The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

ESOP Association Members Named Great Places to Work!

Congratulations to ESOP Association members Clif Bar & Co., Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc., and W. L. Gore & Associates on being named to the 2015 Great Place to Work list. All three companies were honored in the People’s Picks: 15 Great Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production category. Take a look at the list.

More on each company

Clif Bar & Co.

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

W.L. Gore & Associates

15 Great Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production release

From the website: About Great Rated!™ – While organizations look to recruit and hire the right candidate, job seekers are equally interested in finding the right position at the right company. That’s why Great Rated!™ —the new survey-based workplace review website—from Great Place to Work® uses data and insights for a true picture of the workplace and elevates the hiring experience. Great Rated! organizations are serious about creating great workplaces, comfortable with transparency and interested in sharing the unique aspects treasured by employees.

About Great Place to Work® – Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and employer branding programs, including Best Companies lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. Great Place to Work®’s Trust Index©, a 58-question employee survey that measures trust, is used around the world to help companies increase the levels of trust across their organizations and improve business results. Annually, Great Place to Work® produces the annual FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list and the Great Place to Work® Best Small and Medium Workplaces list.

Filed under: News Links, TEA Members, ,

ESOP Company News – December 2014

ASU Group Celebrates Employee Ownership Month

The ASU Group in Okemos, Michigan joined the ESOP community in celebrating Employee Ownership Month this year. From ASU employee owner, Theresa Cooper: “The ASU Group held weekly events to celebrate ESOP month and honor employee owners this past October. Events included a photo caption contest (winning caption below) and an ESOP themed crossword puzzle on our intranet. Also, every employee owner received a large Hershey’s chocolate bar with a special ESOP candy-wrapper.”

Thanks to Theresa Cooper for sharing information on ASU’s Employee Ownership Month celebration.

ASU Group ESOP Photo caption winner 2014 d

C.S. Davidson Holds an ESOP Appreciation Lunch and Meets with Congressman Scott Perry

C.S. Davidson of York, Pennsylvania held an ESOP Appreciation Lunch. From employee owner, Greg Myers: “Attached is a photo from our ESOP Appreciation Lunch held at C.S. Davidson on 10/31/14. In the photo from left to right are: Greg Myers, Congressman Scott Perry, and John A. Klinedinst, CEO of CSD. Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) delivered a letter of congratulations and spoke to our employee group after joining us for lunch. Mike Shuey from Restek also did a presentation about his company and their ESOP culture.”

Thanks for Greg Myers for sharing the photo with the Association.

CS Davidson

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Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members, ,

AACE Awards 2015

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, talks about the 2015 AACE Awards (Annual Awards for Communications Excellence) program, why all Association members should enter, and the importance of the program for the employee ownership culture community.

2015 Entry Deadline: February 17, 2015

More info on the AACE Awards.

Photos of AACE Award entries.


Filed under: AACE - Annual Awards for Communications Excellence, Member Services, TEA Members,

ESOP COMPANY NEWS – November 2014 Wrap-Up

AFCO Industries Meets with Congressman Cassidy

Dr. Bill Cassidy, the Republican Congressman from the 6th District of Louisiana, recently visited AFCO Industries in Alexandria, Louisiana. Dr. Cassidy was interested in learning more about employee-owned companies. After a plant tour, Dr. Cassidy met with the management staff and fielded questions regarding “S” Corporation status and the effect of potential tax reform. Dr. Cassidy stated that he saw a strong entrepreneurial spirt among the employees and particularly liked the term “employee owners.”

 Afco - Bill Cassidy event

Vance Metal Fabricators Meets with Congressman Reed

Vance Metal Fabricators, located in Geneva, New York, recently welcomed Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), only the second politician the company has welcomed, the first being Teddy Roosevelt in 1900, noted Joe Hennessy, the President of Vance. Congressman Aaron Schock (R) of Illinois joined Congressman Reed at the visit. Both Reed and Schock are members of the House Ways and Means Committee and stated their interest in helping businesses.

Mr. Hennessy shared an article that ran in the Finger Lakes Times about the Congressmen’s visit with the Association and noted: “We had a valuable discussion about the merits of employee-owned businesses and I believe they are on our side.”

Vance Metal - Reed Visit

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Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members

October 2014 ESOP Company News

Senator Burr Visits with Carolinas Chapter Members

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr (R) met with Carolinas Chapter members at the Chapter’s ESOP U Summer Conference held at the Pinehurst Resort on August 14, 2014. Senator Burr spoke for about an hour about the economy, tax reform, energy independence and a thirty year road map to national fiscal independence. This was followed by a Q & A session with no subject off limits. The Carolina’s Chapter wishes to thank the Senator and his staff for taking time to speak at the event which enjoyed record attendance.


Carl Warren & Company Named to Inc. 5,000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies

Carl Warren & Company, located in Placentia, California, has been recognized on Inc. Magazine’s annual 5,000 list, based on a significant 68% growth rate over the past three years. Carl Warren & Company ranks No. 52 for the top insurance firms and No. 4196 overall.

As stated by Carl Warren’s CEO, Caryn Siebert, “Inc. Magazine’s announcement comes this year as we are celebrating our 70th anniversary. This prestigious honor and the success of our company is a direct result of the hard work of our employee-owners, as well as the loyalty and support of our clients and partners. We are focused on the future and are attentive to marketplace needs as we expand and enhance our services.”

