Written by Elisabeth Wurm, IT Recruiter

To learn more about what helps shape our IT department’s culture, I reached out to a few IT employees who lead key initiatives meant to engage our team members. For the next installment of this series, I talked with the two leaders of the IT Education Committee to learn more about what they do and how their group influences our IT culture. The two current leaders are Greg Spohr and Catherine Justice. 

Meet IT Education Committee Members Greg & Catherine

Tell me about your career journeys and how you came to Dot’s IT department? 

I came to Dot in 2001, with experiences from other IT environments. Most of my transitions before Dot happened due to the business being sold or employees being laid off—neither of which has ever happened at Dot. I started as a business system development manager, supporting Sales, Purchasing, and EDI. My role has shifted through the years, but about five years ago, I moved to the IT support services role which has evolved into IBMi AS400 support and other expansions into robotic process automation.


Sr. Systems Support Manager

My first job after college was at Dot as an assistant district sales manager (ADSM). After a while in that role, I realized Sales wasn’t the best fit for me, which is when I moved into a master data position. My role has evolved from supporting the Sales and Ecommerce teams on the IT side to now specializing in launching new suppliers. My manager is really encouraging and inspired me to take on a leadership role within the IT Education Committee.


Master Data Analyst, EDI Sales

The Goals & Initiatives of the IT Education Committee

I love how growth, evolution, and learning are part of both of your stories. So how would you describe the goal of the IT Education Committee? 

We work on providing education and training for our whole IT department and create opportunities for cross-team collaboration. There are so many teams within IT that support various areas of the business, so our original focus was on sharing technical knowledge across teams. That later evolved into sharing both technical and business knowledge. 

We organize two to three department meetings each year. Our committee takes ownership of setting the agenda, identifying areas of the business to present, and organizing town hall sessions for Q&A with IT senior leaders. We intend to be as interactive as possible. We also like to include opportunities for networking—whether that be happy hours, ice breakers, or even scavenger hunts—which we’ve managed to still do virtually during the pandemic. 

Yes, I was part of that virtual scavenger hunt! That was a fun experience. What other types of initiatives do you lead? 

One of our members has been working with IT managers on creating presentations to help integrate new team members into our department. We also lead monthly IT business update sessions to discuss staff meeting notes and highlight innovative projects. 

What Makes Dot’s IT Department Unique?

Catherine – Coming from Sales with no technical background, our IT department is so inclusive and willing to teach. Others have been so open about explaining concepts and technologies to me. Everyone is willing to help. It feels like a family.

Greg – Compared to other IT departments I’ve worked within, which were primarily focused on the technical, Dot IT tries to expand beyond purely a technical focus and be a solution provider and good business partner. Everything is a learning opportunity. Any mistakes that are made are approached with a group mentality of how we can work together, recover, and do better. 

Additional members of the 2021 IT Education Committee include Anima Addo, Austin Beard, James Berkenbile, Ron Bishop, Chris Connolly, Geoff Lee, Joe Miller, Marvin Parks, Florence Price, and Paul Riley. If you’re interested in being involved with the IT Education Committee, please contact Greg or Catherine.


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