STERLING, Illinois – On September 11th, 2001, thousands of lives were lost as well as papers and records inside the World Trade Center.
Verifacts, a data research company in Sterling, played an important role identifying over 100 people who were missing after the planes hit during 9/11.
When you think of 9/11 you remember images of the airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center, the buildings crumbling down, and papers flying in the air. Those papers included personnel records of people working at the World Trade Center on September 11th.
Jim Gabler, the owner of Verifacts, received a call that day to help put those lost personnel records back together immediately.
“18 years ago, I got a call from one of our major Fortune 500 credit card companies that said they had 200 employees in the towers,” remembers Gabler. “All their records were gone, the only thing they had were the last payroll with very limited payroll on it and said, “Jim, we really need to find these families to talk about what’s going on and keep everybody informed.”
That Fortune 500 Company was Discover. Jim got the call around 3 p.m. on 9/11, and by 6 p.m. 50 members of his staff were working around the clock to identify the families of those workers and give that information to Discover. Discover could then reach out to the families and explain what they were experiencing.
“We were able by one in the morning to find 199 of the families and deliver that data back to our client,” Gabler comments. “They worked for free that night believing that every American would want to do something.”
“All we had was very very little data, but that is our job to find people and verifying the information and accuracy of the information,” says Gabler.
Now, Verifacts is honored to be the middle-man that connected almost all the 200 Discover employees back to their families from 1,000 miles away.
“We are just here in the middle of Sterling, Illinois, in the middle of a cornfield and here we are serving America and all over America,” Gabler says.
Although most of the current staff wasn’t there on Sept. 11th, 2001, Gabler says they still send out an email to everyone in the office reminding them of what the company did that day 18 years ago.
Discover originally reached out to Verifacts on Sept. 11th because they had done business together before.