Erik Paulsen and Toll Company Visit

ESOPs Foster Strong Employees and Small Businesses, Build Healthy Retirement Packages

For Immediate Release

For More Information:
Sheryl Neuman

U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen and Toll Company Re-Visit Employee Ownership and ESOPs during the Recession, Find Benefits

ESOPs Foster Strong Employees and Small Businesses, Build Healthy Retirement Packages

Aug. 19, 2009, Plymouth, MN – Toll Company, a leading distributor of specialty, medical and industrial gases, welding supplies, and rental and safety equipment, today announced their participation with U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen in a dialogue on employee ownership in a stagnant economy.  The meeting highlighted Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or ESOPs, which are employee benefit plans that make the employees of a business owners of stock in that business.  Toll Company met with Paulsen on Aug. 5, 2009, at the company’s headquarters.

“We were delighted to discuss with Congressman Paulsen our ESOP story and the incredible impact it has had on our company, particularly its benefits during a weak economy,” said Jim Quicksell, President of Toll Company. “Without the ESOP, we would not exist, and would not be able to share the success of our company with the people who are the company and help make it successful.”  In 1984, the company was facing a purchase by a large conglomerate which could have led to dissolution.  But using the ESOP, the employees presented a counter-offer and preserved their company.

Paulsen and Toll Company discussed the importance of employee ownership through ESOPs in the United States.  Toll Company stressed its employee ownership history, and how the ESOP affects the way of life at the company.  “With employees as a strong focus in connection with customer service, Toll invests in its people through generous benefits and by education and promotion from within,” said Quicksell.

More than forty people participated in the meeting.  Paulsen, who represents Minnesota’s third district in the U.S. House of Representatives, also learned about other small, ESOP-owned businesses in his district, as several representatives from other ESOP companies also attended the event.

“We appreciate the Congressman’s pledge of support for ESOPs and small business in Minnesota,” said Quicksell.  “We look forward to a long-standing relationship with him and his staff.”

About ESOPs

ESOPs are qualified retirement plans invested primarily in the employer’s stock – forming a team of employee owners motivated to build a successful company and create more jobs.  ESOPs provide the opportunity to own a piece of the company – “shared capitalism” – something difficult for employees to accomplish otherwise. Jobs are less likely to be eliminated and are more likely to remain in the community when a company owner sells stock to an ESOP rather than a third-party buyer. An ESOP can create a retirement fund for employees who may not have had one.

About Toll Company
Founded in 1945, Toll Company has six locations throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.  The ESOP has been in place since 1975, with the percent of employee ownership increasing incrementally to 100 percent in 1990.  The ESOP has had a very positive effect on the company as it creates broad-based ownership among employee owners, and fosters an environment in which everyone understands his or her role in helping the company achieve its bottom line.



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