Employee ownership in California
There are over 1,700 employee-owned companies in California, employing over one million people. Employee ownership keeps businesses and jobs in California, and helps build community wealth. Some of the best known companies in California are employee owned, including Hot Dog on a Stick, Sleep Train Mattress Center, A16 Outfitters, Zachary's Pizza, and many more. The profiles below each represent a unique employee ownership story for a California company.
Profiles of Employee-Owned Companies in California
CMC Rescue, based in Santa Barbara, CA, was founded in 1978 by James Frank to create specialized pieces of equipment that he felt should have been available to rescuers. CMC Rescue became 92 percent employee owned in 2011. According to CMC, "employee ownership has remarkably changed the culture of the company in many ways." Click here for the full profile of CMC Rescue.
Bibby Gignilliat started Parties that Cook in 2006, after dissolving a similar company where her partners were not as committed to employees as she was. She rewards all the employees at the main office with stock-based compensation. "I think sharing ownership is the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint, especially in a startup without a huge bottom line." Click here for the full profile of Parties that Cook
Started in 1949 out of the back of a pick-up truck, Coast Citrus now makes over $300 million in revenue and is 70% owned by its employees through an ESOP. The company combines employee ownership with a participative culture. “We tried to implement as many recommendations from employees as possible. We never turn down any suggestion.” Click here for the full profile of Coast Citrus Distributors
Robert J. Scherer founded The Accounting Group (TAG) in 1996. TAG now has 35 employees and over 300 clients spread across its three primary practice areas. TAG established an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and also awards stock options to employees. The company has grown by an average of 50 percent over the past two years and has acquired two other companies. Click here for the full profile of The Accounting Group
Employee Ownership Organizations in California
- The Beyster Institute at the UCSD Rady School of Management
- National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)
- California Center for Cooperative Development (CCCD)
- The ESOP Association California / Western States Chapter
Spread the word!
Talk to your local economic development agency, business resource centers, chambers of commerce, or others about how employee ownership can benefit your community. Here are some resources that discuss how employee ownership can improve corporate performance, keep jobs and businesses in state, and build community wealth.