Employee share owned plans: A business model with a superpower

Employee share owned plans: A business model with a superpower

ESOPs turn employees into owners
Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge Inc., high-fives Lee Sheek, a machinist at StoneAge, recently at the company’s manufacturing location at Animas Airpark.
Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge Inc., looks over a piece of equipment with David Wagner, in assembly, at StoneAge in Animas Airpark.
One of the parts Lee Sheek, a machinist at StoneAge, makes at the company’s manufacturing location in Animas Airpark.
From left, Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge Inc., talks with Kristi Gerhardt, an international shipping specialist, at StoneAge recently at the company’s shipping location in Animas Airpark.
Lee Sheek, a machinist at StoneAge, at the company’s manufacturing location at Animas Airpark.

Employee share owned plans: A business model with a superpower

Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge Inc., high-fives Lee Sheek, a machinist at StoneAge, recently at the company’s manufacturing location at Animas Airpark.
Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge Inc., looks over a piece of equipment with David Wagner, in assembly, at StoneAge in Animas Airpark.
One of the parts Lee Sheek, a machinist at StoneAge, makes at the company’s manufacturing location in Animas Airpark.
From left, Kerry Siggins, CEO of StoneAge Inc., talks with Kristi Gerhardt, an international shipping specialist, at StoneAge recently at the company’s shipping location in Animas Airpark.
Lee Sheek, a machinist at StoneAge, at the company’s manufacturing location at Animas Airpark.
StoneAge CEO named to state Employee Ownership Commission

Kerry Siggins, CEO of Durango-based StoneAge, Inc., has been appointed by Gov. Jared Polis to the Colorado Employee Ownership Commission.
She will serve as chairwoman of the marketing arm of the commission, which will help support and expand employee stock ownership plans among Colorado companies.
“Employee-ownership models like ESOPs create a unique culture of ownership and accountability that has been the key ingredient for StoneAge’s double-digit growth since our ESOP was created. ESOPs are a viable and fruitful model for founders looking to exit their companies,” Siggins said.
The mission of the Employee Ownership Commission is to create a smooth and stable business succession plan for local small-business owners, mapping out a seller’s journey to help owners hand off companies at retirement rather than shut them down. The Employee Ownership Network, which is housed in the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, brings together subject matter experts such as employee-owned businesses, attorneys and economic development experts to promote employee ownership in Colorado.
“Our goal is to convert 800 to 1,000 firms in Colorado to an employee-ownership model,” Siggins said. “In Colorado, there are 600 manufacturing companies with fewer than 20 employees, and ESOP provides an ideal model for continuing the business. It’s incredibly important that we find a path forward for them.”
parmijo@durangoherald.com

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