SOURCE: The ESOP Association

The ESOP Association

June 01, 2016 15:21 ET

The ESOP Association Names King Arthur Flour 2016 Company of the Year

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - June 01, 2016) -  The ESOP Association has named King Arthur Flour -- a 225-year old company headquartered in Norwich, Vermont -- the 2016 ESOP Company of the Year. The award was presented at the Association's 39th Annual Conference in Washington, DC on May 18, and accepted by several employee-owners on King Arthur Flour's Ownership Culture Team.

The award recognizes companies that show a strong commitment to The Association's vision for employee ownership -- which includes promoting employee participation, wealth creation, and individual dignity and worth. Award-winning companies must be outstanding ambassadors for the ESOP community and active participants in The Association's educational and advocacy events.

King Arthur Flour excelled in all these areas, according to the judges, and was selected from a pool of 16 finalists.

"It is very special to honor King Arthur Flour, a unique company with roots that extend back to the beginning of our nation," said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. "King Arthur Flour represented the best of America in the 18th Century, and today, in the 21st Century, it represents the best of employee owned companies."

When presenting the award, Keeling noted that "King Arthur Flour met nearly all of the 37 benchmarks of excellence outlined in the award criteria -- which is a remarkable accomplishment. And the inclusive nature of the company was captured in its application letter, which was signed by more than 100 employee owners."

King Arthur Flour manifests its support of employee-ownership in multiple ways, including promoting employee-ownership on all its products, engaging employee-owners through education classes and monthly company-wide meetings, meeting with Congressional Representatives on Capitol Hill, and actively participating in The ESOP Association's New England Chapter.

"These activities educate and encourage our employee-owners to learn, participate, and be advocates for employee-ownership," said Suzanne McDowell, King Arthur Flour's co-CEO and Chief Human Resources Officer. "Employee-ownership has added to our company's success and growth, and has also positively impacted our culture. As owners, employees recognize that their voices and contributions have a direct correlation in making our company the best it can be."

King Arthur Flour was founded in 1790 and owned by five generations of the same family. The company launched its ESOP in 1996, and by 2004 King Arthur Flour was owned entirely by its employees.

ABOUT THE ESOP ASSOCIATION:

The ESOP Association is America's largest employer-sponsored advocacy and education association focused on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Founded in 1978, the Association seeks to enhance federal laws governing ESOPs, provide members with expert information, and fund research via the Employee Ownership Foundation (an affiliate). The ESOP Association's members include ESOP companies, companies considering an ESOP, and service providers that assist in setting up and maintaining ESOPs.

ABOUT KING ARTHUR FLOUR:

King Arthur Flour is America's oldest flour company and premier baking resource, offering ingredients and inspiration to bakers everywhere since 1790. The company's high-quality flour is available in supermarkets nationwide. More than 3,500 tested and trusted baking tools, ingredients, and recipes are available online at kingarthurflour.com. Headquartered in Norwich, Vermont, King Arthur Flour became 100 percent employee-owned in 2004, a founding B (Beneficial) Corporation in 2007, and sponsor of 1 percent for the Planet in 2014.

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