Since 1960, Korellis has been a leader in providing expert roofing, masonry, wall paneling, and other critical services for businesses looking to build and expanded throughout the Region. In 2018, after 58 years of family ownership, they implemented a succession plan that took one of the biggest steps a business can – becoming 100 percent employee-owned.
“Our President and CEO Pete Korellis felt like this was the best way to give back to the employees that helped bring the organization to the forefront of the roofing industry,” said Kali Zaremba, Office & HR Manager at Korellis. “It was also a way to ensure long-term success and security for the business.”
Their employee ownership structure is called an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), and gives extensive retirement benefits to every team member in the Korellis office at zero cost to the employee on top of their lengthy list of existing benefits. Field team members, who receive their retirement benefits through their various labor unions, are not able to be a part of the ESOP.
It is a format that works best with mid-to large-sized companies that have a history of increasing sales and profits, a strong culture, and owners invested in maintaining a legacy or mission.
“Korellis checked every one of those boxes,” said Brian Enright, Chief Financial Officer at Korellis. “Once the former shareholders began learning more about ESOPs, there was really no other choice to consider.”
One of the most impactful parts of an ESOP is that while it offers benefits to the employees, it also requires them to take responsibility for performing at a higher level and growing the business.
“We were very fortunate to already have a strong culture prior to being employee-owned, but it adds an additional layer of accountability,” Zaremba said. “Every employee owner has a vested interest in the business. We not only feel more accountable to ourselves and our performance, but I believe it also translates into the expectations that you have from your counterparts.”
Employee-ownership forms a unifying bond, one that research shows results in a lower turnover rate, increases in profits, higher wages, and almost three-times the retirement assets compared to non-ESOP companies.
“It’s a system that positively affects both the organization and the employees,” Zaremba said. “We all have the same mission – to ensure Korellis is profitable and that we have continued growth and success.”
Enright noted that employee-ownership also reinforces Korellis’s commitment to excellence in customer service.
“Customers should know they are going to get the best service and product possible,” Enright said. “Just like with any business, if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers. When you’re also an ESOP, there is an added benefit in it for the employees to go above and beyond for our customers and for each other.”
To learn more about Korellis, visit korellis.com