Jeremy Wright

Serving his country and his company

Jeremy Wright still remembers the day in 1998 when he joined the U.S. Army.

“When the army recruiter came to pick me up at my house, my dad hugged me. He said, ‘I don’t know why you are doing this, and you don’t have to do this, but I support you,’” said Wright, a director of information technology at Grinnell Mutual.

Wright’s family has a long history of military service. His grandfather fought in World War II and several uncles fought in the Vietnam War. His dad also fought in Vietnam, earning both a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

“It was a strange moment for me to realize that my Dad fought so that I wouldn’t have to, but I still felt called,” said Wright.

A second call

In 2004, Wright exited the Army as a sergeant. Then, while at a 2011 welcome-home ceremony for his brother-in-law’s unit returning from Afghanistan, he felt the call again.

“I looked at my wife and said, ‘I don’t think I am done serving yet,’” said Wright.

With his wife’s blessing, Wright joined the Iowa Army National Guard and attended the Officer Candidate School. He remains an active-duty member of the Guard and now holds the rank of captain.

From the Guard to Grinnell

Wright found that that his employers did not always place a high value on his military service. Reflecting on a prior employer, “It always felt like an incredible burden when I had to be away for duty.”

After hearing about Grinnell Mutual from a friend already working there, he applied for an open position and was offered an interview in 2018. The interview made a strong impression.

“I shared that I was an active-duty member of the Guard in the interview,” said Wright. “Immediately, I felt accepted and appreciated.”

Grinnell Mutual offered Wright the job as he participated in his Iowa National Guard annual training.

A premium on service

“At Grinnell Mutual, the company — especially my direct leaders — always back me up every time I step away to perform my duty.”

Wright sees many parallels between the team he leads for the Iowa National Guard and the team he leads at Grinnell Mutual.

“The thing I see the most in them is selfless service,” said Wright. “They willingly offer their expertise to help solve situations. Every person on my team goes above and beyond what is expected to make sure that a project gets completed or a system gets fixed.

“They’re constantly looking for areas where we can improve our service to the company,” said Wright. “They value teamwork.”

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