Haviland Employees
Haviland ESOP committee sport t-shirts in honor of the 10th anniversary of the ESOP.

Haviland credits employee owned business model for success

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based water treatment product manufacturer Haviland Enterprises Inc., is attributing its recent record-breaking success to being an employee-owned company.

As of Nov. 30, it will have been 10 years since Haviland switched to a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan [ESOP] for the company. Haviland Enterprises manufactures water treatment products for the swimming pool and spa industry under the Haviland Pool and Spa products division with well-known brands such as Proteam, Spa Pure and Salt Support.

An ESOP is an employee retirement benefit plan that enables companies to give a portion or all of its stock to employees through a trust. The company repurchases shares following employment, allowing employees to accumulate wealth based on the company’s growth and success.

“Our team’s commitment to providing customers with creative chemistry solutions has allowed us to thrive in a difficult operating environment, leveraging our chemical manufacturing and formulation capabilities to launch new products and service new markets,” says Meg Post, Haviland president and CEO.

This year, Haviland Enterprises Inc., the holding company for Haviland Products Company, Haviland Pool and Spa and Baleco International, will reach a significant milestone of $200 million in sales.

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“Haviland’s success is a reflection of our ESOP culture,” Post says. “Our employees take immense pride in their jobs and work extremely hard to create value for our customers, employee-owners and communities.”

Currently, Haviland employees average nine years of service, which may also be attributed to the ESOP.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to build long-term, equitable wealth for all of our employees,” Post says. “I attribute our success to the dedication of our team, who think and act like owners and are continually finding ways to drive growth through investment and continuous improvement.”

Founded by J.B. Haviland in 1934, Haviland became a partial ESOP in 1997 with 54% of the company owned by the Haviland family and 46% owned by employees. The family sold its remaining shares to the ESOP in 2012.