Category Archives: Employee Ownership News

New Issue of Rural Cooperatives Magazine Features OEOC

Rural CooperativeRural Cooperatives is a bimonthly newsletter published by USDA Rural Development. The latest issue was recently released and contains articles about advanced biofuel projects, overseas co-ops, a Co-op in Montana that recently reached its first $1 million sales year, and an article on the Urban farming co-op that is bringing local food and new jobs to Cleveland.

Green City Growers opened in Cleveland in February of 2013 with 3.25 acres of growing area which produces hydroponically grown leafy vegetables. The Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University worked with the cooperative to create a suitable financial plan as plans for the business developed.

Check out this issue of Rural Cooperatives, to learn more about The Ohio Employee Ownership Center and our work in assisting employees and business owners who are interested in employee ownership through both ESOPs and Co-ops.

 

The Paquin Company and Chardon Labs 100% ESOP in 2013

As we’re compiling information for our 2014 memberships, we’d like to recognize some of our Network Members who have become 100% Employee Owned in 2013.

The Paquin Company was founded in 1949, and operates as a full service distributor for hydraulic, pneumatic, linear motion, components and systems. In 2013, the company became 100% employee owned under an ESOP.

Chardon Labs opened in 1965 to provide technical service and support in HVAC water management. Since becoming an ESOP company in 1996, Chardon labs has become 100% owned by its employees.

Other 100% Employee Owned Companies in our Network include:

  • ACRT, Inc.
  • Aero-Mark, Inc.
  • American Roll Form
  • Bardons & Oliver, Inc.
  • Bostwick-Braun Co.
  • Brainard Rivet Company
  • Buckeye Corrugated, Inc.
  • Carbo Forge, Inc.
  • Columbia Chemical Corporation
  • Contract Sweepers and Equipment
  • DimcoGray Company
  • EBO Group
  • Evergreen Cooperative Laundry
  • Fastener Industries
  • GBS Corporation
  • Grand River Rubber & Plastics
  • Green City Growers
  • The Great Lakes Construction Company
  • Gutknecht Construction Company
  • J.H. Bennett & Co., Inc.
  • Janotta & Herner, Inc.
  • Jet Rubber
  • Joseph Industries
  • Kraft Fluid Systems, Inc.
  • Mantaline Corporation
  • Maryland Brush Company
  • The Mosser Group
  • O E Meyer Company
  • Ohio Valley Supply
  • Ohio Cooperative Solar
  • P.T. Services Rehabilitation
  • Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Company
  • Perry ProTech
  • PLAN-E-TECH Industries, Inc.
  • Prentke Romich Company
  • Producers Service Corporation
  • R.E. Kramig & Co., Inc.
  • Rable Machine, Inc.
  • S.G. Morris
  • Saturday Knight Ltd.
  • Select Machine
  • Smith & Schaefer
  • Software Solutions
  • Star Leasing Company
  • Stow-Glen Retirement Village
  • Thompson-Shore, Inc.
  • Voto Manufacturers Sales
  • The Will-Burt Company
  • Xtek, Inc.

For more information about Ohio’s Employee Owned Network and the benefits of being a member, visit the Network page or contact the OEOC, 330-672-3028 or Network Coordinator Chris Cooper.

3 Ohio Companies make NCEO’s list of Largest Majority Employee-Owned Companies

Each year, the NCEO releases The Employee Ownership 100: America’s Largest Majority Employee-Owned Companies.

To qualify for the list, companies must be at least 50% employee owned through an ESOP or other qualified plan and at least 50% of full-time employees must be eligible to participate in the plan.

For 2013, three Ohio companies made the list:

Davey Tree Expert of Kent, OH with 7,400 employees

Davey Tree has been recognized many times as a leading employee-owned company. Earlier this year, Davey Tree expanded it’s company by acquiring a tree company in Minnesota, marking Davey’s 15th acquisition in the last five years. Davey established an ESOP in 1979 and is now the fourth-largest 100% employee-owned company in the United States/

Riesbeck Food Markets of St. Clairsville, OH with 1,300 employees

Riesbeck began as a small family-owned grocery in Woodsfield, Ohio in 1926. Since then the company has grown to include 16 stores and 6 pharmacies throughout Ohio and West Virginia. The company established an ESOP in 1986, and is currently 57% employee owned and the Riesbeck family is still actively involved in the company.

Zandex Health Care of Zanesville, OH with 1,200 employees

Zandex, a provider of independent living, assisted living, rehabilitation and senior care established their ESOP in 1988. Based in Zanesville, the company now has facilities in New Concord, St. Clairsville, and Shadyside and offers an in-home emergency response team in Muskingum County. The ESOP which now owns 51% of the company.

Bipartisan Bill Introduced in Support of Employee Ownership (S. 742)

On April 17, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced bipartisan legislation based on a survey released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute stating that 28% of Americans worry that they won’t have enough money to retire. According to Cardin and Roberts, Employee Ownership offers a sound solution to this problem.

Far too many Americans are inadequately prepared for retirement. Our legislation is about helping workers save by giving businesses the tools they need to create jobs and promote adequate retirement savings.  It will strengthen a structure that promotes employee-ownership and helps workers build secure retirements…
-Senator Ben Cardin

Alex Brill of the American Enterprise Institute and CEO of Matrix Global Advisors, argues that employee stock ownership plans have higher productivity and resilience. The bill introduced by Roberts and Cardin would encourage the formation of S-Corp ESOPs, because this type of ESOP has been particularly successful in terms of longevity, wages, and growth.

S ESOPs have also proven more resilient in the face of economic distress, outperforming other private U.S. employers during the recent recession.
-Alex Brill

Among the positive impacts of an S ESOP according to Brill are $77 billion in labor income, $246 billion in output, and $27 billion in tax revenue from 1.4 million jobs. More details on the Brill’s research can be found in his study, Macroeconimic Impact of S ESOPs on the U.S. Economy.

