Acadian Recognized as Leader in ESOP Culture

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Acadian celebrates National ESOP Month by educating others.

One thing we discovered is that we have some very creative employees with great talents, whether it is acting, writing, or videoing.

October is National ESOP Month and, as a national leader in promoting ESOP culture, Acadian companies are celebrating by educating other companies about ESOP, its culture, and its benefits to employees.

ESOP, the acronym for Employee Stock Ownership Plan, is an employee benefit plan which makes the employees of a company owners of stock in that company. Acadian ranks among the top 100 employee-owned companies in the United States and has won numerous awards for its ESOP program. In 2005 and 2012, Acadian was recognized as the ESOP Company of the Year, an award bestowed on Acadian by the ESOP Association’s Southwest Region comprised of employee-owned companies in the states of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana.

In addition, Acadian won the National ESOP Association’s Best Communication Award three times in the last five years. Acadian’s internal ESOP committee is made up of employees from its six divisions. Elected by their coworkers, committee members serve on a volunteer basis and represent the interests of nearly 3,800 employees. The ESOP Communications Committee is responsible for keeping all of Acadian’s employee-owners abreast on the state of the company’s ESOP, as well as inspiring employee participation in the growth of Acadian through communication and recognition.

The committee annually produces an extravagant and entertaining meeting for all employee-owners featuring skits, commercials, and a report on the company’s ESOP from Acadian’s chief financial officer. “These shows are acted, produced, and written by our own employee-owners,” said Chance Louviere, Acadian’s ESOP Committee Chairman. “One thing we discovered is that we have some very creative employees with great talents, whether it is acting, writing, or videoing.” These efforts have gained Acadian’s ESOP national recognition for their effectiveness in communicating ESOP culture to Acadian employee-owners.

Recently, Acadian attended the fall 2012 Southwest Region ESOP Conference in San Antonio, Texas, where Louviere was a speaker. The event called on ESOP members to discuss ideas on how to promote ESOP culture within their companies and how to better educate non-members on the benefits of employee-ownership.

Acadian also promotes ESOP through its attendance each year at the Stars of Life annual conference in Washington, D.C. This three-day event honors outstanding paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians from around the country. Two Acadian medics, recognized for their performance, attend the conference, where they have the opportunity to speak directly with members of Congress about issues affecting Acadian and about the importance of being an employee-owned company.

Acadian is a firm believer in the mission of the ESOP Association: “To educate and advocate about employee ownership with emphasis on ESOPs.” ESOP companies allow employees to directly share in profits that they are helping to create, making for more satisfied employees and a more competitive business.

The men and women of Acadian became employee-owners of the largest privately owned ambulance service in the U.S. in 1993, with the adoption of Acadian Ambulance Service, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Under the plan, 80 percent of the company value in stock is available to employees. The plan involves placing the stock in trust, with those shares acquired by employees redeemable in cash at the time of retirement.

Since 1971, Acadian has been committed to providing the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade, the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian’s six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Monitoring Services, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy, and Safety Management Systems.

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Julie Mahfouz, PR/Marketing Manager
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