So did you hear the rumor? Maybe you got the information first hand, or read it in an email or saw it posted online somewhere. Certainly, as avid followers of this blog, you would recall me hinting about the possibility last September right here in this space. Right? That’s right – DISTek now has a new majority owner!
Completely. Totally. All in. Perfect. These are all synonyms for 100%, as in, DISTek is now 100% employee owned! It’s not a rumor. There’s no more hinting. There’s no more speculating. There’s no more hoping for that day. It’s done! Officially, as of December 31, 2018, the DISTek Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) acquired the remaining 70% ownership stake from DISTek founder Matt Dickinson. Legal work, financial analysis, gobs of paperwork, and a whole bunch of behind the scenes work has now culminated in a completed transaction that in most other business dealings would result in the hanging of signs on doors and windows indicating we’re under new ownership. But what’s really changed?
Yes, DISTek is technically under new ownership – we have all the legal documents to prove that. However, aside from Matt stepping down from his role as President/CEO and handing over those reigns to long time VP Jeremy Yoder, we are still very much the same DISTek – with strong values, a great work ethic, stable leadership, and always with the success of our clients at the root of our focus.
This is very much an exciting time and certainly one that all of us employee owners at DISTek should be extremely proud of. We have been part owners for some time now, so for some it may not seem like much has changed. And in reality, our jobs, our positions within the company, the actual work we do – well, none of that really does change.
In an answer to the question, “What does being an employee owner mean to me?” Ashley Hirsch, a DISTek employee owner since 2008, replied with; “Being an employee owner means being a part of something larger. I go to work, not only to earn a paycheck, but also to actually make a difference in the future of DISTek. I have a voice – my opinions and feedback are valued and sought out. It means truly being part of a team and going above and beyond every once in a while for the greater good – it’s one for all and all for one.”
It’s a subtle difference, now being 100% employee owned, but as one of many employee owners, a difference that should resonate from all employee owners and be perceptible to clients, vendors, and business associates alike. At DISTek, this isn’t just a job, it’s my business. My input isn’t merely words, it’s sought after and it matters. Revenue, expenses, earnings – these aren’t just words used by the finance team. Combine them with the efforts I put into my work, the decisions I make, and my day-to-day actions and these all have a direct impact on the success of the company, and therefore, the value of the company, and the value of the shares I “own” in my ESOP account.
At DISTek, you don’t just work here, you’re an owner.