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.
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.
After 27 years of selfless service to DISTek, our founder, Matt Dickinson has taken on a new journey…. RETIREMENT! All of us here at DISTek thank him for all he has done for not only the company as a whole, but for all the individual employees as well. We will miss his guidance, generosity, and fun spirited nature. Here’s to filling his days with plenty of St Louis Cardinals baseball, quality time with the grandkids, and social events around his hometown of Carthage, IL.
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!
For the second year in a row, my year-in-review blog is being delivered well into the new year. That is getting dangerously close to a bad habit, so I will have to work on that for next year. On the plus side, this should get posted in February and thus I am technically only a month late of my goal of January for the target date. Normally I would not start at the end of the year, but this year is an exception because the single biggest piece of news is what happened at the very end of the year …
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.