In honor of a decade of successful employee-owned operation, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center (OEOC) has awarded Mills James a 2017 Employee Ownership Milestone Award.
The OEOC is a nonprofit outreach center of Kent State University, established to support businesses across Ohio using employee ownership methods that are proven to save jobs, create wealth and grow the economy. We’re proud to be recognized as one of only seven companies to receive a 10-year Milestone Award.
Recognition like this has meaning to us at Mills James because employee-ownership is a huge part of who we are. As owners of the company, employees know that Mills James’ success is their success.
In 2007, Mills James co-founders Ken Mills and Cameron James decided to transition ownership of the company to their employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). “We have a unique opportunity as an ESOP to truly have a stake in our company because we’re all owners,” said ESOP Communication Committee Facilitator Eric Dodds. “An owner mentality motivates a culture of success and accountability that helps us drive growth.”
Managing Partner Arthur James added, “Being able to give back to the associates who have helped shape the company with their hard work and talents is extremely gratifying.”
When the employees are the owners, the company is in their hands, and business tends to be stronger. “The research is clear,” says President Emeritus Ken Mills. “ESOP companies tend to perform better and last longer than firms that are not employee-owned. That's because employees have skin in the game. They understand client satisfaction directly impacts the financial health of the company and in turn, directly impacts the value of their stock."
According to the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Mills James is among an estimated 11,000 ESOP companies in the U.S., employing an estimated 11.5 million workers. For a complete list of award recipients, visit OEOC’s website.