Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:19 pm
3325 Gateway Road, Brookfield
Industry: Communication solutions
2016 annual revenue: $65.9 million
Brookfield-based OwnersEdge Inc., a 100 percent employee-owned holding company, is the #1 Business of the Year in the 2017 Top 10 Businesses of the Year awards program, presented by the Waukesha County Business Alliance in partnership with BizTimes Media.
The company had a record-setting year in 2016. It completed the acquisition of Green Bay-based companies Baycom Inc. and TourGuide Solutions. The two join CC&N and NEXT Electric to complete the portfolio of OwnersEdge companies.
The acquisition not only diversified OwnersEdge’s product line, but also grew the company’s market footprint in the state.
“The company is structured so all four businesses have their own branding and culture, but each business supports the OwnersEdge core values,” said Christine Adee, vice president of finance.
The core values include: embracing the employee stock ownership plan; a focus on the benefit of many, not the few; engaging diversity in terms of individuals and revenue streams; and collaborative communication.
OwnersEdge consolidates information technology, finance and human resources at the holding company level. It gives the portfolio companies the complete ability to focus primarily on their business, Adee said.
Baycom is a leading provider of mission-critical voice, mobile data and video solutions for public safety and commercial clients. TourGuide Solutions provides wireless tour guide and conferencing equipment to manufacturing companies, museums and attractions. The two companies join CC&N, a wired and wireless network solutions provider, and NEXT Electric, an electrical contractor.
In addition to its facilities in southeastern Wisconsin, OwnersEdge has facilities in Menasha and Green Bay.
“Community involvement is very important to us,” Adee said. “With the acquisition of Baycom, we’re now directly involved in the public safety side of our communities. We want to know we’re making a difference, both through our work and by volunteering and giving back.”
Each year, a committee of employee representatives from each portfolio company selects a charity and hosts activities throughout the year to support that charity, Adee said.
Last year, the company collected more than $2,000 for the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha and the Elmbrook Humane Society in Brookfield. In the past, OwnersEdge has also supported Waukesha’s Hope Center, Interfaith Waukesha and several veterans’ groups.
In 1995, CC&N formed the partial ESOP. Three years later, a 100 percent ESOP was established and in 2015, OwnersEdge was established to help increase the portfolio, expand the ESOP model and increase the value of the ESOP shares.
Each year, the value of the stock is established and reflected in each employee’s participant account.
For the past 11 years, the value of OwnersEdge ESOP shares has risen steadily.
“It gives everybody a sense of ownership,” Adee said. “They come to work, make decisions every day, interact with customers and know they are impacting the bottom line and impacting their retirement.”
OwnersEdge has continued focusing on strategic acquisitions of diversified businesses throughout the Midwest, and plans to add eight additional companies to its portfolio by 2023, Adee said.