Dominion Digital’s 2011 Culture Book


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At Dominion Digital, we believe in the combination of principle and performance. It’s not the question of what we do that drives us but rather how we do what we do and why we do it. As a result, we celebrate the human experience and believe our culture is our greatest asset. It is the foundation for sustainable advantage and enduring success for the people we serve: our clients, our communities, and each other.

What better way to help celebrate our culture than to ask people in our firm to provide a few of their own words to describe our culture and what it means to them. As we grow and hire new people, we’d like them to understand and
become part of our culture. And, that’s the purpose of this book. It provides a glimpse into our culture for anyone interested, and it reminds us of what we value and seek to preserve.

We hope you enjoy our book!

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Dominion Digital’s 2011 Culture Book

  1. 1. Legal NoticePlease note that this book is intended to show how some individual Dominion Digital employees have expressed their feelings about DominionDigital. These personal feelings don’t carry the legal effect of management policy or promises. Rather, they are intended to share the views ofindividual employees about what their work with Dominion Digital means to them.Any pictograph silimarity to actual employees is entirely coincidental.We appreciate them sharing these thoughts and hope that you enjoy reading the rest of this book and learning about the Dominion Digital culture.
  2. 2. ForwardOur Core Values Our Thoughts
  3. 3. At Dominion Digital, we believe in the combination of principle and performance.It’s not the question of what we do that drives us but rather how we do whatwe do and why we do it. As a result, we celebrate the human experience andbelieve our culture is our greatest asset. It is the foundation for sustainableadvantage and enduring success for the people we serve: our clients, ourcommunities, and each other. What better way to help celebrate our culture than to ask people in our firmto provide a few of their own words to describe our culture and what it means
  4. 4. to them. As we grow and hire new people, we’d like them to understand andbecome part of our culture. And, that’s the purpose of this book. It provides aglimpse into our culture for anyone interested, and it reminds us of what wevalue and seek to preserve. We hope you enjoy our book!Dave BirckheadSVP & COO — Dominion
  5. 5. We always act in the best interest of our clients, as measured by client satisfaction and value created.We do our best in every situation and set the standards for excellence in our industry.We embrace individual initiative and team collaboration, such that in mutual partnership with our clients andin our communities, we are all stronger and more successful.
  6. 6. Dominion Digital IS how it seems. The spirit of transparency and teamwork on theoutside is really an outpouring of openness and honesty on the inside. It’s really theonly way that kind of thing can work sustainably. Jim GarrityI was told by my previous consulting company—upon hearing that I wanted to leaveand the reasons why—that the grass is always greener on the other side. I am bothamazed and thankful to say that, 3 months into working at DDIG, the grass IS greenerhere. What a different experience an employee can have, though still working in thesame business, when the company’s business model puts people first. Rachel Lee
  7. 7. In 1984, my family lost everything theyowned. I was not yet even a teen, but Iremember in vivid detail our move fromSeattle to Atlanta in a beat-up Ford LTDand the harrowing encounters we faced. create security and a calm presenceWhat I remember more than anything amidst crisis. Companies reach out toout of that time period was my initial us when internal controls have failedintroduction to human nature at its core – and when their needs outweigh theirour instinct not only for survival, but also internal abilities. They are, most often, career, I also view it as one in which Iof empathy and determination. I’ll never in crisis. And as consultants, we have an can be the right person in the right placeforget the people who helped when all incredible opportunity to make a lasting that can make a difference to the people,hope seemed lost, as well as those who and significant change not only for the businesses and communities aroundseemed to be transcendentally placed in firms we serve, but also for the people me. What drew me to Dominion Digitalour path at just the precise moment in within those firms and for the consumers was a similar perspective shared by ourtime when they were most needed. who benefit from their products and executives; that we can enhance the lives I think that consulting firms are services. of our peers, clients and communitiesnot unlike those well-placed, kind While I would be kidding myself through thoughtfully designed processsouls—we are poised to intervene and if I did not see consulting as a lucrative and technology. Kim Thies
