Reflecting on 2020 Leaves Us With Gratitude


ControlTek Electronics Contract Manufacturing-2020 Rewind

Reflecting back at the end of any year here at ControlTek, one thing is for certain, we always meet our challenges as one team united and that creates our success. 2021 marks our 50th year in business and we are thrilled to reach this milestone. We asked our leadership team to share their thoughts about 2020, the team and 50 years in business. 

Andy LaFrazia - President: There is a lot to be thankful for even though 2020 has been an immense challenge. First, we are all here and we didn't have a major loss. This was significant due to a close friend of ControlTek's spouse being in the hospital over a month and on a ventilator for over 2 weeks and my wife's 4-day stay in isolation in the hospital with COVID. Nothing like coming home to an empty house to return your attention to the important things in life.

Second, we added a new granddaughter to the family and a new 'grand-pup' (Max - daughter's new dog). Both are great additions even though we have had limited in-person chances to visit. We are running down our batteries with all the Facetiming this past year. 

On the professional side, it has been amazing to see the resourcefulness and creativity of ControlTek when faced with ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic. This just confirms what a great group of people I work with. We have also seen our customers and supply chain adapt and it is a good reminder of the American work ethic and ingenuity. 

While I do not have any kids in school, between our friends/co-workers that have school age children and our friends who are educators, we have been sympathetic to the lack of in-person school and the associated challenges. We also have quite a few friends who work in healthcare, and their dedication to adjust to the new norm and still provide outstanding care is phenomenal. Our support of Maxtec who provides breathing therapy equipment has been outstanding in the wake of increased volumes and supply chain challenges and this has a direct impact on caring for Covid patients.

Looking at 50 years, I'm really amazed at how much we have changed and evolved into our current form. The challenges associated with being an electronic manufacturing service company in medical and ASD regulated industries is tough, but we are truly an adaptive organization with great people that makes it work every day.

Stacey Smith - Principal: Reflecting on the chaos of 2020, I'm somewhat surprised that the main emotion I feel is gratitude. How can I feel gratitude for a year that had so many unprecedented (word of the year) challenges? I feel gratitude for the way the team at ControlTek responded to the challenges 2020 threw at us. We cannot control what happens to us but we can control how we react to it. The ControlTek team came together and proactively addressed the unique challenges that seemed to be thrown at us daily. From making our workplace safe during a pandemic to meeting customer commitments, the team faithfully put forth their best efforts. I'm so proud of everyone here and am looking forward to continued success in 2021!
On a personal note, our family shifted with the tides of 2020. My children were tossed into remote learning and navigated keeping in touch with friends over a distance. My husband, who normally travels for work, was grounded and transitioned to working from home. The four of us adjusted to spending more time together and I can't help feeling that this strengthened our family bond. We have missed seeing our family, especially those who live far away. It's been hard to watch the little ones grow up over video chat rather than having a hug filled visit. Fortunately, we've all stayed healthy and will continue to practice social distancing to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy.

Sean Neil VP of Operations: Andy's comments about the impact on our employees and their spouses really resonate with me. When Tammy and Andy both got sick, I realized this can happen to anyone.  We have persevered through the COVID health issues as a team.  

To use an airline analogy, our organization has handled the pandemic much like a pilot handling major turbulence. We were out front gathering as much information as we could get, using the instruments at our disposal, communicating with the team (passengers) and making adjustments to the flight plan. I think we have acted like an experienced captain.  We didn't flinch, we just kept working, making adjustments during the flight with our destination unknown.  
Deep down I'm not surprised.  This whole thing has reminded me of ControlTek’s response to 9/11 and the Great Recession.  The company pulled together in those times and we did it again in 2020.  I can remember our employee's commitment during the 9/11 era and she brought the same energy in today's crisis.  We have great people and I'm proud of all of them.  
I also feel incredibly lucky for multiple reasons. I recognize how lucky we are that our customers still needed and continue to need our services.  This would have been a totally different trip without them.        
In 2021 I am looking forward to reconnecting with our customers and our employees, in person.  I miss all of them.  If we can't connect in person we need to improve our connections remotely.  I am also very excited to improve our supply chain performance and material liability picture.  We are going to do this by working with the customers to better understand the demand and build even stronger links between the customer, ourselves and the suppliers.   

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