More information on the proposed bill, Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2013 (S. 742):

Center for American Progress Calls for Inclusive Capitalism

Growing the Wealth: How Government Encourages Broad-Based Inclusive Capitalism, a report recently released by the Center for American Progress shows that inclusive capitalism, defined as “…granting workers ownership stakes in the company or a share of its profit based on workers’  collective performance…” has helped companies grown in the U.S.

Inclusive capitalism, when partnered with democratic workplace practices, has a proven record of helping workers and businesses alike in a myriad of ways.

ESOPs are an effective means of rewarding employees and generating wealth and are included in the report;

Douglas Kruse, professor and director of the doctoral program in industrial relations and human resources at Rutgers University, found that productivity improved by 4 percent to 5 percent on average in the year of ESOP adoption and continues after adoption, more than doubling the rate of annual productivity growth of the U.S. economy over the past 20 years.

The report combines basic knwoledge about inclusive capitalism including the types that are currently practiced as well as information on existing and historic legislation and the political landscape of broad-based capital-sharing programs.

For more information, and to download the full pdf of the study, see the Center for American Progress webpage.

Interview with Graeme Nuttall on the Applications of Employee Ownership

Angela Perry the Chair of Employee Ownership Australia & New Zealand interviewed Graeme Nuttall, expert in Employee Ownership; partner at Field Fisher Waterhouse, UK; and author of Sharing Success: the Nuttall Review.

Topics include:

  • Key barriers to employee ownership in the UK
  • Essential elements tosuccessful employee ownership
  • The connection between employee engagement and employee ownership
  • Importance of employee ownership in succession planning and saving companies
  • Driving productivity and innovation
  • Importance of employee ownership for small to medium enterprises and start-up businesses
  • The global application of the developments in the UK

Watch the full video . . .

Announcing the OEOC’s 27th Annual Employee Ownership Conference-April 19, 2013

Employee Ownership: Building Jobs, Wealth, & Communities

The 27th Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference

April 19th, 2013, Akron Fairlawn Hilton

Featured speakers for the event will include:

Corey Rosen
Co-Founder and Senior Staff Member of The National Center for Employee Ownership

Rosen co-authored, along with John Case and Martin Staubus, Equity: Why Employee Ownership Is Good for Business (Harvard Business School Press, May 2005). Over the years, he has written, edited, or contributed to dozens of books, articles and research papers on employee ownership. He is generally regarded as the leading expert on employee ownership in the world.

and

J. Michael Keeling, CAE
President of The ESOP Association

Since assuming his position in April 1991, the Association has experienced strong growth in membership and revenues, and is the largest organization in America dedicated to ensuring employee-owned companies are effective in operating their ESOP in an environment of ownership.

Studies have showed that Employee Ownership is an effective means to building more jobs, increasing local wealth, and creating stronger communities.

Topics at the conference will include:

  • Fundamentals of Ownership for Employee Owners
  • Building an Ownership Culture – Teams, Communication, and more
  • ESOP Technical Issues: Fiduciary Issues, Legal Update, Valuation, and more
  • Selling to Your Employees Through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) or a Cooperative
  • Community Development Strategies and Employee Ownership

And, don’t forget our Pre-Conference on Thursday, April 18 … A chance to share and learn!

More information and updates on the conference can be found on our 27th Annual Ohio Employee Ownership Conference page.

Contact us for additional info or to register at oeoc@kent.edu or 330–672-3028.
And, there’s still time to become a conference sponsor, contact Kelley Fitts at kfitts@kent.edu or 330-672-0336.

Cooperative Organic Farming Benefiting Ohio Family Farmers

Family farmers in Ohio are turning to organic cooperatives to stabalize finances and to grow more stable businesses. 

According to an article submitted to the Public News Service, “[t]he organic industry is expanding . . . with almost 20 percent growth every year.” The cooperative allows farmers to focus on day-to-day activities and appeal to consumers concerned about food quality. 

George Siemon, CEO of Organic Valley, the brand associated with the largest organic farming cooperative in North America will be speaking on the future of organic agriculture and the benefits of the co-op on February 16 at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Associations’ conference in Granville, OH. 

More information is available at the OEFFA Conference website.

New Microloan Program from USDA to Help Minority, Socially Disadvantaged, and Beginning Farmers

According to The Dispatch, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a new microloan program to “help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000.”

The goal is to help producers through their first years with resources and increased equity so that these farmers can eventually qualify for commercial credit. Producers can apply for a maximum of $35,000 with an interest rate for the microloan currently at 1.25 percent charged monthly by contacting their local Farm Service Agency Office.

Employee-Ownership in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”

Last week, Fortune Magazine released their 2013 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Among those recognized in the list were employee-owned companies like Burns & McDonnell, Publix Super Markets and CH2M Hill. The magazine bases the list and rankings on factors such as the companies’ commitments to employee wellness, community outreach, professional and leadership development, and diversity.

Burns & McDonnell

Based in Kansas City, Burns & McDonnell engineering firm ranked 18 this year, up from the 26 spot last year. Employees bought the company from Armco Steel in 1986, and the Kansas City location now has 2,200 employee owners.

Publix Super Markets

Since George W. Jenkins founded Publix Super Markets in 1930 in Winter Haven Florida, the company has grown to become the largest employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States. The company ranked 77 on the list for 2013, up one spot from 78 last year.

CH2M Hill

After not making the top 100 last year, he civil engineering and construction firm, CH2M HILL, returned to the list this year, ranking 100. The Englewood, Colorado-based company is 100% employee owned.

Other employee-owned companies on the list: