What It Means to Be an Employee-Owner at Dennis
In an ESOP employees are invested and business becomes personal.
October is National Employee Ownership Month and we’re celebrating our team! Here’s a little more insight on what “100% Employee Owned” really means…
The Transition to Employee Ownership
A family owned and operated business for 107 years, Dennis Paper & Food Service became the largest employee owned foodservice distributor in New England in 2015. Ron Dennis, President and Owner at the time, saw how the deep personal commitment of his employees had developed into a culture that deserved the ultimate recognition. So, he sold the company to the employees in January of 2015, and the Dennis Employee Stock Ownership Plan was formed.
Now, 5 years later, Dennis Paper & Food Service has grown to over 140 employees, constructed an advanced 130,000 sq-ft facility and become a shareholder in UniPro – the world’s largest foodservice cooperative. Through all the changes over the past 112 years our focus, determination and dedication to our valued customers remains the same.
“We all have a stake in the business. It gives us pride in what we do and helps us go the extra distance for our customers. It’s more than a job, it’s who I am.” – Mario Tribuzio 2019 Dennis Difference Award Winner
Meet the Owner
In an effort to celebrate the employee-owners at Dennis we recently started our “Meet The Owner” series. In it we highlight a team member and their professional duties, along with some aspects of their personal life. From the operations teams that receive, pick, pallet and deliver products to the purchasing, sales and credit departments who coordinate with vendors and customers everyday – each employee-owner plays a pivotal role in our company.
The Difference is People
The daily efforts of individuals and departments, the partnerships formed with our customers and a deep-rooted culture of safety unite to bring us closer everyday to our vision of being the leading foodservice distributor in New England. Underscored by a tenaciously competitive spirit, we call the magic that comes out of this synergy the Dennis Difference. Each year we recognize a Dennis Difference Award recipient who is nominated by their peers. As well as a Safety Person of the Year chosen by our operations department. These individuals go above and beyond the normal call of duty. Celebrating our companies independent spirit and employee-ownership the awards are presented annually; a recognition of employee-owners by employee-owners.
“Everything I do in my day-to-day duties to increase safety and decrease accidents not only benefits the company. But also me directly, as an employee owner.” – Ginger Shubert, Director of Risk Management
US and ESOPs
In an ESOP employees earn stock shares as part of their ownership plan. ESOPs are growing in popularity and today there are over 6,000 ESOP companies in the United States. As of 2018, ESOP businesses in the US account for over 10 million employee-owners. More than half of Forture Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” have employee ownership plans.¹ ESOPs create an ownership culture in which everyone can be proud of their contributions and the business they are building.
“In an ESOP you no longer work for somebody, now you’re working with everybody.” – Travis Estes, Lead Buyer
A Historic Future
The dedication to service and quality that exists at Dennis today was established 100 years ago, and will continue to thrive long into the future thanks to employee ownership. Now, more than ever, the commitment of our team to the success of our business, our customers and the foodservice industry can mean the difference between success and failure; and when you own the company failure is not an option. Dennis Paper & Food service delivers thousands of items to Maine and New Hampshire’s restaurants and food operations, convenience stores and delis, schools, institutions and many many locally owned independent businesses. We couldn’t do what we do, the way we do it, without the dedication and hard work of our employee-owners and for that we are truly thankful.
Happy Employee Ownership Month everyone!
¹Nest Egg Communications