Notable Employee-Owned Companies in Pennsylvania

Well Known Pennsylvania ESOPs

Dansko.  Dansko was founded in 1990 by Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup after finding inspiration for their signature clogs on a trip to Europe.  Based in West Grove, PA, this 180 employee comfort footwear company sets the standard for excellent shoes for people who demand quality and comfort.

In 2012, Dansko became 100% employee owned. "This transition to 100% employee ownership marks the continuation of Dansko's commitment to its employees, its community and its values," said cofounder and CEO Mandy Cabot. "Through our employees, Dansko will learn, evolve and regenerate itself virtually forever, ensuring that we are able to deliver our brand promise today, tomorrow and for generations to come."

Wawa.  Serving up hoagies, gasoline, and morning coffee, Wawa is one of the most well-known brands on the East Coast. Headquartered in Wawa, PA, the convenience store chain has 600+ locations in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and had revenues of 6.9 billion in 2011. 10,000 Wawa employees participate in the ESOP that owns 40% of the company.

Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens explained to Convenience Store Decisions magazine why employee ownership is so important to Wawa's success. "Having our employees as owners gives us a competitive advantage by contributing to Wawa's growth. Think about owning your own home versus renting. Owners devote time and energy to making their home a better a place. They put their heart and soul into it. This is very similar because our team members want to be affiliated with a company that is growing and one where they are rewarded for their dedication."

 

Great Places to Work

Owning company stock is just one of the many benefits that employee-owned companies provide to workers.  These Pennsylvania employee-owned companies have been recognized as "great places to work" at the state and national level.

Sheetz ranked on Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Places to Work" list in 2014.

Dansko has a variety of workplace awards, including being named "Best for Workers" by B Lab and one of the best places to work by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Glatfelter Insurance Group consistenly ranks on the "Best Places to Work in PA" list and was named #4 for large companies in 2013.

Other ESOPs named in the 2013 "Best Places to Work in PA" include North Highland, Global Tax Management, Quandel Enterprises, DVL Group, Peoples Neighborhood Bank, Mid Penn Bank, Somerset Trust Company, HB McClure Company, and Schaedler Yesco Distribution.

Contact the PaCEO

For more information about employee ownership or our projects in Pennsylvania, email us at kevin@paceo.org.