CEO, Ruekert & Mielke Inc.
W233 N2080 Ridgeview Parkway, Waukesha
Industry: Civil and municipal engineering
“More than 20 years ago, as sole owner of our rapidly growing company, I spent considerable time thinking about the future of the firm and in what direction we should be headed. Thinking about our future, I needed to reflect on what made Ruekert & Mielke so successful and a great place to work. The answer was clear: it was our staff and the clients we work for. Many of our staff have been with the firm for more than 20 to 30 years and many of the communities we serve have been our clients for more than 50 years.
“Focusing on that realization, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan appeared to be the best opportunity to reward the people who helped create our success and gain the confidence from our clients. We established our ESOP nearly 20 years ago and as of the end of 2015, we are now 100 percent employee owned. With the full conversion to a 100 percent ESOP came management’s responsibility to better educate each staff member as to how his or her efforts directly relate to our bottom line and his or her financial future.
“This effort, coupled with our new management team, has helped us to realize a new level of energy and personal responsibility for our success. Our staff is now more educated on our financial status and more involved in teams to accomplish our projects. The increased involvement of our staff has created a noticeable difference in the firm. I am convinced that the more a company values its staff, the more success it will achieve in the future.”