Giving thanks for A-dec employees, friends and our Newberg community
In 1976, I was a lanky, bright-eyed senior at Newberg High School, studying, dreaming about college and spending time at the Dairy Queen with neighborhood friends. I was fortunate enough to get a summer job working at A-dec, Newberg's largest employer, after two summers hauling hay.
Little did I know I would one day become a part of the company's founding family, meeting and falling in love with Ken and Joan Austin's only daughter, Loni, who has been my best friend since 1973 and wife since 1984. And little did I know I would go on to have a 34-year career at A-dec, the past 15 as president.
I've learned so much in that time, working in every part of the business under Ken and Joan's mentorship. After 34 years, there are three things I've never been more certain of than I am today: A-dec employees are the heart of our company and our commitment to them and their families is unwavering; A-dec has never been stronger, closing this year with record revenue and growth in every area; and our connection with the Newberg community is deep and enduring.
When Ken and Joan started A-dec in 1964, they had just a couple of employees, a single order and a 1,000 square-foot Quonset hut in Newberg. Today A-dec is the largest privately-owned dental manufacturing company in the United States.
We now have 1,300 talented employees who embody the values of honesty, integrity and hard work that were so important to Ken and Joan. These values are the foundation of our work philosophy, The A-dec Way, which defines our culture and guides our decision-making.
I'm incredibly proud of not only our employees' dedication, skill and expertise, but also their community engagement. A-dec and its employees gave roughly $543,000 to nearly 100 charitable organizations in 2019 alone, including $34,000 to Newberg's Rotary clubs to support dental care outreach and education, and $100,000 to United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley.
When A-dec employees reach employment anniversary milestones, they have the option of receiving a gift or donating the equivalent value of their gift to a nonprofit organization of their choice. This year alone, A-dec employees chose to donate more than $6,000 to schools, animal shelters, community resources and churches, instead of receiving an anniversary gift. And in 2019 the Austin Family Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $1 million to 15 organizations, including the Newberg Family Resource Center (a capital fund under the umbrella of Lutheran Community Services), Newberg School District and many local nonprofits.
Just as we love and support the Newberg community, each and every day I hear from former and current employees, vendors, community leaders, business owners and neighbors who have said, simply put, that the feeling is mutual. More than 750 have signed on to a public letter of support.
I'm humbled by the outpouring of support for A-dec and the Austin Parrish family that this community has shown in recent weeks.
Thirty-four years since I began this journey, it's still the best job I've ever had, thanks to our people, our success and our town of Newberg. This Thanksgiving, I am so grateful to our employees, the many friends we are fortunate to have, and the community we call home. As we look toward the future, rest assured A-dec will continue to grow and thrive, to give back, to be family owned and operated, and to uphold our values of our founders. That's The A-dec Way.
Scott Parrish is president of A-dec
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