Meet Chris Longer

When she first started college at Simpson, IMU’s Chris Longer was drawn to study psychology. Within a year she’d moved over to business management and marketing, but helping people stayed in her blood. It’s served her well in her many roles at IMU. In fact, Chris has had so many roles with the utility that she might hold the title!

Chris started her career in public service with the City of Indianola in 1992, when she was hired as a utility billing clerk. She grew in that role for ten years, and in 2002 became the Administrative Assistant to the General Manager of Utilities. Fast forward and Chris serves as the Finance and Human Resources Director, responsible for heading the utility’s annual budget and financial audit process, annual reporting to federal, state and other regulatory authorities, coordinating the hiring of IMU employees and assisting the
General Manager in developing the utility’s policies and procedures.

“Chris epitomizes the traits that IMU customers should want in a service employee,” says IMU General Manager, Chris DesPlanques. “She is a customer advocate, and shows pride in being able to help IMU do better. She is proud of working for Indianola citizens and it shows with everything she does.”

It’s a big job, but Chris learned everything she needed to know along the way. In addition to her first and current roles, Chris has overseen IMU’s demand side management programs, coordinated IMU’s safety program, worked in accounts payable, and has served as Utility Services Supervisor and even Interim General Manager. You could say that she’s seen it all - and you’d be right.

Chris and her husband Tom are fixtures in the Indianola community. They raised their kids here and according to Chris, the couple has “made so many life-long friends and connections through our children, careers, community activities and organizations over the years, it’s too much to count.”

The best part of Chris’ job, she says, is her co-workers. “Each department truly has a team of dedicated, skilled employees who take great pride in their jobs and serving the community.” She would know, first hand!

Pride in one’s work and team are common themes among IMU staff, and Chris is no exception. She’s especially impressed with how everyone pulls together when there’s a major weather event to ensure service is restored quickly to all Indianola residents.

“Whether it be a power, water, or fiber outage,” Chris says, “the coordination and assistance among all of the departments always makes me super proud!”