Congressional Visits

We wanted to highlight a few members of The ESOP Association that recently hosted Congressional visits at their companies.

Congressman Roskam Tours SEL Manufacturing in Lake Zurich, IL

On September 25, 2013, Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) visited ESOP Association corporate member, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.’s (SEL) Fault Indicator and Sensor Division (FISD) in Lake Zurich, IL.

While at SEL, Congressman Roskam toured the manufacturing facility and learned more about SEL and the products and services it provides for power systems around the world. The Congressman spoke with employees about tax reform and the company’s ESOP. The group also discussed manufacturing in America and the importance of immigration reform.

Congressman Roskam noted that “ESOPs are a huge success,” identifying retirement saving as a key element. “Companies thrive on predictability,” he said.

Dan Clifford, general manager of FISD, agreed, noting that “certainty for business is huge” and the lack of it over the past few years has been troubling.

WASP, Inc. Hosts Visit with Congressman Peterson

ESOP Association corporate member, WASP, Inc., welcomed a visit from Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) on August 23, 2013, to the company’s manufacturing facilities located in Glenwood, MN.

His visit began in the 874 building where the company produces mainly ground support equipment for the airlines (crew and passenger stairs, baggage carts, and cargo dollies) viewing the different areas of production, meeting employees, and getting a feel for the products. The tour continued to the 862 manufacturing facility, which produces repair parts for the GSE, Conveyor and Military Divisions, again meeting employees along the way and seeing the newly renovated office area.  At the 631 building, which produces specialized conveyor equipment, Congressman Peterson toured engineering and accounting.

A presentation was given in the Board Room on the importance of ESOPs and keeping them intact, especially through tax reform.

A few photos from the visit follow.

Wasp Peterson Visit 5

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Wasp Peterson Visit 1

Senator Amy Klobuchar Visits Diversified Plastics

On September 20, 2013, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) held a press conference and toured the facilities of Diversified Plastics, Inc., an ESOP Association corporate member located in Brooklyn Park, MN. While on the tour Senator Klobuchar watched and talked with many employee owners as they showed her their part in completing the custom plastic injection molding jobs that Diversified Plastics runs each day.

Following the tour and prior to Senator Klobuchar holding her press conference on the shop floor, with the employee owners of Diversified Plastics behind her, Annette Lund (VP of Diversified Plastics) gave the history of Diversified Plastics. Started in 1977 with very little resources by Jim Dow, he and his employees expanded the business greatly over 34 years before he made the decision to begin looking at his retirement options.  He had several good offers from competitors but it disturbed him that those who were interested in purchasing the company all wanted to close down the factory and move the machines to other plants.  In that scenario, most, if not all, the employees would have lost their jobs. Ultimately he chose the route of keeping the business in the city where he started it and rewarded the employees who had been with him all those years by selling 100% of the company to the ESOP.

Following Annette’s comments, Senator Klobuchar began her press conference with local media members present to publicly show her support of ESOPs and pro-ESOP legislation, specifically S.742 – the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2013.  The Senator stressed that ESOPs are a vital part of expanding the U.S. work force and keeping jobs local to communities such as what occurred at Diversified Plastics.

Steve Storkan, a member of The ESOP Association, followed Senator Klobuchar’s remarks by thanking her for her support and reminding all who were in attendance the power of employee ownership and how much better a company can be when employees own a piece of the rock.  The morning ended with more discussion between the Senator and the employee owners with many of them thanking her for her support.

A few photos from the visit follow.

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