What Employee Ownership Means to Us

Oct 29, 2020

In the summer of 2018, CSHQA officially became a 100% employee-owned firm. Two years earlier, leaders had made the decision to revisit our ownership structure, as the retirement of several key stockholders was approaching. Our team identified employee ownership as a great way to address the upcoming leadership transition, and our evolution began. After a long process of extensive research and discussions about the variety of employee ownership options, CSHQA decided that an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) was the right one for us. Throughout our journey, we have made several changes, like becoming an S Corporation, and we continue to grow today. As we celebrate Employee Ownership Month and consider the many reasons why employee owners love ESOPs, our team is especially appreciative of these wonderful benefits:


“Being an owner means I have more to gain, and more to lose, than a typical employee. A typical employee might not care that a company went over budget on a project, but an employee-owner should care. When the company does well, we all do well. When the company does not do well, we all will feel that too. Some people do their best no matter what and that is great. At CSHQA, we have a little extra incentive to do our best every day.”

“To me, being an employee owner means having something to look forward to! I’m not just another employee, I’m an owner, and having a personal stake in the ups and downs of the company means that I will put more effort into what I do. We all know we take better care of things we own. Also, being a “young” person in my career means that I will have a long time to reap the rewards of our ESOP plan!”

“Being an employee in an employee owned company gives a goal to work towards every day to better my company and gives me long term incentive to stay with the company.”

Financial Security

“Since becoming an owner through the ESOP, the leadership and ownership structures have split, making it so that I don’t need to buy my way into leadership and I can also benefit from the profit of the firm simply by doing my job. As the bread winner in my family, not having to set aside additional money to buy into leadership has been a huge relief. Seeing the value of my stocks grow each year has also been extremely encouraging and makes me want to perform better.”

“Being an owner means I’m an Architecture and Engineering Firm Investor and have added more diversity to my retirement portfolio.”

Something to Call Your Own

“It means that when I put my time and effort into my work, that comes back to me in more than just what I learn along the way. My skill and dedication are not going into making a big corporation more money, but they are investments in something I own. It’s like finally being able to have your own home and make it better with your own hands, rather than renting an apartment that is never really yours.”

“I think there is a greater sense of responsibility and desire to make decisions that take on a long-term view when you are the owner of something. In responding to this higher level of responsibility, there’s a greater sense of satisfaction from having a more personal input and the benefits of putting effort into something you own with your coworkers.”


“To me, being an employee owner means having OWNERSHIP (both literally and figuratively) of my own success and wealth, as well as of the health of the company. It empowers me to be involved and make a difference in the company, and it helps me feel that I have the ability to have an impact on CSHQA.”

“Being an owner means understanding your value and your impact on your company and your coworkers. Being strong-willed as an owner means you have the opportunity to positively impact everyone’s livelihoods as well as build up a strong company – something that shouldn’t be taken for granted!”


“As an employee owner I see the opportunity for greater productivity, higher profitability, and increased revenue. These opportunities and successes can increase overtime as the employees continue to be motivated in the overall health of the company. What benefits one will benefit all.”

“I am excited to be a future owner in CSHQA. I work at a place where everyone feels a personal responsibility to take ownership and pride in their work. As fellow owners I hope that my colleagues are motivated in knowing that the fruits of their labor will come back to directly benefit them. In looking towards my future and the well-being of my family I see it is a strong and diverse portion of my retirement. Thank you for the opportunity to become an owner in CSHQA.”

“Being an employee owner allows me the opportunity to help influence my retirement funds by helping to drive up our share price, which in turn provides a better retirement for my family.”


“Being an owner at CSHQA means I can take even more pride in the work we do and the relationships we have with our clients. Being an owner at CSHQA also gives me a great sense of accomplishment on projects we complete and the impact we are having in our built community.”

“With the pride of ownership, I have felt renewed commitment and felt more engaged.”


“Being an owner means we all have a stake in the success of the company in a way that is more meaningful than a publicly traded company because we all receive the rewards instead of relying on a CEO to share profits. It gives everyone incentive to help make the company as successful as it can be.”

“Being an owner is a state of mind and a mindset for making your project, in whatever capacity BETTER, your workplace, in whatever you do or create BETTER and your client/teammates relationships BETTER. It is exciting to me, to have more and more people on board with this mindset. Who knows where all we can go as an even BETTER Team!”

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