Hardworking, dedicated employees are important to any business. While most of us are still stumbling out of our Thanksgiving turkey comas or gearing up for the remainder of the holiday season, I had the privilege of traveling to the greater Phoenix area, where I visited a client’s commercial properties. One of those properties suffered severe fire damage, forcing the company to move its production approximately 70 miles away.

Upon driving to the first facility in San Manuel, Arizona, I was greeted by Diane and Mike, two of my client’s employees. Instantly you could tell how dedicated they were to the company and how much the fire loss had affected them. Both have worked for this company for years and know the complex workings of the company inside and out. They informed me that what was formerly a 220,000 square foot facility filled with heavy machinery and rows of finished product, is now a vacant, completely empty 100,000 square foot warehouse due to a fire. Although there were many obstacles to overcome, the company has been able to survive, but not everybody was so lucky. The facility in San Manuel, a small mining town, provided a substantial amount of jobs to the community and those employed at the time of the fire were faced with a difficult decision when the company moved its operations to Eloy, Arizona, some 70 miles away.

Employees like Diane, Mike and Luis, who I met when we traveled to the Eloy facility, now make the 140 mile round trip daily in order to continue working for the company they love. Due to the slumping housing market, they are unable to sell their homes to move closer to where they work. They make a huge sacrifice due to their dedication and passion for what they do. Luis informed me that his car, which is less than one year old, already has over 60,000 miles on it. While the town they live in has suffered economic hardship because San Manuel facility closed, Diane, Mike and Luis have kept a positive attitude and continue to work hard to help their company through a difficult time. Certainly, without their dedication, the company would have had a more difficult time recovering from the fire.

When businesses are faced with disaster, it is incredibly important to have things like insurance, but dedicated employees such as Diane, Mike and Luis are invaluable.