DISTek has a long tradition of staying true to our guiding principles that help define who we are – our core values – and our commitment to treating others how we would want to be treated. Core values keep us focused and state the behaviors that we expect from each other, while also making our company unique. Yet words and ideas merely listed on paper are meaningless without the link to real action.
Business owners across the globe have certainly had their challenges this year – a pandemic, economic turmoil, civil unrest, and let us not forget the regular dose of weather related challenges Mother Nature seems fit to throw our way – hurricanes, derechos, hail, floods. With all that is going on, it is tough enough being an employee, much less an owner. Yet at DISTek, employees ARE owners!
DISTek is well into its 2nd year of being a 100% employee owned company through our Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP). The transition in 2019 included celebrating the retirement of our founder and recognizing both the gift of ownership he granted to all of us employees as well as honoring his legacy of ownership. DISTek’s history is rooted in its values – integrity, team, service.
I titled this blog post “Staying the Course” because that is exactly what we have been doing here at DISTek, now entering our 5th week of aggressive novel coronavirus response mode. I liken our current environment similar to navigating a fully loaded canoe through high winds – keep the bow pointed toward the destination, anticipate making corrective maneuvers as much as possible, and react quickly and decisively, yet calmly, to sudden shifts in direction and current.
The DISTek Leadership Team embarked on some summer travels recently, taking it to the streets and visiting each of our primary locations throughout the Midwest to meet, greet, eat, celebrate, and have some fun. With our employee owners scattered across several states, it is important to support teamwork and collaboration. Hosting picnics and yard games seemed to be a great way to promote unity and togetherness while at the same time letting our guards down a bit and taking some much needed time out to have a good time and get to know each other a little better outside of the work place.
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!
When last I wrote in this space, way back in February, I told of how I was starting to begin to really feel like an owner of the company. It had been over 3 years since DISTek founder, Matt Dickinson, decided to share a part of his company with his employees by forming an ESOP – an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Yet none of us were handed a new job description with the title “owner,” but that’s what we are now – employee owners. And as each year passes, more information and knowledge about this whole ownership thing comes before us.
Just recently I was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for ten years of excellent service and valuable contributions to DISTek Integration. Needless to say, I’m quite thankful and happy to have been involved with DISTek for the past ten years. Wow! I’ve been employed here for ten years? It sure doesn’t feel like ten years. Maybe that’s partly because since December of 2014, I, like many others at DISTek, became employee owners, after DISTek founder Matt Dickinson decided to share a part of his company with his employees by forming an ESOP – an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. That’s right, DISTek is employee owned.
I’m not sure when…
When DISTek began its 25th year in business back in March, we knew we wanted to celebrate this rather significant milestone, maybe have a party, take in a ball game, go out to dinner, or have a family picnic. 25 years ago, any of these ideas would have been possible with not much more effort than calling the wife, locking up the office, and heading uptown. Ah, the simpler times of yesteryear!
Early last year, I wrote in this space about my new title – “employee owner,” after DISTek founder Matt Dickinson decided to share a part of his company with his employees by forming an ESOP – an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
I noted back then that my immediate responsibilities wouldn’t change, and from the standpoint of my day-to-day tasks, they really haven’t.