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CHISHOLM, MN – Founded in 1988, Northern Habilitative Services of Chisholm, Inc. provides disability services throughout the Iron Range. On Sept. 29, 2017, the company announced the formation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which will transfer 100 percent ownership of the company for the benefit of current and future employees.

Many companies opt to sell stock to an ESOP when the current owner is getting ready to retire. For Northern Habilitative Services of Chisholm, Inc, it was the perfect succession plan.

Owners John Briski, Timothy Larson, Thomas Ruper and Sheldon Schneider were pleased to reward the employees who worked so hard to make the company successful.

An ESOP is an employee benefit plan which provides company stock to employees as part of their retirement benefits. As a 100 percent ESOP owned company, all of the company stock is now held in trust by the ESOP exclusively for the benefit of Northern Habilitative Services of Chisholm, Inc. employees. Over time, employees are granted shares in the company at no cost to them.

The former owners explained: "We had the opportunity to sell our business to other firms. However, it wasn't the right fit for us. We wanted to preserve the business we built. We also wanted to preserve jobs locally. The ESOP was a great fit for us in that it also provided a structure for us to reward the employees who make our company successful."

An ESOP has the opportunity to create an overwhelmingly positive effect on the company, creating broad-based ownership among all employees, and fostering an environment in which everyone understands his or her role in helping the company achieve its goals. Research has proven over and over that employee ownership builds successful companies, and creates equitable rewards for employees.

Within an ESOP, employee owners work within a culture of ownership. This encourages employees to identify practices that will benefit company performance. The net result is to work in a positive environment and share in the company's financial success.

As an employee-owned company, Northern Habilitative Services of Chisholm, Inc. will not be obligated to outside shareholders. This ensures the freedom to emphasize other values, like client care, community involvement, and employee empowerment and responsibility.

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