Filed under: TEA Members,

September 2014 ESOP Company News

We thought we’d share a few member highlights from September.

Wisconsin Chapter Members Visit Congressman Paul Ryan

During The ESOP Association’s 2014 Annual Conference in Washington, DC, members of the Wisconsin Chapter visited Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staff. This was the Chapter’s sixth annual organized effort as a Chapter, and members made a total of six visits. At right is a photo of Wisconsin Chapter members with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI).

 WI Chapter - 2014 Cong Ryan Visit

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.’s Lewiston Location Hosts Visit with Senator Mike Crapo

The employee owners of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) shared their perspectives on employee ownership with Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, when he visited the company’s manufacturing facility in Lewiston, Idaho in August 2014. He toured the manufacturing floor, learned about SEL and the products and services it provides for power systems around the world, and spoke with some of the 230 employee owners about the company’s ESOP. Senior Operations Manager Dave Strerath praised the retirement benefits afforded by the ESOP. Senator Crapo indicated his strong support for ESOPs and suggested that more businesses should follow the model. SEL Lewiston recently doubled the size of the manufacturing facility to 245,000 square feet. The plant specializes in producing high-quality relays, data cables, voltage regulator controllers, and plastic parts. Thanks to SEL’s Larry Camm for sharing the news.


Restek Corporation Visits with Congressman Glenn Thompson

On August 15, 2014, the employee owners of Restek Corporation in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania held a visit with Congressman Glenn Thompson (D-PA) to discuss the pro-ESOP bill, H.R. 4837. According to Restek employee owner, Mike Shuey, “Our meeting with Congressman Thompson was excellent. He co-sponsored the previous bill and is a co-sponsor of H.R. 2041 so he gave us his word he’ll get on this when he gets back to DC. Congressman Thompson is a true ESOP advocate and we greatly appreciate his support!” Thanks to Mike Shuey for sharing the news.

Restek Thompson Visit - 20140815_121214_resized

Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members

NewAge Industries Hosts Visit with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick

ESOP COMPANY NEWS — To wrap-up August, we thought we’d highlight a few members. All this week, we’ll be sharing ESOP Association member stories and events. Enjoy.

NewAge Industries Hosts Visit with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick

NewAge_Industries_Congressman_Fitzpatrick_visit-72Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) recently met with the employee owners of NewAge Industries in Southampton, Pennsylvania to discuss the benefits of employee ownership. The Congressman took part in a town hall style meeting to discuss the benefits of an ESOP and their potential to help other Pennsylvania businesses.

NewAge team members from several departments and with various levels of seniority, job responsibilities and length of employment — from two to twenty-five years — took part. They discussed the mindset of being an owner and not just an employee. The group displayed a thorough understanding of how their day-to-day decisions affect the future of everyone in the company.

NewAge’s employee owners feel that ESOP retirement plans can be a good option for Pennsylvania businesses. When previously employed at other companies, some current NewAge team members experienced the sale and subsequent dissolution of those companies. Other current employee owners work with companies whose owners are aging, and there’s concern that the leadership teams of those companies simply haven’t considered an ESOP as a viable business transition.

Thanks to NewAge’s Ann Phy for sharing the news with the Association.

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Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

Mid South Building Supply Hosts MAC Breakfast

ESOP COMPANY NEWS — To wrap-up August, we thought we’d highlight a few members. All this week, we’ll be sharing ESOP Association member stories and events. Enjoy.

Mid South Building Supply Hosts MAC Breakfast

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter (MAC) recently hosted a breakfast at Mid South Building Supply, Inc. in Springfield, Virginia. Breakfast meetings are a time-efficient and inexpensive way to provide additional information and networking opportunities for Chapter members in between larger Chapter-wide and National conferences. Bottom photo at left: Ben Wells of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, and Greg Hogan of SC&H Capital, LLC, lead a presentation on ESOP Releveraging at the MAC ESOP Breakfast meeting on July 30.

According to Tom Roback of Blue Ridge ESOP Associates, it was a very active session.

Thanks to Tom Roback and Paul Horn of WorkPlace Consultants for sending photos.

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MAC Mid South Meeting


Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

Flippo Construction Company, Inc.’s Employee Owners Show Off

ESOP COMPANY NEWS — To wrap-up August, we thought we’d highlight a few members. All this week, we’ll be sharing ESOP Association member stories and events. Enjoy.

Flippo Construction Company, Inc.’s Employee Owners Show Off

Flippo shareholders meetingThe employee owners of Flippo Construction Company, Inc. recently showed off their money tree shirts at the company’s annual shareholders day held on July 10, 2014 in Forestville, Maryland.

Thanks to Paul Horn of WorkPlace Consultants for sharing the photo.

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Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

ESOP Company News: Entertainment Partners Highlighted in the Los Angeles Times

To wrap-up August, we thought we’d highlight a few members. All this week, we’ll be sharing ESOP Association member stories and events. Enjoy.

 Entertainment Partners Highlighted in the Los Angeles Times

Entertainment Partners LA Times ClipMark Goldstein, the CEO of Entertainment Partners of Burbank, California, was recently highlighted in the Los Angeles Times. Take a look.  Even the ESOP got a mention!

Thanks to Entertainment Partners’ Ron Cogan for sharing the link.

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Filed under: Member Services, TEA Members,

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