Illini Hi-Reach has become an employee-owned company ("ESOP"), according to president and CEO Larry Workman. All of the Illini management team remains in place. The company is planning to add more experienced employees as the company continues its strategic growth and expansion.

"We are very pleased to announce that Illini has completed a successful transition into an ESOP this past month," Workman said. "This is a well-deserved and excellent...


APPLETON - Appvion's public announcement last week of its proposed sale left out a significant detail.

The paper company has an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which means the company is owned by its employees. If the proposed $325 million bid by an unnamed lender is successful, the ESOP will have no value and employees will lose the shares they expected to collect at retirement, according to a letter sent internally to employees by company CEO Kevin Gilligan.

The internal...


GT Distributors is pleased to announce that effective January 26th, 2018, 55% of the company's stock has been sold to its employee's retirement plan, through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The Texas-based public safety equipment and uniform distributor's 100+ employees will become beneficial owners through the ESOP.

This transaction gives employees a financial interest in the success of the business, making the positive bonds between G T...


Maybe it's the work environment, but Kent-based Davey Tree Expert Co. keeps growing faster than a poplar tree.

This time, it's the Chicago area, where the company announced on Feb. 7 it has opened a new 20-person office in the suburb of Wheeling, about 20 miles northwest of the Windy City.

That includes "a handful" of new hires, said Davey spokeswoman Helen Thompson, who added that the office may make additional hires when seasonal work picks up in the spring.

The office is...


Summit, NJ – February 7, 2018 

Pilot Hill Advisors LLC announced today that James B. Junker has joined the firm as Managing Director. In this role, Mr. Junker will work with company owners and their advisors to evaluate, plan and implement all types of ESOP transactions.

A respected banker for more than 25 years, Mr. Junker has advised the owners of a diverse group of public and private companies in manufacturing, energy, distribution, real estate, professional services, sports...


California-based Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY) , the big online retailer and manufacturer of personalized photography and related products and services, plans to pay $825 million in cash to buy Eden Prairie-based Lifetouch, an employee-owned company and a leader in school photography.

"We're focused on growing both these businesses," Shutterfly CEO Chris North said during a visit to Eden Prairie Tuesday. "We're just now bringing the two teams...


Standard Golf Company has announced the successful transfer of a 100 percent ownership of the company to its employees via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan effective Jan. 3, 2018.

When Standard Golf Company President, Peter Voorhees, started thinking about succession plans for the business, he had many options, and selling the company to an unknown party or to a large corporation were not attractive because they wanted to keep the current...


Unity of purpose is something most business owners strive for but ultimately struggle with. It can be difficult to bring people together without shared ideals and common goals, especially if most of the parties involved are primarily interested in a paycheck and little else.

Will Raap wanted something different for his business. Soon after he founded Gardener's Supply Company in 1983, he realized that he wanted his company to be defined by a mission; one that brought people together...


Parksite Inc. said it is acquiring Atlantic Plywood Corp., a distributor of industrial wood products and accessories in the Northeastern US.  Both Parksite and Atlantic Plywood are employee-owned (ESOP) organizations.

"We're combining two companies, with outstanding operations in the Northeast, who've operated alongside each other in adjacent product categories. Creating one company to deliver product...


MARSHFIELD – Staab Construction Corporation, a builder of municipal & industrial water and wastewater treatment systems in the Midwest, has announced it recently completed a transition to become 100 percent employee owned through its Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP).

"We have been transitioning to 100 percent employee owned for the past few years," said Ben Lee, Chief Operating Officer. "We started...


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