Employee Ownership

//Employee Ownership

In Business for Ourselves

William Flynn started Franklin Street marketing 32 years ago and had a number of partners over the years. In 2015, when he started thinking about retiring, he transitioned the firm to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) where, instead of selling to a new buyer or closing shop, he turned the firm into an employee-owned business. “This

This Supermarket Is the Largest Employee-Owned Company in the World

Think about stock options and chances are, you picture the founders of successful startups whose shares are worth hundreds of millions on paper. As it turns out, the largest employee-owned company in the world is far from Silicon Valley. It’s Publix, a chain of more than 1,200 supermarkets based in the Southeast. The private company, which is based

ACCEND Construction launches in Chicago

ACCEND Construction LLC has opened its doors for business in Chicago. The general contracting firm is led by Andy MacGregor, president, an industry veteran who has headed some of Chicago’s largest projects in this space. The company will use an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making it one of the few general contractors to offer every

From the big stage to the political arena: It’s time for employee ownership to get its closeup

Liberalism is ascendant, at least in the Democratic Party. New Gallup polling just out shows that for the first time, more than half of Democrats identify as “liberal” as opposed to “moderate” or “conservative.” The left’s newly minted hero Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is becoming the right’s new favorite foil. Her Green New Deal and amplification of

The Short Life of Enlightened Leadership (and How to Extend It)

As recently as the 1980s, many publicly traded U.S. corporations idealistically sought to spread their wealth among their employees. Generous benefits such as profit sharing, stock ownership, lifetime pensions, career-long training, and even job security were routine at such companies as AT&T, General Electric, Hallmark, J.C. Penney, Procter & Gamble, and Sears. But these practices mostly

What Can Nonprofits Learn from ESOPs?

The United States is in the midst of one of the largest intergenerational transitions in its history, as 10,000 baby boomers retire every day. While this “silver tsunami” has been written about extensively in terms of the healthcare industry, its economic impacts on the workforce, and the consequent need for affordable senior housing, the transition’s implications on business

How Bill Roark Built A Different Kind Of Company And Rocketed To Success

Spreading out from the base of Emerald Ridge in Northern Alabama all the way to the Tennessee River, Huntsville is the third largest city in the state. Long associated with the U.S. space program - both the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and the Marshall Space Flight Center are located here - Huntsville is also

Intervine Becomes 100% Employee Owned

One of the largest suppliers of wine to the world’s airlines and cruise ships has become 100 percent employee owned. Intervine, headquartered in California’s Napa Valley, became 100 percent employee owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). ESOP’s were established by the United States Government nearly 50 years ago as part of the Employee

How King Arthur Flour’s Unusual Leadership Structure Is Key To Its Success

In 2004, the leadership of King Arthur Flour gathered to formally sign over control from longtime owners Frank and Brinna Sands to the company’s employee stock ownership program (ESOP). The two had been gradually transferring shares in the Norwich, Vermont, flour maker to the ESOP since 1996 as part of a long-planned exit. Opposed to

Why The Boss At HB McClure Sold The Company To His Employees

When Bob Whalen became president and CEO of HB McClure back in 2008, the employees were nervous. He was taking over from the grandson of Herbert Bassett McClure, who had founded the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning firm in 1914. The company, which serves both commercial and residential customers, had been profitable for a

Survey Shows ESOP Workers Have Higher Retirement Savings

A recent survey shows Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) offer higher retirement savings than other retirement plans. The survey, released by the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) shows ESOP participants have more than twice as much in their retirement accounts compared to non-ESOP companies with defined contribution plans. An ESOP is a type of

What to consider when planning for an exit and an ownership transition

As business owners evolve in their life cycle, moving on from the business they built becomes top of mind. But what form that takes, and whether or not the end ultimately serves the owner’s retirement goals, are important questions to answer. Jim Altman, Middle Market Pennsylvania Regional Executive at Huntington Bank, says that’s why owners shouldn’t

Infoverity Becomes 100% Employee-Owned Through Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Infoverity, a leading systems integrator and global professional services firm, announced today that it has completed a transaction that will transition the company to a 100% employee-owned organization. With the implementation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), Infoverity founder and owner, Matt Wienke, will sell and transfer stock to a qualified retirement trust that

Why Mandy Cabot Chose Not To Sell Dansko For $150 Million

In 2005, Mandy Cabot was set to sell Dansko, known for its closed-back wooden clogs, to Timberland for $150 million. She and her Danish husband, Peter Kjellerup, had built the company from scratch starting in 1990, importing clogs from Denmark and marketing them to customers in the U.S. who appreciated the shoes’ comfort, durable construction and

To make companies moral, make the employees the owners

In the minds of many entrepreneurs, taking a company public, with shares trading on a public stock exchange, represents the pinnacle of success–a dream come true. For EA Engineering founder Loren Jensen, that dream proved a nightmare. Located in Hunt Valley, Maryland, EA Engineering, Science and Technology is an environmental consulting firm with 500 employees and $140

Heath Ceramics made its employees into owners. Should you?

In 2015, Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey, co-owners of iconic California ceramics brand Heath, were looking ahead to the 15th anniversary of their tenure. Over the last decade, the couple had transformed the company from a struggling legacy brand into a thriving enterprise that recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. Moreover, they had done it with a tightly held set

Making a Case (and Chairs, and Desks) for Employee Ownership

Employee-owned businesses tend to outperform their competitors, a growing body of research shows. According to the National Center of Employee Ownership, businesses with employee ownership models grow sales and employment at a faster rate than businesses without such programs. Employee-owned firms also perform better than their counterparts during recessions, per research from Georgetown University. For

Bandit Industries Goes Employee Owned

Bandit Industries in Isabella County, MI, has been looking for a buyer for nearly five years. After all that time, they settled on a solution, turn the company over to their employees. The wood chipper manufacturer is shifting to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, giving every employee shares in the company that can be paid

Rettew employees achieve full ownership of company via ESOP

Rettew Associates recently completed a seven-year transition into being entirely employee-owned through an employee stock ownership plan. Rettew is a Lancaster-based engineering and environmental consulting company with 350 employees. It marks its 50th anniversary this year. The process was completed when the ESOP bought out the stakes in Rettew held by George R. “Hank” Rettew,

Support for Employee Ownership Climbs Nationally

Last year’s Main Street Employee Ownership Act, which authorized firms seeking to convert to employee ownership to access Small Business Administration partially-guaranteed loans of up to $5 million, was the first pro-employee ownership law passed by Congress in more than two decades. But, according to Rachel Cohen of the Intercept, the law may presage a larger wave