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Heather Thompson uses her talents, experiences to help others

Heather Thompson / B2B photo by Dennis Benson

Whether in her job at Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing, as a volunteer with the United Way or in her most important role as mom to two young children, Heather Thompson makes it a goal to positively impact everyone around her.

As the firm administrator at CDS, Thompson, 37, works with staff at each of the five offices to develop programs and initiatives that will benefit the firm.

“I get to do what I do best: communicate and develop others,” Thompson said. “I honestly love my job. CDS really allows me to use my strengths every day to make a difference.”

In her nine years at CDS, Thompson has played instrumental roles in developing a mentorship program and leadership training for the firm, as well as revamping the new employee training. She was involved in implementing an intranet, an internal website where the firm posts staff resources and the weekly newsletter. She also helped with the firm’s paperless initiative a few years ago.

Despite the fact that she has a hand in most of the firm’s employee-related programs and reforms, she’s quick to give credit to the team as a whole.

“Everything here is done as a team,” said Thompson, who also oversees the recruiting and retention program at CDS. “We brainstorm and implement ideas together. The business allows us to be creative. I like the challenge and variety of that.”

While she takes her career seriously, it’s not her No. 1 priority. She saves that for her husband, Jamie, and her two sons, ages 6 and 1.

“Family is most important to me,” Thompson said. “I focus on work when I’m at work, and when I’m at home, I focus on my family. I always try to be present and maintain that work-life balance.”

As part of finding that balance, Thompson has recently scaled back on volunteer work and community involvement – though not by much. A longtime United Way supporter, she volunteers on the Investment Committee for Empower through the United Way of West Central Minnesota. She also sits on the Ridgewater College General Advisory Council and volunteers as a Sunday School teacher in her church. In the past, she has volunteered with Junior Achievement and served on the marketing committee for the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. She has also been involved with the Sertoma Club of Willmar and the Willmar Business and Professional Women group.

These days, she’s working on causes even closer to her heart. Because her youngest son is adopted, Thompson and her husband regularly speak about infertility and the adoption process through the Lutheran Social Service adoption program.

“After my first son was born, I had four miscarriages. After a lot of thought, we really felt that it was on our hearts to adopt,” Thompson said. “Because of what we went through, we want to help others who are struggling to build their families. I want to show others that you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you can’t have kids.”

It’s not a topic that everyone would be comfortable opening up about, but like everything else she does, Thompson hopes that her work and involvement will make a difference in other people’s lives.

“I love to help others,” Thompson said. “To be honest, I’d probably jump on any cause. People say that I have a big heart, and I really feel like I do.”

Ashley White

Ashley White is the community content coordinator for the West Central Tribune. Follow her on Twitter @Ashley_WCT.

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