Growing Family Business: Continuous Adaptation with a Strong Conviction to Core Values
Denise Gaalswyk, Owner and Vice President of Easy Automation shares her perspective on the family business.
Although 1986 seems like just yesterday for some, including me, the past 35 years have taught me more about myself, people, and business than I could have ever imagined. My role at Easy Automation started primarily as a supportive role while raising my children and ensuring all things were running smoothly at home while the business was growing. Just over 20 years ago, I formally joined Easy Automation and started to immerse myself in helping wherever I could, whether that was answering the phone or supporting the office in a variety of ways. As I became more involved in the business and day-to-day activities, I started to take interest in helping Easy Automation continue to evolve while staying true to our family business values. Today, I serve on the leadership team, with my daily responsibilities revolving around customer service and support plans and leading the Admin, IT, and HR teams. But, above all, it has been my personal ambition to ensure we never lose commitment to our core values and ability to see the people behind the problems we solve.
Easy Automation has adapted significantly over the years. Just as my role expanded, so did the business. As our customers continued to grow, their challenges scaled and changed, we grew to meet their needs with more complex equipment, customized solutions, and automation technology to get more done in the day. These changes and growing needs opened an opportunity for my two sons to return to the business to lead it into the next generation. This has provided me an opportunity to bring forward a strong emphasis on our core values and how we live them out day-to-day.
Empathy. Integrity. Perseverance. Approachability. These words, chosen years ago by our leadership team, embody the company we are and want to continue striving to be. It is not enough to simply name them, but today and every day we remind ourselves of them. We hold ourselves accountable weekly at department meetings. We reflect quarterly to ensure we still align with these core values. I have found, over my years working in the business, the most successful employees and working relationships are with people who hold these same values. We aren’t always perfect, and will never claim to be, but these values remind us daily of the standard we want to achieve.
Faces will change. Products will change. How we do business will even change. But 15 years from now all I can hope for is that we are a trustworthy and committed company to work for and partner with. As we continue to grow, staying true to our family business core values and our agricultural roots will always be a priority.