As we celebrate our 20th year in business, we also celebrate everyone who has been a part of the journey to where we are today. Fred Pettinga, a former employee at DISHER, shares his story of being a part of the DISHER team in the early years, and what DISHER’s mission statement has meant to him personally.


My name is Fred Pettinga and I was with DISHER for about 17 and a half years. I retired last February. So I started in August of 2002. And I was one of the BLs, as they called it back then. A word that came to my mind, ’cause we used to use it in the early days, was spicy. When we tried to describe, what’s it like right now, it was kinda spicy because it kinda tastes good but it kinda hurts. Just a lot of growing pains back then. And that just kinda summed up what the daily life was like at DISHER. Yeah,

DISHER made a positive difference in myself, just, I think, by, like, people I got to work with. Just outstanding individuals. I can’t say enough about the kind of people that work at DISHER. To work at a company that has a philosophy of making a positive difference is, I think, unique. So that was a great opportunity. Lots of really interesting customers. We’re so fortunate to have both big and small customers. And to rub shoulders with them and interact with them was just a really positive thing.

The mission statement, make a positive difference, always, we always kinda knew what that meant but we also kinda learned what it really meant on a deep level. I can remember a number of years ago when the term ripples of influence kinda showed up all of a sudden and just how that kind of articulated what we all kinda thought in the back of our mind, about what it really means to be at DISHER and make a difference. And so, in terms of how big DISHER got or how small DISHER got, that wasn’t as important anymore. And if someone left the company, that was painful but we knew, well, that person is making a positive difference somewhere else and that’s a really good thing. So that phrase was kind of a turning point for me, personally, at DISHER.

The fact that he decided to start the business, that’s always a real leap of faith, right? The fact that he did that and he started with the mission statement is just astounding to me. I think it’s just awesome. So yeah, one word would be thank you, to Jeff.