62-Year-Old Company Celebrates Employee Ownership
In January 2016 NewAge Industries will note a milestone: ten years as an employee-owned company. The share price of the company’s ESOP – Employee Stock Ownership Plan – has increased over six fold since the plan’s inception.
When asked if he had ever thought NewAge would be in its current position as an ESOP, Ken Baker, CEO, said, “Absolutely. Back in 1985 I told one of our employees that if he worked hard, we would take care of him. At that time I didn’t know it would be in the form of an ESOP, but that employee just retired and will be receiving a substantial amount of money, all thanks to the ESOP.”
John Stover, former Director of Product Management, started with the company in August of 1978 and retired December 31, 2015. Stover noted that Baker followed through on his vision for the company and has gifted not only NewAge’s employees but their families as well.
“It’s another layer of security for my family,” said Stover. “The owners of this company took a bold step . . . letting their employees become owners and sharing in the profits and success of the company.”
Because team members are owners, most have a different perspective on the business.
Cinthya Quispe, an Industrial Engineer and a one-year employee, said that to her, “the ESOP is a great benefit. It inspires us to work harder for the company and be proud of our performance.”
“Before NewAge I had no idea what an ESOP was,” stated ten-year team member Joel DeVine, Quality Control Inspector. “I look at our business differently now. I’m more critical and focused on the customer’s needs and the quality of products, since they have a direct effect on my career and potential retirement. As an owner I want to make sure that we continue to exceed the customer’s expectations.”
NewAge holds an annual ESOP meeting in the spring each year, where team members/shareholders learn details relating to share value and allocation, payments to retirees, dividends, plan expenses and cash value. There’s even a “Guess the Share Price” contest each year with a prize for the team member with the closest guess.
“Selling part of the company to the employees, at no cost to them, had been in the works for several years before it actually happened,” noted Baker. “A lot of research went into the type of ESOP we would use, setting it up and educating employees.”
When the ESOP was initiated, Baker sold thirty percent of the company to its employees. NewAge Industries’ team members now own forty percent of the company, and Baker’s goal is to eventually become 100% employee-owned.
“That’s down the road a bit,” said Baker, “but we’ll get there. And we’ll enjoy the ride as we go.”
About NewAge Industries:
In business since 1954, NewAge Industries manufactures plastic and rubber tubing in both reinforced and unreinforced styles. The company offers an overall product quality rating of 99.8%, provides custom extrusion and fabrication capabilities, and services customers worldwide. NewAge Industries maintains a large inventory and prides itself on same-day shipment of 99% of orders for its core product lines. In 2006, NewAge initiated an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) for the benefit of both its employees and customers.
The AdvantaPure® division of NewAge Industries is ISO 9001:2008 certified and specializes in high purity tubing, hose, single use process manifolds and systems, and other molded components for the pharmaceutical, biomedical, food, beverage, and chemical industries. All products are manufactured, stored, and shipped using the cleanest methods possible to ensure unsurpassed product purity. Automated product identification systems, including gamma stable RFID tags and labels, are offered by NewAge’s Verigenics® division.
NewAge®, NewAge Industries AdvantaPur®, Verigenics®, and “Fluid Transfer Specialists®” are registered trademarks of NewAge® Industries, Inc.