“If I were to pick someone at Daktronics who embodied servant leadership and selfless dedication to making others better, I would pick Lavon,” said Jim Merritt, Daktronics product developer and a past supervisor of Lavon Bessler.
Lavon Bessler, Daktronics admin, is retiring after almost 29 years of service. She began in Accounting and quickly moved into Customer Service for Shipping, where she was under the supervision of retired employees, Nancy Herrick and Ed Weninger.
“I am so grateful to Ed and Nancy; they were great mentors at the start of my career at Daktronics,” Lavon said. “There have been so many changes in the company and service throughout the years. Looking back to when I started, there were around 200 employees. Almost everything was located in Building 1, and all of our customer orders were handwritten and stored alphabetically by state in filing cabinets!”
Joel Diers (Inventory Manager, Shared Svc-Repair Ctr & M, SD Corporate), another former supervisor of Lavon, commented on how valuable Lavon has been to the Daktronics team.
“Lavon has spent nearly three decades with Daktronics and has served as a leader in a variety of areas,” Joel said. “Her depth of experience has made her a subject matter expert in many respects and she uses her experience to supervise, train, and mentor others. Lavon’s gentle manner and knowledge has made her approachable, effective, and a pleasure to work with. She is well liked and valued by all those with whom she interacts.”
Lavon has been the supervisor for the Glovia Entry Team (GET) for the past 12 years and she had many people she wanted to thank from her work in this position.
“I want to thank Dan Schulte and Sarah Rose for giving me the extra push to take this position. I would like to give many thanks to everyone I have worked with on the GET, especially, John Mette, Jason Moen, Trent Erickson, Joel Diers, Kyle Isenberg, Molly Foster, Kari Poss, Tricia Tarrell, and Tanya Brennan,” Lavon said. “I am very proud of the GET team: Cathy Zimmerli, Renae Langland, Kat Tinglund, and Jackie Schumacher. I am very confident that Ben Burrows will be an excellent replacement as the new GET Supervisor. Ben is still learning everything that we do on the GET, but I have no doubts that he will be great.”
Ben Burrows (Business Analytics, Services, Home), Lavon’s current supervisor, described working with Lavon.
“Lavon has always had an incredible attention to detail and worked hard to make sure accuracy was a priority,” he said. “I am grateful for her knowledge; it has been valuable to Daktronics and helpful for my own understanding.”
Jim Merritt described Lavon’s impact on the Daktronics community.
“It is true that there are a lot of people in this company that have been impacted by her work directly; she has taken on some large tasks. Many of the processes and systems used in Services have her stamp on them,” he said. “But all of that pales in comparison to her impact on people. When people sat with Lavon, or worked with her, or even simply spent time shadowing her, she was able to teach them much more than simple skills. They learned how to make good decisions, how to best use their available resources, and how to stay calm and defuse tough situations through patient communication and quality work.”
Lavon generously shared advice for all employees from her experience at Daktronics.
“I have learned to always be open to change. Daktronics has grown in leaps and bounds with many changes in systems and processes,” she said. “We need to keep an open mind as we work through these changes. There are many growth opportunities for employees. If your supervisor feels that you are capable and is giving you a nudge, take the leap’ you might surprise yourself in what you are capable of.”
Lavon’s retirement plans include traveling with her husband, Danny, to visit their three children and six grandchildren. She also looks forward to making home and garden improvements.
Thank you for your nearly 29 dedicated years to Daktronics, Lavon. Congratulations on your retirement!
This article is by Erin Smith
in Employee Communications.