Doug Wierzba, Secure ID LLC
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Doug Wierzba, co-founder, Secure ID LLC.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
Working with new clients, the challenge is to help them design their perfect employee badge, name tag, or button order. Our products can act as the client’s brand awareness, increase security, and can boost employee ownership and being part of a team, so we need to work hard to get it right. When a client tells us we exceeded their expectations or brought their vision to fruition it is very rewarding.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
I admire business owners who approach being an employer in a different way. I’ve always believed happy employees equals happy customers. I believe when employees are happy at work, they tend to want to see the business continue to grow, they take ownership, and want to succeed along with the company. There are many examples of business leaders who run a successful business while paying a living wage along with great benefits. Craig Jelinek, CEO of Costco, is an example of this.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Each year, we make a donation to a Wisconsin nonprofit through our Secure ID Cares program. Being able to help these important organizations make a difference in the community has been a high point. We have been able to help an autism support center, a breast cancer awareness foundation, and a missing persons advocacy group, so it is a very rewarding part of my career! Recently, we attended a missing person awareness event where we met families of some of Wisconsin’s missing and it was very moving. Being in a position to help financially (even a small amount) is so fulfilling.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Start an automatic monthly diversified investment and then leave it alone.
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
My wife and I love to try new restaurants and we have so many great choices in Dane County! From outdoor dining to steak dinners to food carts, it makes it easy to plan fun date nights. I also love the fact that we have so many small businesses in the county that I get to work with. I never know what kind of business will be contacting us next to help with their identification needs and it is a wonderful part of our business to be able to work with so many of them.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
Before the internet, I taught myself how to juggle out of sheer boredom.
What are your guilty pleasures?
I can’t function without coffee and most days drink way more than I should. The sweeter, the better, and none of that caffeine-free nonsense. Sometimes, especially when I am traveling, I probably spend more time than I should trying to locate a good cup of coffee before starting the day. I once spent two hours in Washington, D.C. trying to track down “better than hotel room coffee” and it became an adventure.
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