Here at CFS, we think as owners — because we are owners. What does that mean though? It means that every CFS employee owns shares of stock in the company.* This is known as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which is a retirement plan designed to benefit employee-owners long-term. (Note: CFS employees still have access to traditional retirement plans, such as 401K)
Our employees have a stake in CFS’ success, which means they are more inclined to make day-to-day decisions that drive the business forward. Our ESOP program fosters positive working relationships, builds strong morale within the company, and drives our ability to deliver exceptional results. This month, we are celebrating our 8-year anniversary of becoming an ESOP. Eight years of togetherness, effective collaboration, and most importantly, team spirit.
To discuss CFS’s ESOP culture more effectively, we recently interviewed members of our ESOP Committee. See below for the highlights:
Question: Why did you want to join the CFS ESOP Committee?
Katelynn Williamson: As a part of the Marketing team, I thought we could improve upon our existing ESOP messaging. Everyone at CFS knew that we were an ESOP, but people didn’t know what that meant exactly. I wanted to help and knew we could better illustrate our employee ownership values.
Angie Colvonen: As a Corporate Recruiter, I am part of an employee’s first impression of CFS. I wanted to be well informed about the ESOP and to be a cheerleader for our amazing employee ownership culture.
Dale Fredericksen: I believe it is important to make CFS employees — especially new employees — aware of what it means to be an employee-owner and to assist in creating a performance-oriented culture.
Mariam Adamakis: As the HR Manager, I can offer a unique perspective. Working closely with the Leadership Team, I have a good understanding of our company values and I hope to share that insight with all CFS employees. Being part of the ESOP committee gives me an avenue to communicate that message.
Question: What does employee ownership mean to you?
Meagan Burke: To me, employee ownership means that we all benefit and succeed together. Not only do you benefit directly from your ideas, efforts, and teamwork but so does everyone else around you.
Cindy Morton: Employee ownership means that I have a personal interest in the company’s success. What I do daily impacts not only myself but every single employee that works for CFS. We create financial wealth for the company and ourselves.
Adamakis: Employee ownership to me means taking responsibility and knowing that every action I take today, will impact my financial future tomorrow. As I watch my statement grow over the years, I feel even more motivated to work with intention in hopes that my efforts will continue to contribute positively to CFS’ growth.
Patrick Senn: It means that I am not only an employee, but I also have a vested interest in the success of the company.
Question: Why do you love working for an employee-owned company?
Senn: I love that we all have the ability to impact our company’s value/stock price based on what we do day in and day out in our given roles within CFS. It has also been amazing to see how much value has been built within the company since becoming an ESOP in 2014.
Carrie Jenkins: The opportunity to be rewarded for your efforts and sharing in the wealth of the organization.
Morton: I love working for an ESOP company because everyone is driven to succeed. Our passion and dedication is inspiring. Every day, we wake up excited to drive results and celebrate each others’ success.
Stacey Garner: I love knowing that I am personally responsible for helping CFS grow.
Question: What culture does employee ownership foster?
Williamson: Here at CFS, we have 35+ offices across the nation, so employee ownership truly creates a culture of feeling connected. Each team/office is a part of something bigger; they’re making an impact. As an employee-owned company, we continuously celebrate each other and the small wins that happen each day.
Pam Rodriguez: Teamwork and stability. You feel like you are actually a part of the organization and not just a number or a name on a ranking report.
Burke: Employee ownership fosters teamwork and promotes a collaborative work environment. CFS has been an ESOP since 2014 and continuously demonstrates that we are all in this together.
Fredericksen: I believe it creates a performance-oriented culture and also adds to the stability and retention of our employees, which is important.
Question: What advantages do employees have because of employee ownership?
Diane LeMaire: Not only do we have a 401K plan, but we also have the ESOP. Life and now inflation/recession worries are less stressful knowing you don’t have to worry about your financial situation once you retire.
Williamson: In addition to being prepared for your future, I’d say the #1 is a built-in network of support. Here at CFS, we’re all in this together. What better support system could you ask for when things go haywire?
Colvonen: Many good salespeople and recruiters will say that they treat their job like it is their own business. With employee ownership, it is! You will reap the short and long-term benefits.
Rodriguez: It gives you the opportunity to have your money in something that isn’t contingent on the stock market performance. It also allows you to create more financial stability for yourself and your family by just working hard.
*CFS employees automatically qualify for ESOP shares after 1 full year of employment or working 1,000 hours
Interested in joining the CFS team? Contact our Internal Hiring team:
Managing Director – Angie Colvonen, email@example.com
Alex Cuttitta, firstname.lastname@example.org