Employee-Owner

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Ownership is Special

 

Jeff Gorman Keller Schroeder President

Jeff Gorman  – [President]

People who know me well will be quick to agree I fall victim to being a creature of habit in many ways.  When I find things I enjoy, I tend to stay with those things.  For example, not only do I generally eat at the same small set of restaurants, I tend to order the same food at a restaurant each time I visit.  I appreciate the advice from friends regarding mixing things up for some variety, but I fall victim to the comfort of taking away one more decision to make after a day full of decisions, and I enjoy knowing I will like what I am ordering.  One restaurant I frequently visit, however, brings out a different approach.  They have a couple ‘daily specials’, and they really promote those offerings as something which will bring people in; not things from the menu which are on special, but completely unique offerings which are only available on that day.  They rarely repeat, and they are not even always available after the peak dinner hours because of their popularity.  Come on in we're OwnersSometimes the special items feature ingredients from local suppliers as their unique thread.  Sometimes the special items are themed around the time of year or a different ethnicity than the normal fare of the restaurant.  This ‘one day only’ trait makes the restaurant different for me; I always order from the ‘specials’ menu, and I’ve always enjoyed it.  The restaurant uses the specials menu to be even better at who they are – a locally owned restaurant offering friendly service in a relaxed atmosphere with some unique menu choices that change every day.

Knowing what is unique about your business and finding ways to exhibit the difference are important traits in a digital economy where consumers and employees have more choices than at any other time in history.  At Keller Schroeder, we feel strongly regarding the uniqueness of being an employee-owned business and our culture of ownership.  Our focus on employee-ownership makes us better at our mission of being a technology company in the performance improvement business and aligns perfectly with our purpose of making positive, personal impacts on our employees, our clients, and our communities.  All of our core staff employees are owners in the business, and because of our focus on sharing accountability, knowledge, and growth among those owners, we are different from most businesses.  Every employee has direct benefit from the growth of our company, so we value long-term relationships differently, our employees are empowered differently, and we share knowledge differently.  Application development, infrastructure solutions, staffing solutions, and data strategy are not inherently unique offerings where our clients have no option but to work with us.  The responsibility lies on us to be a business partner our clients choose to work with, where they value our positive impacts more than what other providers can offer.  Our ‘special’ is offering the ability for our clients to engage in those areas with knowledgeable employee-owners who work differently because of their ownership.  If you are a current client, we continue to thank you for your partnership; if you are not a client and you would like to discern if working with an employee-owned company is really a ‘special’ experience, we would love to hear from you to discuss how we might be able to make a positive, personal impact on you and your business.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

A Holiday Message From Our President

Keller Schroeder Leadership-Jeff GormanJeff Gorman – [President]

As 2017 winds to a close and the holiday season is upon us, it becomes easy to get wrapped up in a frenetic pace of gift-buying, party-attending, and filling every minute of available time with “required” activities.  Instead of giving in to the pressures of that type of schedule, I encourage you to give yourself the gift of some quiet time filled with reflection on what is most important to you and how you can ensure those relationships get priority.  These moments of self-awareness can reduce stress and provide clarity and perspective that greatly increase your enjoyment of a season to be filled with celebration and joy.

At Keller Schroeder, we strongly believe the purpose of our organization is to provide positive, personal impacts in all of our interactions.  Our desire is to make those impacts on our employee-owners, our business partners, and the communities where we work.  It is a blessing to have had so many opportunities to serve you in that manner in 2017.  We truly value our relationships with the businesses and community organizations where we work, and we look forward to additional opportunities to make even greater positive, personal impacts in 2018 and beyond.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.  If Christmas is not a holiday you observe, we wish you a season full of joy, grace, and peacefulness.

Best wishes for a successful 2018.

Jeff Gorman |  President

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Culture Surveys

Keller Schroeder President-Jeff GormanJeff Gorman – [President]

The importance of measuring key performance indicators, or knowing the ‘score’ of your progress toward goals, is a widely held view among leaders.  Without some consistent manner from which you can evaluate your progress, it becomes difficult to maintain clarity within an organization regarding the current state of key efforts.  Successful businesses frequently apply this mentality to financial performance, budgets, timelines, and other key initiatives.   Seeing the trend in share value, a comparison of year-to-date financials to budget, or comparing project milestones to forecasts are all great tools of measuring ‘lag’ indicators, those indicators that show the final impact of previous actions on current performance.

