LEXINGTON PARK, Md. – AVIAN, Inc., a service-based company providing support to federal, state and Department of Defense clients, announced today that it has become a member of Certified Employee-Owned (Certified EO), a new certification program for employee-owned companies.
To become a member of Certified EO, companies must pass a rigorous certification process and prove significant and broad-based employee ownership (at least 30 percent owned by an ownership plan).
“We are really excited about what we’ve accomplished in our first year of employee ownership,” said Kevin Switick, chief executive officer of AVIAN. “Earning this premier third-party certification proves our commitment to the employee-owned model.”
AVIAN set out to become 49 percent employee-owned in 2018. Kevin Switick and Jeff Sherman, its majority owners, saw employee ownership as both socially responsible and good for the company’s growth, so they chose to put an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, in place.
With big plans for future growth, Switick knew that employee ownership was right for AVIAN. “Its about leaving a legacy and sharing our successes with the people who make it happen. Now, our employees are individual stakeholders in AVIAN. At the end of the day, that means something.”
In fact, employee ownership is perhaps the best-kept secret of our economy. It strengthens communities, fosters a financially savvy workforce, increases resiliency during recessions, and offers big benefits during economic booms. It’s a sound choice economically, with several tax and financial incentives to its name.
It also empowers employees to think and act like owners, which results in an engaged workforce, happy customers, and sustainable financial success that in turn benefits the community.
It's these wide-ranging benefits that inspired Thomas Dudley, co-founder of Certified EO, to build a voice for employee ownership in America. “We want employee ownership to be part of the national consciousness,” Dudley said. “Employee-owned companies create wealth for working people and strengthen local economies. By creating a common brand for EO, we’re combining the reach of our members to raise the profile of employee ownership. Our members benefit because we help them tap into Americans’ support for employee ownership in marketing, recruitment, and internal communications.”
To learn more about Certified EO, visit certifiedeo.com