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Ziegenfelder Company Employees Get a Big ‘Thank You’ with Bonuses

Photo by Scott McCloskey – Ziegenfelder Company President Barry Allen, pictured, and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Heller, not pictured, made the COVID Employee Appreciation Bonus announcement last Friday at the company’s new production, office and employee facility in Wheeling.

WHEELING – Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ziegenfelder Company — the Wheeling-based maker of TwinPops — hasn’t missed a beat. Company executives wanted to reward that hard work in a big way.

The company awarded their “Zieggy Tribe Members” COVID employee appreciation bonuses totaling $750,000.00.

The Ziegenfelder Company has manufacturing plants in Denver, Colorado, and Chino, California, on top of its Wheeling headquarters, with an employee base of fewer than 350. Those in the company making under the government threshold of $75,000 each earned bonuses between $2,000 and $3,000.

The amount of the bonuses, announced last Wednesday, are determined by the length of time that employee has worked with the company.

Company president Barry Allen said that, during a year of uncertainty because of COVID, one thing that remained certain was the dedication of Ziegenfelder’s employees.

“Each member’s ability to quickly adapt to new precautionary procedures and dedication to attendance, allowed us to stay fully operational, delivering smiles across the United States, one TwinPop at a time.” Allen explained. “They’ve dealt with every kind of COVID adversity they could deal with — with stay-at-home orders and shelter-in-place orders … and they just really haven’t missed a beat.

“Those efforts and adaptations will not go unrecognized, and that is why this COVID employee appreciation bonus is being awarded,” he added.

The business — owned by Lisa Allen, who became majority owner from her father Charles Lando in 2005 — centers its operations around a core value, ‘Think Tribe First,’ according to company officials. Employees are referred to as “tribe members.”

This value is exemplified daily in their operations, but most notably in 2019, when the main manufacturing plant in Wheeling was devastated by a fire. The Ziegenfelder Company responded quickly, putting together a training and development schedule so no employee would go without work.

Following that fire, the company reinvested more than $15 million into its new facility located between 17th and 18th Streets in Wheeling.

Ziegenfelder CEO Kevin Heller said teamwork was the key ingredient in getting through such a turbulent time.

“As one tribe, one company, we win & lose together,” Heller said. “Everyone’s individual efforts contributed to us remaining operational in the year 2020, and that is a win to be celebrated.”

Heller said when they made the announcement last week via virtual conference, many employees expressed a lot of gratitude. He said the company will space out the bonus amounts over the next eight weeks to help carry employees in the next few paychecks through the first quarter of the year.

The Ziegenfelder Companyis the largest producer of Twin Pops in the United States. Heller said they continue to grow as a company and they will be hiring between 40 to 50 additional production line positions over the next three months.

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