Letter from the Vice President: Core Values
FSE hosts an annual meeting providing a venue for FSE's leadership group from every project site to reflect on the year's accomplishments and look to the year ahead. This past year we took the opportunity to survey all attendees and ask, what do you believe FSE's Core Values are? The results yielded these top six values:
- Excellence in Work
- Kingdom Focus
- Servant Leadership
FSE will officially turn 33 years old on Dec. 29th of this year. This 33-year history is celebrated by the fact that our leaders across the company have embraced these core values throughout their careers. This past month I enjoyed the privilege of two unique experiences that reinforced this truth.
Experience 1 - Rewind the clock back to 1982. Ken Dickerson and Dan Tarkington were beginning a contract at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). Dan and Ken, of course, did not know at the time that this particular contract would be the catalyst that launched Four Seasons Environmental into a legitimate provider of facilities management services. Each federal contract typically has a COTR, or Contracting Officers Technical Representative. This COTR is who FSE reports to on a daily basis. The WPAFB COTR was Randy Parker, a Second Lieutenant Air Force Officer at the time. As many of our associates are serving on a Federal contract, we all understand the importance of a strong relationship with our COTRs and other key individuals whom we serve. Ken Dickerson and Dan Tarkington led this first contract by serving Randy Parker and the WPAFB project with FSE's core values in mind.
Fast forward 34 years. I met with Randy Parker this month at a WPAFB networking meeting through the Army Core of Engineers. Randy is now the civilian equivalent of an Army General and is the Chief Resources, Installations & Mission Support Directorate for the U.S. Air Force, HQ Air Force Materiel Command at WPAFB. Randy was quick to ask, "How are Ken and Dan?" His comments about the memories of this first contract were genuine and sincere, about how Ken and Dan faithfully served WPAFB with Excellence, Integrity and Honesty. This is a testament to the lasting impression Dan and Ken made on Randy. By leading and serving with these core values, 34 years later Randy still has honorable memories of the early beginnings of what was to become FSE.
Experience 2 - A Kingdom Focus. Jesus encouraged people to pray like this: Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. This executive order made the top six of our core values, a Kingdom Focus. What does this mean? For those who study and/or follow Jesus, it means living out the values Jesus taught while he was on earth. The Kingdom Focus means to love God and love others. FSE was privileged to love and serve others by donating some of its resources through the years. FSE's very own Ron Wyrtzen was employed at Word of Life Ministry prior to joining FSE. Word of Life was founded by Ron's Dad, Jack Wyrtzen. Word of Life is a Bible School and Camp Retreat and has grown to serve in 66 countries around the world. Here locally in the U.S., Word of Life serves approximately 10,000 grade school to high school campers each summer. Word of Life also makes this camp available, free of charge, to any child that is part of the Angel Tree ministry (a ministry serving children whose parents are incarcerated).
I was recently given the privilege to visit the Word of Life ministry facilities located in Florida. This 500-acre campus was donated some 30 years ago by the Lion family. It now has more than 100 buildings, ranging from cabins, to maintenance facilities, to a large sanctuary, to chow halls, to a dorm-style building. No property this size can be serviced appropriately without a working maintenance building. The maintenance building at Word of Life Florida is old and deteriorated. Well wouldn't you know, FSE happened to have a spare building at the end of the WPAFB contract? The incoming contractor who was awarded the low-bid contract declined to purchase the building from FSE, and the Government required FSE to remove it the building from the base. While it has taken some time to resurrect, this roughly 40- by 60-foot, two-story, metal-sided pole-barn-style building will serve as the new maintenance building for Word of Life Florida. It was a joy to see FSE involved in the O&M side of this thriving ministry. This again resulted in confirmation that by acting on our core values, FSE can make a difference, both at our customer's site, and beyond.
Our Generation 1 leadership team, including Dan Tarkington, Darwin Parker, Ken Dickerson and Rich Femia have faithfully served FSE with these core values for the last 30 years. I encourage each leader within FSE, starting with myself, to consider these core values at the start of each day. May we all be blessed to continue serving our unique customers, while leading with Excellence in our work, Honesty in all things, Integrity, a Kingdom Focus, Respect and Servant Leadership.