Since Performance Validation’s inception in 1988, our founder Tom Stevens has believed in broad based employee ownership. In 2006, the company embarked on a journey to increase and diversify employee ownership through partnership offerings and the use of Management-by-Objectives plans to reward partners who helped grow the business. During this time we also provided liquidity to our founder through the redemption of his equity. While these activities did meet our short term objectives of providing liquidity to our founder and increasing the number of employee-owners and their ownership stake in the company, this was not a viable long-term succession planning solution for the management team.
In 2012, the management team evaluated a transition to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) as a preferred succession planning tool. As ESOPs are a complex beast, education was paramount towards gaining understanding on what an ESOP is, what comprises an employee ownership culture, and how this transition might impact the company. Performance Validation took advantage of educational opportunities through participation at The ESOP Association (TEA) state level chapter meetings, attendance at national TEA and National Center for Employee Ownership ESOP conferences, and by providing in-house training to our current owners. In 2017, PV expanded the educational offerings on ESOPs to all of our employees by conducting training on:
- ESOP mechanics,
- governance in an ESOP company,
- the role of the ESOP Administrative and Communication Committees,
- and how our employee-owners will collect the wealth they have generated during their employment.
On January 2, 2018 Performance Validation became a 100% employee-owned company through adoption of our ESOP. While we are just starting out on our journey as a 100% employee owned company, we are excited about how we will further develop our employee ownership culture, gain engagement from our employees, and continue to grow our company for the future.