Ignite has become a member of Certified Employee-Owned (Certified EO), a new certification program for employee-owned companies. To become a member of Certified EO, companies must pass a rigorous certification process and prove significant and broad -based employee ownership (at least 30 percent owned by an ownership plan). Ignite is currently 49% employee owned.
“This is a major milestone for Ignite,” said Jason Shelton, CEO. “We’re big believers in employee ownership, and fostering an environment where every employee is able to partake in corporate success. Earning this premier third-party certification strengthens our commitment to the employee-owned mode and fosters greater transparency.”
Ignite took initial steps into the employee-owned arena in 2012 as a mechanism for the founding owners to transition into retirement without putting the approximately 200 employee’s careers at risk which is common in a typical corporate merger or acquisition. Employee ownership was appealing because it allows everyone who contributes to corporate well-being to correspondingly benefit financially and not just a select few.
Indeed, employee ownership is perhaps the best-kept secret of our economy. It strengthens communities, fosters a financially savvy workforce, increases resiliency during recessions, and offers big benefits during economic booms. It’s a sound choice economically, with several tax and financial incentives to its name. It also empowers employees to think and act like owners, which results in an engaged workforce, happy customers, and sustainable financial success that in turn benefits the community.