We Are All In This Together — MN/Dakotas Chapter ESOP Companies Care and Share

CHAPTER NEWS – Have Chapter news to share? Send us an email at media@esopassociation.org. We’ll run event re-caps and photos here on the blog and in the ESOP Report, the newsletter of The ESOP Association.

Pictured: Alicia Schwartz from Oxygen Services presenting to the employee owners of Malco Products.

On Friday July 20th, two members of the MN/Dakotas Chapter of The ESOP Association paid a visit to Malco Products in Annandale, MN to talk ESOP with their employee owners.  Alicia Schwartz of Oxygen Services and Missy McManigle of Walman Optical told their company’s ESOP stories.  The event came about when Karla Braun came to Sue Crockett, Chapter Executive of the MN/Dakotas Chapter, “Looking for a short, 15 to 20 minute talk/presentation on a company’s ESOP story. How it started, how associates felt about it, questions and concerns that came up through the process, etc.”

Malco Products, Inc. is the nation’s leading manufacturer of “tools of the trade” for HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) professionals.  Malco Products has 140 employee owners since becoming an ESOP in 1999, when one of the owners wanted to sell, but wanted the company to remain locally owned.  They are 23.68% employee owned — which made it even more impressive that so many employee owners voluntarily came in on a beautiful Friday afternoon!  “It was nice to see an established ESOP that was still so eager to learn about new practices, ideas, and feedback from other established ESOPs (especially on their own time),” said  Alicia Schwartz of Oxygen Services.

Pictured left to right: Karla Braun (Market Analyst – Malco Products), Alicia Schwartz (Office Assistant – Oxygen Services, Missy McManigle (Executive Assistant – Walman Optical) and Judy Starry (Human Resources Manager – Malco Products.)

“There is a lot of excitement and pride amongst the Malco employees — they were eager to hear what we were doing at our companies, but I actually left with a lot of great ideas myself.  I was really impressed with how self-sufficient they are.  For example, they not only have in-house marketing but they print their own packaging material as needed!”  said Missy McManigle of Walman Optical.

Thanks to the MN/Dakotas Chapter for sharing the information with The ESOP Association.

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