October Declared Employee Ownership Month in Pennsylvania

State Representative Kerry Benninghoff presented Restek with a resolution and praised the company on its success as an employee-owned business


State Representative Kerry Benninghoff (R-Bellefonte) presented Restek with a resolution on Oct. 3 declaring October “Employee Ownership Month” in Pennsylvania.

“It’s really an honor as someone who represents you in Harrisburg to assist you with the work you do. Rock on! The fact that you’re world-known is great bragging rights for your state representative and I’m happy to do that.” Rep. Benninghoff said.

Restek is owned by the employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Since becoming 100% employee owned at the end of 2008, Restek has more than doubled in size and its stock value has grown 10-fold—to the direct benefit of its employees.

“We value seeing employee ownership extend to more and more companies throughout the state and creating more businesses like Restek where employees own the company, love working for it, take care of it, and take care of each other.” said Bryan Wolcott, Restek’s president and head coach.

There are currently more than 285 employee-owned companies in Pennsylvania, employing over 306,000 people. They include WaWa, Sheetz, Bradford White Water Heaters, and Voodoo Brewery. Nationally, 5,000 other companies have ESOPs, including Publix and New Belgian Beer.

October Declared Employee Ownership Month in Pennsylvania

State Representative Kerry Benninghoff presents Bryan Wolcott, Restek’s president, with a resolution and praises the company on its success as an employee-owned business.

State Representative Kerry Benninghoff (R-Bellefonte) presented Restek with a resolution on Oct. 30 declaring October Employee Ownership Month in Pennsylvania.

“It is companies like this—employee-owned, small companies like this—not big factories that keep us going,” Rep. Benninghoff said. “So, on behalf of myself and the entire General Assembly, thank you for that continued success. Congratulations on behalf of the Commonwealth.”

Restek, like thousands of companies in the country, is an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company, which is a business model where employees own shares of the company. In Restek’s case, the company is 100% employee owned.

“We think employee ownership is one of the most important ownership vehicles in the country. We would like to see it keep growing and this resolution is one way that it does,” said Bryan Wolcott, Restek’s president and head coach.

Each year, ESOP businesses across the country celebrate October as ESOP month. The presentation by Rep. Benninghoff capped a full month of ESOP activity, including Restek’s Culture Fair on Oct. 4, when the company hosted more than 20 internal and external groups and organizations to set up info booths within the company’s atrium and hallways to talk to employees about volunteer opportunities. Employees at the chromatography manufacturer can use up to four hours per month to volunteer during work. The company also hosted educational seminars, a Halloween costume contest, and more to celebrate employee ownership.

These festivities closed an exciting month for Restek, one that included the company’s 32nd anniversary as well as being awarded Company of the Year by The Pennsylvania Delaware Chapter of The ESOP Association. It was the second time Restek won the award.

Restek Wins Company of the Year

BACK ROW: Bill Arrowsmith, Valerie Strohm, Tony Rider, Jeff Gelburd (PA/DE Chapter President, ESOP Assoc.), Matt Lininger, Denise Kyle, Mark Badger FRONT ROW: Mike Shuey, Mark Williams

Restek was awarded Company of the Year from The Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter of The ESOP Association during its annual conference on September 14 in Scranton, PA.

This is the second time Restek has won the award, having also received the honor in 2007. Over the years, many ESOP conferences have included a Restek employee as a session speaker, and two employees have also won the chapter’s Employee-Owner of the Year award.

“Employees at Restek are fully engaged in the ownership culture. They also have done wonderful work in advocacy both in Pennsylvania and in Washington D.C. Restek is very deserving of this award and should be a top contender to win the national award at The ESOP Association meeting next May,” Jeff Gelburd, Chapter President, said. The PA/DE chapter is one of 18 that provide educational services and resources to its members across the country.

An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a business structure in which the employees of the company are also owners. Restek transitioned to 100% ESOP on Dec. 31, 2008.

“Restek is a family-oriented company that is owned by its employees. While our business is scientific, our culture is all about teamwork and taking care of our fellow employees so that we can better serve our customers and our community. We are honored to be recognized by the ESOP Association and encouraged to continue serving others through our business, our charity, and our ESOP advocacy,” said Bryan Wolcott, Restek President and Head Coach.

