Our Purpose is Our People

Anniversaries are typically a time to look back and reflect on a specific date or time or event – certainly wedding anniversaries come to mind (note to self – order flowers for May 18!). And recognizing and celebrating employment anniversaries is also a pretty common practice. Such milestones reward an achievement that deserves special attention.

On April 2, 2024, DISTek, as a company, is celebrating an anniversary. Founded in 1992, we’ll celebrate being in business for 32 years, a milestone certainly worthy of recognition. What started as a 1-location, 1-employee operation has grown to 150 employee-owners located in 20 states, with 4 physical office locations and a large population of employee-owners that either work exclusively from home, at our client locations, or in a hybrid fashion. To recognize our 32nd anniversary, we’re hosting a week of activities – “Spirit Days” we call it, to allow everyone an opportunity to share a bit about themselves through photos and Teams postings, with prizes of course. But really, just to take some time to enjoy ourselves and each other, our fellow employee-owners.

Since our inception, our founder, Matt Dickinson, made sure to incorporate a set of values and principles in which he not only lived by, but instilled within those that worked with him. A few years back, with the help of several employee-owners on our Culture Committee, we incorporated a “Why” statement to identify why we do what we do. And then, in 2023, an additional question was posed, “What’s DISTek’s purpose?”

Jeremy Yoder, President & CEO, stated it so succinctly when he said, “At DISTek, our purpose is crystal clear – it’s about OUR PEOPLE. What truly sets us apart at DISTek is our unwavering commitment to Our People and working together to create a legacy of shared success.”

When I asked Ashley Hirsch, our Marketing Strategist and Chair of our Culture Committee, what she thought of our purpose being Our People, she responded, “Having our purpose be Our People is a testament to who we are at our core. It’s just who we’ve always been, thanks to the “people first” ideology that Matt Dickinson was so passionate about. Thankfully, 32 years later, that ideology still exists and is the foundation of what makes DISTek so great.”

And I couldn’t agree more. So, when I saw Beth Hallett, one of our Senior Software Engineers and Team Lead, walk by my office, I couldn’t resist asking her a similar question and she responded in kind, saying, “I’ve been with DISTek for over 15 years and I know first-hand that DISTek treats all of us like family, putting us, the employees, first. And because DISTek takes care of its people, we naturally want to take care of the company. This is an environment where people WANT to go above and beyond, not just for the company, but for our co-workers as well. It’s pretty cool when I hear from so many applicants that DISTek’s culture is exactly what they’ve been looking for, that it’s the place they want to work.”  

That, then, led me to ask one of our more recent employee-owners, Muhammad Saad, Software Engineer and Team Lead (who just celebrated his 2nd year anniversary), what he thought of our DISTek purpose. He said, “I was not surprised at all when I first saw this in print because ever since I’ve been working here, it’s always been the case at DISTek. Putting it in writing was like rubber stamping what was already in place”.

Well, I think that pretty much validates our purpose. Sure, our clients and the work we do for them rank as a top priority. However, by recognizing that to consistently provide the level of service, expertise, and solutions to meet their needs we need to invest in Our People. We do that by making employees “employee-owners” on their second day of employment. We do that by offering training, education, and employee growth opportunities through our DISTek-U and Tech Tracks program. We do that by supporting work-life-balance and employee wellness and connection opportunities. We do that by providing recognition and appreciation – taking time to celebrate, reflect, and enjoy ourselves and each other. We do all of this because, at DISTek, you don’t just work here, you’re an owner. And our purpose is Our People!