I had lunch recently with a friend of mine. After catching up while practicing social distancing, we talked about my upcoming transition to a lesser role with Dot Foods and Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI).

He asked about the highs and lows of the last 20 years—13 of which have been in my present position as president of DTI. There are many more highs than lows, and in a relatively short article, it would be malpractice for me to go into too much detail. 

The overall theme of the highs in leading DTI is watching people grow and, through their hard work, giving them the opportunity and freedom to raise their families the way they choose. The way I see it, the more Dot and DTI grow, the more we give our employees and their families a chance to live their lives the way they see fit. 

I have been so proud to see the growth of our employees over the years. Let me just give you a few examples:

  • Jim Janssen – Jim is a Mt. Sterling driver who has hauled a ridiculous amount of fuel for us. Through his hard work, we’ve given him the means to put his kids through college. It’s been a treat to hear those stories. 
  • Heather Prentis – I first met Heather as our garage clerk in New York, and she has progressed now to leading the New York garage. I have loved seeing her grow and see her transform into her new role. 
  • Ruben Jiminez – Ruben is a driver trainer for us. It’s been wonderful to see the passion he brings to coaching up our newest drivers and servicing our customers and suppliers. He has a contagious positive attitude. 
  • Don Worley – I went to Don Worley’s funeral a few years ago. It was a blessing for me to get to know Don and to see the effect his life had on so many DTI employees and their families. 
  • John Hays – John is a lead in the Mt. Sterling garage. It has been a pleasure to see John first speak of his wife’s pregnancy, then of the birth of their daughter, and now hear of the growth of their new family. 
  • Steve Lashbrook – Steve is an Mt. Sterling driver who has bent my ear for years with ways we should do things better—questioning many of our current practices, but never disappointing a customer or supplier. Steve has always put smiles on customers’ faces. 

I could probably relay 500+ more connections. The six above are just a few of the employee experiences and relationships that have grown out of leading DTI. I have connected with many other employees and have cherished the deepness and genuineness of being part of their lives. 

Seeing employees grow is by far the best part of leading DTI.

So, if you thought leading DTI was all about making big decisions, telling people what to do, or being able to control your own schedule, you would be wrong. It’s all about creating an environment where employees can flourish through their own hard work. Thank you all for giving me the absolute privilege of being a part of this.