With over 450 employees across the U.S., China, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, and the UK, Restek has earned a reputation in the scientific community for unbeatable Plus 1 service and innovative, top-quality chromatography products. Analysts rely on Restek products to monitor the quality and safety of air, water, soil, food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and petroleum.

Recently, Restek, along with the PA Center for Employee Ownership, taught students from South Hills School of Business and Technology in State College, PA, about employee ownership and the benefits of working for an employee-owned company. Students from three majors—business, information technology, and graphics—took a tour of Restek’s facility, attended an in-lab chromatography demonstration, and received education about ESOPs and Restek—as well what Restek does for the community and the environment.

In addition to this most recent recognition, Restek has been named one of PA’s best places to work several times and has also been named one of The Wall Street Journal’s Top Small Workplaces.

Restek Shows South Hills Students an ESOP in Action

Photo of South Hills School of Business & Technology students and faculty visiting Restek.

Students and faculty from South Hills School of Business & Technology pose for a group shot in front of the Restek Wizard during a field trip to the company on July 24.

On July 24, Mike Shuey, an international customer service supervisor at Restek, hosted about 30 students from South Hills School of Business & Technology to help educate them on employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) by showing them one in action at Restek.

Shuey kicked off the day with a tour of the state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and testing labs. He then introduced Kevin McPhillips, executive director at Pennsylvania Center for Employee Ownership, a statewide nonprofit that educates business owners and employees about the benefits of ESOP—of which Restek is a founding member.

McPhillips described a “silver tsunami” approaching the economy as many baby-boomer business owners retire and make decisions about what to do with their businesses. McPhillips explained the benefits of setting up an employee ownership plan as part of that succession. “Restek is a poster child for turning your company into an ESOP and how great for business that can be,” he said.

South Hills students Katey Hall and Jessi Hall, who are sisters-in-law, particularly enjoyed the ESOP presentation. “We want to start a social media firm in the area and we think creating an ESOP would be a nice thing for our future employees,” Katey said.

Following a lively question and answer session, senior R&D manager Chris English took the students on a tour of the applications laboratory where Restek chemists develop solutions to tough analytical problems. Next, Scott Grossman, a content development specialist, gave a presentation titled “Restek in the Wild: Examples of Our Products in Use,” about the involvement of the company’s products in testing water quality following a chemical spill in the Elk River near Charleston, WV.

Michael Gates, program coordinator for business administration at South Hills, said it was the fourth time he brought his students to Restek since Shuey first invited them in 2003. “I enjoy bringing students to Restek because they are introduced to a little bit of everything—from manufacturing, to customer service, to marketing. This company does it all,” he said.

Restek’s Mike Shuey Earns 2016 ESOP Outstanding Chapter Officer Award

shuey_award_twitter_dknMike Shuey, Restek’s International Customer Service Supervisor, received the 2016 ESOP Outstanding Chapter Officer Award at The ESOP Association (TEA) Awards Banquet earlier this year. Mike was selected from a field of over 100 ESOP chapter officers for his significant contributions to TEA. As PA/DE chapter officer, Mike leads the legislative advocacy committee, manages the chapter advocacy web site, and coordinates ESOP education not only for other chapter members but also for members of Congress. He is also responsible for generating legislative officer goals for the year and seeing they are met to the best of his ability. Mike takes great pride in being a part of legislative efforts to support and educate our representatives to keep our ESOP benefits in place and is proud of Restek’s grass roots efforts to show the nation that our ESOP model works and is a positive business strategy for the success of our country.

Restek Celebrates 3 Years of Employee Ownership

25th Anniversary Group ShotOn December 31, 2008, Restek Corporation announced the purchase of all outstanding corporate shares, officially becoming 100% employee owned under an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) structure. The transition to 100% employee ownership was made to ensure both our long-term stability and the continuation of our unique customer-centric culture. In the years since, Restek employee-owners have continued to introduce innovative new products while increasing our technical expertise and taking every opportunity to live up to our reputation as the company chromatographers can rely on.

The prestigious General Social Survey (GSS) recently reported results that mirror Restek’s own beliefs and experience. The 2010 GSS showed that employees in the U.S. who had employee stock ownership were four times less likely to be laid off during the Great Recession than employees who did not. The survey also stated that only 13% of the employees with employee stock ownership intended to leave their companies in the coming months, compared with a rate of 24% for those lacking employee ownership. Restek truly values its employee-owners and has remained committed to employee retention and professional growth during the ongoing economic turmoil. In return, our talented employee-owners have largely chosen to remain here—just when our customers need us most!

