This month, Employee Owners across all of our offices joined in celebration of our core values, FIESTA (Flexibility, Integrity, Excellence, Sustainability, Transparency and Accountability), and our ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).
What is an ESOP?
An ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is a corporate benefit program that grants employees ownership in the company they work for. Through an ESOP, employees become partial owners of the company by acquiring shares of its stock, often at no upfront cost to them. This arrangement not only provides employees with a sense of ownership and commitment to the company’s success but also allows them to benefit from the company’s financial growth over time. ESOPs can be structured in various ways, with contributions to the plan typically made by the company itself. As employees accumulate shares over their tenure, they may gain a vested interest in the company’s performance, leading to increased motivation, engagement, and alignment between the company’s objectives and the employees’ personal goals. ESOPs are designed to promote a culture of shared success and create a strong bond between employees and the organization.
In 2015, EEA’s founder, Mike Hart, made the start of his ownership transition official when the EEA Employee Stock Ownership Trust acquired 55 percent of the shares of outstanding from him, the sole shareholder. Since January 1, 2021, the EEA Employee Stock Ownership Trust owns 90% of the firm. Some of the unique features of EEA’s ESOP is that all of the share purchases have been accomplished with zero debt, and our contributions to employee accounts are made at zero cost to the employees.
What does this mean for the Employee Owners of EEA?
Each year, after the formal stock price valuation is provided to the ESOP Trustees, Employee Owners receive their annual statement and certificate. This statement shows the amount vested for each employee based on their tenure of employment. And each year, we celebrate those shares vested! Our ESOP embodies our core values so it makes sense that we celebrate with a FIESTA in each of our locations. This program represents a significant commitment to the retirement savings for everyone who works at EEA, and allows the firm to share in the value that gets created through our outstanding project and client relationships. Check out this year’s ESOP FIESTA celebrations!