EMPLOYEE OWNED – EMPLOYEE BUILT
In 2002, Bill Oftedal, co-founder of E.H. Oftedal & Sons, Inc. and Jim Oftedal, Bill’s brother and co-owner, began selling their company to their employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan or ESOP. The ESOP transaction allowed the company to continue to operate with the same management team in place and utilize the strong reputation the employees had all helped establish. The ESOP, an IRS approved benefit plan, provides each Oftedal employee the opportunity to own Oftedal stock and become an employee owner. By 2009 the employees had purchased all Oftedal stock from Bill and Jim and Oftedal Construction, Inc. became 100% employee owned.
Through long term service, Oftedal employee owners witness the growth of their individual ESOP accounts, which are held by a trust. Employee ESOP accounts compliment other retirement vehicles offered by the company, such as 401(k). A unique feature of Oftedal’s ESOP is the company funds 100% of the plan. The employee pays nothing for this benefit.
More than an retirement benefit, the Oftedal ESOP helps align our employee’s interest’s with the company’s interests. Each Oftedal employee owner understands they have a financial stake in the continued success of the company. Linking company success to employee success empowers each employee to think and act like company owners.
Oftedal puts great effort into educating our workforce of this unique benefit and business model. An ESOP Communications Committee, consisting of employee owner volunteers, works together with company management to communicate and educate our employees about ESOP matters. Oftedal’s ESOP Communications Committee develops ESOP education literature, company newsletters, and organizes events, such as on site BBQ’s held annually on Oftedal projects to provide ESOP communication and education opportunities. These collective efforts instill and sustain an ownership culture throughout the company.
Committee members, board members and management personnel receive ESOP education by attending national ESOP workshops, events and conventions organized by professional ESOP associations. These national events assist our organization in staying current on evolving ESOP issues. Knowledge gained at these events is brought home and shared with the Oftedal workforce to help better cultivate and sustain our unique ownership culture.