Kim Heyder’s 42-year career celebrated with a surprise

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Kim Heyder’s retirement at the end of the month will cap off a career that spans more than four decades with Sammons Financial. But the coronavirus pandemic is making it difficult to celebrate, but her co-workers found a way to recognize her dedication.

Kim Heyder has just two days left working for Sammons Financial.

“Normally they do a big party at work you know on your last day, but they couldn’t do that because we’ve been on work from home since the middle of March,” Kim Heyder said.

Just like her last month of work, Heyder’s party was non-traditional.

The sounds of cheers and car horns surprised her at home.

“I was just amazed. I was just completely shocked. They thought about doing that for me was very nice, and I was really moved,” Heyder said.

To keep the parade a surprise, there was a carefully crafted plan involving both coworkers and Kim’s family.

“I got an email from my mom’s friend saying that she was doing a drive-by with all her friends at work. I text my sister, we kind of planned to make sure the kids were here so Mom was outside and everyone could drive past,” Kim’s daughter Melissa Jimenez said.

“Supposedly my youngest daughter had a meeting at 11 o’clock and wanted me to watch the grandkids. And supposedly my oldest had to go to lunch. So she came over here to talk to her kids,” Heyder said.

It was a proper sendoff for someone who spent more than 40 years with the same company.

“Kim is such a warm-hearted person so to see her smile, just, it makes us happy, makes us really happy,” Coworker Shantel Jennings said.

As for her immediate plans once retirement becomes official.

“There’s not much to do. Everything is closed so I’m going to buy myself some flowers,” Heyder said.

Heyder says they’ll have an in-person retirement party once the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

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