Drake-Williams Steel Converts to Employee Ownership

by DWS Blogger | Nov 04, 2014

Drake-Williams Steel Converts to Employee Ownership

​         One of the oldest companies in Nebraska converted to a 100% employee-owned company in a strategic move that its new president calls “a tremendous opportunity.”

 Omaha-based Drake-Williams Steel, founded in 1882 and now one of the largest fabricated steel manufacturers in the Midwest, adopted an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Jay Stewart was elected as president / CEO. Fourth generation owners Dave and John Williams sold their shares in the company to the new ESOP.

Stewart said, “Employee ownership will incentivize new employee-owners into greater team involvement. That will increase efficiencies, productivity and innovation. We look forward to building upon the Williams family history of dedication to employees, customers and our industry partners.”

Jon Eden and Derrick Fitton were elected as treasurer and secretary, respectively. The Williams brothers will not own shares in the ESOP, but will continue as employees and advisors.

They emphasized that their management vision all along has been ingraining employees into a company culture with an owner’s mentality. In the early 1970s, under the leadership of their father Hugh Williams and uncle Mike Williams, the company adopted a profit-sharing plan. It was considered a pioneering move in that business era.

In the late 1980s, Drake-Williams introduced a bonus plan for all employees, also rare for the industry and a precursor to the ESOP.

 “We are delighted to afford our Drake-Williams team the opportunity to affect and share in their collective future success” said John Williams. Dave Williams added, “We couldn’t be more excited about the future for Drake-Williams Steel.”

Financing for the transaction is being provided by Bankers Trust and the selling shareholders. The ESOP implementation team included Nick Niemann of McGrath North Mullin & Kratz (legal), Jeff Snyder of Lutz & Company (CPA), and Aaron Pryor of Acclaro Valuation Advisors (financial). The ESOP Trustee is First Bankers Trust Services, Inc. 

Drake-Williams Steel has 230 employees at its three plant facilities. It operates two plants in #Omaha: a structural #steel fabricating plant at 1602 N. 11th St., and a reinforcing steel fabricating plant at 2301 Hickory St. Its third facility is located at 20400 E. 26th Ave. in Aurora, Colo.

With humble beginnings as little more than a blacksmith shop, the company has evolved through products such as steam boilers, dragline buckets, smokestacks and tanks. Today it is known for structural steel fabrication, concrete reinforcing fabrication, railroad products, and steel products for the construction, manufacturing and transportation industries.

Drake-Williams Steel has furnished fabricated structural steel for hundreds of buildings throughout the Midwest. Recent projects include #TDAmeritrade Park, the TD Ameritrade corporate headquarters building, First National Tower, and the new east stadium addition at the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium. Current projects include the UNO Community Arena and the #Denver VA Hospital.

More info HERE:http://www.omaha.com/money/suddenly-owners-family-business-drake-williams-steel-converted-to-employee/article_b102e6c8-aa52-576e-a484-afad6ea1bf6f.html

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