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California & Western States

Chapter Awards

The CAWS Chapter gives five categories of awards each year—ESOP Company of the Year, Employee Owner of the Year, Best ESOP Event, Most Effective ESOP Committee, and Communications Excellence. All nominees are honored at a chapter event and winners of the ESOP Company of the Year and Employee Owner of the Year are automatically entered in the national competition; winners of the national award are recognized throughout The ESOP Association and across the country.

The deadline for entering this year’s awards is July 31, 2023

To start preparing your next entry, please see the information below.

Employee Owner of the Year Award

This award honors an exemplary non-management employee owner of an ESOP company who has taken the initiative to learn about the ESOP, educate and motivate colleagues, and actively promote the employee ownership culture.

The individual should be involved in the employee ownership activities of the company and The ESOP Association. Only one employee may be nominated from each ESOP company.

Want advice on applying? See our tip sheet.

ESOP Company of the Year Award

This award is given to an ESOP company that shows a strong commitment to employee ownership through its involvement with The ESOP Association and its programs, its clear communication with employees, and its commitment to The ESOP Association’s vision of endorsing employee participation,  wealth creation, and individual dignity and worth. The company should be financially solvent and have had in ESOP in place for more than two years.

It is not necessary that the company have a particular management style, but the majority of employees should feel a sense of ownership and that the ESOP is important to the company and its employee owners.

Advice on applying is available via our tip sheet.

Best ESOP Event Award

This award will honor an ESOP Company that has recently sponsored an event demonstrating their commitment to employee-ownership.

Most Effective ESOP Committee

This award will be presented to an ESOP Committee that has coordinated activities to educate and motivate their fellow employee-owners.

Communications Excellence Awards

This award recognizes the benefits to ESOP companies of all sizes, achieved through their communication of the value and importance of ESOPs, using a variety of media. All nominees should plan to have a table at the Chapter Conference Communications Fair.

Previous Winners

Employee Owner of the Year Winners

2023—Derrik Hymen, Jackson's Hardware, Inc.
2022—Aaron Meier, Recology
2020—Susan Hoop, Recology
2019—Jacqueline Arbid, Giroux Glass Inc.
2018—Ana Galvan, LeFiell Manufacturing Company
2017—Victor Rubio, Chatsworth Products


ESOP Company of the Year Winners

2023—Mountain Hardware & Sports
2019—Harrell Remodeling
2018—KE&G Construction
2017—Entertainment Partners


Most Effective ESOP Committee Winners



Best ESOP Event Winners

2023—HdL Companies