Merchants Names 2020 Shining Star & Runners-Up

December 17, 2020

Merchants Bonding Company recognizes Contract Underwriter Michael Vigen as its 2020 Shining Star. The Shining Star award is given to an associate who is involved in their community and giving back in multiple, amazing ways.

Michael is involved in various organizations including the American Heart Association (AHA), Be The Match and the James Arthur Albert Foundation. His contributions to Be The Match dates back to 2016 when he donated bone marrow. Since then he has continued to spread the word and help with their annual Light the Night fundraiser. The James Arthur Albert Foundation is another organization Michael started volunteering for during college. Michael volunteers and solicits prizes for the foundation’s annual auction which raises money to fully fund education for children in Belize.

Over the last year Michael has also been heavily involved with the AHA, dedicating his time to be a Heart Walk Coach in the AHA Young Professionals Group and starting a team for the CycleNation, an event held every October to raise awareness of AHA’s mission. As a Heart Walk Coach and a team leader for CycleNation, Michael focuses on creating and motivating a team of individuals that work towards spreading the word about cardiovascular disease and stroke.  “Michael’s dedication, leadership and willingness to help where it is needed in our community is unmatched,” says Kayli Becker, development director of Heart Challenge at the American Heart Association. “He always wants to know how he can help and it’s very impactful on our community.”  Michael is also co-chair of Merchants’ Community Outreach Council (COC), a committee dedicated to encouraging volunteer efforts and financial giving throughout the company and community.

Commercial Underwriting Associate Jeanne Schulte and Commercial Underwriting Assistant Hannah Burton were both recognized as Shining Star runners-up.

Jeanne was nominated for her hard work in making masks for Easterseals Iowa and Since March Jeanne has made hundreds of masks during her time and her quickness to respond during the pandemic did not go unnoticed.

Hannah was nominated for her efforts with Forever Home Dog Rescue. Hannah transports, fosters and find homes for dogs who have limited time left in shelters or who are having trouble getting adopted. With the need increasing during the pandemic, Hannah has fostered more than six dogs this year and worked to find them their forever homes.

Congratulations to Michael, Jeanne and Hannah! Merchants appreciates and thanks you for all your dedication, hard work and devotion to support our local Iowa communities.