At Keller Schroeder, we strongly believe a key performance differentiator for our business is our ownership culture.  Because our employees are owners in the business, we believe they engage with a different level of commitment, they more strongly value client relationships, and they feel more connected to the purpose of the business.  To help assess and measure our performance with respect to our culture, we regularly perform employee-engagement surveys.  We have engaged with nationally known organizations who focus on effective ways to measure culture and employee perceptions of key aspects of the organization with the expectation that we want to compare how we align against those who set the standard nationally for having great workplaces.  Much like reviewing a financial statement, we use the output from the surveys to identify areas where we need to focus for improvement, and we look for areas where we are performing strongly and discuss how to leverage those strengths.  We use the baseline numbers from the top organizations as our ‘budget’ for knowing where we are currently against where we want to reside.

Best Small Workplaces 2017 LogoI am very excited and proud to share, based on the feedback from our employee-owners this year, Keller Schroeder was named to the Fortune magazine and Great Places to Work ’50 Best Small Workplaces’ in the United States this year.  Our results were scored against hundreds of other companies with surveys covering over seventy-thousand employees of small and medium businesses across the country.  From our collective scores and information provided about our benefits, our behaviors, and our focus on the community, Keller Schroeder was rated as #21 on this year’s list.  We have plenty to work on to continue to improve as an organization focused on making positive, personal impacts on our employee-owners, our clients, and our communities, and yet we are very proud of where the scoreboard shows us in our pursuit of that purpose.

It is consistently insightful and invaluable to get candid feedback from a wide swath of employees to create a scoreboard for your culture. It can be both very humbling and very rewarding.  It also should be a requirement if you support the view that the organizational health of your company is the most critical ‘lead’ measure, having direct impact on the ‘lag’ measures you have been using as a scorecard for years.  Research consistently shows the value to an organization, in all measurable ways, of ‘engaged’ employees over ‘content’ or ‘discontent’ employees.  Determining the best way to build a scoreboard to allow an organization to start tracking that key metric should be getting consideration.  We view our culture as a key difference maker in how we add value to our clients; we would encourage others to invest the time to measure those traits in their own organizations.  The benefits to knowing your culture ‘score’ can have a direct impact on all aspects of a company’s performance, and in a marketplace where competitiveness for business and for employees is extremely high, the insight gained from the assessment can help an organization turn culture into a positive differentiator.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Keller Schroeder Names New Network Solutions Group Business Unit Director

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Corey Ainscough
Network Solutions Group Director

 

Corey Ainscough has officially been promoted to Network Solutions Group Business Unit Director at Keller Schroeder. This announcement ends a year of transition for Corey from Service Delivery Manager into his new role. The NSG Business Unit Director position was previously held by Jeff Gorman, who became Keller Schroeder’s President on 1/1/17.

Corey has nearly 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field. Prior to his role as Service Delivery Manager, he spent 10 years as a Senior Systems Consultant with Keller Schroeder focusing on security architecture and implementation, as well as Microsoft server and messaging technologies. Among his many projects, Corey also served as the virtual CIO for a large financial institution and managed the IT transition during the divestiture of an international electronics and manufacturing corporation.

Of Corey, President Jeff Gorman said “Corey has been a well-respected employee owner at Keller Schroeder for ten years.  He has been actively involved in the operational aspects of the Network Solutions Group for several years and has been an integral part of that team’s growth.  His promotion into the role of Network Solutions Group Business Unit Director is well deserved and keeps that group positioned for continued growth and success.”

Corey lives in Newburgh, IN with his wife of eight years and two sons. In addition to enjoying time with his family, Corey is an avid cyclist and fitness enthusiast.

Please join us in congratulating Corey!

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Keller Schroeder Completes Transition of Leadership

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Jeff Gorman has been appointed President of Keller Schroeder, effective January 1, 2017, replacing Larry May, who will be retiring in February, 2017 after 20 years with the company.  The leadership transition was announced in January, 2016.  Gorman will also be appointed as a Director and Board Chairman.

“Keller Schroeder has experienced significant growth over the past several years, and Jeff has been a key part of our success,” said May, “He is highly respected by our employee-owners and has an outstanding reputation with our clients.”  Gorman joined Keller Schroeder in 2004, and most recently served as Director of the Company’s Network Solutions Group, its largest and fastest-growing business unit.  Prior to Keller Schroeder, Jeff held technical and leadership positions with Ascension Health/CSC, Welborn Clinic, and South Western Communications.  He earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and his Masters of Public Service Administration from the University of Evansville.

Please join us in congratulating Jeff!

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by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Ownership Thinking

how-to-choose-a-careerI was asked recently to speak to a group of college students about lessons learned from my 35 years in the marketplace.  As you can imagine, narrowing 35 years of experience down to a 30-minute talk was fairly challenging, but one of the topics I chose for these students – and a factor that has contributed significantly to our success at Keller Schroeder – is what I refer to as ownership thinking.

