I couldn’t have imagined being here today and telling you all about what the last 35 years have been and what they represent. I couldn’t have begun to imagine celebrating CSI’s 35th anniversary. I couldn’t have imagined the blessings all along the way that bring us to this year – blessings from people both who were or are a part of the company, our clients, and those who advised us or helped us as we came to new hurdles or opportunities. When I sat down in front of my computer on the first day
of incorporation, I had the radio on (no streaming music or news in those days!) a commercial came on about a company celebrating 10 years of service. That seemed like a very long time, and so much more sophisticated than having my desktop AT&T computer and fax machine (no Internet either) on my kitchen table, which was by the way sitting in the salon of a Grand Banks boat in an end slip in Gig Harbor, Washington. But, I had my back to that beautiful Gig Harbor view, and my focus on what in the world I was going to do next. We had three initial clients, all which have since merged into or been bought out by someone else. And we’re still here, still CSI – with many more people and many more clients.
Yes, of course there were low times, doubtful times – well, to be honest some downright fearful times. With the right attitude those things can make you stronger. I guess that’s the heart of it, really – keeping the right attitude and bringing along people who add value to who we were and what CSI is now. Loyal staff and clients alike, whom I am so very thankful for.
I thought about digging up old pictures for you, or maybe some of our first project reports, or telling you about those first clients or the staff member who went into labor while walking down the hallway . . . and putting together a poignant
PowerPoint (if there is such a thing!). . . but to me despite those things that are appreciated as individual accomplishments, or meaningful corporate memories or milestones, it is the “now” that matters. If you had asked me in 1988, “where will you be in 35 years?” – I would have said, I have no idea. There are events to remember at which the pictures were taken, celebrations of opening a new laboratory or cheering on our first retiree. These are all what CSI now is: a fabric woven by many along the way. Richard and I just kept the “warp and the weft” going – peddled that treadle as best we could to keep things working over the years. That’s how I think of CSI and it’s 35 years: a still-evolving design reflecting all who have been involved in it.
I plan on being around for a while, despite the fact that I am planning for a smooth transition of the company to other hands that can carry it forward – yes, we are transitioning, and I want to set up a solid platform for those who are with us to carry on and not be sold like chattel to an entity that looks only at the bottom line and not the people. It is the people – staff and clients alike that make success. And I’m convinced that the team we have now can carry on any success I can claim and do even better. Thank you for making us a great company and the ability to celebrate 35 years of being Compliance Services International (CSI)!
Milestones on our Journey
1993 – 1995
CSI incorporated in Washington State, May 26
Recognized by INC. 500 as one of America’s fastest growing small businesses
Other US satellite offices opened
Better Mousetrap Award for Innovative Services
European Headquarters (UK) office opened
Winner – Best Supporting Role AGROW Award
European Union (Ireland) office opened
Additional US satellite offices
Winner – Best Supporting Role Crop Science Forum & Awards