A message from Nina Hale
It gives me great joy and pride to announce that on January 1 of 2014, I will take one of the most important moves in the history of Nina Hale, Inc.
On that day, the company will become a 100% ESOP. An ESOP is short for employee stock ownership plan. The Nina Hale, Inc. ESOP is a 15-year plan that will release 1/15 of the total ownership of the company each year to eligible employees in a new, additional retirement account. Employees pay nothing for the stock. Stock is released each year, thus employees who stay with the company longer will receive more of the total stock. Each year if the company continues to succeed and meets the long-term goals that we have identified, the stock will go up in value. Once employees retire, or leave, their stock converts to cash in their retirement accounts.
I started NHI eight years ago, never anticipating that we’d grow to our current 35 employees, or our eventual goal of 50. Many of the employees took a chance on coming to work for me when I was a small start-up in somewhat sketchy office spaces. Through hard work and dedication to our clients, we’ve grown the company together. Now the time has come to share that success with my employees. I am always humbled by the commitment of the NHI staff, and thrilled at the stellar results we have achieved time and time again.
What will this mean to our clients?
NHI already has very low turnover, especially for our industry. We pay competitive wages, have a culture of respect, and believe in work-life balance. We have always focused on hiring the best and brightest minds – people who are driven to succeed and are passionate about their craft. The financial benefits of the ESOP should be a compelling reason for current employees to stay with NHI, and will make the company even more desirable to potential employees. And of course we all know that a company succeeds by providing exceptional results. Our clients should benefit from even more commitment and retention of the teams. To quote a much overused cliche, this is taking it to 11.
I am not leaving the company.
I will continue on in my current role of CEO, and Donna Robinson will stay on as President. While I hope to scale back some of my hours over five or more years, there should be no discernible drop in my work with clients or my role of strategic identification and integration of new directions in digital marketing. In fact I will become one of the beneficiaries of the new ESOP plan, and my own future finances are still highly dependent on company success.
Thanks to all of you for your support over the years. If you are a client, you should see even more commitment from the NHI team. If you aren’t a client, we hope that someday you will become one, or that you refer potential clients to us. I am so proud of what this company has achieved and hope to see even more exceptional results well into the future.