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Mini-cast 235: EO Culture & Communication - What DVL Group Does Right

The EsOp Mini-cast: Employee Ownership Culture & Communications - What DVL Group Does Right

Bret Keisling shares a clip from Episode 45 of the Owner to Owner podcast. Host Jesse Tyler spoke with three owners at 100% ESOP DVL Group. Here, marketing manager Jodi Holland explains what DVL Group does right to promote ownership culture and communications, including DVL's "Annual Statement Day," quarterly and annual owner and safety awards, and a quarterly newsletter that is mailed to owners' homes to encourage better family awareness of employee ownership. She also discusses the importance of regularly updating ESOP brochures, graphs, etc, to keep learning interesting and more effective.

Episode 45 was the Season 2 finale of the Owner to Owner podcast. You can find all of Jesse's past episodes at In each episode, guests share personal insights on what ownership means to them; how they describe ownership when talking to family, friends, and strangers; the three words they use to describe ownership; their EO A-ha moments; and why anyone seeking work should consider a career at their employee-owned company.


Mini-cast 235 Show Notes

About the Owner to Owner Podcast

The goal of The Owner to Owner Podcast is to have owner-to-owner discussions about a wide range of ownership experiences and culture topics, and to bring more insight into the individual ownership experience.

You can find the full version of Episode 45 of the Owner to Owner podcast here.

About DVL Group

"For more than 38 years, DVL has built its foundation on threading expertise and experiences fostered by the professional culture and commitment of our people. We are a 100% employee owned company that has the talent, experience, and resources to be your product sales and solution expert for your critical environment.

DVL is a 140+ person company headquartered in the Philadelphia metro area with a national platform backed by our people, solutions, and service. Our offices expand across the country in Albuquerque, NM, Denver, CO, Harrisburg, PA, and Salt Lake City, UT.

DVL Group is proud to be Certified™ by Great Place to Work® for the sixth year in a row. The prestigious award is based entirely on what current associates say about their experience working at DVL. "

For career information at DVL Group, click here.


Mini-cast 235 Transcript

[00:00:00] Bret Keisling: Welcome to the EsOp Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling, and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership. Last week, Jesse Tyler wrapped up season two of the Owner to Owner podcast with Episode 45, featuring three great employee owner guests from DVL Group. Jesse asks guests on each of his episodes what their company does right in culture and communications that other ESOPs and worker co-ops can learn from.

[00:00:40] We really liked an answer that Jesse was given, so we wanted to bring you this clip from the Owner to Owner podcast featuring Jesse and one of his guests, Jodi Holland of the DVL Group. Here's Jesse.


[00:00:54] Jesse Tyler: So, it's interesting to hear your perspective on that as well. So, want to share out what you're proud of, what you're good at, when it comes to what's something that DVL Group does well with ownership culture and communication that you'd like to share, Jodi?

[00:01:08] Jodi Holland: Well, I think one of the things that really defines our ownership culture is how we reward excellence, and that's just a huge part of recognizing our fellow employee owners and giving them the credit that they deserve.

[00:01:24] And so we like many other. ESOPs - I almost said like many other nonprofits - like many other ESOPs, we have an owner of the quarter. We also have a quarterly safety award as well. Safety is one of our core values, and so that's something that it's probably our most important core value. And so, we've started a few years back, we started having a quarterly safety award also. That could be anyone from any department who recognizes a safety issue and, you know, speaks up to make sure that that safety issue is, you know, righted. A wrong is righted, I guess you can say.

[00:02:00] And we have annual awards, stuff like that. And as far as our communication goes, we have our quarterly print newsletter called ESOP Connect. That's, you know, of course, just an internal newsletter, but we mail that home so that...

[00:02:14] Jesse Tyler: Nice.

[00:02:14] Jodi Holland: ... people's spouses and families, they can see everything that we're up to. And of course, any educational pieces that we put in there about ESOP concepts as well, that's something that they themselves as family members of the employee can learn as well.

[00:02:31] And we also have a digital version of that, that we email out occasionally just to make sure that we're keeping up on stuff more frequently.

[00:02:40] And you know, as we said, we have a lot of those graphics and illustrations that we've put together over the past few years that really effectively explain concepts and dumb it down. And pretty much, like I said just before, I mean, I think the phrase is "necessity is the mother of invention?" For me, I needed to understand those concepts and...

[00:03:02] Jesse Tyler: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:03] Jodi Holland: ...that's why I created. I put those in pretty much visual terms, so I can understand it. And you know, thankfully, I did that because now hopefully other people are able to look at those and use them as well.

[00:03:17] And of course, we're always updating them and I think that's a big part of the communications we do is always looking at what we're doing and seeing how we could do it better. So, as far as updating our ESOP brochures, which we're currently doing so that we can have a nice, fresh, new version to give out to people ahead of our upcoming statement day. And around Ownership Month and statement day we also sometimes do videos, whether they're ESOP news updates that are maybe like five or six minutes long or so, and then also educational videos as well, and so that hopefully, you know, maybe that's the one push that someone needs to really understand it and really realize, hey, this is, this is awesome and this is something that is so unique that none of my friends or family are a part of.

[00:04:03] And so, yeah, and also most importantly I think is with statement day coming up, the meeting where we have the announcement of our share price and everyone gets their statement, the ESOP committee is available in person and on a call on Teams for, of course, the people that aren't in our headquarters office that can ask any questions they have, whether it's personally, personal, or specific to their own statement, or you know, just in general, the committee makes themself available to anyone and everyone who has those questions.

[00:04:39] And basically, like I said earlier, it's... we do a lot to make information available to people in hopes that they'll take it when it's best for them and in the form that is best for them.

[00:04:51] Jesse Tyler: Yeah, it sounds like you're doing an incredible, really thoughtful job with that. And I do for the listeners, want to kind of amplify or restate what Jodi had said about sending things home and reaching the family.

[00:05:00] It's really interesting where some ... My, you know, I don't have data for you, but just in conversationally it sounds like very few ESOPs are really actively engaging families. It's just an enormous opportunity for everybody because you can have somebody come home and say, you know, you still have a bad day at an ESOP. You can still have humans at work you don't like. I'm not trying to give buckets of sunshine and bunny rabbits here. You can still have a hard day, but folks that are really bought in and really feeling empowered and valued probably seem a little different at home than they may have seemed at another company!


[00:05:33] Bret Keisling: Jodi mentioned a number of great things the DVL Group is doing, but like Jesse, I honed in on the family outreach. Educating family members about why an employee-owned company is great for them is very important. And, as Jesse pointed out, something that not a lot of ESOPs do at all. Perhaps we'll visit that subject before too long in an upcoming Mini-cast.

[00:05:57] I hope you'll check out Episode 45 of the Owner to Owner podcast featuring the DVL group and I hope you'll check out all of Jesse's episodes from his first two seasons. You can find them all at

[00:06:12] With that, we'll wrap up this episode of Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.


[00:06:20] Bitsy McCann: We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter @EsOpPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network, original music composed by Max Keisling, branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design, and I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The EsOp Podcast, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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