South Bend, IN-based Surestep and Midwest Orthotics employees on January 13 celebrated the 50th birthday of founder Bernie Veldman, CO, but got their own gift when Veldman and his wife Pam Veldman announced the companies had transitioned to a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), a qualified retirement benefit that holds company stock.
“Congratulations, you’re now owners,” Bernie Veldman told the group of about 170 staff gathered at the Gillespie Center in South Bend. “You now own your future.”
On January 4, Dienen, parent company to Midwest Orthotics and Surestep, became an ESOP, but the Veldmans kept the news under wraps until the surprise announcement.
Day-to-day company operations and individual jobs won’t change, but Bernie Veldman noted that employee-owned companies often see more engaged employees, as their future financial benefits are tied to the company’s success and value.
“We are excited for the future of our companies; we already have such a compassionate and dedicated team of employees,” company VP Pam Veldman said.