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October is Employee Ownership Month

Happy ESOP-tober!

In October 2014, LBS became an employee owned company (ESOP) including its divisions Corporate Image and Archival Products. Reason enough for us to celebrate our 3rd anniversary as company owners – and a fantastic opportunity to talk about the benefits of being an ESOP.

LBS logo                    Archival Products logo

What is an ESOP?

Don’t worry, it is not as complicated as it sounds: ESOP stands for Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Basically such a plan enables employees to own stock in the company that employs them. There are approximately 7,000 ESOPs in place in the U.S., covering nearly 11 million employees (source: The ESOP Association). Corporate Image is a 100% employee-owned ESOP.

How did Corporate Image become employee-owned?

That is a great story, actually. For over 30 years, Corporate Image had been part of a family owned business – together with Archival Products and Library Binding Service (LBS). Fritz James had created the Corporate Image division to bring his idea of beautiful, strong and eco-friendly presentation materials to life. Using his knowledge of bookbinding, he created a binder construction stronger than the standard binders available in the United States. The innovative flex hinge makes our binders more durable as they do not fail at the hinge – which is typically the weakest part of a binder. Our binders have won Best Binder in the World as well as Best Binder in North America several times. They have received recognition for outstanding design and fabrication.

Fritz’s focus had always been sustainability – not only in the company’s products, but also in his life’s work. With the goal of continued growth and innovation, Fritz decided to sell his company to the people he had worked with for so many years. He wanted to ensure that all of our divisions would continue and the Employee Stock Ownership Plan was the best fit for our company.

And why is being an ESOP company a really great thing?

Well, for us employee-owners it is a special source of motivation – essentially we all have a personal interest in the success and future of our company. Our customers benefit from this commitment of everyone involved in their project from custom product design to shipping. We work hard to ensure your experience with us is great and your finished product exceeds your expectations.

Contact one of our employee-owners today: we look forward to working with you!

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