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Meet Gayla Hoppenworth

We continue our "Meet the Team" blog series with Gayla Hoppenworth, an AHT employee and Human Resources team member since 2004.

posted On Wednesday, December 6, 2023 in Blog

Gayla Hoppenworth

Q&As with Gayla Hoppenworth

Gayla, you’ve been with the company since 2004, heading into your 20th year. How did you end up at AHT initially?

The HR world in the Cedar Valley is a small world. The previous HR manager called me indicating that there was an opening at AHT. Even though I wasn’t looking to change jobs, she encouraged me to just swing in and chat with Gary Sharp. It must have gone okay because I received a call later that day with an offer. It was so quick, so I asked for the weekend to think about it, anticipating that I was going to say no. However, that Sunday, AHT was featured on the front page of the local newspaper with a story highlighting their expansion and growth. I figured that was God’s way of telling me to take the job and it was the best career decision as I soon learned the difference between the privately owned family-focused company and a publicly traded corporation from my previous employment.

As Human Resources Benefits & Compensation Manager at AHT, what does a typical day look like for you?

TailgatingJust like other positions throughout the company, there is no “typical” day in the HR department. Our entire HR team is able to work on any generalist HR needs throughout our four locations, and when not responding to those day-to-day needs, my focus is on benefits, compensation and company culture.

The fall quarter is a busy time of year with tailgating events, benefit renewals, open enrollment meetings, compensation touches, attendance awards and coordinating our 15+ Club luncheon celebrations to name a few.

(What's the 15+ Club & who is in it? Learn about the loyalty club by clicking here.)

What are some employment benefits at AHT that are unique or that people might not know about?

On top of gaining invaluable knowledge and ground-up training, our culture and benefits are pretty awesome! Our 401K match is top-notch within the industry, and we have a lucrative PTO structure with our goal of "making a life" just as important as "making a living".

We also offer health insurance based on wellness credits. Single-coverage employees can obtain health insurance at no cost when meeting all of our wellness goals.

(Click here to view additional benefits, watch employee testimonials and get the link to apply at AHT.)

AHT talks about having flexible schedules. What is meant by that exactly?

Employees are encouraged to be there for their families and we are able to tweak schedules so employees can leave early, come in late, make up time, etc. in order to attend their child’s event or other family needs.

Some of our locations also offer part-time or seasonal positions, multiple shifts and different full-time work structures such as three 11-hour days, four 10-hour days and the standard five 8-hour days.

Gayla with grandsonSince you mentioned family being important to AHT, tell us about your family.

My hubby, Kreg, and I have two adult sons, Klay and Kade, and incredible daughter-in-laws, 5 grandsons (with one in heaven), and 1 granddaughter.

Our oldest grandson, Kamdon, recently joined me at AHT to work part-time while going to college. (Pictured) Our part-time schedules work great for students going to college.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?

I love spending time with my family. If it is in the great outdoors at the same time, even better! Supporting and spending time with my grandchildren are truly what fills my heart.

What is something people may not know about Gayla Hoppenworth?

I love watching reality TV. In fact, I joke about someday having my sister and I try out for Amazing Race.

What is something people may not know about Advanced Heat Treat Corp.?

We have a teamwork-focused culture we have named “Purple Path”, where employees are encouraged to use their skillsets throughout the organization wherever there are needs. Some examples of this might mean being part of a Forward-Thinking strategy group, training a new coworker, or backing up duties within your department, another department or even another location!

Our employees know that to follow the Purple Path means lending a hand whenever you can, but also having confidence that when you need assistance someone will be there to help you too.

You are quite the traveler. What are a few of your favorite vacations and why?

Asking for a favorite vacation is like asking who is your favorite child! I’ve been fortunate to travel to 21 countries, not including the various US states and islands. What I love about traveling isn’t so much about the country, but the experiences. It might be kayaking with the whales in Hawaii, hand gliding the Alps in Germany, exploring an ice cave on a glacier in Iceland, hiking to knockout lookout points to trying local delicacies. I have a saying that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, and we definitely find something special from each vacation that we treasure.Gayla family

The holidays are right around the corner. What are you looking forward to the most?

Christmas is always a festive season and the month of December is actually the time that I enjoy seeing the snow fall. I love it all… decorating for the holidays, gathering with my mom and siblings for Christmas time, singing and listening to Christmas songs and attending grandkids programs.

Most of all, I always look forward to our traditional family time together and Christmas Eve service with the final candlelit song, "Silent Night".

Now some random questions:

  • First job: Babysitting. I had a faithful family I babysat every Saturday night. I had another family that I babysat for the summer, until one child ran away. I ended up finding him, but thought it might be best for them to find someone else.
  • Favorite food: Freshly caught fish and shrimp and scallops
  • Least favorite food: I came from a generation that you had to eat whatever was made for the family, so liver and onions (and the smell of it) would be my least favorite food.
  • Any hidden talents? Speed reader, speed walker and speed talker. lol
  • Hobbies? I love to read, attending grandkids activities, and spending time outdoors (deer hunting, fishing, shed and mushroom hunting).
  • Favorite sport: Archery, for a couple of reasons. My favorite form of hunting is with bow and I love watching archery tournaments that my grandkids participate in that my son and hubby help coach.
  • Favorite candy: Hot Tamales
  • Favorite TV show: Recently, we have enjoyed a series called Bosch

AHT’s core values are Passion, Professionalism, Integrity, Teamwork, Service and Loyalty. Give us an example of one of these core values at AHT.

Our great overall employee retention is an example of our Loyalty core value. I’m especially happy to say that 50% of our employees have been with AHT for 10+ years. That says a lot about their dedication to our mission and to each other.

Gayla Hoppenworth

Interested in Working at AHT? Check Out Our Available Positions.


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