Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Kerotest Manufacturing Corporation

Established in 1909, Kerotest Manufacturing Corporation produces industrial valves from plastic and steel for the natural gas and petroleum industries.  In 1983, when the large conglomerate that owned the business indicated it wanted to divest, the employees came together and bought the company. In 2007, Kerotest had 110 employee-owners with estimated sales of $20 million.

HDH Group

HDH Group is a brokerage that provides insurance and consulting services to meet businesses’ risk managementhuman capital management, and alternative risk needs. Since its establishment in 1982, the company has grown from 6 employees to nearly 100 and now stands as Pennsylvania's largest employee-owned broker with over $300 million under management.

Urban Engineers, Inc.

Urban Engineers is a multidisciplinary planning, design, environmental, and construction support services consulting firm headquartered in Philadelphia.  Founded in 1960 with just 7 employees, Urban Engineers now has 450 employees working across 15 offices.  In 2014, the firm became 100 percent employee-owned.  Committed to the community, Urban Engineers supports a broad range of nonprofits through sponsorships and employee volunteerism.

Pennock

Originally founded in 1882 as a private wholesaler in the floral industry, Pennock became an employee-owned company after the death of owner Samuel S. Pennock one hundred years later. Now as an ESOP, the business has grown to have over 350 employee-owners with business operations in 8 cities.

Zachary's Chicago Pizza

The 115-employee Zachary's Chicago Pizza restaurant provides an example of how the ESOP form can allow family business owners to transfer ownership over time to their employees as they retire. In Zachary's case, conversion to ESOP ownership began in 2003 and has now accomplished 100% employee ownership. In a fall 2004 interview with the Berkeley-based Daily Californian newspaper, the restaurant’s co-founder, Zach Zachowski, explained the rationale for creating the ESOP: “If we sold the business to a corporation, the culture will change and so will the food and the staff.” Read more about Zachary's Chicago Pizza...

Schreiber Foods

Founded in 1945, Schreiber has grown to become the world's largest privately held cheese company, with 4,200 employees and over $2 billion in annual sales. Since 1999, it has been 100% employee-owned through an ESOP. Read more about Schreiber Foods...

Publix

Publix, a Lakeland, Florida-based supermarket with branches throughout the southeastern United States, has made its employees part owners of the company since the 1930s. Today, it is the largest employee-owned supermarket chain in the country, with over 128,000 employees and annual sales of $16.5 billion. Read more about Publix...

March Westin

Founded in 1984, March Westin functions as a full-service engineering, general contracting, and design-build firm which handles projects ranging from a few thousand dollars to more than $45 million. Conversion to an ESOP began in 1993. Currently, 81 employees own 36% of the company, with the company having set a goal of majority employee ownership by the end of the decade. Read more about March Westin...

King Arthur Flour

Started in Boston in 1790 and now based in Norwich, Vermont, America's oldest flour company has grown from a family-owned, mail-order business with five employees in 1990 to a 100 percent employee-owned (ESOP) business with over 180 employees and $45 million in annual sales. In January 2008, King Arthur Flour became a B-corporation (indicating a commitment to public benefit as well as profit). It was also among the 25 companies listed in WorldBlu's 2007 list of most democratic workplaces. Read more about King Arthur Flour...

W. L. Gore

Founded in 1958, the company, maker of GoreTex products, has expanded to have over 6,000 employees. The company's web site focuses on its egalitarian employment culture, not its ownership structure. But W.L. Gore employees own approximately 90% of the company through their ESOP. Read more about W. L. Gore...

Elkhorn Construction

Founded in 1984, Elkhorn Construction is a 100% employee-owned General Contractor specializing in the construction and maintenance of oil, natural gas, petrochemical and pipeline facilities as well as fossil fuel power/steam plants and mining operations, with a core workforce of more than 100 employees. Elkhorn also provides construction services for public works projects in the civil, mechanical, and electrical fields. Each of the three employees who retired in 2003 had accumulated personal ESOP account shares worth greater than $200,000. Read more about Elkhorn Construction...

The Davey Tree Expert Company

Founded as a family-owned business in 1880, the company has expanded to offer tree and lawn care services in 40 states and 4 Canadian provinces. A 100% employee-owned company since 1979, the company currently has approximately 5,000 employee-owners nationwide. Read more about The Davey Tree Expert Company...

Chroma Technology Corp.

Founded in 1991, Chroma is an employee-owned company whose primary product is filters that are used in microscopes. Technically, Chroma is not an ESOP, but it is nonetheless 100 percent employee owned, with each individual's ownership stake varying according to seniority. In its first year, Chroma employed 7 and had sales of $300,000. A decade later, the number of employee-owners had risen to 54 and sales exceeded $12 million. Read more about Chroma Technology Corp....

Carris Reels

Carris Reels began as a family-owned business in 1951. It produces a wide variety of reels and packaging for the cable and wire industry. The company has grown to have 750 employees in 7 manufacturing and 10 assembly sites across the country. Employees now own over 40% of the company through their ESOP. Read more about Carris Reels...

Appleton

Appleton is the world's largest producer of carbonless paper. Once a division of National Cash Register (NCR), in 2001 employees invested $107 million from their pension monies to finance an $810 million buy-out, one of the largest employee buy-outs ever. Today, the 100% employee-owned company employs 3,400 people, including 1,400 in the Appleton area. Read more about Appleton...

Acadian

Founded in 1971 with support from veterans of the Vietnam War, Acadian became a 30% ESOP-owned company in 1993 and a majority employee-owned company after 1998. It has grown to become the nation's largest privately held paramedic firm. Today, the company has over 400 ambulances, helicopters, and fixed-wing aircraft, and 4,000 employees. Acadian has expanded into medical transportation, safety management, security systems, and online EMS education, fields in which it owns six subsidiaries. Read more about Acadian...

National Spinning Company

Headquartered in New York with two spinning plants and one dye plant in North Carolina, the National Spinning Company became an employee-owned textile company in 1994. Originally founded in 1921, the National Spinning Company specializes in dyed raw white yarns for contemporary knits, woven fabrics, and home crafts. The ESOP employs more than 700 people. Read more about National Spinning Company...

Blue Tee Corp.

As one of the largest 100% employee-owned companies in the nation, Blue Tee Corp. specializes in steel recycling, distribution, and the design and manufacture of equipment and replacement parts for the refining, earthmoving, water-well, oilfield, and solid waste industries. To date, Blue Tee Corp. has approximately 5,000 employees. Read more about Blue Tee Corp....

Walman Optical

Founded in 1915, Walman Optical is the nation’s largest independent ophthalmic company with more than 40 branch offices nationwide. The 100 percent worker-owned company has over 1,000 employees working across 19 states, and revenue topping $500 million annually.