  8. 8. Sushi It’s simple, very savory, and uncommon enough to feel like a real treat.Steak Just plain delicious when done right, proof that you can’t start with a bad cut andseason it to perfection, you have to make sure your product is quality to begin with, andthat the person cooking it knows what he’s doing.Thai curry Incredible taste and incredible spice bond to satisfy your palate and clean out yoursinuses. David West
  9. 9. Why am I at DDIG? I came here because at the time, I needed a job. I stay here becauseof each and every person I work with makes me strive to be better professionally andpersonally. While I always hope to make DDIG better through my contributions, IKNOW DDIG will continue to make me better. DDIG is not just a company; it is acollection of great people who happen to work for the same company. So, whoeverreads this, it is because of YOU, that is why I am at DDIG. Derek NaughtonOne of the reasons I’ve been with Dominion Digital for the past seven years is the firm’scommitment to growth. In addition to firm growth, DDIG fosters an environment forindividuals to grow their passions and capabilities both professionally and personally.I’m able to push myself professionally while still being the mom I want to be to myyoung children. DDIG understands that it’s the synthesis of all these things...the personal andprofessional, the individual and the collective that make us all thrive. Chrissy Keeton
  10. 10. I know why I’m at Dominion Digital, and it It was my perception since the business Richmond to Jacksonville, Florida andhasn’t changed in twelve years. was now running, the customers would I started looking for a local job. It was In 1996, my best friend from high start coming in to buy computers and during that process I assessed what Ischool called me up the last semester of get internet access—since we built it, wanted in my next and said, “I’m going to start an they would come. I wanted to be more The railroad was a big machineISP and computer store. Want to start proactive. While we parted strained, (no pun intended). With hundreds ofit with me?” Of course I said yes. This we have since regrouped. He’s still in people at the corporate office, as wellwas my friend who, all through high business and doing very well for himself. as divisions and departments all overschool, would carry a binder around full I went from a strip-mall start-up to the country, it was easy to get lost asof business plans, figures, and sketches an 18th-floor office at a 180-year-old a person. Even more so, it was hard toof the business he would run someday corporation: one of the largest railroads get things done up to a certain point.building PCs (the ISP part was a recent and a global transportation company. The constraints imposed by the sheeraddition). He was not short on ideas, Yes, the big leagues. I was able to structure of the organization could beand he certainly had vision. redesign their website, which was seen limiting. I had tasted what it was like to After a year and a half making by tens of thousands of people—an be in “Corporate America,” but I was$200 a month and a flat growth rate of awesome scope. I was there for about done.customers (while other ISPs of the time a year and a half when they decided to After looking around at job postings,and the area were growing), I had to leave. consolidate their technology group from a friend at the railroad (also looking for
  11. 11. a job) sent me a link to the DominionDigital “Art Director” position. Lookingaround the website to see what thiscompany was about, I saw they were our continuous striving to improve ourlocal (two blocks from my apartment), delivery processes, it’s in our companyand they were small. But it was two DNA to be people-focused.phrases which sold me: “We started a So this got me thinking; this is thecompany we always wanted to work “why” I joined, and part of the “why” I solutions involve restructuring processesfor,” and “we put the ‘human’ in ‘human continue to stay, but it’s not all the “why.” and technology from the uncomfortableresources’.” I knew this place would take The other part of the “why” is just a to the natural. Our solutions empowercare of their people and serve their best natural extension of the first part—the people, not enslave them. It amountsinterests. company treats its people like people, to removing roadblocks and creating a Fast-forward twelve years later. and my work is focused on designing clear path to make running a businessThese sentiments have always been software that treats people like people. enjoyable.upheld and worked towards. From our This doesn’t only relate to my work I love working to enable people to lovehiring process to our PDP framework to as a designer, but you could say all our their work. Darrell Estabrook
