Two Portland-area businesses have joined the growing ranks of companies owned by their employees.
Solar energy contractor ReVision Energy has converted to 100 percent employee ownership, as has Pro Search, a 23-year-old staffing agency. An Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, is a mechanism that allows employees to become owners of stock in the company they work for.
ReVision's three co-founders chose the ESOP option after a rigorous three-year exploration of various strategies to ensure ReVision Energy's long-term economic and environmental sustainability.
"We are investing the future of our company in the exceptional people who have worked hard all these years to build ReVision Energy into one of the best solar companies in the world," company co-founder Phil Coupe said in a news release announcing the change. "Converting to 100 percent ESOP means that every employee can financially benefit from the success of the business as we continue our mission to transition New England from a fossil fuel-based economy to a sustainable, renewable energy-based economy."
Since 2003, ReVision has grown from two founders to 200 employees today. They work from five locations in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Ed McKersie, founder and president of Pro Search, said Wednesday that his recruitment and staffing services company converted from an S corporation to an ESOP. Eleven employees work at Pro Search, which also hires more than 200 temporary and contract employees working for businesses across Maine.
"Our team has had very little turnover over the years, and this is a great way to thank them and acknowledge their contributions in building what is now Maine's largest privately held recruiting and staffing firm," McKersie said in a news release. He will continue as president.
"The 'outside world' won't notice much of a difference in dealing with us, because our team has always put our firm's reputation, and the best interest of our clients and temporary/contract employees, first," he said. "I am proud to work alongside these special people, and now call myself a co-worker."
As seen in the Portland Press Herald.