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NewAge Industries established its ESOP – Employee Stock Ownership Plan – in January 2006 when CEO Ken Baker sold 30% of the company to the employees as a way to ensure the company's continuation. The ESOP added a new facet to the company's culture, namely the pride of ownership, while it discouraged a possible buyout from a competitor or other business.
In January of 2013, Baker sold an additional 10% to the employees bringing employee ownership up to a 40% share. Most recently that has been increased to 49% effective in 2016.
The ESOP is a feature of the company's retirement benefits that include a pension plan and optional 401(k) plan. The ESOP contributes a significant amount for retirement and provides employees with peace of mind. Employees own shares and benefit from dividends as well.
Since the inception of the ESOP, NewAge has continued to grow and prosper. Demand for its high purity products, marketed under the AdvantaPure name, has experienced tremendous growth, and its standard products have also seen a substantial increase in sales. These successes, plus the satisfaction of employee ownership, have a real and beneficial effect on the morale, attitude, and future retirement of NewAge Industries' employee-owners.
NewAge Industries built its solid reputation by providing a high level of customer support and service, along with superior products. The establishment of the ESOP lets employees expand upon that by allowing them to take true ownership of their positions. Baker says "When a customer calls, they speak with an owner. The employees' jobs are part of an investment in their future, and that's reflected in their communications with customers and suppliers, and with each other, now more than ever."
Another customer benefit of the ESOP is that it created a succession plan for the organization. Many of today's large, multi-national corporations become larger by acquiring small companies. Plants are closed and production is moved offshore. The knowledge and talent of those employees is lost as they find jobs in other industries. Baker wanted to avoid that situation and, at the same time, help secure a future for NewAge Industries and its employees.
Check out this article from Forbes magazine that features our company.
On May 5th 2015, the Hitachi Foundation, an independent nonprofit philanthropic organization established by Hitachi, Ltd. in 1985, posted an interview with our CEO, Ken Baker on their blog. The Q & A focuses on the benefits of an ESOP and why Ken believes owners should consider the ESOP model.
Pennsylvania State Senator Stewart Greenleaf recently hosted a Town Hall Meeting at our facility to discuss the company's ESOP in which several of our team members participated. The Senator's office produced a video of the meeting for his website. You can watch highlights below.
See the full video at Senator Greenleaf's website: http://www.senatorgreenleaf.com
(Taken from the ESCA website)
ESCA is the voice in Washington, DC that speaks exclusively for employee-owned S corporations ("S ESOPs"). Since 1998, ESCA's membership has grown to represent more than 140,000 employee-owners in virtually every state in the nation. ESCA company members engage in a broad spectrum of business activities and are a variety of sizes – from 25-person businesses to companies with 9,000+ employee-owners – but all have one thing in common: a commitment to preserving the S corporation ESOP structure and expanding it so that more working Americans can become employee-owners.
Visit the ESCA website at: http://www.esca.us
(Taken from the NCEO website)
The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) is a self-sustaining nonprofit membership organization that provides practical resources and objective, reliable information on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), equity compensation plans, and ownership culture. They are the main publisher and research source in the field, hold dozens of Webinars and in-person meetings annually, and provide services to thousands of members and others.
Visit the NCEO website at: http://www.nceo.org/
(Taken from the PCEO website)
The Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership (PCEO) promotes better understanding of the values of employee ownership among business leaders, public officials, employees, members of the media, students, teachers, nonprofit leaders, consumers, and other persons and organizations in Pennsylvania.
Visit the PCEO website at: http://www.ownershippennsylvania.org