  12. 12. Hmmm, Madeleine Albright or Frank Zappa? Madeleine Albright’s personal and professional history is utterly captivating to meand tremendously impressive. As the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and thenthe first woman to serve as Secretary of State, she is a feminist icon I would relish theopportunity to meet and get to know. I’ve been a devoted fan of Frank Zappa ever since the record company I worked foracquired his entire catalog and we immersed ourselves in his biography and massivecollection of records. The more I learned about him, his social commentary, politicalactivism, and his epic musical legacy, the more I grew to admire him. Sadly he diedfrom pancreatic cancer at 53, about two years before I was turned onto him. It wouldbe an amazing thing to have dinner with Madeleine and Frank together. Heather Higgins
  13. 13. I believe that people are inherently good. I also believe that a lot of stuff can get in theway of that goodness, and that being good is sometimes pretty hard. I am happy tobe at Dominion Digital because I see in my colleagues the persistent desire to try tobe better professionals, better parents, better friends, better mentors, better humans.I am constantly humbled by the consistency of this characteristic across my peersand superiors. We want to be better, both individually and collectively. And mostimportantly, we believe that we can’t be better without being kind. Hope NormanDominion Digital stands second only to my family as an oasis of emotional and spiritualgrowth. To some extent this is of my choosing, but to a larger extent it is due to myteammates’ choice to respond with care, kindness, compassion, encouragement, andsupport. For this I am eternally grateful. Chris Little
  14. 14. Realistically going back very far would present too many communication andpersonal safety challenges, and Back to the Future taught me trying to change the pastis fraught with peril (Great Scott!). Instead, I would seek out the person I admire most, my grandfather, when he wasthe same age I am now. I know him as the old sage, but who was he as a young man?Did he have the same hopes and dreams that I do? The same fears and self-doubt? Thesame uncertainty about how to live a meaningful life? Al Tenhundfeld
  15. 15. I’m at Dominion Digital because I can be me and feel valued for being me. As Chris likesto say, I didn’t know what I was looking for but knew I found it when I met with Dave,Chris G, Chrissy, and Chris during my interviews in early 2006. At DDIG, I am allowedto be completely feeling and emotional at the same time that I am quantitative andanalytical. This complete acceptance of who I am as a complex person inspires me toconnect deeply with our team and with our clients. I hope to eventually give as much tothe firm as the firm continues to inspire me and enhance my life. Jimmy ChouThe thing that makes working for DDIG awesome is the incredible talent of all of mycoworkers and the reason we are able to find and keep such amazingly smart, talented,and motivated people is the DDIG culture. I remember a quote that attributed to Taniasaying that she wanted to “work with people who give a @$%&” and that quote reallystuck with me. We probably can’t use that as a pithy slogan with our clients, but I thinkit really sums things up. Everyone at DDIG strives for excellence in the quality of theirwork and the impact they make to those around them whether it be clients, coworkers,or the community at large. Josh Laseter
  16. 16. In my 10 year career, Dominion Digital isthe first place to fully embrace who Iam. Most resumes have a small sectionat the bottom dedicated to “Personal several Dominion Digital colleagues wereInterests.” To Dominion Digital this in attendance, supporting me as a personsection is equally as important as the and supporting their local community. At The reason why I want my family tobusiness portion of a resume. If you were Dominion Digital, I have gotten to know have economic freedom is so that theyto read my Personal Interests section more people at a personal level than I could put 100% of their time and energyyou would discover that, in addition to have at any other company and that is into the things that they are passionatebeing a certified 6-sigma Black Belt, I am because of the culture that emphasizes about so that they can lead healthy,a poet, I practice meditation, and enjoy the human element. productive, inspirational lives.urban farming. Those human elements This is what I wrote down for my The secondly reason for workingmatter to Dominion Digital; they view whys prior to our all employees meeting: is to feel fulfilled as a human being. Toyou as more than just headcount on a My main reason for working is to me this fulfillment comes from a) doingspreadsheet. I founded of a poetry show provide for my family; to provide them work that does not cause harm, b) beingcalled the End Hunger Slam that feeds with their basic comfort needs so that challenged on a day-to-day basis andlocal families in need with our proceeds. they can escape the slavery of poverty developing my skills, and c) helpingOn opening night for our 2011 season, that I and my wife grew up in. those around me.
