It’s a Great Time to be an Employee-Owner

I can remember my first time on a roller coaster, getting locked into the seat and having to endure that slow ride up to the top of the rails, all the time anxiously awaiting as the cars clicked their way up the first hill. Then the rush of speed and wind and laughter and excitement as each twist and turn and hill and valley brought about more joy, more fun, and even more anticipation for what was to come next. I hope this ride doesn’t stop!

What an exciting year 2022 has been for DISTek – and its only November! As a 100% employee-owned company, we now number more than 150 employees, with new offers being accepted monthly. Growth has been the theme for several years now and being able to provide the gift of ownership to employees on their 2nd day of employment through our Employee Stock Ownership Plan is something we are quite proud to offer. That’s something that is quite unique about us – when you work at DISTek, you’re not just an employee, you’re an owner! Check out our careers page and join the ride.

For just over 30 years DISTek has been providing services to our clients and opportunities for our employees. 30 years! Wow – that’s a milestone worth celebrating. And that’s exactly what we did in June when we hosted our employee-owners and their families to an all-company, activity filled day in Cedar Falls that culminated in dinner, dancing to a live band, prizes, and the revealing of our new ESOP share price with a thunderous roar! It was a celebration like none other, leaving all of us attending wanting more.

In September, several of us hit the road to attend The ESOP Association Midwest Chapter Regional Conference in Milwaukee. We are proud and active members of The ESOP Association and annually attend this event to continue to educate our own employee-owners, to network with other near-by employee-owned companies, and to carry the positive energy and excitement of employee-ownership back to our own offices. Being able to learn from others some new ideas and tips on how to encourage, engage, and promote employee-ownership in our own organizations is just one of the many great benefits of attendance, making the drive to Milwaukee well worth the effort. We’re already looking forward to next year’s conference in Minneapolis!

A long time ago, one month of the year has been set aside as a time to acknowledge and celebrate employee ownership. DISTek, along with many other employee-owned companies, now regularly recognize October as Employee Ownership Month. At DISTek, we celebrate ownership with contests, prizes, education, and the awarding of our annual founder’s award. This month-long celebration provides us the opportunity to recognize and appreciate what it means to be an employee-owner. An online Happy Hour Trivia, an ESOP Lunch and Learn, and a month-long “Random acts of Ownership” contest were just some of the ways we kept the theme alive in October.

We concluded our month-long celebration by awarding Carmen McIntyre as this years’ recipient of the Matt Dickinson Employee Ownership Award. Through nominations and voting by fellow employee-owners, this award is presented annually to one DISTek employee owner that truly lives The DISTek Way and exemplifies our core values – Integrity Above All Else, Ownership Mindset, Can-do-Attitude, Team Focused, Serving with Excellence, and Stretching Beyond Ourselves. Carmen, an employee-owner since 2018, is a Test Engineer and Team Lead in Cedar Falls. Carmen routinely goes above and beyond to impact our company, but she also invests in the community and shares her passion for STEM through coaching, leading, and mentoring the Cedar Falls robotics FTC program, volunteering as a judge for FLL and FRC events, as well as leading Scouting efforts. Carmen’s ownership mindset is felt across all areas of the company, and she is a very deserving recipient of this award.

With continued growth planned in 2023 and beyond, the thrill ride of being an employee-owner at DISTek has really just begun. Employee ownership is something we take very seriously at DISTek. It provides a sense of pride, is recognized, and is celebrated. We do this because at DISTek, you don’t just work here, you’re an owner!