Why Veteran Owned Matters at ControlTek


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Back in college at Oregon State University, I knew I would likely put my freshly minted Engineering skills to good use when I returned to my family’s business at ControlTek. It did not immediately occur to me, however, just how much the other skills I was absorbing--first as an ROTC scholarship recipient and later during both active and reserve duty as a Civil Engineer Officer in the United States Air Force--would inform and influence my role as President of ControlTek.

“Engineers lead the way.”

In the military, the desire to lead by solving problems is what drives us. Today this belief is reflected in the mission and values you’ll find across the ControlTek organization. From the design department to the factory floor, each member of our team is a daily problem solver, whether that means going the extra mile to place a strategic purchase of source components or reconfiguring a product design to make it easier and more cost effective to produce for the customer. The job of the leadership team at ControlTek, of course, is to foster and guide these values from within.

Problem solving, training and most of all, service. We associate all of these with the military and the fact is each is distinctly related to the others. At ControlTek, how we solve problems relies first and foremost on us putting trust in our employees to see a problem, and then jump in to fix it. We offer training opportunities to help our employees grow their skills and empower them to fix problems if and when they arise.

We believe in building a customer service oriented culture that rewards employees for embracing tough problems. And if our employees have the initiative and drive to take on even bigger challenges, we are here to help them achieve those goals. As Air Force Civil Engineers, we continually engage in problem solving and understand the focus on customer service. A hallmark of the American military is our resourcefulness and ability to empower junior personnel to make decisions to accomplish the mission. For ControlTek, that mission is to support our customer’s goals. We live and breathe this every day, utilizing training and the empowerment of our great personnel.

Strategy and Planning

For those trained in the military, understanding the difference between tactics and strategy is crucial. Both of course are essential, but tactics without strategic direction can lead to disaster. The same can be said of a business that doesn’t drive towards the future with a firm understanding of its core values and mission. Here at ControlTek, that means staying committed to understanding our customer’s problems and applying our expertise to find the right solution. In doing so, we assure we are prepared to help our customers find success.

As I reached the twilight of my military career after serving 30 years, I knew I was blessed to be able to serve and feel I received tremendous benefits from my experiences. While it has been challenging at times to immerse myself within the military bureaucracy one day and then at my civilian job the next, both military and private sectors have had a profound impact on the current state and the future of ControlTek.

-Andy LaFrazia, ControlTek President

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