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HON is headquartered in Muscatine, IA

Muscatine, Iowa, home of HON headquarters – what’s it all about?

Honestly, much more than what meets the eye. While Muscatine is a town of only 22,000 people, it has a rich history and an intriguing economic background which it still maintains today. Muscatine is home to headquarters and manufacturing facilities of companies, such as HNI Corporation, HON, Allsteel, Heinz, Monsanto, Bridgestone, and Musco Lighting. These industry titans contribute to employment opportunities and economic growth today; however, it was something quite different that put Muscatine on the map many years ago…

“The Pearl of the Mississippi” was the nickname given to Muscatine in the late 1800’s when the McKee Button Factory, locally operated out of Muscatine (and producer of our Abound® Plains Tiles!), was a national leader in the production and supply of decorative pearl buttons. These buttons were harvested out of the Mississippi River. As success ensued in the early 1900’s, Muscatine was dubbed the “Pearl Button Capital of the World”. Interestingly, one of the old button manufacturing buildings has been repurposed and renovated as part of HON Headquarters.

In addition to the well-known companies, some notable figures also have roots deep in Muscatine, including Max Allen Collins, author of graphic novel Road to Perdition. You may have heard of a gentleman by the name of Mark Twain, who spent a stint of his writing career in Muscatine and had this to say about the scenery:

“And I remember Muscatine—still more pleasantly—for its summer sunsets. I have never seen any, on either side of the ocean that equaled them.”

What are some things you love about your company’s hometown?

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Beckey Bridge Muscatine, Iowa

Since its founding in 1944, HON has been headquartered in Muscatine, IA, a small city located along the Mississippi River. If you’ve had the chance to visit us in Muscatine, you may have had the opportunity to view a beautiful sunset (or sunrise, for the morning people out there!) over the river. In fact, Mark Twain, who briefly lived and worked in Muscatine, described the sunsets as follows: “I have never seen any, on either side of the ocean that equaled them. They used the broad smooth river as a canvas, and painted on it every imaginable dream of color, from the mottled daintiness and delicacies of the opal…to blinding purple and crimson conflagrations which were enchanting to the eye, but sharply tried at the same time.” Mark Twain was just one notable visitor to Muscatine, and the sunsets are just one of many things for which Muscatine is known.

Here are some other interesting facts you might not know about Muscatine, Iowa:

  1. There are no other cities in the United States named Muscatine.
  2. Muscatine is known as the “Pearl of the Mississippi” in reference to pearl button manufacturing that was once the central economic focus of the city.
  3. A wide variety of crops are grown in Muscatine, but arguably the most notable is the Muscatine Melon.
  4. HJ Heinz Company has a location in Muscatine that is the largest outside of their headquarters in Pittsburgh—check your Heinz products, you may see Muscatine as the producing location!
  5. Max Allan Collins is from Muscatine. You may know him as the author of Road to Perdition.
  6. Muscatine’s two national historic districts, Downtown and West Hill, are  listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  7. Maxwell Stanley, co-founder of HON, was also a founder of Stanley Consultants, the Stanley Foundation, and was a delegate to the United Nations.

Muscatine may not be all that big, but The HON Company is proud to be headquartered in a city that’s home to a variety of industries, historical significance, and notable residents. If you haven’t had the chance to visit us at HON Headquarters, please do! If you have been here already, what was your favorite part about Muscatine?

When I began my career at HON as a Business Relations Specialist in Customer Support, I was a recent college grad finding my way in the world. Though I knew little about the office furniture industry at the time (what’s an asynchronous control?), I jumped in with both feet. Here are a few of the reasons why I love working in Customer Support at HON:

1. We Live (and Work) in the Midwest

You may know Iowa for its cows, corn, or infamous Fried Butter (thank you Iowa State Fair). But, it is also known for the people who call it home. Iowa, the quintessential Midwestern state, is one of the top ten happiest states according to a recent Gallup poll.  So, how does this affect our customer support skills? We’re happy to answer the phone –from right here in Iowa – and answer any questions you may have.

2. We’re Dedicated to Our Members

We understand our most valuable asset is our people. That’s why HON doesn’t have employees – we have members – and each member is vital to our success. HON offers a variety of member development programs, from Leadership Foundations to Presentation Skills training to foster personal growth within the organization. The HON Company is committed to seeing our members succeed!

3. We Have Fun

As my past blogs have alluded, there’s never a dull moment at HON! We definitely know how to work hard and play hard. Whether we’re making Kryptonite Juice for a Superhero Food Day contest or playing a highly competitive game of Friday Bingo, we know how to have fun.  Not only does this injection of creativity and friendly competition create a better work environment, but it instills a stronger sense of community in our members (and allows for the occasional good natured jab at whoever wins bingo!)

4. We’re Committed to Our Partners

… And their success. From offering the free services of our ingenious Integrated Design Solutions team or making it a priority to respond to phone calls in less than a minute, we want to make it easy for those who partner with us to sell our product. Being the ‘Best in the Industry’ isn’t just a goal, it’s a commitment we make to anyone who does business with HON.

5. We’re a Team

‘Team’ isn’t just four letters at HON Customer Support – its seventy-six people. Whether we’re doing our Friday Wave (think basketball games) or assisting a fellow member with a rush order, we’ve got each others’ backs. One of the best things about working at HON is that our members genuinely care about each other – and that drives the teamwork that makes our department function like a well-oiled machine.

6. We Work at HON!

Whenever I drive down the highway and see a HON truck, I feel the need to point it out to my fellow passengers (and make known to them exactly what arms, colors, and options are available on that Nucleus chair). It’s a sense of brand pride, and whenever you call in to HON Customer Support we share that experience with you. While I haven’t yet spray painted my car the HON colors, you can be sure that I bleed HON green!

Why do you love HON Customer Support?

1944 collage

What do Diana Ross, Michael Douglas, Stockard Channing, George Lucas, Danny DeVito, and HON all have in common? They all turn 70 this year!

With World War II drawing to a close, our founder C. Maxwell Stanley foresaw a post-war housing boom. He had the idea to start a manufacturing company that would put returning G.I.s to work making steel kitchen cabinets for use in new homes. He invited his brother-in-law, Clement T. Hanson, a successful advertising executive, and H. Wood Miller, an industrial designer, to go into business with him. They called their business “Home-O-Nize,” and they incorporated in 1944.

Before we fast forward 70 years later, let’s take a quick look back at 1944 (it turns out we were in good company!):

  • #1 Song: “Swinging on a Star” by Bing Crosby
  • Best Picture at the 16th Academy Awards®: Casablanca
  • #1 Book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • TIME Magazine® Man of the Year: Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Famous Entertainers: Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, Katharine Hepburn, etc.
  • Famous Musicians: Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters, Frank Miller, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, etc.
  • World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
  • NFL Champions: Green Bay Packers
  • Wildly popular board game, Clue®, is born!
  • U.S. Forest Service creates its beloved Smokey Bear
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt seeks his 4th term in office

12 Presidents, 7 decades, and only 3 logo changes later – we’ve certainly come a long way. A philosophy of fairness, honesty, integrity, and respect have made us a leader in workplace furniture. Every moment is an opportunity to build momentum. We’ve seized each and every one to build a legacy you can be proud of and to prepare for a future that keeps getting brighter. HON is ready.

Cheers to another 70 years, and happy birthday to those that share our birthday year!

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