each other. When a company is created by church folks for church folks, that trust is more likely to be present.”
Insurance Agent Dalia Jimenez has been with the company for 26 years as of this past May and her time with MAP was recognized at their celebration banquet earlier this year. Her favorite thing about working there has been all of the people that she has gotten to work with through the years. “One special lady, Marsha Okada, passed away last year. We shared an office for many years and shared a lot of memories with her. She is missed dearly by all of us.”
Claudia Fletes wears many hats at MAP, working as an Insurance Agent, Underwriter, and in Customer Service, Sales, and Marketing. Her favorite thing about working there is also the people. “When I think of my 20 years at Mennonite Aid Plan, I think of the wonderful women I’ve worked with and the friendships we’ve made.”
Yolanda Hernandez has been an Insurance Agent with MAP since March 1 of 2006. Her favorite memories are of the staff potlucks and birthday celebrations throughout the years, handing out candy to the kids from the local daycare when they would stop by the office to trick or treat for All Hallows Eve, and seeing the Reedley High School band pass by the office when they would practice.
During her seven years there, Michelle Heinrichs has worked in Outside Sales and Customer Service. Her favorite memory comes from when she worked doing Outside Sales. “It was at an annual gathering of a pastors’ retreat. I grew up a pastor’s daughter, so I have worshipped in all settings and been surrounded by countless groups of people over the years. That was the first time that I was surrounded by leaders of the church singing or just listening to the worship music and it was evident their hearts were open to God moving in the room and their lives and churches. Very powerful. I was humbled to be in the room. I will always be grateful for that memory.”
Having been there only six years this coming October, Customer Service Representative Stephanie Heier is the newest member of the team, and like most of the staff, her favorite memories involve the people she works with. “My favorite memories are from our staff Christmas luncheons in the office. We get to enjoy a lunch together, open presents, and give each other gifts. It’s always such a fun time with my coworkers.”
Whether you work for the Mennonite Aid Plan, or are a customer, the key to their success seems to be caring about others. They truly embody their motto, “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” Here’s to another 100 years! If you have a story to share about a special experience with MAP we hope you will share it with us on our Facebook page.