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Minnesota / Dakotas

Chapter Awards

The Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter gives two awards each year—ESOP Company of the Year and Employee Owner of the Year. All nominees are honored at a chapter event and winners 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 ESOP Company of the Year and Employee Owner of the Year award is January 31, 2024.

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.

Previous Winners

Employee Owner of the Year Award

2023—Rachel Bohn, Dakota Supply Group
2022—Laura Drager, ISG, Inc.
2021—Ryan Welke, ISG, Inc. 
2020—Tiffany Schomel, Plastic Products Co
2019—Belinda Bellows, Walman
2018—Brian Halstensgaard, SJE Rhombus


ESOP Company of the Year Award

2022—Christensen Group
2020—St. Cloud Industrial Products, Inc. (SCIPI)
2019—Oxygen Services Company
2018—Plastic Products Company, Inc.
2017—SJE Rhombus