Because Restek employees own the company, each one is truly a partner to our customers. We understand the importance of delivering high-quality products on a schedule that meets customers’ needs because they, in turn, want accurate, timely, problem-free analyses. Meeting and exceeding expectations for quality and on-time delivery provide a decided advantage for our customers. Superior technical support and sincere interest in new ideas further distinguish Restek employee-owners from those at traditional companies.

Restek remains an independent company. We take pride in supporting many instrument manufacturers and chromatography platforms, and we can do so because we are not tied to any single source. Our employees are empowered to make decisions based on sound technical theory and practice, and we strive to offer not only the most helpful, but also the most universal technologies, products, and customer solutions. Our recent success in achieving ISO Guide 34 and 17025 accreditations is one more way for Restek’s employee-owners to showcase our excellent quality and performance.

When he began the company in 1985, Restek founder Paul Silvis envisioned a company that would strive to provide the highest quality, most innovative products throughout the world and would be surpassed by no one in providing Plus 1 service to customers. It was this philosophy that led to 100% employee ownership and Restek’s success. After all, when 300 people are invested in a company’s future as only owners can be, they will always push themselves toward new levels of innovation and customer satisfaction.

Restek’s Mike Shuey Receives Accolade From The ESOP Association

We are delighted to announce that Mike Shuey was honored with the 2012 Employee Owner of the Year Award from the PA/DE chapter of The ESOP Association!

Since his first day on the job, Mike has been a fervent supporter of both Restek and the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) model. He is a long-time member and current leader of our Employee Owners Communication Team, and his passion has pushed him to routinely promote ESOPs by giving company-wide presentations, helping coordinate our annual shareholder meetings, and educating other employee owners. Extending his involvement far beyond the borders of the Restek campus, Mike is also a regular attendee of ESOP conferences and has been the company point person for communicating with our representatives at the state and federal level.

A 7-year veteran of Restek, Mike Shuey worked his way up from Customer Service Representative to Group Leader and, now, to Domestic Customer Service Supervisor. His rapid advancement is a result of the same dedication and energy that drove him to become one of our resident ESOP experts and earned him this honor.

Our own Pete Rose took home this prestigious award last year, making it two in a row for Restek. Mike and Pete are the embodiment of the principles and core values on which Restek was founded, and we are proud to call them fellow employee-owners.

Congratulations, Mike and Pete!

Mike Shuey ESOP Award

Restek Announces New President and Head Coach

Bryan Wolcott, President and Head CoachThe Board of Directors of Restek Corporation has announced a change in the senior leadership of the company. Bryan Wolcott, Restek’s current CFO of 11 years, will be taking the role of Head Coach and President. Bryan joined Restek in 1997 as Manufacturing Manager, and moved into the CFO role in 1999. He has served on Restek’s leadership team for 10 years and was instrumental in Restek’s recent ESOP transaction and the acquisition of Glastron earlier this year.

Bryan has an excellent record for tackling complex issues, and he has a passion for fostering innovation by developing structures that support synergistic relationships among corporate units. In taking on this new role he says, “The challenge in front of me is to align the company’s talent around our growth objectives in international business and new product development, while ensuring that Restek remains a truly great place to work. Because we are employee-owned, we have a unique opportunity to improve our systems and structure for the long-term benefit of both the company and employees, while maintaining a creative and celebratory work style!”

Prior to joining Restek, Bryan worked in the oil and gas industry for 16 years, first as a petroleum engineer and later transitioning to financial operations when he became interested in how corporate structures and investments could benefit employees and shareholders alike. Bryan is currently the president of the PA/DE chapter of the ESOP Association, president of the Penn Eagle Industrial Park Owners Association, and has previously served on many other industry and community boards.

2007 ESOP Company of the Year

ESOP AwardRestek Corporation has been named the 2007 ESOP Company of the Year by the PA/DE Chapter of The ESOP Association at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting on September 19 in Scranton, PA.

The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOP) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership.

The PA/DE Chapter represents ESOP companies in Pennsylvania and Delaware.