NewAge Industries Inc. recently hosted Pennsylvania State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf for a visit to its Southampton, Pa., headquarters.
According to the company, the first visit was part of Greenleaf's effort to call on successful businesses and learn about their operations and practices. The second included a town-hall-style meeting with some employees to discuss the benefits of employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) companies.
Ron Moritz, a sales team member who retired at the end of 2013 but still works at NewAge part-time, said “There's no one at NewAge who doesn't care about the outcome of our business. We have a vested interest in its success.”
That's a benefit of employee ownership, which is a step that NewAge took in 2006.
CEO Ken Baker said NewAge has been approached by competitors many times over the years, and its owners have no interest in selling or seeing the company split apart. The team members now own 40 percent of the company, up from 30 percent just a few years ago.
Hats off to Greenleaf to making an effort to learn more about the businesses in his community, and also to NewAge for hosting the visits. These types of meetings take time and effort, but the payoff is that the community ends up knowing more about the size and importance of the plastics industry.