A New Beginning at Grinnell Mutual

A New Beginning at Grinnell Mutual

Ola Aina moved to the United States in 2008 as a winner of the green-card lottery program. He chose Iowa because, based on his research, it seemed like the best place to settle as an immigrant. Iowa is known for its reasonable cost of living and he didn’t have to deal with the hustle and bustle of a big city.  

It is quite common for Nigerian immigrants to settle in places like Atlanta, New York, or California, but he chose to go against the norm

It is quite common for Nigerian immigrants to settle in places like Atlanta, New York, or California, but he chose to go against the norm

"I remember arriving in the States and the immigration officer at the airport gave me a very memorable welcome. He looks at my passport and goes, ‘Iowa, huh? You are going to have so much fun,' with the most sarcastic and yet welcoming smirk I had ever seen.

"I did not understand that look on his face until I experienced the blizzard of 2008. Every time I have had to navigate my way through the winter, I remember that look on his face. It haunts me every winter."

Moving and being away from family and his support system was his greatest fear when he moved to the United States. However, he did not lose sight of his goal: to have his family here with him someday.

It was a goal he eventually achieved.

A new beginning at Grinnell Mutual

After working for other organizations, Aina decided it was time for a new challenge. "I was job searching on Google and came across Grinnell Mutual. I studied the company culture and knew this was where I wanted to work. I put in my application, and was called in for an interview."

Aina's interview experience solidified his interest in the company and the offer was eventually extended. "I must say, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made," Aina says.

Ola is now a database administrator which entails helping to maintain the performance of Grinnell Mutual's databases, ensuring database security, integrity, stability, and system availability.

"I have always wanted to work for a company whose actions are not just in print, but felt by its community and its employees," Aina says.

"The company treats people with respect and its culture is truly remarkable. From the very first moment I walked in and spoke to the lady at the front desk, I was welcomed with a smile and genuine kindness. I felt that sense of belonging."

The Grinnell Mutual Way

Aina is philosophical about what makes Grinnell Mutual special. "I think what the Grinnell Mutual way means to me is kindness," he says. "Kindness in our thoughts has a resounding effect in people's lives, kindness in words invokes confidence, and kindness in giving creates love.

"I feel truly blessed to have joined this company that lives by its promises."

And, he says that having amazing leaders has a positive trickledown effect. "I absolutely love the open-door policy that the leadership has, the ability to share ideas, and the unwavering commitment to seeing employees grow and develop beyond their potential," Aina says.

Not all work

When he is not working, Aina loves travelling and believes it is one of life's best teachers. "I always create time with the family to visit a different state of a different country from time to time. My favorite places that I have visited are Belize and Honduras."

Ola also enjoys playing and watching football (aka soccer). He says this is typical of Nigerian men. "The European leagues are my favorite to watch, especially the English league. Manchester United is my favorite football team."

Ola is married to Temitope Aina (a former employee of Grinnell Mutual), and they have two beautiful and adventurous daughters together. One of his greatest pleasures Aina says, is taking evening bicycle rides with his two daughters, Michelle and Daniella.