HODGE Awards Austin Strain 2023 Ding Bell Service & Loyalty Award

Austin Strain, Warehouse Clerk for HODGE's Davenport warehouse operation, has been selected as the 2023 Ding Bell Service & Loyalty Award recipient.

Dubuque, IA – HODGE has announced Austin Strain, Warehouse Clerk supporting their warehouse operation in Davenport, Iowa, has been selected as the 2023 recipient of the Ding Bell Service & Loyalty Award. The award is given to one individual annually who exemplifies outstanding service and loyalty to HODGE, its customers, and the community. Recipients of the Ding Bell Award are nominated by their coworkers and picked by a selection committee of HODGE employees. 


Austin Strain joined HODGE in 2014 and has been an integral part of the Davenport operation ever since. Over the course of his nine-year career with the company, Austin has demonstrated unwavering dedication to ensuring the safety of his fellow team members. His commitment extends beyond safety measures, as he has navigated the intricacies of various roles and consistently gone above and beyond to cultivate a work environment where everyone feels supported.

Austin's caring nature is impossible to miss, as it shines through in his daily workplace interactions and his active community involvement. His genuine concern for the well-being of both his colleagues and the broader community makes him a standout contributor to HODGE's success and a deserving recipient of the 2023 Ding Bell Service & Loyalty Award.

Here is what Austin's nominator had to say about his impact at HODGE:

"Austin has been with HODGE Unit Four since the early days when we had mountains upon mountains of crates stacked to the ceiling in a pyramid fashion. He has saved more employees from having safety incidents due to his observations and willingness to step in to lend a hand. He doesn’t tell someone how it needs to be done; he shows them. There is not a piece of equipment he doesn’t know how to drive or a task that he doesn’t at least have the basics.

I will never forget one of the first conversations he and I had after starting my new role. That was really the first time I started to see his passion for not only other employees but also for the business itself. Now, it’s impossible not to see it. Axles would get straightened, or a section of the warehouse would be swept. I could look out and see him running the sweeper. He’ll engage with the safety team and discuss the specifics of a task and how it could be improved or changed.

He is dedicated not only to his work but also to his family and kids within the community. He and his wife are one of just a few safe homes for infants in the Quad Cities. If parents are incarcerated, considered unfit, or involved in traffic accidents, whatever the case, if a safe home is needed for a night or a week, he and his wife are one of the few options. It's a noble thing to do, and he is fully committed to the safety and security of these little ones."

Congratulations, Austin!


The Ding Bell Service & Loyalty Award was established in 2016 to honor Ding and his 46 years of service and loyalty to our company. The award is granted annually to a HODGE employee who exemplifies outstanding service and loyalty to HODGE and to the community in which they live. To be a recipient of this award, an employee must demonstrate not only longevity and tenure within the organization but also a sincere commitment to their coworkers and HODGE customers alike. HODGE's employees are the lifeblood of their organization and the award honors Ding’s legacy by recognizing an employee once a year who demonstrates these important qualities:

  • Dependability
  • Hard Work
  • Commitment
  • Continuing Education
  • Business Best Practices

To learn more about the Ding Bell Service & Loyalty Award and past recipients, visit