By Kennishah Maddux
It was the fall of 2008 and I had just been laid off from my third company in four months. I had officially had more positions in the last six months then I did my entire career up to that point. It was the middle of the Great Recession, and I was one among many Americans who were suffering the effects. It was exactly one day after my most recent company closure that I received a call back from Digital Risk – for a position I had applied for six months earlier. They wanted me to start the next day. I obliged. I wasn’t sure what the future of the company would be, but I imagined it would be good. I just didn’t imagine how good…
There were approximately 25 D-Riskers when I started at Digital Risk, only eight of whom were actual employees. The remaining D-Riskers were contract employees. I didn’t even have a cubicle – I sat on an “end cap,” which was a fancy term for hallway. I actually had to win my way into a cube, winning a contest among my fellow six “end cap-mates” by processing the most loan files in one day. A short while after I started, I was given an offer to become a Digital Risk employee. At this point, I did not have a clue what the future would hold for the company but again obliged. It was shortly after this time that we began to rapidly increase our internal team.
During my first year at Digital Risk, despite the uncertainty, I happily stayed because of the environment. It was the overwhelming sense of camaraderie that made Digital Risk feel more like a family than merely a company. I have seen many times during my tenure, examples of this company going above and beyond to help team members in need. Before “Jeans for a Cause” and our many other philanthropic endeavors were implemented, the entire team rallied to support a team member who needed help. I have participated in many bake sales and collections to ensure that our team is taken care of. It inspires me to see that charitable spirit still alive and growing all these years later.
I have also been privy to the overwhelming growth in our educational and internal development programs. When I first came to Digital Risk, a formal training department was not yet in place. Instead, your fellow coworkers opted to take the time to show you the ropes. I witnessed time and again examples of people going way beyond their call of duty to assist others in being successful.
As Digital Risk continued to grow at an exponential rate and transitioned into a paperless company, it was apparent that we needed a formal training environment in order to best equip our team to grow their careers with us. I was fortunate enough to act as lead trainer for the first year of the training initiative. This role gave me a glimpse into the importance Digital Risk placed on its people. I saw firsthand that people truly were considered to be the company’s most valuable asset.
As the company grew, so did the culture. It has been a privilege to see that over the years – despite all of the challenges faced – one thing has remained consistent: the integrity of both the company as a whole and the individual team members that make up the Digital Risk family. I feel very lucky to be part of this company. I have been afforded more growth, educational, philanthropic and vocational opportunities in my past five years here than I could have ever imagined! Through Digital Risk’s commitment to its Seven Principles, they have been overwhelmingly successful.
Did you know? In the beginning…
- We only had one part time person that made up the entire Human Resource “department.”
- Eric Rawlings, who now serves as our SVP Chief Technology Officer, and Ivo Konstantinov, who is now our Director, European Operations, were our only IT resources.
- We all shared 1 fax machine to send out verification requests. We also shared 1 small copier and printer. We now have over 15 copiers and printers at our Maitland office alone.
- Vice President of Facilities and Regional Development Ron Driggers and I helped start the Data Capture program, also known as “NT.” The term literally stood for “non-traditional/new-talent” workforce, since Digital Risk leaders envisioned that these part-time, evening employees would grow with the company. We started off with a handful of Data Capture team members. We now employ over 200, and the program is an integral part of what we do and are able to accomplish.
- Very few D-Riskers used both of their monitor screens. Now, D-Riskers don’t know how to live without them!