What is Employee Ownership?

Employee Owned…

Lumber Traders’ former owners and current Board Members, Arnold and Debbie Schouten, believed that the service to the community paired with the security and wealth of their employees were paramount when deciding to retire from their businesses.

Transferring ownership to the employees would retain a stable employment environment in the community, maintain a local source for essential building supplies and assist in growing employee wealth.

In January 2004, Arnold and Debbie Schouten rewarded their dedicated employees by creating the only 100% Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) company headquartered in Port Angeles, essentially selling the company to the employees.

The Schouten’s stated that “The ESOP was the best course of action, protecting the character of the companies, its employees, and its commitment to the local community.”

Both Arnold and Debbie have remained active by continuing their roles as members of the Lumber Traders Board of Directors while fulfilling an advisory role when requested.

A unique environment…

Lumber Traders is one of only 8,000 100% employee-owned companies in the United States.  The ESOP company structure creates unparalleled benefits, and more collaborative working environments.

Participating in the ESOP gives employees an increased responsibility in their roles while benefiting financially from their efforts. Employee ownership is an incredible motivator to work equally for the customer, their co-worker, and themselves while taking great pride in what they do.

We’re confident the difference is evident in the knowledge, care, and attention the employee-owners happily give daily.

Being employee-owned means that our local stores are actually owned by members of our community.

How ESOP works…

Lumber Traders ESOP is a 100% employer-funded retirement program requiring zero contribution by the employee.

Every employee can participate in the ESOP after meeting the following requirements:

  • Be 21 years of age
  • Work at least 1000 hours between Jan 1st and June 30th
  • Accumulate 1000 hours each year of employment

Unmatched performance history:

Different than a publicly-traded stock, the share value of Lumber
Traders is determined annually through an independent evaluator chosen by our ESOP Trustee.

Lumber Trader’s stock value has increased 17% on average since 2004. An employee who received a contribution of $2,000 worth of stock in 2004 currently has stock worth over $11,000 just from that first year alone. Adding in a yearly employer contribution over the last 18 years would mean that employee (without any raises) would have over $180,000 in total in their account today (2022).

All without any financial cost to the employee shareholder.

For more information about becoming an employee-owner at Lumber Traders, please see our Employment Opportunities page.

All information on past ESOP performance, where given, is for informational purposes only and is not necessarily a guide to future performance.

Are you a current or former employee-owner with questions about your ESOP account?

Contact our ESOP Trustee for personalized answers specific to your account.

Josh Bergesen – ESOP Trustee