  17. 17. The reason why I want to feel fulfilledis because I believe that in doing so, I willmake this world a better place and that I found this quote while readingthe positive energy I generate will help some literature on A3s (Managing tochange those who come in contact with Learn by John Shook) and found it very what it is that makes us human, whichme. relevant after yesterday’s meeting: is our ability to think and feel - we have As a Buddhist, what I do is not as “We want to not only show respect to respect that humanity in the wayimportant as how I do it. Dominion allows to our people, the same way we want to we design the work, so that the workme to function with integrity, while show respect to everyone we meet in life, enables their very human characteristicsproviding a kind, nurturing environment. we also want to respect their humanity, to flourish.” - Fujio Cho Daniel Custodio
  18. 18. I joined Dominion Digital because from my very first interaction, I knew that the peopleare what make this company special. Not only is everyone uber-talented, they aregenuinely awesome people that care about each other, our clients and our community.I feel blessed and lucky to be part of this wonderful family. Kris BlakeI work with the best people, on the planet. They are so smart, passionate, driven andsuccessful, not to mention funny, really funny. And, they make me better, every day. Tricia Rhodes
  19. 19. I have been extremely impressed with myexperience at Dominion Digital bothpersonally and professionally. I am that drive me are also core to Dominionboth humbled and inspired by our team Digital. »» Grow intellectually, professionally,members and feel lucky to have the What is the why for me? “What do I and sociallyopportunity to work with such intelligent, believe in?” Why?compassionate, and skilled people. The »» Lead improvement »» Gauge myself by mystrength of DDIG’s employees paired »» Lead industry change accomplishmentswith visionary leadership and a closely- »» Connect with people »» Need to feel like I make a positiveknit culture make Dominion Digital »» Help people impact to other people Important to me to feel like I provide exceptionalan extraordinary place to work. DDIG »» Integrate creativity into the value workplacegenuinely cares about its employee’s »» Get sense of fulfillment from beinggrowth, fulfillment, and the impact they »» Work with smart, motivated, and an enabler inspiring teamsmake on the world, and this comes »» Want to help people and myself see the world in a different waythrough in every person on the team. »» Feel like a part of something with momentum and great potential I have also pasted my homework »» Need to question my own andassignment below—it was exciting to »» Personal and professional life others sense of reality, priorities, and complement each other challengeslook back and see that many of the things Josh McVeigh
  20. 20. Robin Yoder An acquaintance who lost her right leg to cancer last year but has never lost herdrive to live the best life possible. Her doctors believe the cancer in the bone of herleg was a result of full body radiation she had to cure a cancer she had 30 years agoat the age of 18. She has had to learn to walk with a prosthetic leg and she has severalsetbacks but she always has a winning outlook. Robin never feels sorry for herselfand is thankful for every day she shares with her husband and son. She has overcomeobstacles and pain with grace. One year and a week after the anniversary of her surgery to remove her leg shecompleted a sprint triathlon—swim, bike, run. I met Robin through the Leukemia andLymphoma Society’s Team In Training program and through Team In Training I havemet many cancer survivors who train and complete endurance events. They all inspire me. Jane Schumann
  21. 21. The 1950’s The music, the dancing, the fashion, the drive–in movies. Teenagers breakingaway from their parents and redefining themselves, the Civil Rights movement anddesegregation. It was a time of peace, albeit temporarily. Things appeared more simple,even though the decade is defined by some major cultural and political changes. And,let’s be honest, I’ve always loved poodle skirts and high ponytails! Tricia Rhodes
  22. 22. My dad’s fried chicken My dad made it every sunday growing up and it is better than any fried chicken Ihave ever had at any restaurantBone-In Ribeye Do you really need a reason to love steak and this is the king of kings when itcomes to steakPotatoes You can bake, fry, mash, smash, cream, and basically do anything to a potato andit still tastes good I am from the south and I tend to fall back on southern comfort food as my favorite.Would I like to eat it often? Yes. Should I eat it often? No, but these are still my favorites. Jeff Bennett
  23. 23. DDIG’s culture creates an atmosphere which allows me to continue to growprofessionally and personally and most important of all gives me an opportunity to beof service to others Aretina YoungIt warms my heart when DDIG participates both in times of personal celebration and intimes of illness or grief. I received a card signed by all of my colleagues congratulatingme on the birth of my son. And I received flowers following my knee surgery thisFebruary. It’s just another testament to how DDIG truly is a family and the support feltis overwhelming. It’s something I’ve never witnessed with any other company. Becky Bauckman
  24. 24. I would have dinner with Major Dick Winters (unfortunately, he passed away inJanuary of this year). A strong and charismatic leader Mr. Winters as showcased in Stephen Ambrose’sbook Band of Brothers had an enormous impact on our society and life as we know ittoday. I’d really like to try and better understand how Mr. Winters was able to survivethe various battles of WWII and to become such a compassionate and inspiring leader. Travis Walters
  25. 25. Thomas Carlyle once said, “Culture is the process by which a person becomes all theywere created capable of being.” Working at Dominion Digital provides each of us withthe opportunity to grow both personally and professionally. Our culture is what welive by, to give our lives meaning and to impact those around us. I love working withcommitted, passionate folks at DDIG who pursue excellence in all they do. Dave BirckheadThe nature of my work provides me the opportunity to work directly with our client’ssoftware teams. The more I do this, the more I value Dominion Digital’s approach toputting people first and providing them safe environments that bring out their best. Formany companies, putting people first is a novel concept. For us it’s a given. Ryan Shriver