2018 Living Our Values Award

Nolan Villatoroby Nolan Villatoro, Engineer-in-Training

The average American spends a total of 13 years and 2 months of their lives at work. With all this time spent in your career, why not work for a company that promotes great values? At KCI, the number one statement is “The most incredible thing we’ve engineered is our team.” It is easy to disregard this as typical corporate jargon; at least, that was what I thought when I first started working here. Quickly I discovered how the culture of the company mirrors the statement.

During my first professional job out of college, I noticed how management would often say one thing and do another. This added up to a toxic work environment and in turn led to high turnover. There was a stark difference when I started my position as an Engineer-in-Training at KCI. Immediately I was greeted by friendly faces and was made to feel like I was part of the team. KCI values openness, creativity, commitment, drive, respect, accountability, empowerment, honesty and most importantly integrity. This is shown every day in our work and interaction with each other and our clients. When you have a company with those values, it is contagious and makes it easy to come into work each day and strive to uphold these values.

KCI creates an atmosphere of accountability and empowers their employees to be creative when making decisions for the good of the team or company. The culture starts from the top-down. Whether it was ordering pizza when we stayed late to meet deadlines or establishing the mentoring program, the leaders here both inspire and motivate. There are not a lot of companies in which upper management interacts with everyone and is as genuine to the rest of the personnel. KCI offers an opportunity and encourages their employees to better themselves professionally and personally with a lot of incentives such as their tuition assistance program. This organic culture remolds the attitude of the staff and helps us progress in our goals.

In 2018, one of my peers went out of their way to nominate me for KCI’s Living Our Value’s award. Established in 2014, the honor recognizes individuals who embody one or more of the firm’s corporate values as well as our intrinsic values. Employees nominated for this award serve as a strong example of these values in action and reinforce, through work ethic, dedication, loyalty and service, that “The Most Incredible Thing We’ve Engineered is our Team.” Being presented with this honor at the company’s annual awards luncheon was definitely one of the best highlights of my professional career and is as much an award to all of my fellow co-workers as it is to me.