Van Meter Industrial Named 2011 ESOP Company of the Year by The ESOP Association

by The ESOP Association | May 12, 2011

May 12, 2011 (Washington, DC) – Van Meter Industrial, an employee-owned company headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been selected by The ESOP Association as the 2011 ESOP Company of the Year.  The award was presented at the Association’s 34th Annual Conference in Washington, DC.  The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership.

Founded in 1928 by R.L. Van Meter and R.W. (Pete) Lemley, Van Meter Industrial prides itself on setting the standard for innovation.  When most businesses were failing during the Great Depression, Van Meter Industrial thrived and the company’s success can be attributed to the belief that owners, employees, and customers should be treated as family.  This belief, 80 years later, still holds strong for the company.  With over 350 employee owners, this 100% ESOP company remains committed to the principals of their founders, but still strives to meet the ever changing needs of its customers.  For more information: http://www.vanmeterindustrial.com.

Van Meter Industrial is a strong supporter of employee ownership and The ESOP Association.  Employee owners take an active role in the Iowa/Nebraska Chapter of the Association and participate in Chapter meetings, present programs at these events, write articles for Association publications, and participate in Employee Ownership Month activities every October.  In addition to Association activities, the company also hosts several of their own including: Guess the Value Contest in which every employee owner has a chance to guess the company’s stock value; an Annual ESOP Statement Roundtable to educate employee owners in all locations; and a Work 10 Years and Get 5 Free Years which helps employee owners understand more about the ESOP and think about their future with the company.

“I had the opportunity to visit with the employee of Van Meter Industrial in 2010 at an employee owner town hall meeting which was an eye-opening experience,” stated ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling.  “Van Meter Industrial is an ESOP company that values employee involvement, strives to communicate it goals, and accomplishes them.  VMI competed against 17 of the Association’s Company of the Year Chapter winners.  These 17 companies are excellent examples of the power of a well-managed employee-owned company.  To have VMI’s peers elevate the company to the top of the group is a tribute to how special VMI is.”

The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy.