The ESOP Association wants to hear from you: Would you mind taking a few minutes to tell us about your website experience today? Your feedback is confidential, and will take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Take the Survey
Press Releases

Cedar Rapids-Based, Folience, Named 2022 ESOP Company of the Year


May 6, 2022


Cedar Rapids-Based, Folience, Named 2022 ESOP Company of the Year


Washington, D.C. – The ESOP Association today announced that Folience, an employee-owned holding company based in Cedar Rapids, IA, has been named the 2022 ESOP Company of the Year. The highest corporate honor given by the ESOP Association, the Award recognizes the company that most actively participates in the employee ownership community and demonstrates a dedication to The ESOP Association’s vision of employee participation, wealth creation, and individual dignity and worth.

Folience is a 100 percent employee-owned diversified holding company, focused on growing its companies and acquiring healthy businesses who are looking to become employee owned. Of the company’s more than 475 employees, 63 percent are new employee owners who joined Folience by way of acquisition.

Folience is committed to a constant focus on company-wide ESOP education, which stresses the value of the ESOP. The company’s “ESOP 101” training program highlights the importance of building ownership over the long term and demonstrates what it means to be an ESOP company, how an ESOP works, and what it means to be an employee owner at Folience, offering new employees an early opportunity to understand why the company takes such pride in employee ownership.

Through the company’s education efforts, today more than 90 percent of Folience employee owners contribute to their 401k plan, and the Folience ESOP is distributed among a diverse group of employees. More than 94 percent of the ESOP balance, among active participants, belongs to non-leadership employee owners, with the CEO owning less than one-half of 1 percent of ESOP shares.

“Folience embodies the true spirit of what it means to be an employee-owned company,” said James Bonham, President and CEO of The ESOP Association. “The company goes above and beyond to improve the livelihood of its employees, focus on community impact, and communicate the value of ESOPs. Folience is a shining example of how ESOPs can promote the greater good, and we are proud to name Folience the 2022 ESOP Company of the Year. Congratulations to all of Folience’s employee owners on this well deserved honor.”


About the Award 
The ESOP Company of the Year Award honors a corporate member of The ESOP Association that demonstrates a steadfast commitment to employee ownership through its participation in Association programs, its efforts to communicate with employees, and its dedication to realizing The Association’s vision of employee participation, wealth creation, and individual dignity and worth.  In 2021, five nominated companies were finalists, with nominations reviewed by the Executive Committee of TEA’s State and Regional Chapter Council.  The award was announced at TEA’s National Conference, held in Washington, DC from May 3-6.

About The ESOP Association
The ESOP Association is the largest organization in the world supporting employee-owned companies, the more than 10 million U.S. employees who participate in an ESOP, and the professionals who provide services to them. Headquartered at the International Employee Ownership Center in Washington, DC and operating as a 501(c)6 organization with the affiliated Employee Ownership Foundation, The ESOP Association conducts and funds academic research, provides more than 160 annual conferences and events attended by nearly 15,000 individuals, and advocates on behalf of employee owners and their businesses to federal and state lawmakers. You can learn more at

About Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) 
ESOPs are a retirement plan that provides employees with a chance to share in the profits they help create. Unlike 401(k)s, ESOPs typically have no out-of-pocket expense for employees. ESOP companies often excel at creating engaging workplace cultures and are far less likely to lay off their employees, according to national research. These plans can provide tax benefits for the business and the owners who sell their shares to an ESOP. 


For more information on ESOPs, The ESOP Association, or the award, please contact Paul Pflieger at The ESOP Association at 202-293-2971 or