Haviland’s ESOP at 20 Years

In 1997 Haviland Enterprises began its employee stock ownership program.

“Our company is one of the best examples of an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) business,” says Terry Schoen, chief financial officer. “We have strong evidence that points to the fact that because of our ESOP participation, our employee morale and productivity has improved and the plan reduces turnover.”

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Founded by chemist J.B. Haviland in 1934, the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company celebrates its ESOP each October with team-building games and events.

“We’re like a big family,” says David O’Brien, national sales manager. “We all take ownership and realize that our work has financial benefits to us all. We talk a lot about the Haviland culture, and we sometimes take that for granted, but new employees always bring up how different or refreshing it is to work here.”

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