DISTek Integration has always been an employee owned company, dating back to its beginning days in the basement office of the then, sole proprietor, Matt Dickinson. As both the only owner, and only employee, for many years, “celebration” may simply have meant not having to work on Saturday.
Halloween is arguably my favorite holiday and DISTek's Annual Halloween Costume Contest never disappoints. However, in true 2020 fashion, things looked a bit different this year. We knew in the months heading into the fall season that we would probably not be assembling together in our training room for the traditional parade of costumes, so we set out to come up with a virtual event to stand in its place.
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.
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.