Letter to the editor – Jack Lewis & former Younkers employees

We Worked for Fred Hubbell — Here’s the Truth

To the editor,

We actually worked at Younkers and knew Fred Hubbell when he led the company from the 1980s to the early ‘90s. He was a compassionate, hard-working and very effective leader.

Before Fred assumed leadership of the company in the 1980s, Younkers wasn’t performing well on a number of fronts, and escalating losses put its survival in question. Fred essentially assumed a turnaround challenge. He successfully led strategic development, which grew the company and opportunities for thousands of Younkers employees like us. He improved employee benefits and empowered leaders to make the tough decisions required to turn the company around.

Fred took charge during the farm crisis, and those of us living in Iowa in the 1980s remember how difficult that time was. Fred was committed to finding the best opportunities and solutions for the greatest number of people.

Frankly, we are disappointed with Governor Reynolds’ attack on Fred’s time at Younkers and we feel the need to speak out. Her campaign’s television commercial doesn’t represent the reality of what was happening at Younkers and in Iowa then, or even how our stores worked. Without the actions taken by Fred Hubbell, Younkers would not have expanded to become one of the leading independent retailers in the Midwest at that time.

Fred is a proven leader who genuinely cares for people and listens to his employees, digests information and takes various points of view into account before making final decisions. We saw this happen time and time again.

Take it from people who actually worked for him — Fred is the kind of leader you want making the tough decisions for Iowa. We will be voting for him this November.

John D. “Jack” Lewis – Jefferson, Younkers employee: 1963-1995
Connie Boesen – Des Moines, Younkers employee: 1969-2003
Kathy Kahler – Urbandale, Younkers employee: 1974 – 2007
Dave Rothrock – Des Moines, Younkers employee: 1985-2007
Steve Strohman – Urbandale, Younkers employee: 1975-1992
Leo Whelan – Ames, Younkers employee: 1985-2005
Pat Tempel – Des Moines, Younkers employee: 1975-2003
Mark Holub – Des Moines, Younkers employee: 1986-1996
Jan Koeneman Rothrock – West Des Moines, Younkers employee: 1977-2003

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