Keller Schroeder has been employee-owned for 13 years through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), but ownership thinking has little to do with who actually holds the stock certificates.  There are lots of people who own companies, in full or in part, who do not practice ownership thinking.  And, there are lots of people who have never owned a share of stock in a company who are pros at ownership thinking.

choose-your-pathOwnership thinking is about choosing to believe – and it is a choice – that you have the most to do with your path and your destination – not your circumstances, and not the actions of others.  Psychologists refer to it as a strong “internal locus of control”.  Students who practice ownership thinking will blame themselves, not their teacher, for a poor outcome on an exam.  Leaders who practice ownership thinking will focus on shaping the future and influencing outcomes rather than reporting on the past or justifying underperformance.  Conversely, individuals who tend toward an “external locus of control” are quick to blame others or environmental factors for their misfortunes.

What is your bias?  Do you “own it”, look for solutions, and take action?  And would you agree that those who do so are far more pleasant to live with and work around than those who don’t?  Doesn’t it stand to reason that those who practice ownership thinking perform at a higher level and achieve more than those whose default is to look beyond their sphere of influence to explain most of what happens to them?

You and I as individuals can strengthen our tendency toward ownership thinking by surrounding ourselves with those who have a strong internal locus of control – those who habitually believe and act as though their own actions are more important than the hand they have been dealt.  As leaders, we can build a bias in our organizations toward ownership thinking by rewarding action and initiative over justification and deflection.

There are always environmental factors and circumstantial contributors to what we see and experience in business and in life, but if we choose to own, act and move, rather than blame, dwell and wait, we exponentially increase our chances for success.

Larry May[President]

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United, We Serve

Carissa Eatmon – [Marketing and Communications Coordinator]

One of the most unique things about Keller Schroeder as a company is our caring group of employee-owners and their generous hearts. The culture we have fostered emphasizes making positive impacts on people, and our employee-owners continually do this through charitable giving, camaraderie, and joining forces behind causes that directly impact our community. This fall presented us with many opportunities to work together to give back to our community, including to one of our own facing her own battle.


day-of-caringUnited Way’s Day of Caring – September 9th, 2016

Each fall, businesses in the surrounding area allow their employees to spend time volunteering alongside the United Way of Southwestern Indiana on a single day known as “The Day of Caring.” This year’s “Day of Caring” was held on September 9th. Volunteers first met at the Old National Events Plaza for a kick-off breakfast. They then headed to areas in need all over the community. This year, our President Larry May worked with Payne Wealth Partners to assist the Evansville Association for the Blind.

 


Komen Evansville Race for the Cure – September 28th, 2016rftc-the-girls

September also marks our community’s annual Susan G. Komen’ Race for the Cure. Thousands of runners and walkers gather along side breast cancer survivors and their families to raise funds and awareness. This year’s Race for the Cure was particularly meaningful for our Keller Schroeder family. Our Inside Product Manager Dezarae Loewen is currently battling Stage 2 breast cancer. Our employee-owners banded together to walk or run to help find a cure and show our love and support for Dezarae. It was a hot one, but we had a blast “Doing It for Dez!”


United Way Giving Campaign Company Picnic – October 4th, 2016united_way_logo-svg

The end of September brings Keller Schroeder’s United Way Giving Campaign, where employee-owners commit to giving to the United Way of Southwestern Indiana for the following year. Our campaign for 2017 was another huge success, with our employee-owners opening their hearts and wallets to support this amazing organization. To cap off our campaign, we always host an outdoor picnic to celebrate. We used this year’s picnic to thank and celebrate our staff for their generous pledges, and as a way for our group to come together to show our support for Dezarae Loewen. It was a great day filled with food, prizes, fun, and lots of love. Thank you once again to our employee-owners and their families!
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by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Spotlight On…

Employee-Owner : Chris Haynes 

Chris Haynes - R
Chris has over 24 years of experience in the Information Technology field.  Before becoming a KS consultant, Chris served the roles of UNIX/Linux Administrator & Manager, Storage/Backup Administrator, and VMware Administrator across Healthcare, Finance & Distribution industries.

Since joining Keller Schroeder in 2007, Chris has specialized in storage & virtualization technologies on the Systems Team and is now the team leader.  His expertise is in NetApp and Nimble storage systems, VMware server & desktop virtualization, Cisco UCS rack & blade solutions, and Veeam Backup, Replication & Monitoring.

Chris has designed many storage/virtualization solutions for customers and performed countless installations, upgrades, and migrations.  He has implemented both server and desktop virtualization solutions, along with backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions in small to large environments and continues to support these environments today. Keller Schroeder also often utilizes Chris as featured presenter during our TechSpot series of lunch and learn events.

To learn more about Chris or to leverage his skills towards the improvement of your business, please reach out to your Keller Schroeder Account Manager.

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