Similar to most events in 2020, the ESOP Association’s Annual Midwest Conference went virtual this year. Initially, the meeting was set to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but with the current health concerns in mind, I, along with several members of DISTek’s ESOP Communications Committee were able to attend from the comfort of our own homes!
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.
In 2018, DISTek began an internal training program called DISTek University, affectionately known as “DISTek U”. This training leverages off-the shelf training resources to develop a common foundation for DISTek’s employee owners to build their careers on. DISTek U promotes collaboration and camaraderie among all DISTekians, regardless of position or geographic location. DISTek leadership strongly encourages all employee owners to participate in these trainings – which help both the employee owner and employer. DISTek can point to numerous examples of promoting individuals to leadership positions after successful course completion and exceptional job performance.
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.
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.