(PRWEB) September 27, 2012
The Southwest Chapter of the ESOP Association, a regional organization of companies in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, in which employees are owners through Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), held their annual fall conference recently. Acadian employees attended the event, held at the Hotel Contessa on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.
Dubbed “Mission ESOP: Improving Your ESOP Can Be as Easy as a Walk Along the River,” the two-day event allows ESOP members from across the chapter to share and discuss ideas on how to better promote an ESOP culture in their companies. Acadian’s ESOP Chairman Chance Louviere was a speaker for Communication Through Fun and Games, where he shared how Acadian communicates their ESOP throughout the company and to the public.
Louviere is considered to be a qualified mentor for ESOP communications due to the fact that under his leadership as chairman Acadian won an ESOP award for communication excellence in recognition of their Employee Owner Annual Meeting. Acadian has also won numerous ESOP awards at the chapter and national levels and is a revered leader in promoting the ESOP culture.
In his presentation, Louviere discussed how Acadian’s annual ESOP meeting—a day-long celebration of employee ownership attended by over 1,000 employees—always contains a theme, entertaining skits, and in-house created ESOP commercials. “These shows are acted, produced, and written by our own Employee Owners. One thing we discovered is that we have some very creative employees, and some have great talents whether it is acting, writing, or videoing. All companies have individuals like this. You just have to find them and utilize them.”
Acadian employees also in attendance were David Kelly, Acadian’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, and past president and current member of the Board of Directors of the Southwest Chapter of the ESOP Association; Clay Henry, vice president of operations; Julie Brannon, paramedic; and Glen Wahrmund, EMT-Basic.
The mission of the ESOP Association is to “educate and advocate about employee ownership with emphasis on ESOPs.” ESOP companies encourage employee participation in the workplace by allowing employees to share in the profits that they are creating and by establishing a collaborative ESOP culture in the workplace. This allows for more satisfied employees, a broader distribution of wealth and an increase in American competitiveness.
Acadian ranks among the top 100 employee-owned companies in the U.S., according to a list compiled by the National Center for Employee Ownership. 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 an Employee Stock Ownership Program. 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.