A Bold Path to an Inclusive and Prosperous Economy: Employee Ownership

“What will happen with these companies? Reeves asks. “We want to see employees become owners. We exist to make this process much easier. But we hope there are more funds to do this work. We want to build this sector. Our aspiration is to breed imitators.

At Accent Landscape Contractors, Inc., Stevens agreed to stay for a year and support the transition, and that stability has increased employee confidence.

The two employees he first talked about retiring were Joe L. Aguilar, Jr., the new CEO, and Elida V. Franco, the new CFO — and a few tears flowed. Aguilar has worked for Accent for 32 years, after Stevens turned him away from a sprinkler supplier. Franco started making books for Stevens 35 years ago, when she was 22 in college.

“I met one of my colleagues, Veronica, when she was a little girl carried on the shoulders of her father, who also worked for Cameron,” says Franco. “Now She is has worked with us for nearly 15 years. We have seen our children grow up and our grandchildren appear. We are family. It’s hard to let go. But I know Cameron would never let us go somewhere where we couldn’t make it.

Aguilar agrees with this assessment. “I always felt good with Cameron, from the first day he hired me,” he says. “So even though I don’t quite understand that, I trust him. I also know that our employees live roughly on their salary, without saving much for their retirement. I think employee ownership promises to have a big positive impact on people’s lives. »

And that, says Leverette, is the point. “I do what my mom, dad and Morehouse told me to do,” he says. “Now we want to inspire other finance professionals to take up this torch. There should be 20 or more companies doing this work.

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