Employee Ownership – A Time to Celebrate

One of the truly inspiring aspects of working for an employee-owned company like DISTek Integration is that we are not only intensely focused on providing the best total solutions to our clients, but that we also fully embrace the ownership mindset that comes with being employee-owners. We do that by taking time to learn, to have fun, to recognize others, and to celebrate. And to that end, it’s been a pretty busy couple of months!

September brought about two significant educational events:  the start of our second DISTek-U ESOP Basics class and our annual attendance at The ESOP Association Midwest Conference. Our Employee Ownership Committee (EOC) conducts two ESOP classes a year, educating both new and experienced employee-owners on both the technical elements of our ESOP and the cultural aspects, most specifically, ownership mindset. Not to mention, sending both EOC members and other employee owners to the Midwest Conference really helps energize and reinforce the power that comes from encouraging an ownership mindset.

ESOP companies throughout the US recognize October as “Employee Ownership Month.”  We do this to acknowledge and celebrate employee ownership. Our EOC hosted several activities throughout the month, including online trivia to test employee-owner knowledge of ESOP terms and facts and also sprinkled in some of our own specific plan details.  For instance, did you know that at DISTek you become an employee owner on your second day of employment? We also threw in some very useful everyday knowledge questions, like, “How many days are in a Mercurian Year?” and what’s the most popular Halloween candy in the US? For me, not even knowing what a Mercurian year is meant that I had little chance of winning a prize!

Our Des Moines crew showing their DISTek spirit on DISTek Ownership Day

The happy hour with lightening talks and the lunch-and-learn on accessing your online ESOP portal and reading your annual statement were both well attended. And so was participation in our inaugural DISTek Pride Week – where each day had a different apparel theme, including favorite sports team, pick-your-decade day, Hawaiian shirt, and DISTek Ownership Day.

The highlight of the month, however, is our annual recognition of one employee-owner with the awarding of the Matt Dickinson Employee Ownership Award, so named after our founder and current chairman of the board. This month’s-long process involves nominations, selection committee review, and voting by all employee-owners for the one candidate that truly lives The DISTek Way, exemplifying our core values in all they do: Integrity Above All Else, Ownership Mindset, Can-do-Attitude, Team Focused, Serving with Excellence, and Stretching Beyond Ourselves.

Russell Rook and President/CEO Jeremy Yoder

This year’s recipient is Russell Rook, a 6-year employee-owner who, as a software engineer and Team Lead, not only serves his team members and clients with excellence, but also serves his country as a reservist in the Iowa Army National Guard. Words used to describe Russell include Leader, Dedicated, and Team Focused. As a fellow employee-owner, I am proud to work alongside such a worthy recipient. Congratulations, Russell.

We concluded October with the distribution of our annual share price certificates, reflecting the reward of another successful year, achieved entirely by the hard work, commitment, and dedication of our employee owners. A definite reason to celebrate.

As you can probably tell, 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!