The two men who share this year’s Iowa Small Business Persons of the Year award are in Washington D-C today, hoping to bring home a national honor. Dean Kloewer and his brother-in-law Mark Crall run Panama Transfer, a trucking firm based in the western Iowa town of Panama. Kloewer says the company was started by his father and uncle in the late 1950s.It was a very small company when Kloewer and Crall started working there in 1988 and they bought the company in ’92. Since then, Kloewer says the truck line has seen growth of between ten and 30-percent every year. He says the hard work and dedication has paid off for the family-owned firm.The trucking company only had five trucks when Kloewer and Crall took it over and “we couldn’t even keep three of ’em busy.” Now they have 62 tractors and 100 trailers running up to 60 routes a day all across Iowa and South Dakota and into six other Midwestern states. The company now employs 150 people. In the process of expanding a small trucking firm into a multi-state line, Kloewer says he’s learned a few things about how to be successful.Customer service is the key with the “old Iowa down-home type of attitude” of making sure everything is taken care of before they leave for the day. The announcement is at noon today, naming the nation’s small business persons of the year. Kloewer and Crall will visit the White House later this week.
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