Tubing manufacturer NewAge Industries welcomed State Senator Stewart Greenleaf for a discussion on the benefits of ESOP corporations and a comprehensive tour of its manufacturing facility. The Senator met with several of NewAge's employee-owners.
NewAge Industries had the honor of hosting State Senator Stewart Greenleaf at its corporate headquarters on two occasions in May. The first visit was part of the Senator's project to call on successful businesses and learn about their operations and practices, while the second incorporated a town hall style meeting with several employees to discuss the benefits of ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) companies. The Senator represents parts of Bucks and Montgomery counties in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Senator Greenleaf initially visited NewAge on May 8 for a tour of the company's offices and manufacturing plant. He was met by NewAge's CEO Ken Baker, who shared a brief history of the 60-year-old company, then talked about how NewAge has evolved and grown over the past several years.
"We're always looking ahead," stated Baker, "You can't rely on the future taking care of itself. You need to embrace change and put a plan in place."
That's what NewAge did in the early 2000's. The company's primary market was industrial, and its team leaders thought diversification was in order. NewAge began researching other industries and selected pharmaceutical as a potential target.
"New drugs are always being developed," Baker noted. "The manufacturing process involves liquids, and most of those liquids have to go through tubing to get from point A to point B. We thought 'Let's be that tubing supplier.'"
NewAge launched its AdvantaPure high purity division in 2002, and much of the company's growth over the past ten years has been a result of that group's silicone tubing, AdvantaFlex TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) tubing and Single-Use molded manifold assemblies for pharmaceutical and biopharma manufacturing. These molded tubing sets are used for product sampling and storage applications in the early stages of the drug and vaccine production process.
The Senator's second visit on May 23 involved a town hall style meeting with several NewAge team members. The purpose was to talk with the Senator about the benefits of ESOPs and why this type of employee retirement plan can be a good option for other Pennsylvania businesses. Team members from several departments and with lengths of employment ranging from two years to 25 were represented.
Employees spoke of their pride of ownership, of knowing how their everyday decisions and actions impact not only their own future but those of their coworkers, and about how the ESOP has given them a new view on retirement.
One recent retiree, Dennis Rooney, was a NewAge Industries team member for ten years. Previously he worked for a company for nearly 25 years and had amassed a sizable pension. That company's owner sold the firm. The new owner dismissed everyone and then fled the country with the employees' retirement funds.
"NewAge's ESOP gave me back my retirement," said Rooney during the meeting.
NewAge Industries has been approached by competitors many times over the years, and its owners have no interest in selling or seeing the company split apart. The team members own 40% of the company, up from 30% just a few years ago, and don't consider their employment "just a job."
"I'm here for the long term," said Brian Huff, a two-year team member and part of the company's Sales Team. Huff said he's currently house hunting and had never considered home ownership before coming to work at NewAge. "I'd always just rented," he stated. "Other companies I've been employed by didn't have an ESOP. But since I've been here, I've felt very confident about my future."
Ron Moritz, a Sales Team member who officially retired at the end of 2013 and now works at NewAge part-time, said "There's no one at NewAge who doesn't care about the outcome of our business. We have a vested interest in its success." Moritz noted that he and his wife raised six children and put them through college. They didn't have much chance to save for retirement during that time, but now Moritz's ESOP funds have significantly impacted their savings and their outlook for the future.
"NewAge Industries is among the growing number of companies in Pennsylvania that are prospering under employee ownership," said Senator Greenleaf. "Today was a wonderful opportunity to see a cutting edge manufacturing operation in action, committed to creating and retaining American jobs."
Visit Senator Greenleaf's website at http://www.senatorgreenleaf.com to view the video of the town hall ESOP meeting.
For more information on NewAge Industries, its ESOP and its successes, contact the Fluid Transfer Specialists(R) at NewAge Industries, Inc., 145 James Way, Southampton, PA 18966; phone 800-506-3924 or 215-526-2300; fax 800-837-1856 or 215-526-2190; e-mail: email@example.com; or visit http://www.newageindustries.com/esop.asp.
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AdvantaFlex(R), NewAge(R), NewAge Industries AdvantaPure(R), Verigenis(TM), and "Fluid Transfer Specialists(R)" are trademarks of NewAge(R) Industries, Inc.