Company Announcements

StoneAge Certified Employee-Owned

StoneAge, Inc. is very pleased to announce that it has become a founding 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).

StoneAge has a long tradition of selling private stock to employees. With continuing growth expected, the company’s founders, John Wolgamott and Jerry Zink, saw employee ownership as both socially responsible and good for the company’s bottom line, and transitioned to an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) in 2015. Since then, StoneAge has enjoyed a strengthened ownership culture. “ESOP companies, including my own, are full of people who care and who bring their passion to work, and their passion is fueled by the passion of their coworkers,” observed Betsy Fitzpatrick, StoneAge’s Director of Human Resources. “People are invested at a more fundamental level in the work they do.” 

Indeed, 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